“When people say no, you should hear know. If they know, they would say yes.” This is just one of the many quotes that I was able to scribble down in my interview with Tom Borger a few weeks ago. Granted, my interview was only an hour long but I could tell from the second it started that I will have a lot to learn from him over the course of my internship, not only about public relations and communications, but also about the business world in general.
Tom’s list of accomplishments and successful jobs he has held over the course of his career would be enough for 10 people, but that is what makes him so unique. As he so aptly put it, he has “job ADD”. What he means by that is that he works at one place, is there for a period of time, and then finds something else he becomes really interested in and moves on to it – and is extremely successful each time.
Currently, Tom is the President and CEO of Omega Group, a company within the Bravo Group that delivers business strategy, brand positioning and strategic research solutions. For him, this is a unique situation since he has been at Omega for over four years, one of his longest stints at a single place.
Before coming to the Bravo Group, Tom spent six years as Chief Information Officer and Head of Global eMarketing at GlaxoSmithKline, one of the nation’s leading pharmaceutical companies. At GSK his focus was on leveraging technology to drive sales and marketing efforts. Before that he worked as VP of Sales and Marketing for Intermedia, a company which focused on delivering web-based solutions that allowed pharmaceutical brands to drive their business through better management of their key consumers/customers. As I learned over the course of my interview with him, innovation, for any business, is essential to its growth and survival.
Prior to that, Tom was the CEO and founder of OmniChoice, which sold decision-support software to telecom providers. He developed the business plan and raised $11.2 million to support the growth of his business. Before that, Tom was a key member of the management team at Qwest Internet Solutions. He led the team of strategic consultants charged with defining interactive strategies and building custom Internet applications for businesses.
And before that he spent more than 13 years in various sales and marketing roles with Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and SmithKline Beecham (now GSK). He helped establish and build new businesses internationally for Johnson & Johnson, has launched more than 15 new products in five different countries, and has served on the Board of Directors of two international business units. Domestically, he managed a $100mm business and launched three new products.
Outside of the Office
What struck me the most was down to earth Tom was when I first met him. When you look at his bio, the companies he has worked for and the titles he has held, that alone can be very intimidating. But after getting to talk with him and see his ability to relate to any situation and the way he is able to put it into understandable terms, I now understand why he is such a priceless resource to myself as an intern but also to the Bravo Group as a whole.
Tom is a graduate of Duke University for a BA in Economics and of course is an avid Duke men’s basketball fan (something we both have in common), frequently heading back to Durham to catch a game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. After Duke and a few years in the business world (as he put it, it took him two years to really find out what he wanted to do), he went back to school to earn his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in Entrepreneurial Management/Marketing. “It was a heck of a lot of money, but I really felt like I needed to go back and learn more. This isn’t for everyone, believe me I had a tough time writing those checks for tuition, but it was the right fit for me and helped me improve my abilities.”
On his free time, Tom is also an adjunct professor at Villanova’s School of Business where he teaches an Entrepreneurial Marketing course (one that I am in the process of finding out where it is so that I can sit in on it. His lectures have to be amazing!).
Outside of academia, Tom is a family man straight to the core. When he is not helping expand a business or coach an executive into becoming more efficient at his/her job, you can find him coaching or just simply watching every sporting event his four kids have. Whether it is soccer, basketball, baseball or softball, he is there ready and willing to cheer his kids on!
It is evident why the Bravo Group wanted Tom to join the company when he did. The invaluable experience he has gained over the course of his career in almost every aspect of the business world makes him a perfect fit for all of our clients’ needs. But beyond that, Tom is also the kind of person you want to talk with everyday while in the office. Whether it is about his kids and their sporting events, the Duke Blue Devils, or simply some advice, Tom is always there to talk with and in most cases there to help solve any problem that any of us in the Wayne office may have.