Trueline Spotlight: Building Rapport Like a Fine Wine
What do bartenders, servers, sommeliers and Trueline sales development coordinators have in common? Each job requires talking to people from diverse backgrounds with diverging interests and needs.
Ian Miller has thrived in all these vocations, and he says that experience is serving him well in his new role as a content developer for Trueline.
“Having to talk to so many people while working in restaurants was good preparation for a job at Trueline,” says Ian, who as a content developer makes as many as a dozen calls each day.
Ian was born in Kentucky but moved every few years because of his mom’s advertising career. He lived in St. Louis and developed a love for the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues. Just before high school, he moved to the Cocoa Beach area in Florida.
Because he moved so often, Ian says he was always the new kid in school. Making friends came easy and he says he got along well with all types, especially in high school. That ability to talk to anyone about anything translated to his career in hospitality and at Trueline.
“It’s a little different here though because we’re talking to people who work for billion dollar companies,” Ian jokes.
After high school, Ian attended Florida State University for a semester before realizing that college wasn’t right for him—at that time.
“It wasn’t the most conducive learning environment, so I made a wise decision and followed in my father’s footsteps and joined the Navy,” he says.
Despite not meeting his father, a Navy pilot, until he was 10, Ian says the military was always in his blood. He remembers doing a book report on Richard Marcinko, the first commander of SEAL Team Six, and being hooked. He wanted to be a Navy SEAL, but says he was too clumsy (an injury left him with a plate and five screws in one of his ankles).
After a medical discharge, Ian took community college classes. He eventually earned a degree in hospitality from Florida State.
“I wasn’t in the Navy for that long, but it has shaped who I am. More than 17 years later, I still wake up every morning and make my bed. I still fold my shirts the same way,” he says. “I was much more successful in college because of my military experience.”
Being in the military taught Ian discipline and turned him into the kind of leader who thrived while managing a team of servers, bartenders and country club staff throughout his hospitality career.
An Office Job Minus the Office
Ian met Joy Wilkie, Trueline’s director of people and culture, in 2017 when both worked at a restaurant in Tallahassee, but he didn’t expect their paths would cross again at a marketing company based in Maine.
When Ian was hired in July 2021 as a sales development coordinator, one of the first questions he asked was about the opportunity to move up in the company—he says he’s been promoted in every job he had before Trueline.
“I’m not a journalist and am not sure what to say as an interviewer, so I didn’t know what growth would look like at Trueline,” he says. “Moving to the content developer role wasn’t something that was on my radar initially.”
However, several months ago, P.J. Rose, Trueline’s chief operating officer, told Ian that it was time for the next step in his career. And Ian jumped at the opportunity.
Like bartending or serving in restaurants, Trueline sales development coordinators and content developers make more money the harder they work. Ian says if he was responsible for making 80 calls per day, he made sure he made 100.
“If you give me a scoreboard, you can bet I want to be on the top,” he says.
There has been an adjustment moving from working in restaurants for more than 15 years to working in an office job—without the office. Ian says he thought he was going to hate working from home, but over the past 15 months, he’s come to love it.
“As long as I’m putting up numbers and working hard, I know I’ll be successful and continue to bring value to Trueline,” he says. “I’m learning so much talking to so many different people. It’s been really cool.”
Bonus Facts on Ian Miller
Did you know? Ian grew up playing ice hockey in Florida. Also, he shares a birthday—July 14—with Conor McGregor, Jane Lynch, Gerald Ford and Woody Guthrie.
Who’d play you in The Ian Miller Story? Matt Damon.
Bucket list: Travel to Spain and Portugal, because those two countries are known for their wine.
Greatest achievement so far: Being in the Navy.