Robert H. Thayer II, Class of 2012

IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020, and will be catching up with past recipients to see what they’ve been up to since they were honored. This week features Robert H. Thayer II, vice president of marketing, Tri-North Builders Inc.
Watn Robert Thayer (primary) Headsot

What have you accomplished in your professional life/career since your 40 Under 40 selection?

Since 2012, myself and a couple other people created Kids Building Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization that hold kids’ events centered around the construction industry to promote our industry and try to combat our workforce shortage. I continue to work at Tri-North Builders but also started a drone videography/photography company called RT Aerial Productions.

What accomplishments, milestones, or endeavors have you attained in your personal life since your 40 Under 40 selection?

In my personal life, my son was born in 2014 and I have taken up curling as a new sport in the winter besides my normal water skiing. I also have become a licensed private pilot and enjoy flying myself and my kids places. Other than that, it is the normal things like time with family at our cabin in northern Wisconsin.

If you were to “do it all over again,” what (if anything) would you do differently throughout your career?

I really do not have any regrets as it relates to my career. I love what I do and without my mistakes I would not be where I am. I guess if I had to choose, I wish I would have been a bit wiser in some of my decision-making while at my previous employer, Centurion Boats, and also stood up for myself a bit more. But I was young back then and you cannot live in the past, only strive to be better in the future.

How did your 40 Under 40 selection help your career?

Am I still in the club now that I am 42? That first year, I guess, when meeting people they would recognize me a bit more or comment on how I was one of the few that did fun photos for the magazine.

What is something that you have a new passion for since the time of your induction — either professionally or personally?

Video! I love filming and editing video in both my personal and professional life. Video content is king. I love creating the memories for my kids to have in the future and also I love showcasing all of the things we do here at Tri-North for people not in our company and industry to see. My poor children and co-workers probably get sick of the camera always rolling.

Based on your experience, do you have any advice for today’s young professionals (under 40)?

Be creative! Some of us old people tend to get stuck in our ways, so fresh new ideas are such a welcome thing in my mind. I want talent that comes to work for me to own their role and make it their own, not just what we have “always done in the past.” I love the youthful energy and creative ideas many of the younger generations have but you have to work hard and you have to earn respect and accolades — they are not just given.

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