Meet a Member featuring Tom Droege

Title: Communications Specialist

Company: SemGroup

Why do you love your job? As a kid I always had fun dreaming up contraptions and then trying to build them. Communication is a lot like this, except we build with words and visuals, instead of boards and nails. The longer I’m in this field, the more I see the value of communication for organizations. It has the power to unify and motivate employees around a strategy while attracting investors, who want to be a part of the story.

How long have you been a member of IABC? I joined shortly after my first daughter was born… so about 11 years.

Have you ever served on an IABC Board? Yes. I even once served as treasurer, which proves that just about anybody can pitch in if you have the will!

What is the best IABC meeting/conference you have attended? Why? Anything with Steve Crescenzo is usually hilarious and helpful. My favorite times are just swapping corporate communication war stories over libations with IABC friends.

How has IABC played a part in your professional development? Without IABC, I’d probably still be wearing pleated khakis. It keeps me current.

What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? Last weekend there was a nice breeze, so we took my sister’s two-person sailboat out to a quiet little lake. After giving rides to each of my three daughters, I sailed out on my own and watched my little family get smaller and smaller on the beach. “Sailing… takes me away to where I la de da de da…” (Sorry Keeli, next time let’s just the two of us go!)

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere I can pose with a surfboard and look pensively toward the ocean.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I like a lot of different styles of music… especially world music from different cultures and time periods. The last big concert we saw was Paul Simon. There were probably 30 musicians on stage playing all sorts of crazy instruments – a lot from Africa.

Complete the following: The future of the field of communications is….. evolving and complex, but simplicity will always win. I hope.

What advice would you give to new communications professionals? Take time to do good work. Listen a lot. Fill your trophy case with Bronze Quill awards!