Tom Hermans is a member of the ACS Major Projects team; the group that manages implementations for new clients, as well as large projects that current clients may wish to do. With up to a dozen projects active at any one time, the team is always busy.
The Major Projects team -- led by Tim Zapawa -- works well together. Although they each have their own projects, they also help each other out with training on certain modules or with other tasks where their particular expertise applies. Tom says that Tim is a good boss, who is always there to help a project start off, but then steps back and lets the project manager manage it.
"I count on Tom to manage numerous projects not just one. And he does an amazing job at it!" says Tim. "Tom is a master at pulling together the various elements of multiple implementation projects and keeping it all on schedule."
Tom is a Project Management Professional, certified by the Project Management Institute. He is also a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, SQL Server 2005.
Fellow team member John Sheehy appreciates Tom's knowledge. "Tom's experience and success at managing projects from start to finish makes him an invaluable resource at ACS. Whether it's a question about application functionality or assistance with effective managing techniques, Tom is always willing to help," says John.
In his 8+ years at ACS, Tom has managed the implementations of half a dozen Advantage clients, as well as a number of projects. He enjoys getting to know all the people he meets while working at a client site, and likes to keep in touch with them. He enjoys it when, from time to time, he hears from people he worked with on past implementations, who call just to say hello.
Tom says that although the pressure can be intense just before a go-live, he loves the feeling that comes from a successful implementation. Bringing a new client's production operations live on Advantage is a tangible accomplishment that is truly satisfying.
The easiest projects, says Tom, are the ones where there is a decision-maker who really knows the business. Getting quick turnaround on important project decisions makes everything flow smoothly and prevents delay.
Levi Hyssong, team member, praises Tom's helpfulness. "Tom is always willing to help out and answer questions for any project we are working on. He has a lot of experience at ACS as a project manager and the success of his techniques makes him a great resource for learning," says Levi.
Another team member, Mike Miklosovic, agrees. "Tom's positive approach helps clients and co-workers move forward in the best possible way," says Mike. "And Tom is always pleasant whether talking about work or personal interests."
Tom grew up in Livonia, Michigan, although he later moved to Milford and graduated from Milford High School. He earned a BA in Business Administration from Cleary University, and has always been interested in marketing technology. He enjoys bridging the gap between the layperson and the technical folks. He got experience doing that at the jobs he held before coming to ACS in 2000.
Pre-ACS, he worked in support services of the marketing department of a financial services company. He then moved to a large insurance company and helped provide software support to 25,000 agents. Tom didn't care for the atmosphere at the large, bureaucratic firm, although it had at least one positive moment, as that is where he met his wife, Sherry.
He moved to ACS in 2000 because it offered just what he was looking for. He wanted to work at a smaller company and he liked the fact that he can work independently, and make decisions for his projects on his own. And when he does need to seek approval, he doesn't have layers and layers of bureaucracy to work through. The most important factor, however, was the opportunity ACS offers for a better balance of work and family life.
Tom and his wife, Sherry, live in Brighton, Michigan with their two daughters, ages 11 and 14. The elder plays piano and volleyball while the younger is on a travel soccer league. Tom likes the fact that his job allows enough flexibility for him to be able to attend many of their activities.
In his leisure time, Tom loves fishing, boating or really anything to do with water. He also likes to ride his mountain bike and to go hiking. Plus, he has jumped on the bandwagon of the newest craze to sweep the USA: collecting antique fishing lures! Co-worker Mike knows this. "I found an old lure while fishing on vacation and when I showed it to Tom, he knew the maker, how old it was, and that, unfortunately, it had NO collector value," says Mike. In fact, rumor has it that the Antiques Roadshow is going to bring Tom in as their fishing lure expert. Until that happens, however, Tom is quite happy to continue in his role of project manager here at ACS.