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TOP Talks: Bumpy Pickleball Tournament

Jul 22, 2022 | CYBERSECURITY, TOP-TALKS, Who's In Your Cloud?

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This summer, TechOnPurpose is partnering with JTJ Media and pickleball players across Texas to throw down on the court and talk all things cybersecurity. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the North Houston Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse to help raise awareness about safe environments for abused children.

On May 21st, TechOnPurpose was out at the Bumpy Pickle May Classic in Houston, Texas – playin’ ball, bravin’ the heat and chillin’ with TOP. We chatted about all things pickleball – from strategy and the best parts of the sport – to cybersecurity and advice for business owners.

These players discuss why you should be playing pickleball AND getting serious about your cybersecurity! Thanks to these allstars for beatin’ the heat with us:

Matt Tankersley, Founder and CEO, TechOnPurpose 
Mike Reese, Financial Advisor,  Edward Jones
Alok Khera, Founder, Khera Marketing
Gary Guess, Manager of Sourcing Analytics, Sysco
Brad Chappell, Senior Financial Advisor, The Chappell Group

Let’s get social! Connect with TOP or check out our “Who’s In Your Cloud?” Vlog Series- simplifying the complex conversations about cybersecurity by any of the following methods:

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NOW HEAR FROM THE PICKLEBALL PLAYERS

 

TOP Talks: Bumpy Pickleball with Matt Tankersley

Lauren Lev  
Hi Everyone, Lauren Lev here again. I am with TechOnPurpose founder and CEO Matt Tankersley. Just so happens to be my boss, so let’s be nice to him. Matt?

Matt Tankersley  
Hey everybody. How are you doing? 

Lauren Lev  
Good! It’s a little hot. 

Matt Tankersley  
Happy Bumpy Classic. Is that what we’re doing Bumpy-

Lauren Lev  
Bumpy Pickleball May Classic Tournament. 

Matt Tankersley  
Thank you. Yeah, I’m sweating.

Lauren Lev  
 I’m dying. How was your game this morning? 

Matt Tankersley  
It was usual, it was usual.

Lauren Lev  
Does that mean good or bad?

Matt Tankersley  
I’m leaving now. Let’s just leave it at that.

Lauren Lev  
Gotcha. Gotcha. So what is your favorite thing about pickleball?

Matt Tankersley  
Good God, guys. You know, I don’t care how old you are, the cardio is amazing. The challenge is amazing. There’s competition and old and young playing against each other. And, you know, having some fun. If you’re an old tennis player, this is the game for you by the way. You know, quit killing yourself out there playing tennis and come kill yourself playing pickleball.

Lauren Lev  
Obviously, we’re really into cybersecurity here. And there’s like a lot of business owners here, right? So if you had to give one piece of advice, a cybersecurity piece of advice for business owners, what would it be?

Matt Tankersley  
You know, Lauren, you and I spend just about every day talking about this topic. And so to say, is there one thing? I think the most important thing that I would say, guys, is we all want to run our barbecue franchises, our accounting firms, our construction companies, whatever it is we do and we don’t want to think about this stuff. But the reality is, these cyber criminals, this is their full time job. 

Lauren Lev  
Exactly. They’re not playing pickleball right now, are they?

Matt Tankersley  
They’re not playing pickleball right now like you and I. And they want to exploit you for your money, for your livelihood. They don’t care if they take it away. And so the reality is, this needs to be a proactive thing, not a reactive thing. And the beautiful thing is, unlike most folks in the industry, and I think as I talked to my industry partners, guys, we have 70 different cybersecurity partners. And we’re talking with every one of them, nobody has a strategy that we do, which comprehensively contextualizes the problem, and then creates a structured and ordered solution set for you. You don’t have to go from day one to day 1000. But where do you start? Don’t believe all these vendors that are out there to tell you they have the silver bullet? Because let me promise you, it’s not one thing. It’s a lot of things. And let us tell you which one you should do first, and then second, and then third. And we’ll go from there.

