Episode 53: Tyke Hillmer, Retired Army Transportation Expert to Barter & Trade King of Knoxville

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Tyke Hillmer is an interesting guy. After a long career in the US Army as something called a “logistician” and director of transportation, he realized he was missing his wife and five kids growing up. Yet, after he retired from his military service, Tyke, like so many of our troops, wasn’t exactly sure what was in store for him next professionally. What he did know, is he wanted to be done with travel and stay close to home in Knoxville where he was born and raised.

Enter: Tradebank International, an industry-leading barter exchange where businesses can buy and sell goods and services for something called “trade dollars.” There was an existing 23-year old Knoxville-based Tradebank location and franchise, but when the original owner met Tyke and saw his heart for service, he knew he’d found the right guy to take over, and decided to move onto his next adventure in life, leaving Tradebank of Knoxville in the best of hands.

If you’re not familiar with how barter exchanges work, the concept is simple: Trade what you have, to acquire what you need. There is an online system where members can post what they have to offer and find what they need. The magic is, unlike a direct 1:1 barter situation where you have a hammer that I need and I have a chair that you need and we trade for it, with a barter exchange you can post your hammer and when someone wants it they pay for it with trade dollars that you get to keep and use for whatever you want including meals at restaurants, services like photography, and even a car! It’s such a cool concept I decided to sign up myself and enjoy the benefits of Tradebank.

With the influx of new systems of crypto currency like Bitcoin, I think barter exchanges, although they’ve been around for decades, are the wave of the future. I’m looking forward to learning more about Tyke and Tradebank today!


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