River City Six: Tom Garvey
Immanuel (www.Immanuel.com), the parent company to Immanuel Communities and Immanuel Pathways, is a renowned leader in providing senior care and services ranging from independent and assisted living, memory support, and long-term care to the PACE program, which helps eligible seniors with more acute care needs receive the care they need while remaining in their homes. Tom Garvey is the Vice President of IT at Immanuel.
How did you get started in the business? – For most of my career, I erved in various IT leadership capacities in the insurance industry. In 2013, I was invited to join Immanuel’s Board of Directors to bring a technology perspective to the board. After a year, I was asked to lead IT team to meet the growing demand for the senior services we offer. It was very much a matter of being at the right place at the right time.
Tell us a little about your family. – I have been married for 29 years to my wife, Fran, and we have two married daughters, Jessica and Jennifer. Both are nurses in Omaha. Last January, we were blessed with our first grandchild.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – It happened early in my life. My father was killed in a farm accident nearly 50 years ago, leaving behind me, my mom and my two younger sisters. Before the accident, I was destined to be a farmer – I loved farming, but this tragedy changed my course of study, the school I attended, and ultimately where I would make a life. As they say, when one door closes, another opens. I don’t know how my life would have turned out had the accident not happened, but I cannot imagine being more blessed than I am today.
What are you the most proud of? – Without a doubt, I am most proud of my family. Both of our daughters have grown to be responsible, respectful women, but that doesn’t just happen. My wife has been a wonderful role model for them. It is supremely satisfying to see my kids become successful and embark on difference-making vocations, and to have had a steadfast partner to accompany me on my life journey.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – I have a couple examples. Literally one of the last things my dad said to me was – The most valuable lessons you will learn in life will come at the feet of your elders. In other words, experience is a great teacher. Perhaps there is some connection to that advice and where I am today. In addition, my wife had a constant word of advice for our daughters that I think would benefit any of us – Never turn down an opportunity to be kind.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – I am such a huge sports fan and have been my entire life that any alternate profession consideration would likely be sports related. I have always thought it would be great fun to be a broadcast journalist or some type of sports information director.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – John Wooden, the late famous basketball coach at UCLA. While he was an ultra-successful coach, he was also a management guru and behavior specialist. He was a masterful example of someone who saw people’s talents and helped them utilize those talents to realize their utmost potential.
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