CEO (Chief Exploration Officer) &
As the former Executive Director of the Friends of the National Zoo, Tom has an understanding and love of wildlife and helps manage sustainable and responsible travel for his clients. To help potential travelers identify their personal priorities, World Safaris relies on Tom’s extensive knowledge of wildlife, safari guides and accommodations to craft an itinerary that meets or exceeds expectations.
“My fascination with Africa really blossomed in fifth grade, when British East Africa was the subject of geography class. I still remember those first photographic images of abundant African wildlife and colorfully dressed people. Visits to the Seneca Park Zoo, in Rochester, New York, focused my interests on the animals of these far-away lands, especially lions and elephants. I still have the same reaction to a male lion’s roar that I had as a child – the hairs on the back of my neck stand up!
My career eventually led me to a city with a great zoo – Toledo, Ohio. Starting as a volunteer fund-raiser, I got involved and, in time, I changed careers to become the Toledo Zoo’s marketing and fund-raising director. Moving to Birmingham, Alabama, as executive director of the Alabama Zoological Society, I developed the Birmingham Zoo’s first travel program. I returned to the source of my boyhood dreams, the Seneca Park Zoo, as executive director of the Seneca Zoo Society. Launching the zoo’s travel program, I conducted my first African safari to Kenya in 1987 and have enjoyed helping others experience the wonders of Africa’s wildlife ever since.
I’ve been blessed to be able to travel throughout Africa, as well as the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Australia and Venezuela. As fascinating as these “New World” destinations are, I’m always fine myself drawn back to Africa, with its unique wildlife and engaging people.
World Safaris is a dream come true. As partners, the late Dr. Michael Hutchins and I combined our passion for wildlife conservation with extensive experience traveling throughout the natural world. We look forward to helping you realize your dreams of traveling to amazing wildlife destinations, while having a real impact on wildlife conservation and community development.