TLC Associates’ Founder & CEO Awarded the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year

TLC Associates’ Founder & CEO Awarded the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year

August 10, 2022—Cedar Rapids, IA– TLC Associates, an Iowa-based provider of high-quality customer contact solutions, announced today that its CEO and Founder, Thomas L. Cardella, has been awarded the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center.   This award is part of the Iowa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Honors, recognizing outstanding entrepreneurial accomplishments of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and Venture School participants.


Recipients of these awards exhibit passion, devotion and innovation in planning and deploying their businesses, and have made significant progress over the years as determined by metrics such as jobs created, and revenue generated.  The Alumni Entrepreneur of the year distinction is reserved for exceptional alumni and their significant accomplishments in entrepreneurship and innovation.


Mr. Cardella has been a pioneer and successful entrepreneur in the Contact Center industry for 30 years. His first company, Access Direct, founded in 1995, grew to 2200 employees in five years, and was sold to Interactive Corp (IAC) in 2000. Access Direct was #8 on the Inc 500 list in 2000, and Tom Cardella was an E&Y Regional Winner in 1998. Tom was an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist in 2011, 2019, and 2020. In 2021, Tom earned the People Focused CEO of the Year Bronze Stevie Award from the International Business Awards and the Contact Center Leader of the Year Gold Award from the Stevie’s as well.


“This recognition means so much to me coming from a renowned school that embodies the passion needed for successful entrepreneurship and serves as the hub for business education in the state of Iowa,” said Mr. Cardella.  “The foundation for my success came from my education at the University of Iowa.  I am truly humbled by this honor and share the award with the countless colleagues that have shared my vision over the years. Together, we have built impactful businesses resulting in tremendous job creation and meaningful community impact within Iowa, the US, and the world.”


The official awards ceremony will take place on September 9, 2022, at the Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City.


TLC Associates, operates contact centers throughout the Iowa, Texas, New Mexico, Georgia in addition to the Dominican Republic, India, and the Philippines.  Under his leadership, the Company is a certified Veteran-owned organization based on Mr. Cardella’s service in the military.

TLC Associates