It is interesting to trace the professional journey taken by Trevor Akervik. In late 2001, he joined Marco of St. Cloud, Minnesota, as an entry-level sales rep. Twenty years later, he celebrated his birthday and anniversary with the company by being named the chief operating officer. Along the way, he helped establish the company’s managed print services platform, then was a significant force in creating its managed IT operations.
However, this journey would not have been possible had Akervik not learned a few things about himself first. And that was the genesis to what has been an impressive career thus far for the COO and 2022 ENX Magazine Difference Maker.
His formative years at St. Cloud Technical and Community College were pivotal to forging Akervik’s path. His original course of study was computer programming, but it only took one semester to realize that it wasn’t an optimal fit.
“After I switched to sales and marketing, I immediately began to thrive,” he said. “It was perhaps the biggest lesson of my life: you have to put more thought into who you are, and choose a career path that is naturally aligned with your strengths and passions. Your work will be more rewarding, and you’ll be more engaged in everything you do.”
Call it fate, divine providence or serendipity, but Akervik’s future was foreshadowed by a chance meeting with Marco CEO while the former was still in college. Upon graduating, Akervik reached out to Gau, who introduced him to people who were hiring. That encounter truly set the wheels in motion for his future.
“When I met Jeff Gau, I didn’t realize the amazing opportunity I was getting,” he said. “He didn’t push me in a certain direction. Instead, he kept providing me opportunities to learn and grow on my own.”
Akervik remains unwavering in his loyalty to Marco. He’s grateful for the opportunities there that have allowed him to build strong relationships. By working in nearly every aspect of the organization, he’s been able to gain a broad understanding of Marco through multiple lenses.
Thus, while suitors have knocked on his door, Akervik politely declines. “The relationships I’ve formed here have absolutely made me a better and stronger person,” he said. “I don’t know that I would have attained this level of success without them.”
That level of success also wouldn’t have been attainable without Akervik’s constant drive to be the hardest worker in the room (“I recognize that I’ll never be the smartest person in every room,” he noted). He believes the deeper one gets into their professional career, the more important it is to remain humble.
Akervik loves that the industry is populated with like-minded individuals who, like him, aren’t afraid to push their boundaries of knowledge and improve. “The industry is still a bit old-school, so I also see a tremendous amount of opportunity to fundamentally reshape how and what we do,” he said.
His development in the fields of managed print and IT began in 2009. Although the services “speak the same language” in many ways, they are fundamentally different. Developing expertise in these disciplines and being able to bridge the two has made him more valuable to Marco.
Rolling With Changes
Akervik revealed that Marco is pioneering a significant go-to-market change that will impact the structure of its organization and fundamentally shift the way it interacts with clients. As the buyer’s journey is fundamentally different than it was even just 10 years ago, he notes that Marco applied a significant amount of courage and thought into providing the best service possible.
As for how Akervik can raise his game, it entails more listening and less talking. “I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve listened more than I’ve spoken,” he said. “It takes tremendous discipline and constant practice, but I strive to bring that focus every day to my interactions with others.”
Akervik and his wife, Tiffany, are celebrating their 24th anniversary this year. They have two daughters, Aubri and Kora, with the former being only 10 months old when Akervik began his Marco career.
“As much as we’ve become part of the company, Marco has also become part of my family,” he noted. “Marco feels like family because it acts like one, in the best possible sense.”