Tom brings to the table more than 38 years in journalism and government communications. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Louisiana State University (1983), Tom committed to journalism for six years, working in local newspaper reporting before turning to local government communications in 1990. His government career stretched through more than three decades, with nine years at the City of Duncanville and 22 years as director of communications for the City of Farmers Branch in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. During his tenure at Farmers Branch, his team was recognized more than 55 times with awards on the local, state and national levels.
He is a past president of both the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) and the national City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA). In 2016, 3CMA named him its national Communicator of the Year, and in 2020, TAMIO bestowed upon him its highest individual honor, the Cheryl A. Soward Communicator of Distinction.
Tom is a founding member (2012) of the Advisory Board of the Certified Public Communicator program at Texas Christian University, where he also serves on the adjunct faculty and is an alumnus of its original cohort. A seasoned public speaker, Tom presents regularly at state and national conferences on topics of internal communications, media relations, First Amendment auditor awareness and more.
What inspires you?
My family. It began with the most loving and giving parents imaginable, along with my sister and her family and now with my amazing, one-in-a-million wife, partner and best friend of 30+ years and our irrepressible and irreplaceable one and only son.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Watching an unhealthy amount of television, going to the movies and travel. Lots of travel – especially to visit the kiddo at his place of employment – Walt Disney World.
What can’t you do without?
Why are you passionate about public sector communications?
I am one of the fortunate ones that found my professional niche. I view public sector communications as a calling. In that, I have been lucky enough to lead our state and national professional associations, helped found a graduate-level certification program at a major university and have made solid contacts, lasting relationships and lifelong friendships with fellow public communicators all over the country. We love what we do, we have each other’s back and we raise each other up. That is well worthy of passion.