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Tell us how life has changed since you left SPX.
A lot has changed since May 1989. I'm certainly older and my hair has a lot more gray to it. More importantly, I'm married with two great kids and I have a career that I enjoy spanning almost 23 years.
What college(s) did you attend? What did you major in?
I graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in journalism and a minor in secondary education.
Your family has a long history with SPX. Tell us a little bit about the generations of Tomczeszyn's that have walked the halls of SPX.
My father Jack Tomczeszyn graduated from SPX in 1963 and his sister Dorothy Tomczeszyn Tiedt followed in 1968. She married Ed Tiedt Jr. who happened to be SPX Class of 1964.My cousin Chad Tiedt and I both graduated in 1989 and my brother Martin Tomczeszyn followed in 1994.My son Jake is following in our footsteps as a member of the Class of 2020.Hopefully my daughter Claire will make the smart choice and be part of the SPX Class of 2024.
Where do you work and what is your job title? Give us a rundown of a typical work day.
I work for Moody National Companies, LP as the vice president of human resources. I'm responsible for the HR programs of a multi-state commercial real estate firm. So my team and I design, implement and administer many of the programs that affect the lives of our 1,200 employees far under my purview, including organizational development, benefits, training, performance management, workforce planning, recruiting and overseeing payroll.
What is the best/most rewarding part of your job?
I think the most rewarding part of my job is being able to identify a need and having the experience to identify opportunities for change/improvement, the freedom to develop a solution and the respect of my company to shepherd that solution through a successful implementation. Anyone can spot a problem, but it's rewarding to be able to approach a problem with a creative solution.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Volunteering, cooking and spending time with my wife, kids, and friends.
What is one of your favorite memories of SPX?
There were so many, but if I have to narrow it down to one, it would be our senior class retreat in New Ulm. When we left Houston it was in the 70s and by the time we made it to the retreat center, it was sleeting and snowing. We were stranded there for an extra couple of days because of iced-over roads. The Class of 1989 was exceptionally close and that trip brought us even closer.
What is one of the most important lessons you took away from SPX?
I think the most important lesson I took from SPX was to value people, their viewpoints and the relationships you have with them. To this day, some of my closest friends are people who I went to SPX with.
What were you involved in as a student at SPX?
Athletics, Student Council, Theatre, National Honor Society, National Business Honor Society, Chess Club, Computer Club, Newspaper, Yearbook, Fine Arts, Choir, Talent Show and the Altar Society.
How did your SPX education prepare you for college?
SPX prepared me in a number of ways, but I think the thing that stands out was fostering a desire to seek knowledge and learn from diverse viewpoints. Even in the 80's, SPX was a pretty diverse school and we practiced respect for one another on a daily basis.
What advice would you share with new SPX graduates?
Don't let fear hold you back from experiencing new and different adventures and keep an open mind when it comes to your future. Don't get so set on one goal that you miss other, even better opportunities. Flexibility is a great thing.
What does it mean to you to be an SPX Alumni?
I am proud of my school and I'm proud to let people know where I came from. I try to lead a life that would make SPX proud to claim me as an alum.
Which SPX teacher made the most lasting impact on you?
I've tried to narrow this down to one, but it's impossible because I think SPX has been blessed with incredible teachers and faculty over the years. But the most impactful teachers I had include Lynn Kercheval, who was the yearbook sponsor, Archie Hayes, the AD/Head Football Coach (and also one heck of a Health & Drivers Ed teacher), Fr. Mike White, Theology and general priestliness, and Sr. Therese Warden who taught us all to "Say what you mean and mean what you say and when in doubt, draw".