Having spent nearly two decades as a professional ice hockey player, Canadian native and Georgia resident Trevor Gillies is not one to shy away from a challenge, whether on or off the ice. So when he heard about a career opportunity at MerchantPro Express (MPX) from Mike Devin, managing director of the credit card processing company and brother of Gillies’ teammate Joe Devin, he was naturally intrigued and wanted to learn more.
Fast forward nearly a year later, and Gillies “couldn’t be happier” with his decision to join the MPX family. With plans to retire from ice hockey, he is now preparing to transition from part-time sales referral partner to full-time business partner.
Since Gillies didn’t have any prior experience selling merchant services, the first order of business was to receive the proper training.
After further inquiring about the business, Gillies' next step was to visit MPX’s headquarters in New York to meet the team. This trip is what finalized his decision, he says, especially after attending partner Joe Doyle’s presentation for new referral partners.
Doyle’s “been in the industry for over 20 years, and we just connected,” Gillies explains. While respecting Doyle’s role as his mentor and industry innovator, Gillies also likes that the two have developed a good friendship over the past year.
“He’s an awesome leader,” Gillies adds, “and if you listen to him, you’re going to be successful, and that’s huge.”
Gillies was advised to wait at least three to six months to see if this new business venture was a good fit for him. But he only needed a few days.
After returning from New York with newfound enthusiasm and knowledge about the job, Gillies “hit the ground running” and put his sales skills to the test. The results were impressive.
“I got my first paperwork on a deal within three days,” he shares.
This immediate success was a definite confidence booster, which got him “super excited about this field and this career.”
Plus, Gillies was able to manage his new responsibilities while playing for his current team, the South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
“You have a lot of extra time in pro hockey,” he explains, “so it was nice to use it wisely for something that I plan on doing after hockey, and I’m super honored and happy that they want me to join them on a full-time basis.”
A long-time professional athlete who's played on the National Hockey League (NHL)'s New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks, Gillies credits the skills he's developed on the ice, as well as the incredible support from MPX, for his success.
While you may not think a professional career in hockey would prepare you for a career in the credit card processing industry, this is exactly the case for Gillies.
“I feel like all of those things I’ve learned through playing pro sports—punctuality, dedication, putting the time in, relentless work ethic—it’s all translating into the business world,” he states.
Gillies also points to the “100-percent support” he receives from the MPX team, specifically naming Doyle, senior vice president Tom Fazio, managing directors Mike Devin, Molly Devin and Joe Devin, and vice president of client relations Randi Meiselas.
“I can get them on the phone at any time, so it’s been awesome,” he gushes. “I’m truly enjoying it.”
While he loved his time as a professional athlete, Gillies is looking forward to this next chapter in his life, one that enables him to thrive both professionally, and personally.
As his athletic career comes to an end, Gillies is focusing on learning more about the merchant services industry, so he can help MPX continue to grow and onboard new talent.
“I think that’s why you were given two ears and one mouth," he explains. "It’s better to be a great listener, and I take pride in being someone who listens and learns.”
He’s also looking forward to spending more time with his wife and children, as his new position provides flexible working hours.
Gillies is “truly honored and thankful for the opportunity” he was given by Doyle and the Devin family.
“The key in life, I feel, is if you do what you love, you’ll never truly work a day in your life," he concludes. "That’s kind of what it is. If I didn’t truly love it, I wouldn’t be doing it."