The Employment Class was honored to welcome Tom DeByle who is the father of our rising sophomore, Sonia. To put it lightly, Tom has had quite an illustrious career that has culminated as the Chief Financial Officer of his organization. A variety of positions have taken him on travels to Belgium, the Netherlands, South America, Chile, Brazil, China, Australia, and other parts of Europe. Even though it is a nice adventure to travel to these countries, the trip is usually focused on business and not sight-seeing. Jet lag and becoming adjusted to the time differences has definitely been a huge challenge for Tom during his globe-trotting business. But he has learned to sleep on the plane while adjusting his time schedule so that he does not end up wide awake in the middle of the night.

Tom earned an accounting degree by the time he graduated college in 1982 and has moved up the corporate ladder in a wide variety of jobs that have taken him all over the world and throughout different parts of the United States. One time he and his spouse, Lisa were required to move to Italy despite not knowing any Italian. Italy was his favorite place to visit because of the food and the lifestyle, however. But he considers his family to be the most important “Board of Directors” because they are going to stick with him during good times and bad.

One of the points that Tom emphasizes is how, “Mistakes can be hard when you think you are doing a good job, and it is ego-crushing. You admit when you are wrong and try to move forward from that.” Tom recounted the devastating day when he put his heart and soul into a presentation only to have his boss say, “This was not helpful. It is important to try to not have a big ego and want to do better the next time.” Tom has had plenty of setbacks in his career and admits that more has been learned from mistakes than successes. “If something comes very easy for you it is not good.”

When you have a career and are able to move forward, Tom finds that it is a challenge to manage one’s employees and fears at the same time. It is about being delicate with supervisors while making an effort to not be insubordinate. On the other hand, it is sometimes necessary to challenge supervisors in a polite way. A lot of our students are gaining experience working in customer service so this was excellent to hear. It is important to know how to deal with people and put one’s emotions on a backburner. Tom says the best part of his job is presenting the company and its superiors with good returns. On the other hand, sometimes business is not as good as one would like. But it is just as important to get the bad news out of the way. As Tom says, Bad things do not age well.”

Tom emphasized the importance of the students having a balanced diet and sleep schedule especially as they get older and their metabolism changes. Tom switched to a vegan diet years ago that is plant based. He also eats a lot of fruit and not sugar. Tom emphasizes how important it is to drink plenty of liquids and exercise. In order to remain healthy both physically and mentally, Tom plays tennis and downhill skis and goes for a walk with his family. Exercise is a good stress relief. Tom also schedules his day by what is referred to as “Vince Lombardi Time” that is preserved by the Vince Lombardi clock on the north side of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The clock is always set fifteen minutes ahead of schedule because this is how the legendary Vince Lombardi ran his day. As Tom says, “If the meeting starts at 10:00 AM and you are there at 9:46 AM then you should consider yourself to be one minute late.” It reminds us of the expression, “Early is on-time, on-time is late, and late is never!” Tom reminds us that getting a good night’s sleep is critical for top performance considering we are more “invigorated” in the morning where we do our best work while trying to take on the day!

We thank Tom DeByle for his wisdom and congratulate him on all he has accomplished throughout his life!