April 11, 2023: Meet Tom Capone, founder, TAC-USA

Welcome to this week’s issue of USDLA News! We are excited to introduce you to Thomas A. Capone, founder of TAC-USA and CEO of NYDLA. Tom’s company is a sponsor, and he is offering our members some excellent discounts on tech products. We’ll tell you more about that below! Scroll down for our Q&A.

Teacher Appreciation Week: We are honored to support the LifeChanger of the Year program. Details are below on how you can Nominate a LifeChanger.

Members: It’s time to cast your vote! Each year, paid members elect a Director to the USDLA Board. This year’s election will take place within the member’s portal so be on the lookout for an email. The member login link is on the website menu: usdla.org.

Public Policy: We still need your input. As many of you know, many noteworthy public policy issues impact K-20 education. We’d like to know which ones you think would be more discussion and representation, so we’ve created a brief survey. Select from the topics that interest you or share an insight that can be a roundtable discussion during the upcoming USDLA National Conference in JulyClick here to take the survey.

USDLA’s National Conference session schedule is now available: Click here to check out this years exciting lineup. Also, don’t forget to register for the conference and book your hotel room now! Check out our keynote highlight below.

We’ll be back next Tuesday with another issue of USDLA News. Thank you for your continued support of the association and if you are not a member, you can join at https://usdla.org/membership.— Pat Cassella, USDLA Executive Director

TAC-USA: The Technology Assurance Cooperative that can save you $$$

This week’s Q&A is with Thomas A. Capone, president, New York Distance Learning Association (NYDLA)

USDLA: Tell us about you and your company. You have a long history. Share that with us, and please tell us about the need it is filling in the distance learning industry.

Tom: I was a Biomedical Engineering student at PURDUE with an expected career path to medical school. Back home in New Jersey for a summer break in the early 80s, NYNEX went live with “cellular phones” in the New York market. I saw the future of “remote” and bought a car phone – I had no job and no money – but I wanted a phone in my car! Next thing you know, I was in the cellular phone business, the radio paging business, and all aspects of telecom and technology. I saw the future of all things remote and how technology would enable working from anywhere and learning from anywhere. One of my first companies was MTP: MyTeachingPartners.com and the domain still works! I never did go to medical school, and I never became a Doctor, but here I am in 2023 – and today, they call me www.DrZoom.us

USDLA: What have been your organization’s most significant challenges?

Tom: People! We need more people. I have been in business since 1983, and I have never seen such a labor shortage. I don’t know if this is all still COVID or pandemic related, but there are more projects than people available to service them. Whenever we launch a new vendor project, we always have a team of three people – we call them PODS. So if we had 100 projects, that would require 300 people at a minimum. So, our problem is what they call a “high-class problem” – we need more people to keep up with growth and demand.

USDLA: What are the company’s big wins? 

Tom: Because we started selling cellular in 1983 – we have some relationships that started over 40 years ago. People we sold “car phones” to in the early 80s and 90s are now (today) running Fortune 1000 companies. We have become Master Agents for several major telecom and technology platforms. A recent big win happened last year when Verizon made us a Tier 1 ELITE partner. So now we have Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile – all three of the major carriers are active in our vendor portfolio, and all at the maximum price (volume) discounts for our community.

USDLA: Who is your ideal client, and how has the business grown recently?

Tom: Today, we are operating under the TAC brand – the Technology Assurance Cooperative (TAC-USA.com). We are all living, learning, working, playing, teaching, training, coaching, and mentoring in the GLOBAL cloud economy. The future of work, the future of education, and the future of entertainment are all in the clouds. Although we service clients as large as Fortune 23, we also service Mom and Pop startups. Our ideal client is a business with less than 500 people who can benefit from our buying power and also benefit from our subject matter expertise. We can ASSURE the members of our technology cooperative not only savings, but we can guarantee the business outcomes they desire. We are like a mashup of Amazon Prime, Costco, BestBuy, and maybe McKinsey and/or Gartner. Our company has three legs: knowledge, technology, and talent. Building on everything we have learned since 1983, we have the subject matter experts, the thought leaders – and the market leaders and suppliers in telecom and technology in our portfolio of services. 300 of the Fortune 1000 and 46% of the Schools of Business (and their alumni) benefit from accessing our Technology ASSURANCE Cooperative.