Lauren Lev  
Yeah. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Matt Tankersley  
Exactly, exactly. 

Lauren Lev  
Well, thank you, Matt. We really appreciate it. If someone wants to hear more about cybersecurity/ TechOnPurpose, what should they do?

Matt Tankersley  
Listen, go to WhosInYour.Cloud, by the way, and you’ll get a free cyber risk assessment. And I promise you, Lauren, we haven’t said this enough. But we were kind of cart before the horse. We’re telling you all about what we call our TOPcyber21 best security practices, which is great. But it turns out, they all start with the risk assessment. You answer some questions about what you’ve got going on, with how you do what you do, and we turn around and give you a summary report that says, “Look, these are critical cybersecurity risk areas. These are high cybersecurity risk areas, and these are medium.” And then it spits out this beautiful report, which you’re gonna go Wait, what the heck is this? We’re going to simplify that conversation with you. We’re going to tell you where to get started. 

Lauren Lev  
Right, and it’s specific to your industry, your job, what you need. Yeah, it’s not one size fits all. Yeah, one of my favorite things that Matt told me besides everything about cybersecurity is you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you are.

Matt Tankersley  
That’s right. And you don’t know where you are if you don’t get this risk assessment. 

Lauren Lev  
Exactly. Well, thanks, Matt. 

Matt Tankersley  
It’s so my pleasure. 

Lauren Lev  
I Appreciate it.

Matt Tankersley  
All right. Sorry, I’m sweating. It’s hot out here in Houston, Texas, by the way.

Lauren Lev  
I’m sweating, I’m dying. Well, okay, perfect. Thank you.

Matt Tankersley  
Alright, Lauren. Thanks for everything you do.

 

TOP Talks: Bumpy Pickleball with Mike Reese

Lauren Lev  
Hi everyone, Lauren Lev from TechOnPurpose. I’m here with Mike Reese, Financial Advisor for Edward Jones. How are you? 

Mike Reese  
Great, how are you? 

Lauren Lev  
I’m amazing. A little hot. 

Mike Reese  
Oh yeah, it’s hot out here. That’s for sure. Yeah. 

Lauren Lev  
We’re out here at the Bumpy Pickle May Classic Pickleball Tournament. Super easy word to say. And so what are you guys doing here today? You’re a sponsor as well.

Mike Reese  
Yep, sponsoring and playing. I came out to play this afternoon. I’ll be playing doubles here in a little while and sponsoring the whole weekend and doing both.

Lauren Lev  
How long have you been playing pickleball?

Mike Reese  
About a year and a half now. 30 years of racquetball, finally kind of gave up racquetball and found something that’s a little more social.

Lauren Lev  
That’s what I hear. I hear pickleball is like a very social sport. It’s my first time obviously seeing it. It’s basically like human ping pong. Who doesn’t like ping pong? Right? Yeah, it’s so cool. So what got you into pickleball?

Mike Reese  
Actually, COVID got me into pickleball. COVID, couldn’t get into the gyms, couldn’t get in anywhere to work out. So outdoor courts, so it made it where we could find a place to exercise. And so my racquetball buddies convinced me to play and ever since that’s been the way to work out.

Lauren Lev  
So is this your first tournament?

Mike Reese  
No, this is probably my fourth or fifth tournament.

Lauren Lev  
Nice. Okay, so are you gonna win?

Mike Reese  
I hope so. We haven’t won the other one’s but- 

Lauren Lev  
I like it. I hope so. No. Say yes, I’m going to win.

Mike Reese  
Today’s our day. I’m gonna win. 

Lauren Lev  
Exactly. I like the confidence. You know, sometimes you gotta just put the cart before the horse. Okay, so you work at Edward Jones, obviously. What exactly do you do there?

Mike Reese  
So we help people with their planning for retirement, planning for education, for kids college, planning for unexpected life insurance, long-term care insurance, things like that, and then general investments.

Lauren Lev  
Okay, perfect. So what’s your favorite part of that?

