Mike McHugh, Chief Executive Officer

Mike McHugh, Chief Executive Officer

Emporia State University, Bachelor of Science in Marketing

As CEO, I’m dedicated to cultivating a great company where we solve big problems and have a lot of fun in the process. I want to help Thruline continue to learn from and celebrate our past successes and challenges while keeping a consistent eye to the future. I am passionate about our mission to focus on individuals and helping them improve their career situation. Over the course of my career I have been incredibly blessed, and the opportunity to pay that forward and help others is incredibly rewarding. And all along the way we’ve had an amazing team with a contagious personality. We have often said that we’re a company that partners need to experience and it’s that sort of environment that I look forward to continue building upon.


What does Thruline mean to you?
Thruline is the chance to build a company with a great purpose around great people. The transitions and evolutions we have gone through over the years only make us stronger and better able to continue moving the company forward.

What is it about higher education marketing that excites you?

I like that it gives us the chance to operate at the intersection of a category (education) that is still fairly traditional in how it attracts and provides services to its customers, and another category (digital marketing) that has an exceptional pace of innovation. I like the opportunity of figuring out how to bring them together.

How do you believe education changes lives?

What I like about education is that it is more diverse than people give it credit for. Some people need education because they need to learn specific skills or acquire particular knowledge to perform a job. Other people need to learn creative problem solving, team work, how cultivate intellectual curiosity or other “soft” skills. We spend too much time talking about which is more important rather recognizing that each has a place, and that fundamentally education is about helping people acquire new knowledge for them to apply and improve their lives.

What’s the most fun you have had at work?

There are too many fun experiences to pick any particular one. I always come back to the friends I have made and fun conversations in and out of the office with them.

What do you love about Kansas City?
I really love how diverse the city is in that there are activities or a scene for all different people or anything you happen to be looking for at a given time. I also enjoy the sports orientation and competitive nature of the city.

What do you do in your downtime?

I watch and enjoy a lot of sports, drinks with friends.


Fun Facts
  • Favorite book
    The Millionaire Next Door
  • Cat or dog?
    Cat…low maintenance and fits a busy schedule
  • Ice cream or potato chips?
    Potato chips…less sugar
  • Star Wars or Star Trek?
    Star Wars, it is just more iconic. Though Star Trek I think is under-appreciated.
  • Real Housewives or Game of Thrones?
    Game of Thrones…pretty sure it is less scripted
  • Country or rock-n-roll?
    Rock-n-roll…it’s just better
  • Favorite quote
    “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, you must have time to do it over.”