Following graduation, Tom was commissioned in the Air Force and spent 2 years as an engineering officer at two Air Force bases in California. Upon returning to civilian life, he was a District Engineer for the Washington Pollution Control Commission for over 2 years.
Before joining CH2M HILL, Tom held a number of positions with the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Metro) before becoming the agency’s third executive director.
In 1969, Tom led the effort to form the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA, now the National Association of Clean Water Agencies). He was AMSA’s first president.
In Seattle, Tom served on the boards of a number of community organizations including the Seattle Chamber of Commerce; the Seattle-King County Economic Development Council, where he was Chairman in 1987; the Greater Seattle YMCA; and the Corporate Council for the Arts and the Bellevue Downtown Association. In 1989, he was chairman of the King County Citizens for Improved Transportation. Tom’s extensive community service activities extended to participation on the visiting committees for three colleges of engineering: the UW, Seattle University, and UWM-Milwaukee.
A year before his retirement, Tom was named by the Governor of Washington to the Board of the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District. In this capacity, he led the district’s efforts to site, design, and build SAFECO Field where the Seattle Mariners play. The ballpark was completed on schedule in 1999 at a cost of $572 million. He still serves on the Board as Chairman of the Operations and Maintenance Committee, which oversees the Mariners’ upkeep of the ballpark.
Tom has been recognized for his achievements by a number of organizations:
- APWA’s “Charles Walter Nichols Award” – 1969
- Commendation from the President of the United States for exceptional service to the environmental protection efforts – 1971
- APWA’s “Top Ten Public Works Men of the Year” – 1971
- Washington Society of Professional Engineers – “Engineer of the Year” – 1973
- Seattle-King County Municipal League – “Outstanding Public Official” – 1974
- Seattle Downtown Association – “New Look Award” for Metro Transit’s successful implantation – 1974
- ASCE’s “Wesley Horner Award” – 1974
- Consulting Engineers Council of Washington – “Engineer of the Year” 1985
- APWA’s “Meritorious Service Award” 1991