Mike Reese  
Favorite part of it. And this is the whole reason I decided to join. I had an advisor for 20 years. And he actually convinced me when I had a job change unexpectedly, to give it a try and that I’d love it. And I’ve loved it ever since. Helping change people’s lives, really making a difference with people’s lives and helping them, you know, set up their future, help them plan. A lot of times, people are so busy with their daily life they don’t have time to sit down and actually take care of the planning for the future.

Lauren Lev  
And I mean, there’s probably some more important things in life. But I would venture to say one of the most important things you can do in life is prepare for your financial future, and not a lot of people do that. 

Mike Reese  
That’s right.

Lauren Lev  
It should be something taught in school, but it’s not.

Mike Reese  
It is. A lot of people come out of college and don’t have a clue on how to take care of writing a checkbook, balancing a checkbook, they don’t have an idea on how much things cost. And so part of our job is to find out the different goals that people have, you know, people need to plan for retirement, if they’ve got kids they need to plan for education. There’s so many things, just planning to buy a house. All of those types of things we help people with.

Lauren Lev  
What is harder, managing your IT or winning today’s pickleball tournament.

Mike Reese  
Let’s see. Well, if I can win today, and-

Lauren Lev  
When you win today!

Mike Reese  
I’ll have a different opinion on that. But winning here has definitely been tough. Men’s doubles is tough for some reason.

Lauren Lev  
Really? Is it called rank? What’s your rank?

Mike Reese  
3-0 and men’s doubles.

Lauren Lev  
Okay. Well, I’m gonna keep a lookout for you. And I’ll make sure to cheer you on. All right?

Mike Reese  
 Thank you very much. 

Lauren Lev  
Thank you. I appreciate it. You have a good rest of your day and try to stay cool.

Mike Reese  
Alright, I appreciate it.

 

TOP Talks: Bumpy Pickleball with Alok Khera

Lauren Lev  
What’s up everyone? Lauren Lev here from TechOnPurpose, and I am with Alok from Khera Marketing. Alok, how are you?

Alok Khera  
I’m well how are you guys doing at TechOnPurpose?

Lauren Lev  
I’m good, pretty hot. 

Alok Khera  
Yeah, yeah, it is a scorcher. Texas weather, Texas summers, they’ll do that. 

Lauren Lev  
Okay, what are we doing? 

Alok Khera  
We’re playing pickleball in the heat and enjoying it. That’s what’s happening today.

Lauren Lev  
We’re enjoying it?

Alok Khera  
Yeah, it’s fun. It’s very competitive. It’s friendly. It’s somewhat athletic. And it is a great way to meet people and make new friends.

Lauren Lev  
Okay, so what exactly do you do for work? We know you have a marketing agency. 

Alok Khera  
Yes, I have a small advertising agency, advertising marketing. So I drive traffic to businesses and websites and mobile phones and create leads for a lot of folks. So we’ll do like digital marketing, like SEO, PPC, display, geofence media, mobile, conquest, email, direct mail, things like that. So I’ve been doing that for a long time, but doing it in a space that is a lot of fun was retail, some automotives, some attorneys, some healthcare, and some furniture. But yeah, I’ve been doing that for a long time. And I also do some real estate investing. So I kind of marry the two into that sort of realm.

Lauren Lev  
And you play pickleball?

Alok Khera  
I do. I do. I’m actually very intrigued by pickleball. I will, based on today’s event, purely today’s event, put more time into practice for the next pickleball experience in my life.

Lauren Lev  
As a business owner, what is the biggest technology challenge you face?

Alok Khera  
Keeping up with it all? 

Lauren Lev  
Really? 

Alok Khera
Yeah. So there’s always things to have measurement and data analytics in the tech world. That’s really how you survive. That’s really how you innovate. That’s how you stay where you are. So there’s a lot of things that happen on a daily basis. Staying in front of it, I have different teams for different tasks, right? So a lot of times when it comes to tech, I know they’re subject matter experts in certain areas, and some that are very good in their verticals that are subject matter experts in like an email space, or PPC space, or SEO space, or measurement space or attribution. And that’s what really keeps the business right? That’s what grows the business is always data analytics. So it’s a moving target, you know, but it’s challenging, and it’s never boring. So that’s a good thing about it. But yeah, I would say staying on top of it, learning and just kind of being cognizant of the different developments in the fast moving pace of it.

