The Algorithm Blog

The Algorithm Team Interview: Carl McKinney

As an Account Manager with Algorithm Carl McKinney is responsible for delivering upon the high standard to excellence that is synonymous with the Algorithm brand. Through keen partnerships and by utilization of the customer experience as his guide Carl is responsible for the delivery of measurable change to the bottom line of customers he represents. Carl McKinney Algorithm

Prior to jointing Algorithm, Carl had a rich professional history of project management and sales working with the enterprise integration team at Apple, Inc. As a student of design he graduated from The Ohio State University in with a B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture and minor in African American studies. Carl is married with one child (and one on the way :D) and loves spending time with his family traveling and discovering new localities.

Carl is an experienced portrait photographer and designer. As an experiment he completed a mobile centric project that chronicled a life told through images entitled #instacalendar.

Please describe your experience at Algorithm. When and why did you become involved?

During my 13 months at Algorithm my time has been primarily focused in service of customers. As an account manager, my territory ranges greatly throughout the upper Midwest plains, but my mission is tied to insuring our customers maximize their utility with the products in their business. This is the mantra that drives me daily.

I knew Mike and Mimi prior to entering into my role as an Account Manager at Algo. An opportunity arose and I went for it, knowing the challenge of working in a completely different space would be a great way to stretch myself professionally and work alongside the best talent in the business. The team at Algorithm is special and has really helped push my development as someone new to this space. I am thankful for their kindness.

What do you find most exciting in your career?

The reach we have within our company is pretty broad. That can be challenging at times, in a good way.

Mike and Mimi have built an organization that empowers us to take a proactive approach to our roles as AM’s, which I love. They trust that we are doing what is necessary to build value with our customers and consequently bring this value back into the business.

This approach not only develops me as an Account Manager but also continually pushes us to focus on ways to keep existing customers happy and prospective customers engaged.

How would you describe the culture at Algorithm. Do you have any stories to share?

The culture at Algorithm is my favorite thing about working here! Mike and Mimi have not only built a professional environment were someone can learn and grow, but I most appreciate the familial aspect that fosters the exchange of ideas amongst our team. They understand we are more then just the sum of our individual parts and place a focus on leveraging our collective talents for the greater good.

An example of this came by way of a recent site visit with Business Application Consultant Andy Smith.

This experience with the customer was monumental in giving me a better understanding of their business and specific pain points needing addressed. The result allowed us to accurately specify the right products and services to meet their growing demands and ensured we earned their business moving forward.

Listening to Andy’s conversations regarding particular business processes helped to illuminate the myriad of ways customers seek to use the software to solve traditional problems. We are encouraged to own our development and I find site visits are a great way to serve and grow.

Mike also drums up fun ways to include our input on the various marketing related projects for the business. Whether it be our #whereisalgo Twitter campaign or monthly marketing breakouts where input from all team members is encouraged. Coming from a creative background, I like being able to contribute those talents to the various customer-centric initiatives here at Algo.

Do you have a quote or life motto to live by?

I’ve got a few motto’s I love.

  • “Do, or Do not. There is no Try” -Yoda
  • “Be the Change you wish to see in the world.” - Mahatma Ghandi

My most recent faves are from my close personal friends:

  • “Hustle sold separately” Wyatt Worthington
  • Lastly, a personal fav from my mentor simply says “keep going” - Jim Gregory.

What is your all-time favorite city or country and why?

My all-time favorite continent is Africa. Aside from it being a place of geographic allure during my youth, I also had a chance to visit the continent in college and it changed my view of the world forever.

I love Nelson Mandela and having a chance to visit Robben Island with all of its rich cultural pretext was deeply moving. Africa is much more than jungle and natural parks. It is a full sensory spectacle that I think all Americans would be privileged to see!

You studied landscape architecture in college. If you could have one pet project in this field, what would it be?

My focus during college was golf course design. Growing up playing competitive golf I always dreamt of taking a piece of seemingly mundane land and turning it into a championship golf course.

I interned at Hurdzan Fry for a quarter and was exposed to all the nuances of golf course architecture; even being able to work construction on the golf course of Dublin during its development.

I still have not traveled to St. Andrews and the famous courses of Old Europe, but those are numbers 1, 2, and 3 of the Bucket List!

Outside of your excellent work at Algorithm, you are also an experienced photographer and designer. Tell us more:

Coming from an artistic family I always had creative interests growing up. I spent countless hours drawing, making music, designing, and building.

Photography was one of the latest skills I picked up. During graduate school we were challenged to pursue not just professional goals but to aspire to personal ones as well.

Photography was a passion I chose to pursue. It offered not only a change in the media that I traditionally used but also I love looking back at old memories from childhood and reflecting on how a moment frozen in time provided such sentiment present day.

I quickly fell in love with the craft of taking a well-exposed and interesting picture, and photography to me, offered an artful approach to storytelling through the thoughtful sequencing of images. #instacalendar was born out of this idea and was a project to showcase the alchemy of a year through mobile photography.

This was during the rise of the iPhone as a bonafide photographic tool. I used both an iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 to capture, cull, edit and arrange all 365 photos for the exhibition Below are some highlights from #instacalendar - more about that project is available here.

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