Spotlight: Karl Mack

Apr 5, 2024

Q: Tell us about yourself!
A: My family moved to Arkansas when I was nine. It has been my home ever since! Here, I met Mandy, the most wonderful person to share my life with, and together, we built a family of four children, four cats, two dogs, and one turtle. In 2019, I joined the Kitestring family. My first client was Walmart for about two years. I then transferred to the Car-Mart account, and it is amazing to see all the progress being made with the help of our team.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: I am a family man. Almost everything outside of work is tailored towards things we can do together. Our favorites include going to parks, museums, aquariums, arcades, or anywhere that sounds fun. Sometimes, we even let the kids decide, which is always exciting and sometimes involves ice cream for dinner!

Q: What led you to this career? Were you influenced by anyone or anything?
A: My brother was a huge influence on me throughout my life. He is ten years older than me, and when I was in high school, he was in the Navy. At that time, he bought a computer and left it at home with me and our parents. He encouraged me to explore it and not to worry about breaking it because he could fix it. That was the beginning of my IT passion, tinkering with both software and hardware.

Q: What are you most proud of accomplishing since joining Kitestring? (personal or professional or both)
A: The amazing team that we have grown on the Car-Mart account is possibly the best group of professionals I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Being there from the beginning and watching it grow from a team of two to the size it is now is evidence of the excellent work and value we provide. I’d like to think that I had at least a small part in that evolution.

Q: What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?
Just because the internet says that plecos (sucker fish) make an excellent aquarium companion for aquatic turtles and will help reduce algae build up doesn’t mean it works for every case. I’m certain that Squirtle, our red-eared slider, hasn’t read any of those articles!

Q: What keeps you motivated?
Knowing that I made someone’s day better than the way I found it, is my best motivation. Developing software that saves time or improves the quality of life of the users, or even being an ear to listen and offer up a terrible pun in response, are highlights of my career.

Q: Where is your favorite destination to travel to, and why?
For me, the perfect destination is either a beachfront or mountain cabin. Peaceful relaxation with beautiful scenery is my happy place. Our last two vacations where Panama City Beach in a condo overlooking the Gulf. Before that, we traveled to Gatlinburg and stayed in a cabin that had a balcony hot tub with a panoramic view of the Great Smoky Mountains. I think it’s time to go again!

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Haha! When I was about six years old, I knew I was going to be a pilot and fly planes all over the world! Then, in my tween era, I had a passion for marine biology. I was going to the next Jacques Cousteau. It wasn’t until high school and some influences from family and friends that my interests shifted from exploration to information.

Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
Not too long ago, I heard the quote, “20 years from now, the only people who will remember that you worked late are your kids.”  This hit me so hard. Too many times, I’ve had to say, “Not now. Daddy’s working.”  Because of this, I made a couple critical adjustments to my schedule. When my kids get home from school, I always take a moment to welcome them and ask them about their day. When projects require after-hours work, I try my best to wait until after the kids are in bed. It is such a great benefit to be able to work remotely.

Q: What, if anything, are you currently binge-watching? Or reading?
My wife recently got me addicted to audiobooks. Historically I never really read for entertainment, just education. Anytime I attempted to read a paper book, I fell asleep too quickly. Now, with audiobooks, I’ve listened to five books already this year, and I’ve started my sixth.  

Q: What do you like most about working at Kitestring?
There are so many wonderful attributes about Kitestring. I absolutely love how active we are about giving back to the community, not just financially but also with time and effort. I’ve been blessed to join on several of these occasions over the years, and at the end of the day, I’m weak in body but strong in spirit. Also, Kitestring is rare in that it takes the time to ask for feedback from the employees and even more rare still, adjusts based on that feedback. I absolutely love being part of the Kitestring family.