Lauren Lev 
Well, we’ll end it on a high note. 

Alok Khera  
There’s no more questions? 

Lauren Lev  
No, you did so good. All right thanks, Alok. I appreciate it. 

Alok Khera  
Lauren’s great, awesome. 

Lauren Lev  
Okay, let’s do it.

 

TOP Talks: Bumpy Pickleball with Gary Guess

Lauren Lev  
I’m Lauren with TechOnPurpose and this is Gary. Hey, nice to meet you. 

Gary Guess  
Hello, nice to meet you. 

Lauren Lev  
So how long have you been playing pickleball?

Gary Guess  
I have been at this game for about a year and a half now.

Lauren Lev  
What brought you to pickleball? Apparently it’s like a cult I feel like a little bit.

Gary Guess  
It was COVID related actually. Yeah, working from home allowed me to kind of join a club and they played during lunch. So I would, over my lunch break, I would go up to VillaSport, and I learned to play the game over my lunch break.

Lauren Lev  
 Is it hard to learn how to play?

Gary Guess  
 No, really easy. 

Lauren Lev  
Really? Could I do it? 

Gary Guess  
You could easily do it.

Lauren Lev  
I keep saying it’s pretty much like human ping pong, which I’m really good and competitive at.

Gary Guess  
So I’m a huge ping pong guy. I didn’t play tennis. I can ping pong and it translates perfectly from ping pong. I mean, it’s all the racquet sports. It’s badminton, tennis, ping pong.

Lauren Lev  
Okay, is this your first tournament?

Gary Guess  
No, no, this is I don’t even know how many. 10 Maybe? 

Lauren Lev  
Really? Okay, how many of those have you won? 

Gary Guess  
Every single one of them.

Lauren Lev  
 I like it. That’s some good confidence. I like it. 

Gary Guess  
I’ve been on the podium every single one of them.

Lauren Lev  
Oh, that’s good! So what is your favorite part about playing pickleball?

Gary Guess  
Just having that competitive, you know, just that- I played basketball as a young kid, so that competitive juice is this. That’s my favorite part. Just playing, you know, just competing out here. It’s fun too, but I really just like competing and trying to win.

Lauren Lev  
I will say other sports I played, it’s very social, a lot of like camaraderie, hanging out, drinking, a bunch of folks just like on the sidelines watching.

Gary Guess  
Yeah, yeah, no, that’s fun to drink beer afterwards. Some people drink while they play. That’s not my game. 

Lauren Lev  
I can’t relate, but that’s great. That’s why you’re on the winner’s block. That’s why see.

Gary Guess  
I don’t understand the drinking while playing, but I drink a lot afterwards.

Lauren Lev  
I gotcha. Okay, mental note, mental note. Okay, cool. So, another question for you? Do you know why it’s called pickleball?

Gary Guess  
I have no idea. 

Lauren Lev  
Well, let me tell you. So apparently, the guy who created the game had a dog who would run around the court and chase the ball. He was kind of a mascot and his name was Pickles. So cool, thank you so much. Good luck out there. Not like you need it. Yeah, we appreciate it. Today. Oh, three, five,

Gary Guess  
I’m gonna need it today. But thank you, I appreciate it.

Lauren Lev  
You’ll kill it. You’ll kill it. Thank you so much.

 

TOP Talks: Bumpy Pickleball with Brad Chappell

Lauren Lev  
What’s up everyone? I’m Lauren Lev from TechOnPurpose. I am here at the Bumpy Pickle May Classic Pickleball tournament. And I’m here with?

Brad Chappell  
Brad Chappell.

Lauren Lev  
Brad Chappell. Brad, where do you work?

