Let’s kick off the Employee Spotlight series by recognizing Kody, a Strategic Business Analyst here at CU Engage. Kody joined the team in 2018 and quickly made his presence known through his eagerness to jump right into projects and willingness to take on extra tasks. During office hours if he’s not at his desk or onsite with a client, he can usually be found either in the kitchen or at the gym. He makes a point to say “hello” and “good night” to everyone in the office, and he is always in a good mood. He’s the kind of guy that would do just about anything to help his co-workers (like stepping-up for the first-ever Employee Spotlight!). Before we begin, let me tell you two things about this interview: his dad-jokes are on point, and boy did he set the bar high for future employee spotlights!
Kody Eric (after his dad’s favorite running back Eric Dickerson) Tuupo is of Samoan descent; he even signed an autograph once as Troy Polamalu when his hair was long (ask him to see a picture and thank me later). Kody was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, but he grew up north of Atlanta, GA. He studied at Eastern Kentucky University where he attained his Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Management, making him the first person in his family to graduate college. During his time at EKU Kody had a successful football career as cornerback/safety. Since graduating, Kody and his wife, Falon have been blessed with four “artistic, athletic, crazy, and amazing” children. You can catch the supportive family in youth sports stands and on sidelines across America.
Here at CU Engage Kody utilizes that football mentality and has a keen sense to think on his feet. He is level-headed, will make you laugh, and is always willing to lend a hand, whether that be on a project for a client or as CU Engage “Security”. He seems quiet at first but quickly shows you he’s willing to tackle any obstacle and approaches the workday like it’s the biggest game of the season, third and inches and the clock is ticking. Read on to learn more about the guy we affectionately refer to as “2PO”.
Q: Describe your position at CU Engage.
A: My role is to engage Credit Unions and Vendors throughout the entire timeline of our projects.
Q: How did you come to work here?
A: Good friend of mine introduced me to the family.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working here?
A: The culture, most companies talk about culture, but we have one.
Q: What is your definition of success?
A: Willingness to work to achieve your goals.
Q: What are some of your hobbies outside the office?
A: I like to golf when I can, so feel free to shoot me invites to any company outings. I watch a lot of football, from little league to professional. I like to cook, preferably outdoors on a grill, no gas though.
Q: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A: Just one bite of anything.
Q: What is one thing about you few people know?
A: I’ve been an actor on cable tv and the big screen and by actor, I mean I was a double for a kid in a Benadryl commercial who couldn’t run or hit a baseball. I also acted as an extra in Remember the Titans. I was the extra who sat in the stands at one of the games and ate popcorn.
Q: When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
A: Jamie Foxx, I Might Need Security in the early 2000s. Had to rewind the tape three times to watch over and over.
Q: If you could only have one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: All you can eat Seafood.
Q: What makes you laugh?
A: The right joke at the right time.
Q: If you were the newest crayon in the box, what color would you be and why?
A: The color that doesn’t break, cause every other crayon gets broken in 5 minutes in my house.
Q: When you have 30 minutes of free time, what are you doing?
A: I currently live with 8 children in my household, in my free time I work at CU Engage.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: I get really hyped up when my oldest son makes huge hits on his little league football team.
Q: You are happiest when…?
A: I’m surrounded by family.
Q: What would the title of your autobiography be?
A: He Came, He Saw, He Conquered.
Q: What chore do you hate?
A: The ones I do after asking one of my kids to do it first.
Q: Have you ever met anyone famous?
A: My pops should be famous, he’s the funniest human being I’ve ever met.
Q: What is something funny that happened to you recently?
A: Not to me, but a Tesla pulled up too close to my pops a few days ago, while he was driving a work golf cart. Because the golf cart was a stick, it backs up just a little before it starts going forward and my dad hit the Tesla. The driver said it would take about $5-$10K to fix. Police asked my dad if he had insurance on the golf cart, he said, “No officer, No insurance, and No registration”. Officer takes a statement but doesn’t issue any ticket, so Driver asks what he does next and my dad says, “Take your statement down to the repair shop, pay $5-$10K to fix, and don’t follow me too close next time.”
Q: What does true leadership mean to you?
A: Doing the right thing all the time, even when nobody is watching.