Biography: Thomas joined TOMRA Sorting Food in July 2015 as global sales and marketing communications director, after working in senior positions for a number of international organisations operating in a variety of sectors around the world. He travels extensively as part of his role, extending TOMRA’s worldwide presence.
1. What is your role at TOMRA Sorting Food?
I'm the global head of sales and marketing.
2. Why did you decide to work for TOMRA?
I was living and working in Austin, Texas, and for family reasons we wanted to relocate to Europe. After my initial interview with Ashley Hunter, head of TOMRA Sorting Food, it was clear to me that this was the job I wanted. He promised me it wouldn’t be a boring journey, and it definitely hasn't been! I was also impressed by what I saw, heard and read about TOMRA online and in the media, and I still am today.
3. What does your average work day look like?
Although there is no such thing as an average day, the closest thing to a normal day would involve arriving shortly before 8 am, making myself a coffee while my laptop is starting up and then reading my emails. Usually at around 9 am my daily meeting cycle will begin, and then last until 5 or 6 pm. Some of these meetings happen face-to-face in my office or in one of our meeting rooms, although many are simply conducted via video conference due to our vast global presence. As meetings can range from 30 minutes to more than three hours in length, the makeup of the day can vary greatly, as can the topics discussed. With many TOMRA employees located in different time zones, it is important to be flexible, so I don’t mind conducting meetings and calls at irregular times – it’s all part of the job!
4. What's the best thing about your job?
There is a saying that no two days are the same, and that is especially true in my role. Every morning brings exciting new challenges, new environments and the chance to meet new people. I love working with people, and it is especially rewarding and exciting to connect and work with people in different countries from different backgrounds and cultures.
5. What's the skill you'd most like to have?
I sometimes feel I would like to be a magician, so that I can please everyone all the time! Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but I try to strike a balance between meeting the needs and desires of colleagues, clients and associates and helping TOMRA achieve its goals.
6. What are you passionate about – professionally or personally?
On a personal level, my passion is my friends and family. I am lucky to have an amazing wife and two boys aged 6 and 7 who I adore – coming home to them after a long week is so rewarding. Likewise, I have a great network of friends from all over the world, who I’ve formed connections with during my travels and career. I have lived and worked in 15 countries on four different continents so it is a vast network! I feel very lucky to have met so many wonderful, interesting people – with many more yet to meet. Professionally, I am passionate about all aspects of the job but particularly the continued expansion of the TOMRA global network as we continue to move into new areas, and I am delighted to be a part of it.
7. What's your favourite holiday destination?
Bali in Indonesia. From its lush climate to its stunning beaches, and from its delicious food and drink to its incredible hotels, Bali is my favourite holiday destination. I look forward to returning when my sons are old enough to fully appreciate its beauty and culture.
8. Describe your perfect day away from work.
Saturday is generally family day with a focus on spending quality time with my kids. Nonetheless, if I had the day just to myself, I would begin with coffee, orange juice and a croissant, ideally outside in the sunshine. I have always had a passion for cooking, so I would make myself a steak and a glass of red wine for lunch, and then enjoy a cigar in the afternoon. In the evening, I would invite friends round for dinner and enjoy it with some jazz in the background, before sampling some single malt whiskey from my growing collection, which I’m also passionate about – the perfect end to the perfect day off.
9. What's your greatest business achievement?
I’d like to think my greatest achievement is still to come! However, I am proud of my ability to adapt to different ways of working in different sectors in different countries across the world. Wherever I have worked, I have tried to be the best at it, 24 hours a day, and it is an attitude I retain at TOMRA where no day is the same.
10. What's your greatest personal achievement?
My family. I am incredibly proud of my sons and my wife.
11. What did you eat for lunch?
Due to the unpredictable nature of my role, today it was coffee, crackers and nuts, but every day is a mystery!