Communications executive at Emory University with leadership & innovation experience at Coca-Cola
There are visionaries and implementers in this world; rare is the hybrid. I have been lucky to work with very few of those and Tom Daly is one of them.
With indefatigable optimism and a keen sense of not only what’s next, but what’s needed, Tom has an instinct for identifying technology that will bring impact — to business, and for the humans that power or benefit from it. When I first met Tom, he was the original brand representative — as in the first not from a vendor or mobile operator — on the board of the then-embryonic Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). Ever inquisitive, Tom scribbled acronyms down on a notepad so, sitting next to him, I might quietly translate them. Within several years, not only had Tom established himself as a leader of MMA, but a standards-setter within it, identifying everything from mobile ad benchmarks to 2D (QR) code rules making that needed doing well before the rest of the industry had caught up.
Tom’s coaching for all who have benefited from it, myself included when we worked together at Coca-Cola, has been a career accelerator, to be sure, but was always, first and foremost, humanistic. Like his business inventions, people are at the center of everything Tom does. If it works for people, it works for business — in that order. Without Tom’s invitation to join Coca-Cola (and it was always that and not “Coke” given Tom’s deference to the brand that built our careers), I wouldn’t have explored the globe, found new steps in my career and thinking, and gained a renewed sense of the power of innovation.
Of Tom, I have frequently told friends and colleagues, he likes to “boil the ocean,” whereas my crystal ball gets foggy a few years out. In a world that could use more idealistic ocean boiling, Tom’s curiosity, inventiveness, and can-do spirit is not only rare, but, needed. I was honored by the opportunity to learn from and with Tom at Coca-Cola and I hope to do so again.