Tom Holman, long-time AchieveMpls champion who was instrumental in the creation of AchieveMpls Career & College Centers (CCCs), is the recipient of our 2020 Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to our work and mission. Tom will be honored at our November 12 Evening of Excellence Virtual House Party, which will be live-streamed at 7 p.m.
A former Dell executive who developed Dell’s first server and has earned ten design patents, Tom became involved with Achieve shortly after our founding in 2002, collaborating with former CEO Catherine Jordan and other staff to launch the CCCs in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). Tom developed the initial value proposition for the CCCs and worked with late business leader Win Wallin to raise over $2 million in initial funding. He also secured initial CCC computers, negotiating equipment contracts at cost, finding financial resources, and, with his wife Kim, making personal donations for equipment. Tom also partnered with Achieve, MPS and Cargill to bring AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) to MPS and secure funding for the program, which provides support to students in preparing for college studies.
Tom served on the Achieve board of directors from 2011 until 2020, providing leadership as chair for three years. During his tenure, he created new board governance frameworks and systems of accountability, served on the selection committee that hired CEO Danielle Grant, and chaired multiple board committees. He also made generous financial contributions to support Achieve’s career and college readiness work.
Along with his wife Kim, Tom is a founder of the Saint Paul-based Morning Foundation, which focuses on children's education, health and social services. He has also provided leadership for a wide variety of other education and community-based nonprofits over the past 20 years, including Wallin Education Partners, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, College Possible, the Saint Paul Foundation, Search Institute, All-In Milwaukee, Junior Achievement, Genesys Works, Ronald McDonald House, the East Metro Education Funders Group, the Wilder Foundation and several others organizations.
“Tom brings tremendous expertise in education and career and college readiness, and was an absolutely outstanding board member," says AchieveMpls CEO Danielle Grant. “He is a skilled strategist and always quick to provide his insights and connections to help Achieve. He was particularly helpful in welcoming and mentoring new board members. Tom’s passion for Achieve's work and his commitment to strong board leadership and governance significantly strengthened our organization and will have a lasting impact for years to come."