Achievement in Business Award – Reunion 2006
Tom Collamore began his career in public service. In the corporate world, he still concentrates on serving the public good.
A native of Bloomfield, Connecticut, Tom was hooked on political science early in life. As a student of Julius Mastro, Douglas Simon, David Cowell, and Perry Leavell, he pursued his love of American history and his political science major, and was active in political campaigns. He worked in the George H. W. Bush campaign in 1979 and arranged for Bush’s visit to Drew in 1980. After completing his degree magna cum laude—also with four years of baseball—he was invited to join the new Secretary of Commerce, Malcolm Baldridge, in Washington, D.C. In 1985, after four years as Baldridge’s special assistant, Tom received the Commerce Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Achievement. He then served in the White House on Vice President Bush’s senior staff for four years. He traveled extensively with the Vice President and was senior traveling aide during the campaign that led to Mr. Bush’s election as President in 1988. In the George H. W. Bush administration, he served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration and later as Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary of Commerce.
The 1992 national election results marked the time for Tom to join the private sector, and he has made a graceful transition from success in public service to success in business. In 1992 he joined Philip Morris Companies Inc.—now Altria Group Inc.—as Vice President for Corporate Affairs Policy and Administration, and became Vice President for Corporate Public Affairs three years later. At Altria he is responsible for the strategy, direction, and management of the company’s public policy, public affairs, charitable and political giving programs, and outreach. He develops and manages efforts that exemplify Altria’s commitment to corporate responsibility, including programs on hunger and domestic violence, support of the arts, and promotion of employee volunteerism. He finds the ability to steward Altria’s philanthropy exciting, and is enthusiastic about applying his public service experience in a different sphere.
Tom’s commitment to public affairs does not end when he leaves Altria’s doors. He is a former Drew trustee and currently serves on Drew’s Board of Visitors, and has also been active in the College Alumni/ae Association and in admissions support. He serves on the boards of organizations involved in hunger, health, the arts, and domestic violence in several states and is on the advisory board of the George Bush Presidential Library in College, Station, Texas. He and his wife, Jacqueline, live in Chevy Chase, Maryland with their four children, Thomas Jr. (11), Pauline (10), Sally Ann (9), and Katherine (6).