12 Apr Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2001 Scholar Tommy George
Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova.
Scholar Year: 2001
College(s) and degree(s): CU Boulder, BA – Economics, 2005; University of Arizona, JD, 2009
I’ve been a lawyer for a little over eight years and I currently work at the law firm Spencer Fane in Denver. My specialty is organizing and representing special districts. Special districts are unique local governmental entities created under Colorado law, and are responsible for providing much of the public infrastructure and services necessary to support commercial and residential communities across the state. Whether you know it or not, you probably live in one. The best part about my job is working with the boards of directors who serve the various districts we represent and seeing the impacts these individuals and their efforts have on their communities.
What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?
The Boettcher Foundation and the Boettcher Scholarship cemented in me the constant internal question, “Are you using your opportunities and abilities to benefit your community and the state of Colorado?” This question has played into just about every big decision I’ve made about my education, my profession, my career, my community service efforts, and where my wife and I wanted to start our family and raise our kids — right here in Colorado.
Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.
Over the past few several years I served on the CU Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Jefferson County Community Development Advisory Board, and co-chaired the Presidents Leadership Class Alumni Board. More recently I’ve been involved with political organizations, and I’m serving on the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board.
What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field?
My advice: slow down. It’s so easy to be overeager about progressing in your career and wanting to move quickly from one set of tasks or responsibilities to the next higher level. But it takes time to learn and master certain skills, and sometimes you just have to slog through seemingly mundane tasks in order to do it. If you can slow down you’ll produce a better work product and will obtain a deeper understanding of what you’re doing and why. But it’s okay to struggle with this — I still do, every day.
If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?
My clear first choice would be Jesus, for innumerable reasons that I don’t need to go on about here. But a close second would be to have dinner with both of my grandmothers. My grandmothers passed when I was in middle school and in high school. I was able to spend a lot of time with them when I was young, and I had great relationships with both of them. But now that I am an adult and a parent, there are so many stories, memories, and laughs I’d love to share with them, and questions I’d like to ask about their lives. Most importantly, I’d want to seek their advice, guidance, and observations on family, parenting, friendship, my career, current events, and so many other things. Of course, I’d have to be clean shaven, be properly dressed, and mind my manners for dinner with my grandmothers, or they’d let me hear about it.