Tom Patton graduated from Holy Cross in 1986 studying economics and accounting while playing on the football team. Following HC, he attended law school at Georgetown. “After five great years of practice as a litigator at a D.C. law firm, I leapt naively into a general counsel job at an orthopedic device company in Memphis, TN” shares Patton. ” Five years after that, as the company was circling the drain, I was asked to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO, a.k.a., the Boss.) Our team fixed the company and sold it, and just like that, I became a medical products “turn-around” specialist, meaning, I was the person to jump in and run companies when things were really bad. I did that three more times. In between CEO jobs, I worked with private equity firms that invest in healthcare companies. I also started a healthcare diagnostics company with two doctors as partners. We sold that start-up after six years of hard work to a multinational medical products company.” He goes on to add that he learned constantly which included good and bad decisions, good and bad hires, and good and bad investments. “Over time that accumulation of hard-earned experiences turned into what people my age call wisdom,” Patton closes.
Over the years as an alum, Patton supported the Ciocca Center programs by co-teaching during various business workshops such as the Executive Leadership Workshop and most recently Business Ethics & Principled Leadership. This fall he will be returning to campus in a new capacity as an adjunct professor to teach Entrepreneurship. Through this class, its readings, interactions, and experiences, “I hope to relay some of that wisdom and give you the chance to learn some of the entrepreneurial stuff I wish I knew before I was handed my Holy Cross degree” shares Patton. Students can expect to come away from this course with:
- an understanding of the component parts of a successful entrepreneurial enterprise.
- a new vocabulary and a new lens to see, understand, and critically analyze business techniques and entrepreneurial opportunities that surround you every day.
- entrepreneurial confidence to apply sometime in your career if or when those entrepreneurial opportunities arise.
- the tools to follow a rigorous process to maximize the likelihood that your entrepreneurial venture is successful.
- honed your writing, communication, and interpersonal skills.
- understanding that all business endeavors, whether for-, or not-for-profit, can be consistent with a purpose-driven life and the mission of being men and women for and with others.