Chris Thacker is a State Liaison with IDC who provides technical assistance to states both on-site and virtually in addition to developing tools and products that help states with the submission of their Section 618 data and the SPP/APR. In his pre-IDC life, Chris also worked in both underground and surface coal mines and has been a revenue officer for the IRS. Intrigued, we sat down with Chris to learn more.
Chris, thanks so much for your time. Okay, first question: What’s one thing you love about your work with IDC?
It is hard to limit this to one thing. I enjoy learning from and working with my colleagues at IDC. The different perspectives and expertise I see daily is very impressive. I also really enjoy working with SEA staff, helping to solve problems and share information and resources from IDC.
What’s one thing you find challenging (in or away from work)?
Again, it is hard to point to a single answer. But really, the one thing that is challenging both in and away from the work is the drive to continue to improve. Some days I do better than others. But, as I noted in my response to the first question, working with my colleagues at IDC and with state staff helps a lot. I get ample opportunity to learn and improve, so when I don’t, I have no one to blame but myself.
You’re packing desert island books. What’s one of them?
The part of me that likes entertainment would probably want any book written by John Grisham. However, the more pragmatic part of me would want a book on how to survive on a desert island.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Kentucky is where my heart is and always will be. I miss my eastern Kentucky home in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains (actually, only hills where I was from). Part of me wishes I had never left, but I have enjoyed living in central Kentucky and the experiences I have had here with my job, both at the state education agency and now with IDC. From a fantasy perspective, I have always dreamed of living in Kuai or one of the Pacific Islands.
What song title best sums up your outlook on life?
I will show my age and say the song ”Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. Recently the Miley Cyrus song, “The Climb” is another favorite. Spiritually, I always loved the song, “Amazing Grace,” as I believe grace is a wonderful thing to give.
What’s your personal motto?
In college, my motto was always, “No better time than the last minute.” Perhaps that still applies more often than it should. However, on a job I had working in the coal industry, there was a mechanic who always said, “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” Over the years, I often find myself referring to that phrase and analyzing it, trying to think of exceptions, trying to find times when it would be okay to not do it right. I will let you know if I ever come up with anything.
Dogs or cats?
I love the loyalty of a dog and knowing it will show me more love than I deserve. A cat, on the other hand, makes you earn it. So, given what I said about grace, I will roll with the grace my dog gives me. That said, I do love cats as well, just don’t ask meow.
What’s one skill you wished you possessed?
I wish I had better social communication skills. I also wish I knew how to fly a plane… though I have a fear of heights, so that isn’t happening.
What’s your current favorite television show?
I love Survivor and Big Brother, but it would be difficult to drag me away from NCIS. I was a huge fan of the original Magnum, PI, and I like the remake pretty well too. If the two shows were on head-to-head, I would probably watch Magnum and record NCIS.
And what about movies?
The Shawshank Redemption—I thought I should give at least one definitive answer to these questions!
Thanks, Chris! Want to learn more about the IDC Team? Watch this space for more 10 Questions with... features.