Tom Scales leads the Life, Annuity, and Health practice in the Americas. This midwesterner, game-time decision maker, and father of seven is more than meets the eye. When Tom is not dressing up as the rainbow with his family for the Pride parade, he is focused on helping our clients adjust their view, and recognize the shifts they need to make.
Where do you call home?
Oldsmar, Florida, which is a suburb of Clearwater, which is part of the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater metro area.
I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana but I have lived in a lot of places, including:
....And about a dozen more.
Where is your favorite city or place you’ve traveled?
This is a tough one. In the US, I love San Diego, but more to visit than live, as it is so expensive. In North America, probably Montreal, but it is cold.
Overall, though, I’d say Barcelona, although I was last there in 1989.
Do you have a favorite animal? ?
I’m a cat person. I like dogs and other furry things, but at heart, cats.
I have A 50 pound Golden retriever puppy named Katy
A cat that thinks he is a dog named Kimo.
Mother/daughter Hemingway cats named Tallulah and Topanga.
Apparently, having children. (I have 7)
But since that is over, my ‘best’ hobby is drag racing. My daily drive is very, very fast.
Favorite Song / Band?
I like a lot of music and have broad tastes. My go-to comfort band is Queen.
Favorite Food/ Dish?
All of them. Seriously, all of them. Favorite could be Mexican, Steak and Lobster, or a big salad, depending on the day.
What don't your Celent colleagues know about you?
Fun fact: I taught elementary school for one year in 2003. I’d left a job that was a terrible fit and saw the local school had lost its computer teacher (inner city Sanford Florida). I interviewed for it and once I convinced them I was serious, I taught all 750 kids. I loved it. Best job I ever had. I would be a teacher right now if I could afford it. (teachers deserve to make more money)
What in your past led you to where you are now?
I failed Physics 201. Repeatedly. It was a really tough course and I was working full-time and I just struggled. So, I changed my major from Electrical Engineering (which required it) to Computer Science (which didn’t). Turned out to be a good choice.
I ‘grew up’ in technology. My second job – first out of college – was with a software vendor. I stayed in that space for a long, long time. Then I jumped the fence and worked for a large BGA (Crump) and then a carrier (Transamerica), running both Operations and IT.
What do you enjoy about your work?
Helping our clients open their eyes to the fact that some of their practices may not be relevant and need to radically change. It’s tough, expensive, and time-consuming, but they must do it. Where I believe we bring value is our interaction with our customers and prospects. We KNOW the industry. The insurance industry is at a crossroads and they need us.