Tom brought his love and interests in education and agriculture to CooperRiis and found it rewarding because he can see firsthand the therapeutic effects it has on people looking to improve their quality of life.
“I love it when someone begrudgingly joins the crew and becomes invested in what we do in the garden. People go from total amateur gardeners to leading projects independently because it gives their day and life meaning.”
After college, Tom became a 7th-grade science teacher in Bostic, NC., a vocational teacher at a school for underserved young men in Vermont, where they made maple syrup, grew a vegetable garden, took care of landscaping and forestry, and learned to use power tools and machinery. When he moved back to North Carolina, he worked on an ethically raised pastured pork and beef farm.
Tom likes to spend time with his niece, dancing to live music, or going whitewater kayaking in Western North Carolina when not working.