Brian Tucker, BDI Vice-President Client Strategy

Employee Spotlight: Brian Tucker, BDI VP, Client Strategy

“Let’s wait to worry.”

From Debbie Freeman, BDI Contributing Writer

“I’m at my best when I’m trying to disrupt the norm,” says BDI’s Brian Tucker.

While this trait might seem unsettling in other situations, as Vice President, Client Strategy, it just means he’s doing his job.

“It’s essentially my role to set the tone for where the Rescue Missions network is going,” Brian says. “What I strive to do is equip the strategists and account managers with tools to ensure clients make the most of their budgets and meet their goals.”

That means he can’t rest on his laurels. His number one responsibility is keeping up with the times and ahead of the trends – like the growing rate of inflation and steady shift to online channels that accelerated with the COVID pandemic. 

“I definitely try to be an innovator – a catalyst pushing us forward. With my background, I’ve always been the kind of person who says, ‘Okay, what we’re doing now IS working, but what’s next?’”

Pushing the envelope

With more than two decades on both the client and consultant sides of the industry, Brian has worked with faith-based and secular nonprofits – including Mercy Ships, Operation Smile and the International Olympic Committee – in roles often requiring him to think outside the box.

As a product manager at World Vision, he was tasked with developing their Gift Catalog Program, a major departure from their established child sponsorship campaigns. With Brian’s keen ingenuity, the e-commerce experience proved ahead of its time, eventually netting $45 million annually. A mobile phone initiative he created for another organization raised a record tens of thousands of dollars in a single day.

Yet despite his aversion to maintaining the status quo, he adheres to sound fundraising principles.

“There are common threads that really all success comes down to,” Brian says. “I’m a firm believer that you make the right offer to the right audience at the right time.”

His accomplishments eventually attracted the attention of BDI’s Chief Operating Officer Phil Stolberg, who reached out to him for support with client strategy. They stayed in touch for nearly seven years, and when Brian sold his consulting business, the time was right to come on board.

“It was a lengthy recruiting process,” Brian jokes, but a natural fit. He’s been an integral part of the team now for over two years.

Testing the boundaries

Natives of California, Brian and his wife, Katie, have lived in Seattle, Washington, since 2006. Brian works from home, traveling several times per month to consult with BDI clients across the country. Katie works for T-Mobile in legal risk management.

Their once-peaceful household has been recently disrupted by the antics of a precious new puppy, a Yorkie named Hazel, who shares Brian’s zest for testing the boundaries.

“Yorkies are apparently the hardest to potty train. They get very distracted,” Brian says. “We didn’t know this before we got her and we’re still trying to figure her out.”

When Brian needs a break from the rigors of strategic planning and puppy-raising, he takes to the golf course to decompress. But perhaps even more therapeutic than the game itself are the serene surroundings. “Our courses up here are amazing. You can walk along and have views of Mount Rainier… bald eagles…”

Together, he and Katie also ride a tandem bicycle, a more relaxing alternative to his former passion for competitive cycling. 

“I raced road bikes and mountain bikes and did endurance events. I got a little burned out because it is all-consuming – the time and the training regimen.” Now, he says, as he’s grown older with more responsibilities and different priorities, “It’s become an activity to fall in love with it again. It’s more about enjoying the scenery and the company.”

Living and learning

With age and experience also comes wisdom. The pursuit of fresh solutions in the face of challenges and changing times often comes with anxiety and stress. But when Brian’s staff and coworkers become concerned with “what ifs,” he says, “Let’s wait to worry.”

“Don’t waste your time worrying about something before it happens – things just have a way of working themselves out. We can plan the best we can, but life’s always going to throw us a curveball. If we’ve learned anything over the last couple of years, it’s that you can’t plan your way out of certain things. Sometimes stuff just happens and you’ve got to roll with it.”

Thanks, Brian! Whether we’re prone to pushing the envelope or maintaining the status quo, that’s advice we could all take to heart.

Fun facts about Brian…

  • Brian and Katie’s home is not far from the original location of a source of inspiration for ingenuity and foresight – Amazon. “That little company up there in that funky old hospital building they were renting out… who knew!”
  • Coached by his grandma, Brian participated in competitive speech in 7th, 8th and 9th grades and won several regional competitions.
  • The couple are die-hard Mariners fans and attend every game (when they can get a puppy sitter).

Read more spotlights on the BDI team>>

Trending now! Click here to read more “Employee Spotlights” on our website.

More fuel for more impact.

Let's talk.