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Archive for August, 2016

Story by Beth Bayless. Photos by Janet Chase, Alex Hamp and Marathon Foto.

Not everyone at First Baptist Church knows Tom Visotsky but we all should. He is the person who ensures the bills are paid, that we stay within budget, and that FBC continues its many programs in a fiscally wise manner.

Perseverence and ServiceTom knew from high school days in New Jersey he wanted a career in business. He attended American University where he had an academic scholarship. He chose American both for its academic program and its track and field program. Tom ran track in high school, setting a state record for the half-mile in a four-man relay.

At American, he started out in economics but soon decided to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He was so determined to reach that goal that during his last semester at American, he took a full course load while studying for his CPA exam—which he passed shortly before graduating.

After working in Washington, D.C. for three years, Tom moved to Richmond where he has lived ever since. Eventually Tom struck off on his own to start a staffing company that provided financial professionals to businesses. Ultimately, the company had 15 full-time employees and up to eighty temporaries providing services to businesses in the community. Later, Tom merged his business with a publicly traded staffing firm that provided similar services throughout the U.S.

When Tom first retired, his wife was still working. Not ready to stay at home, he came to FBC in 2014 as interim business manager. Apparently he enjoyed the job and the people; when the position of finance/business manager was posted, he applied and was hired.

Tom has always served his community. He is active in his church where he served on the vestry. He is a past president of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, which has a membership of more than 10,000. He takes pride in the fact he was the first CPA from the business area to hold this office.

Perseverence and ServiceRunning is Tom’s avocation. Over ten years ago, he embarked on a drive to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and raised more than $10,000 on their behalf through running a half marathon in Virginia Beach and two full marathons. His first marathon was in Rome, Italy. He says he remembers the cobblestones, the crowds and some of the historic sites before he hit the wall of fatigue marathon runners often face. He persevered and finished the race. His second of ten marathons was at Disney World.

Perseverence and ServiceWhile there is nothing like finishing that first marathon, Tom says several other races also stand out in his memory. In 2015, he was selected to run the Dash for Cash in the Monument Avenue 10K. He had a number of sponsors who pledged support and was able to donate both the $2500 prize for winning as well as those pledges for a total of more than $20,000 to the Massey Cancer Center. Two other races also stand out in Tom’s memory. In 2013, he completed the Boston Marathon just 19 minutes before the tragic bombing attack. The next year Tom again ran the Boston Marathon; this time in memory of those who had been killed or injured.

Has Tom stopped running? No indeed. Perseverance as well as service is characteristic of Tom. He plans to compete in several half and full marathons by the end of 2017 including races in Hampton, Richmond, Myrtle Beach, and New York City.

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