In this edition of Get to Know, we are pleased to introduce Thomas J. Taylor, CET, CPD, a founding member of ASPE’s Pittsburgh Chapter.
ASPE: If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Tom: I have always wanted to travel Tasmania! When I was a child we had a foreign-exchange visitor from Tasmania stay at our house, and just the thought of being on the opposite side of the globe from where I currently live is intriguing.
ASPE: What is your greatest accomplishment outside of your career?
Tom: I was awarded the title of Senator in the United States Jaycees International (USJCI) for my work in the U.S. Jaycees. The Jaycees is an organization originally founded as the Jr. Chamber of Commerce and is geared for young professionals up to the age of 40. The Jaycees promote individual development, management development, and community development.
ASPE: What are your hobbies outside of work?
Tom: I enjoy a wide range of activities, sometimes spreading myself too thin. Golf, bicycling, hiking, classic cars, kayaking, and DYI projects around the house keep me busy.
ASPE: What is your favorite type of music?
Tom: Smooth upbeat Jazz played by people like Candy Dulfer, The Rippingtons, or the group Down to the Bone is nice to listen to. Blues music is another favorite genre of mine—Stevie Ray Vaughan can really crank out some great sound on the guitar!
ASPE: Which historical figure would you most want to meet?
Tom: Meeting General George Patten would be an honor. My father served under his command in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and Luxembourg. In 2010 I did get to visit Patten’s gravesite in Luxembourg City when I had the chance to visit the towns where my father saw intense fighting during WWII.
ASPE: If you could play any sport professionally, what would it be?
Tom: I would love to be a professional golfer. Golf is a sport you can enjoy your entire life, and you do not need a large team to play—just you against the course. My plan is to play golf on my 100th birthday and shoot a score of 100 or lower!
ASPE: Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Where is it and why do you keep going back?
Tom: Kauai, Hawaii is a great place—I’ve been there four times and am going back next year. It has a low-key lifestyle, still with cottages on the beaches. The 20-story high-rise condos and six-lane highways have not invaded that island. A few years ago, I had the joy of kayaking the 17-mile Napali Coast, hiking four miles of the Napali Coast, and flying above the Napali Coast in a Delta wing ultra-light aircraft all in one visit. And last year I snorkeled off a catamaran on the Napali Coast. The mountainous volcanic cliffs that fall right into the ocean are mesmerizing!
ASPE: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Tom: Kauai of course!
ASPE: Are you a movie buff? What is your favorite movie?
Tom: The car chase scene in the movie Bullet is so awesome to watch—especially now that it is out on Blue-Ray HD. The way they filmed that scene makes you feel like you are in the car going down the streets of San Francisco.
ASPE: Who is your hero?
Tom: My dad—he earned two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars in WWII fighting Nazi Fascism.
ASPE: If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Tom: It would be very interesting to live life as a bald eagle for a day. To get the chance to soar through the air at great height, catching the thermal uplifts and coasting on the winds, would be awesome.
ASPE: If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
Tom: Having x-ray vision and the ability to go invisible would be great powers to have as a super-hero.
ASPE: What song would you say best sums you up?
Tom: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”