by Susan Scheide
Thanks to the kind comments from you, our readers, Tim has asked me to write some more blog postings. I spent some time pondering what I would like to read, and decided what would interest me is learning more about the men and women who make up Compass.
First on the list: the irrepressible Tom Licciardello, the embodiment of the expression, “Good things come in small packages.” While vertically challenged in stature, Tom has one of those personalities that fills a room. I dare you to try spending an hour with Tom and not leave smiling! Three things I can count on when Tom comes to Braintree for a company meeting: 1) he will be a few minutes late; 2) despite being tardy, he will be impeccably groomed and prepared for the meeting; and 3) he will give me a huge smile and a hug.
Tom is a fascinating man, not just a friendly guy. In addition to running a successful financial services office in North Andover, which is of course a part of Compass Capital (sometimes called “Compass North”), Tom participates in triathlons, marathons, and something I’ve never heard of called obstacle course racing (OCR). Did I mention that Tom is just ever so slightly over 60 years old?
I knew Tom had run in the Boston Marathon for many, many years (35 consecutive), so naturally I asked him about his running:
When did you start running seriously?
In the summer of 1976, I realized that I was gaining weight and losing the athletic capabilities that I had in college, so I began biking…a lot. After doing my first “century ride” (100 miles) a friend who was training to run a marathon told me that dividing the number of miles ridden by 3 is an equivalent run. I asked how far a marathon was. As it’s “only” 26.2 miles, I concluded it would be easy. I put my bike in the garage, bought a pair of running shoes and went for a run. My friend lied. However, I persisted and ran my first marathon on December 7, 1976 in 2 hrs 54 minutes, fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I promised my wife, Lyn, that I would run it only once. I lied.
While Tom has decided not to run the marathon any more, he continues to serve on the Boston Marathon.
In all his years of running and other sports, Tom has never had a serious injury. An amazing track record, and one I hope continues for years to come.
Tom was present at this year’s Boston Marathon when the terrorist bombs went off. I cannot possibly say anything about that terrifying day any better than Tom himself. Please feel free to read his moving comments at this link:
Have you run in marathons other than Boston?
I’ve run a total of 88 marathons in 13 states, including several ultra marathons (longest was 50 miles). Among others, in addition to Boston, I’ve run New York, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, and the World Championship Ironman in Kona, Hawaii in 2007 (2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride, and then a 26.2 mile marathon).
My marathon best was 2:33:17 (1981!) Still had dark brown hair. Best Boston finish was 321st with a 2:35 finishing time back in the early 80s. As a point of reference, there were about 5,000 in the field then. If I could run that fast now in the current 27,000 runner field size, I’d finish in the top 100!
On August 11, 2013, Tom was the officiant at a wedding held at the start of the Falmouth Road Race. See here for the full story!
Obstacle course racing is, apparently, exactly what it sounds like! Here’s how Tom described it to me:
My new passion is obstacle course racing (OCR). It’s a great opportunity to test overall strength as competitors climb walls, crawl under barbed wire through mud, leap over fire pits, and other acts of, well craziness.
|Lyn and Tom Liccardello|
|Tom Licciardello and the “acts of craziness”|
I’m a member of The New England Spahtens (yes, that’s the correct spelling). I’m also very proud to be a member of an elite (nutty) group known as GRTs – GoRuck Tough. To become a member of that group, you must complete a GoRuck Challenge. Basically it’s a Special Forces inspired test of strength/endurance/tenacity. Our event was on June 28th in Manchester starting a 9 PM and concluded at 6:30 AM. Proud to say that I am now the oldest official GRT.
As with all interesting people, there is another side to Tom. Tom and his wife Lyn have been married for 43 years. Lyn is involved in running, cycling, and swimming as well, and the Licciardellos have turned obstacle course running into a family affair.
|The Licciardello Family|
Tom and Lyn have two daughters. Crissy Licciardello Lippman works with Tom in their North Andover office. In fact, Crissy is who I turn to when I have questions on our company health insurance plan since Tom is our insurance agent. Crissy lives in North Andover with her husband Ahren and their two children, Lexi and Zach.
|Tom and granddaughter Lexi|
Tom and Lyn’s other daughter, Amy, lives in Connecticut with her husband, Scott and her three kids, Ben, Cassie, and Sophie Rose.
I thought my grandfather was cool because he could stand on one leg and jump over his other foot. Can you imagine a grandfather who runs around in the mud for fun? Awesome!
I asked Tom if it was ever difficult separating Tom the employer from Tom the father/grandfather, and I found his response very touching. He said, “Not at all. In all three cases I feel the obligation is to first be a good example in the way I live my family, business, and personal life.”
Tom and Lyn also enjoy skiing, a passion they share with Tim Shanahan, who has been lucky enough to spend some time with them in their condo up north.
|No bunny slopes for Tom and Tim|
|Tom and Tim and a really cool ice moose|
I’ve had fun teasing Tom over the many years I’ve processed some of his paperwork for him. One thing I’ve learned about Tom via my insider’s view of his business is that Tom goes the extra mile for his clients. He never leaves them hanging, and when they ask him to make financial moves for them that are ill advised, he tells them so, and why. Being a Trusted Financial Advisor and Compass Capital shareholder means something to Tom. While I may enjoy laughing with Tom and cracking jokes, I’ve also asked him some serious questions about my own investments, and found his answers to be helpful, insightful, and in plain language, no jargon.
Tim likes to talk about Compass’s “depth of bench,” and I can say, as someone who has worked with Tom for 13 years, he is a huge asset to our firm, and someone I would trust with my own money.
Thank you so much Tom, for your cooperation with this, the first in a series of blog entries. And happy anniversary Tom and Lyn!
|Tom and Lyn Licciardello|
|Tom and Lyn|