Tom graduated from Commerce, Texas High School and received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Agricultural Education from East Texas State University, now Texas A&M University-Commerce. He taught Agricultural Science at Lindale High School in East Texas before serving as a graduate research assistant and receiving his PhD in Agricultural Education/Educational Administration at Oklahoma State University. After finishing his doctorate, Tom served as Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education at Western Illinois University and then became Director of Vocational, Technical and Career Education for the Grand Prairie,Texas Independent School District.
In 1980, Tom became Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He was later promoted to Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Agriculture. In late 1984, Tom was employed by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo as Assistant General Manager for Operations and Logistics/Service Support where he remained for 20 years until a semi early retirement in 2004. After leaving Houston, Tom became a full time rancher in Madison County producing F1 Braford and Brangus females to sell to commercial cattlemen for replacement females. In addition, he also became the Executive Director of Economic Development for Madison County.
In July 2006, Tom became the first Director of Event Facilities for Brazos County. He was employed in this position just as ground breaking began for Phase I of the new Brazos County Exposition Complex which officially opened in October 2007. Phase II (expansion) was officially added in March, 2010. In addition, the Brazos Valley Fair and Exposition was organized and began in September 2012. Tom was named General Manager of the Brazos County Exposition Complex and the Brazos Valley Fair in October 2013.