Derek graduated from Ames High School in 2002 and then graduated from DMACC with a degree in Criminal Justice. He began his career at Alpha Copies in 2011 when we opened up our East location that spring and had need of an assistant to work under Keenan.
Having no past experience with graphic design or printing, this job was honestly pretty intimidating when I first started, but, fortunately, Keenan is a very patient and realistic trainer. I just tried to stay humble and learn whenever the opportunity arose and here I am, over 5 years later, training people to work under me. All the new people think I have a graphic design degree and I just let them keep thinking that!
Some of the best advice that I received early on from John was that people will give you all kinds of leeway and patience if they can tell that you’re eager to help them and that it’s important to you that they’re happy with the work that you have done for them. That was referring to customers, fellow employees and bosses. That really helped me get past my learning curve here and it can also be applied to almost anything you do in life outside of work, too.
Derek is the proud father of his daughter/best friend, Naomi, who is turning 6 this fall (2016). Together, they enjoy a wide variety of hobbies, such as raising hedgehogs, telling stories, recording funny videos, gardening, going on “adventures” in the woods, awarding people with random trophies, making homemade salsa and smoothies that they give away at Naomi’s Neighborhood Health Market in the front yard, and spending time with friends and family. When Naomi grows up, she wants to either be a vet, a princess, a teacher, a zookeeper, an actress, a gymnast, a singer and dancer, or own her own restaurant or hospital. When Derek grows up, he wants to be 6.