Brad Chappell  
I work at Merrill Lynch in The Woodlands. So, advisor.

Lauren Lev  
You’re our second financial advisor we’re interviewing today.

Brad Chappell  
It’s a great job. 

Lauren Lev  
Really? 

Brad Chappell  
Yep. Yep. I love it.

Lauren Lev  
Okay, so what is your favorite thing about pickleball?

Brad Chappell  
Favorite thing about pickleball is it is a social sport, great exercise. It’s very beginner friendly, and the culture is to grow the sport. So it’s welcoming beginners, and it’s not hardcore with crazy weird etiquette, things you have to learn. It’s just fun.

Lauren Lev  
Okay, that makes me feel really good. Because this is my first time ever seeing pickleball in real life, you know, because obviously, I just googled it on the internet before coming here. And I could not agree with you more, everyone has been so nice, so sweet, so encouraging. I definitely am gonna get into it after this, for sure.

Brad Chappell  
It’s a blast. And you’ll walk into a tournament and think, oh, surely I’m a better athlete than this guy, that guy, and then they’ll smoke you. And it’s a lot of skill and strategy, and everyone can play. So it’s a blast.

Lauren Lev  
So what is your favorite part about pickleball?

Brad Chappell  
Favorite part about pickleball. I mean, probably this the social exercise. It’s like, positive peer. Everything’s more fun doing it with someone else. So I’m most consistent exercising when I have a partner and then having a group of guys to play pickleball with or girls, it gets you there. It’s fun and it got us through COVID where we could be around other people. And it’s a fun sport. I mean, my parents were gone for a couple of years on a mission trip and they were hardcore tennis players. And during COVID it’s like, mom and dad, I promise when you get back you’re gonna love this sport, just give it a chance. Don’t worry about being amazing right off the bat. And now they play three, four times a week and it’s a blast.

Lauren Lev  
I think that’s gonna be me. At Merrill Lynch, or I guess in any aspect of your life, what is like the biggest IT challenge or technical challenge that you face? 

Brad Chappell  
For me it’s really getting things set up initially. So I coach some club basketball teams for my kids and I just got an awesome camera that has, if you set it up high and it’s got two cameras and it films the game and it zooms in where the ball is. But like, for me figuring out how to connect it and then upload the game and some of those steps that if it doesn’t go smoothly the first time, I’m not well equipped with work arounds, or that kind of stuff. It can be frustrating, but it makes a big difference. The more information you have, the better decision making you can make. And the technology feeds you that information to where you can see where we turn the ball over? How are we doing with this? And then you can implement actionable ideas.

Lauren Lev  
What is harder, winning a pickleball tournament? Or doing your IT for your basketball team? 

Brad Chappell  
Oh boy. 

Lauren Lev  
I know. I told you I ask the hard hitting questions here.

Brad Chappell  
I mean we’ve never won a pickleball tournament. I did successfully get one game uploaded last weekend, so probably winning a pickleball tournament, but it’s close. 

Lauren Lev  
Is today the day though? 

Brad Chappell  
Today’s the day. We’re about to play for the gold medal match. 

Lauren Lev  
Wait, really?

Brad Chappell  
Yeah, so we’ve never even finished first, second or third, but now we are for sure playing the gold medal match. So first or second.

Lauren Lev  
What?! Okay, so when you win, will you like, you know, still have time for us little people down here so we can interview you again.

Brad Chappell  
We’ll be yelling “On Tech! On Tech got me here!”

Lauren Lev  
Yeah, TechOnPurpose. That’s right. Oh my god, you’re so great. No, you’re fine. I cannot freakin’ wait. We will keep a lookout for you. It’s you and your friend over there. You and Austin? Okay, Austin is coming up next. So we’re gonna get Austin’s scoop first, and then when you guys win, we’ll throw the Gatorade cooler over you and everything. Okay?

Brad Chappell  
Yeah, we’re gonna win on purpose.

Lauren Lev  
I like it. Awesome! Thank you so much. We’ll see you guys soon.

 

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