tic long, the president of events at youth specialties, is celebrating his 30th anniversary at ys. pretty amazing, that he started here in 1977, a couple years out of college, as the business manager. tic has often said that if mike and wayne (the founders and owners of ys at the time) had been savvier owners, they would have fired him, or he would have quit, because he had no business being a business manager. president, though, that was the role that fit him well for a couple decades. without tic, ys would have failed and closed many times over. really. there was even a time when tic took out a 2nd mortgage on his house to keep ys alive.
bottom line: tic has been behind the scenes, serving youth workers for a long time.
5 years ago, he graciously stepped into a new role as president of events at ys, focusing on his great strength in event planning, and allowed me to step into the president role.
monday night, our staff and a few close friends had a surprise party for tic — at his house. tic is a consumate host and jester, and loves entertaining at his house. so we couldn’t think of a better place to have the party. in the months prior to the party, we worked to collect 1 to 3 word phrases about tic and his character, from about 225 current and former employees of ys, current and former CORE team members, speakers and musicians, and various other friends of ys. we commissioned a wonderful artist who specializes in stencil work — lora burnett — to create an original piece of art with all those words about tic. here he is with the art piece.
if you want to email tic and congratulate him or thank him, his email is [email protected]ties.com. he’s not retiring or going anywhere, btw!