Staff Spotlight: TJ Bucholz
Tell us about your role at Vanguard.
As the founder of Vanguard Public Affairs, it’s been so gratifying to see an idea I had five years ago take shape and form into the organization we are today. Thriving companies are only as good as the people they hire and cultivate, and we have the best team of professionals in the business. I’m very proud of the work we do together and the clients we represent. I like to lead from the back and make sure that our staff have the opportunity to work with clients directly, sharing their ideas and vision regularly with them.
When you started your business, how did you finally come up with the name Vanguard?
I really wanted our company to offer the best public relations operatives I could find in the field. Ancient armies would send out a Vanguard to test the mettle of their opponent and develop strategies to defeat them. The Vanguard of an army also is comprised of trailblazers, and that’s what I believe our organization does on a daily basis. Plus, I have the worst last name ever – prospective customers would never be able to pronounce or spell something like Bucholz Strategies right every time.
Describe yourself in 5 words
Thoughtful. Tenacious. Entrepreneurial. Authentic. Intuitive.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Every material item around me can be replaced. Cars, homes, collectibles, and possessions are just things. Without my family, I am nothing. My wife and two children are the most important thing in the world to me. I don’t know how I could possibly live without them. As a family, we had some health challenges this past year and I really had moments that made me realize that material stuff isn’t necessary to live a good life.
What’s your favorite smartphone app?
There are some days when I wish social media didn’t exist. But it does so I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram regularly to stay in practice, but they are far from my favorites. I don’t use a ton of external apps but I think these ones I use regularly are pretty cool. I use Shazam a lot when I’m trying to identify a new song. Probably my favorite is called Star Chart – you can hold your phone up to the night sky and easily identify constellations, planets, and more.
Tell us something interesting about yourself
When it comes to driving, I am a paradox. Growing up with a father who was an auto shop educator and then a General Motors engineer, I spent a lot of weekends in the Saginaw and Detroit assembly plants. I am very knowledgeable about vehicles and am enthralled by classic car auctions like Barrett Jackson, but I hate to drive. Most men will tell you they are excellent drivers, but I am unafraid to admit that I am terrible at it. The only reason I am still behind the wheel is because I like the vehicles I drive and I spend too much money on them. I will be the first person in line to buy an autonomous vehicle with no wheel or pedals. When we go on the road as a team, I always try to trick someone else into driving. Take my car, sure, but please put me in the back seat.