USDLA: How has USDLA been helpful in your efforts?

Tom: The USDLA is known around the world as an industry leader in all things distance learning. We have been saying for years that distance learning has become DIGITAL learning – and now, in 2023, it is all just DIGITAL LIVING. The USDLA community gives credibility to our efforts to deliver the technology and the talent to enable distance learning and all things “remote” for businesses of any size in any time zone. This is why we are so excited to enable the USDLA community to “shop” at the Technology Assurance Cooperative as a value-added member benefit of USDLA.org (use code USDLA).

USDLA: What does the future look like for your organization? 

Tom: The future is very bright indeed. www.TAC-USA.com is not trying to compete with Amazon or CDW, or BestBuy. In fact, we are doing what they cannot do: guaranteeing business outcomes. I love the saying: “None of us is as smart as all.” No business (regardless of size) has time to experiment in today’s economy. No business wants to risk a costly bad decision. No business has time or money to waste. Our technology cooperative provides the buying power and the aggregate subject matter expertise and knowledge of CIOs, CTOs, CFOs, CMOs, and even CEOs of thousands of companies. We eliminate risk, and we maximize savings. I expect us to have 10M+ active members in our cooperative by 2024.

About the TAC family of companies: One of the fastest-growing telecommunications companies in the United States. TAC-USA.com boasts a management team composed of telecommunications industry veterans, most of whom have experience in the competitive technology and telecommunications business. Since 1983 TAC has delivered significant savings and quality of service on the voice data wireless IT telecom and technology products and services used by Fortune 500 companies worldwide. TAC is one of the world’s premier information technology resources. TAC’s core values of integrity, knowledge innovation, flexibility, and caring – guide us to exceed the expectations of our co-workers, partners, and customers. Like an old Farmer’s Cooperative, although all are independent, our community members reap many benefits of our aggregate knowledge, technology, and talent. Put the buying power of millions to work for YOU and YOUR business today. Join TAC-USA.com.

Teacher Appreciation Week is around the corner: Nominate a LifeChanger!

We all know teachers and school district employees who inspire us and go above and beyond for their students. They could be a physical education teacher who started a nonprofit to teach students about art and music, an administrator who visits the homes of students in need, or a maintenance worker who fundraises for school programs. These educators and school employees are LifeChangers.

LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program recognizing K-12 educators and school employees nationwide. Our program celebrates those making a significant difference in students’ lives by exemplifying excellence, positive influence, and leadership. Since 2011, we’ve recognized more than 7,300 school employees from more than 2,000 school districts and awarded more than $720,000 to schools and school employees.

LifeChanger of the Year is sponsored and run by National Life Group, a more than 175-year-old financial services company that serves K-12 educators nationwide. National Life and its distribution partners have been helping school employees retire with dignity for decades. Seeing the work that our nation’s school employees do, the passion behind that work, and the lasting outcome of it keep us inspired. We created the LifeChanger of the Year program to shine a light on education, celebrate school employees, and provide them with the resources they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Cash prizes for the LifeChanger of the Year program are provided by National Life Group’s charitable arm, the National Life Group Foundation. Since its inception in 2006, the goal of the National Life Foundation has been to build strong connections and do good in the communities in which we live and work. We do this in a number of ways, such as by providing grants to nonprofit and educational organizations, giving our employees 40 hours of paid volunteer time annually, sponsoring events, and offering in-kind donations. We also provide support for mental health and wellness programs for K-12 students and school employees. Learn more here: lifechangeroftheyear.com

Click here to nominate your LifeChanger!