Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
I think it was 2005 when I first heard that name Tic Long. We had gotten involved with Youth Specialties (YS) to help them with their branding for the first time and as the account manager for that project, although I don't think I ever talked directly to him at that time, I heard the name often.
In our involvement in the 2011 pre-convention marketing, things were different. Although I wasn't communicating with him on a day-to-day basis, I had a number of opportunities to speak with and work directly with him. I came to know Tic as a big picture guy. The visionary that gets people fired up. The guy who so believed in youth workers that he devoted his life to minister to them and that passion was infectious in the best possible way amongst the people that worked with and around him.
For me, one great example of that passion came in a phone call with Tic and a few others early this year. We were attempting to strategize messaging for the pre-convention marketing and on that call, I asked Tic what the heart of the message needed to be. Tic's response was that what youth workers do, and who they are is way too important for them not to take care of themselves and YS saw it as their job to give youth workers that opportunity to be cared for. Anyone who is on the mailing list to receive NYWC pre-convention mailings might put together that that concept became the front of one of the postcards that was sent out as we had Tic hand-write that message for the postcard.
However, shortly after we got rolling with YS to prepare for this years convention, Tic posted on his blog that he was leaving YS in order to follow God's leading in his life and become the executive pastor of his home church, Journey Community Church in La Mesa, California. That reality made this past weekend's National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta, Tic's last. Fittingly, YS prepared this video as a tribute and thank you to Tic for 35 years of service to youth workers.
On behalf of the whole team at Radiant, I wish Tic all the best as he moves into this new role. We're thankful for the opportunity to have worked with you and for the recommendation to eat at Fat Matt's in Atlanta :)