Member of the Month
(And Reigning Trainer Throwdown Champion)
Tom, tell us what you do professionally?
I coordinate the wellness program for the City of Sacramento. I have partnered with our health care providers (e.g., Kaiser, MHN, Health Net, VSP) to offer several high quality events and classes each month. I also ask friends and colleagues to present on topics related to wellness (please let me know if you are interested in presenting). Previously, I was the coordinator of the City of Sacramento's training program "City University." Unfortunately, the economic downturn led to the elimination of City University but I have been incorporating training into my wellness programs and I facilitate custom training on demand.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
I enjoy knowing that what I do helps move organizations and people forward. I also appreciate the intellectual stimulation of being with like-minded individuals with whom I share similar, positive goals. That is especially true of my involvement with ASTD. Being a board member has been a wonderful professional experience.
Would you mind sharing one of your favorite T&D tips or techniques?
I created an ice breaker in which each person looks for new band members for an imaginary English folk group named "The Magic Cauldron." The premise is that band members have been disappearing mysteriously, thus the need to find more members. There is a list of common attributes that participants must look for (e.g., plays an instrument, has a hobby, has met someone famous, believes what goes around comes around) in order to complete the exercise. I like it because it encourages everyone to talk to everyone else in the room. The great equalizer to this activity is that all this must be done with a British accent; trying to talk with an accent makes everyone realize they are all in this together!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In my spare time I teach business courses at the University of Phoenix. I am also an Elvis tribute artist. This is distinct from an Elvis impersonator because I play the guitar at a professional level and I have an excellent band. I am also in a top 40 cover band called "Group Therapy." Last and definitely not least, I am a dedicated husband and a father of two wonderful daughters.
What was the last book you read?
I just finished Drive by Daniel Pink. I highly recommend this book to anyone. The book lays out the latest research in human motivation and why we do what we do. The basic premise is that once a certain money threshold is reached, pay is not a motivator. The book debunks the old belief that the more hours people work, the more productive they are.The most productive people are encouraged to do things from a place of intellectual curiosity.