American Heart Association Instructor
Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
IL-OSFM Instructor 1 Certified
IDPH EMT-B Certification
Fire & Rescue, Ag, Information Technology, Classical Music as well as acapella choral music and orchestra, family activity, financial management
After attempting a few semesters of college upon graduating High School, back in 1996, Tom put his education on hold for a few years. Realizing it was time for a change of pace, and a change in careers, he reignited his educational studies, first starting at the Illinois Central College. The goal at this time was to complete the necessary course requirements to pursue a degree in Mortuary Science.
Upon completing the required general studies at the Illinois Central College, Tom was enrolled at Carl Sandburg's College of Mortuary Science in Galesburg, IL. The course load was strict, having nearly 24 hours per semester. Commuting each day from his home about 1 hour from the school, he was able to complete in nearly 9 months what many students take 2 years to complete. The degree in Mortuary Science, followed by successfully taking and passing the State Board Examinations, allowed Tom to not only complete his 1 year apprenticeship in the state but also obtain his license as a Funeral Director and Embalmer.
23 years ago Tom began his career as a basic level technician. The school he was attending at the time had just received a shipment of new dot matrix printers. Since the only person with enough free time to install them was our shop teacher, he could sense Tom's interest and allowed him to accompany him on the first installation. Tom was hooked, and began working on computers off and on through multiple job options for 3 years. It was then Tom took his first full time position as a level 1 technician for a financial institution. 10 years later, and managing the western region of a bank which had grown from 9 branches to over 69 branches, he was looking for a career change. Being in a small town, and from a small town, Tom had learned hard work was just a way of life, and starting his own business was going to be my next chance at 'Hard Work'. Tom and his wife, expecting their 3rd child, bought a commercial building in town, worked to fix up the inside and began their own IT consulting firm, in addition to website design and development company. With an IT background, and a wife with a marketing background, they believed it would be a good mix and their history of customer support over the last 10 years has proven to be assurance that the 'good mix' was paying off. Now with over 350 residential and small business customers, the small business started in the basement of their home has grown now to support 3 web developers and 3 technicians.
Tom's medical experience dates back over 15 years to the beginnings of my career in Emergency Medicine. His exposure to a long list of medical and trauma calls while working in the back of an ambulance has given him a number of experiences on which to build my level of expertise. In addition to my work in the ambulance, he shares those experiences as a teacher at the local community college where he can be found lecturing on EMS, First Aid or CPR processes as well as leading lab work and practical skills examinations. 10 years ago, Tom was initiated into the fire service as a probationary firefighter, and today continues as a lineman, but more often can be found in the drivers seat or at the controls of our pump panel. When not on the fire ground, he can be heard providing instruction to our fellow firefighters through his Instructor 1 certification through the office of the state fire marshal. In 2007 Tom began his training in the field of Mortuary Science where he studied chemistry, pathology, microbiology and anatomy, backing that with the business management, business law and business administration studies needed to complete the curriculum. Following his education, Tom spent 10 years in the front office of a funeral home meeting with families helping prepare for the final rest of their loved ones, as well as working in the preparation room where the final steps were taken to prepare the family member's loved one's remains for visitations, funerals, burials and cremations.
It's hard to think about how to categorize expertise when it comes to relationships. Some people will go to college for years and get advanced degrees on relationships. There are relationship experts all over the internet now, and one can't believe that all of those people went off to get 'relationship psychology' or 'counseling' degrees. Tom can categorize his expertise through my experience, after spending 10 years working with families at the funeral home. He has built relationships with each of those families from the time he was at their home following a death, to the last moments before we close the lid of the casket. Tom has also been building relationships on the local fire department and ambulance squad for over 15 years now moving into an instructional role and shift management role. He continues building relationships at their thriving IT Consulting company, not only the relationships with the clients, but also cultivating relationships between the clients and their technical staff. One of the most recent relationships Tom has experienced is with the young minds he has been teaching through our Sunday School. All of these different avenues of experience have not made him an expert by any means, but have given him opportunity time and time again to re-examine his own relationships with others.
To say that Tom drafts a lot of emails in a day is a little bit of an understatement. The majority of his day is drafting, sending, receiving and reading emails. It's not uncommon to see over 100-150 emails pass through his inbox in a day. Part of that reasoning is because of the number of aspects he has to deal with in a day. For instance, the day starts out pretty common with responding to emails that come into their IT consulting company. Once these are read, they are either responded to by Tom himself, or delegated off to one of his technicians, possibly a web designer or developer, or even off to their head of marketing. Throughout the day there will undoubtedly be a barrage of emails coming in from, or going out to many of the other EMS providers, firefighters or faculty members with which he corresponds. This does leave a few emails for family and friends.