Tom is new to elective politics and brings extensive experience in both the military and the private sector. A third generation Naval Academy graduate whose grandfather was killed in action in World War II and whose father was an aviator, aircraft carrier CO and retired Rear Admiral. Tom is a retired Naval Officer and was also a flight officer who served three operational tours in the F-14 Tomcat including Desert Shield and as an instructor. A graduate of TOPGUN and the US Naval Test Pilot School, Tom performed flight testing at NAS Point Mugu for the F-14 and F/A-18 aircraft amassing nearly 3000 flight hours in tactical jets and almost 500 carrier arrested landings during his Naval career. Tom was nominated for the NASA Astronaut program and held the highest available security clearance. Tom’s experience in the Navy in both the operational and acquisition communities gives him a unique perspective and understanding of the challenges faced by our military.
After leaving the Navy Tom entered the private sector and worked for IBM in Los Angeles as a Project Manager. While at IBM he was asked to join a start up in Los Angeles developing software for private TV networks. Functions included business planning, venture capital fundraising, satellite network build-out, strategic partnerships and program management for product development. During this time Tom met his lovely wife, Leslie, and moved to the Santa Barbara area. Shortly afterwards Tom joined a local start-up in Goleta that designs and manufactures advanced next-generation wireless components for cellular handsets, laptops, military radios and advanced electronically steerable antennas. As a co-owner and executive in the company Tom is responsible for Sales and Marketing, business planning, fundraising, strategic partnerships and program management. Helping start two companies has given Tom an acute appreciation for the difficulties businesses face operating in this country and California in particular.
Tom’s education includes a Bachelor of Science from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA. Tom is also a graduate of the prestigious US Naval Test Pilot School and the Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN.
Tom is a native born Californian and has lived in the 23rd District for 15 years. He is married with one child.