Taking care of business, so you can get back to yours
Our company was founded by Aaron Tennant, who saw a need for his own businesses to outsource accounting, payroll, IT, and HR. He didn’t need a full-time person for each of his companies, so the idea of sharing these functions at one centralized location made a lot of sense. From those beginnings, Total Solutions was born. We now serve many businesses throughout the region who have that same need – they want to be efficient with their resources and focus on their business. We help by providing the services that keep them running; IT, human resources, accounting, payroll, and marketing.
In January of 2019, Aaron handed over the reins to our current President, Melissa Pepper. Melissa’s high-energy leadership and focus on quality has allowed the company to continue down the path set by Aaron in 2015, accelerating the business and improving client relations with a personal touch.
We understand you may not need a full-time person for all back-office needs, but you do need someone you can trust when the need arises. We work with each client to customize their service – providing as much or as little time as they desire to help them run. Our services are highly customizable and built for each client we work with. Our goal is to take care of business, so you can get back to yours.
Aaron Tennant CEO
Aaron Tennant started Total Solutions in 2015 to help fellow business owners manage their back-end office functions. A business owner himself, he realized he could grow his business faster by outsourcing functions like IT, HR, payroll, and accounting. Tennant has more than twenty years of experience in transportation and has held many positions in the industry before owning several companies, including Simplex Leasing, P2 Leasing, Tennant Logistics, Cen-Trux, Tennant Yard Management, B&B Truck and Trailer Service, and Cantrell's Towing. He has been an active member of several boards and committees to better serve the growing field. Aaron is also well known in the Quad Cities for his support of many local charitable organizations. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, John Deere Classic, Trinity Health Foundation, Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, Northwest Bank & Trust Company and the Putnam Museum. He also is active member of the Young Presidents Organization and was a 2012 recipient of Leaders Under 40 in the Quad Cities.
Melissa Pepper President
Melissa started her career as a civil servant, working to create grassroots change in how we talk about post-secondary education for first generation college students. From there, she has worked at a large regional blood center, a law firm, and now a shared services company. Within these different workplaces, Melissa’s creative communication style allowed her to collaborate successfully with stakeholders to ignite change and achieve positive outcomes.
With top Strengths of Woo, Communicator, and Activator, she spends the majority of her time writing and speaking to tell compelling stories and motivate others. How this translates to action and results comes in the form of Total Solutions' year-over-year company growth, exceptional employee engagement, and high net promoter score ratings. Total Solutions was also recognized in 2020 as a Better Business Bureau Torch Award recipient.
Grateful for her own mentors in her career, Melissa founded Lead(h)er in 2016, the nonprofit mentorship organization that has matched over 350 women with mentors. Melissa also serves on numerous boards and committees, including Genesis Health System (Board Member), SAL Family and Community Services (Board Member), Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee (Chair), and IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union (Supervisory Committee). Melissa is a regular columnist for the Quad-City Times' Voices of the Quad Cities and has been a guest on the Schooled in Business and Built in Iowa podcasts. She is often invited to speak at business and community events, most recently for PR Network, United Way of the Quad Cities, and Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce. In January of 2020, Melissa was selected to join the Forbes Business Council as a contributor. She is a proud recipient of the Nation of Neighbors Award and was recently named the Young Community Leader of the Year by the Jaycees of the Quad Cities.
Melissa graduated summa cum laude from Augustana College and earned her MBA from University of Iowa. She and her husband Dan have two sons, Grayson and Brooks. She enjoys the mom life, strong coffee, long runs, and podcasts.
Sarah Kramer HR Director
Sarah Kramer has over 10 years of Human Resources experience. Sarah has extensive Human Resources Generalist experience working at both large and small companies in a variety of industries including manufacturing, transportation, consulting, medical, and retail. Sarah has extensive hands-on experience in leading HR initiatives including policy design, employee handbook creation, performance management, recruitment and selection, training and development, benefits administration, and employee relations.
Sarah has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management from Northern Illinois University, is certified as a Profession in Human Resources (PHR), and has created the goal of obtaining her SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). Sarah is also a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).
Zach Gatton Marketing Manager
Zach Gatton is the newest member of the Total Solutions team joining in November 2019 as a Marketing Manager. Prior to joining Total Solutions, Zach worked for The HON Company, an HNI Company, as a Marketing Manager focusing on their two largest dealer partners. In his time with the HON Company he also had roles managing their Sales & Leadership Development Program, in sales operations and training.
Zach has a passion for developing strong brands and will lead the marketing team in curating Total Solutions clients strategic vision & voice. His responsibilities include creating, producing, and publishing engaging content on behalf of Total Solutions and its clients.
Zach is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. He currently resides in Bettendorf with his wife Lydia. In his free time, he enjoys being terrible at golf, playing basketball, and cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Kyle Menster Accounting Supervisor
Kyle Menster joined the Total Solutions team in October 2018 as an Accountant. Prior to joining Total Solutions, Kyle worked as an Accountant for a retail lumber company as well as an international office furniture manufacturer. Throughout his previous roles, Kyle has developed a strong interest in the “nuts-and-bolts” of accounting.
With expertise in all areas of accounting (journal entries, accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial reporting, reconciliations, etc.), he ensures that all Total Solutions clients have accurate financial statements that represent the true financial picture of their business. Kyle also serves as an excellent resource for small businesses looking to identify inefficiencies and streamline processes within their pre-existing accounting departments.
Kyle is a 2016 graduate of St. Ambrose University where he earned his Bachelor’s in Accounting degree, with a minor in Organizational Leadership. He currently resides in Davenport, IA where he enjoys playing tennis and volleyball in his free time.