People@Work: Tom Snell

Mar. 15, 2013 @ 04:17 PM

NAME: Tom Snell

AGE: 54

FAMILY: Wife, Renée Thomas Snell (freelance graphic designer and jewelry designer), and two daughters, Jamie (pediatric nurse at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem) and Kelsey (assistant editor of Where DC).

POSITION: Principal at Digital Benefit Advisors (employee benefits consultant and ObamaCare specialist)

HOMETOWN: Born in Raleigh, grew up in South Korea and Indonesia, but have lived in this area for the last 30 years. Sanford is home.

What are five most frequently-played songs on your iPod playlist? Rumer's "Slow," Jon Secada's "Do You Believe in Us," John Michael Montgomery's "Sold (the Grundy County Auction)" and "I Can Love You Like That," and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir's "Favorite Song of All"

What is your favorite movie? "Braveheart"

What is your favorite book? Anything by Tom Clancy or Louis L'Amour

Is there a hobby you can't live without? I have so many interests, I don't think I would miss any one thing in particular.

Is there an item or collectible you hold dear? A tile hot mat my mom recently gave me. I made it for her in 1967, when I was 8.

Where would someone be most likely to find you on a Saturday night? At the movies.

What was your dream job when you were a child? Vet, until I found out they treat more than just dogs.

What are some of your favorite things? Family, friends, food and fun.

What would be your last meal? Ribeye streak with a sweet potato covered in cinnamon sugar and butter (no greens), and Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream

Who would be your ideal dinner guests? (Name three, living or dead): Warren Buffet, Ben Franklin, and my wife's father, Bobby Thomas (he died a month before I met Renée.

What is something interesting most people don't know about you? I have a law degree, and I am nervous every time I speak in public.

Ideal vacation spot: Venice, Italy

Favorite professional sports team: Carolina Hurricanes.

If you were given $5,000 to donate to a non-profit organization, which would you pick? Half to CUOC and half to the YMCA.

What's the worst injury you've ever had? At church league softball practice, my own teammate ran over me — breaking out three teeth, breaking my jaw and knocking me out.

Ever had a brush with celebrity? Dinner with Charles Barkley at a Jimmy V function.

What would you like to know about the future? Whether man lived on the moon or Mars first.

What's your favorite website? ETrade.com (stock trading may be the hobby I could not live without) and SanfordArtsandVine.com

Would you go bungee jumping or skydiving? Skydiving, for the view.

Do you have a tattoo? Not yet, but I am young.

Any fears or phobias? I do not like scary movies or gore (or Al Gore).

Ever been outside the United States? Oh yes, a lot, but only to Southeast Asia — can't wait to do Europe.

Did you have a childhood nickname? Just "Tom," but my mom always calls me "Tommy."

Favorite kind of cookie? A dozen oatmeal raisin cookies from Lowes Food.

Favorite season? Spring — warming weather and flowers blooming, and you can still have a fire in the cool nights.

What's the hardest thing you've ever had to tell someone? Telling my wife that our dog, Rugby, had been hit and killed by a car.

Would you consider plastic surgery if someone else paid for it? Sure, to some limited extent — I would prefer a hair transplant, if you're offering.

What's the most embarrassing experience you've ever had at work? Falling asleep during a conference call.

Which actor would portray you in a movie about your life? Tom Hanks, because my life is a box of chocolates.

Biggest pet peeve? People who "Reply All" to an email, when their reply doesn't apply to most of the other recipients.

What's your usual wake-up time in the morning? 6:30, or 5, or 7, or 3 — I wake up at odd times.

What talent do you wish you had? To play the guitar — I will before I die — and speak Spanish.

Ever seen a ghost? Maybe once, hard to tell when you have been sleeping.

What superhero power would you most like to have? Flight.

What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up? "Combat!" (the exclamation point was a bayonet) starring Rick Jason and Vic Morrow. I could make all the machine gun and bomb sounds.

Favorite band or musical artist? I still love the Platters, John Michael Montgomery and Celine Dion.

To keep the stars on the flag nice and even, which state should be traded for Puerto Rico? No trade — uneven does not bother me.

What's your cell phone ringtone? The one it came with.

Favorite dessert? Anything but coconut.

Who's your best friend and why? That has got to be Renée, my wife. She brings me breakfast in bed each day, tells me she loves me, let's me get my flirt on (within reason), likes to try new things, helps me at every turn and smiles.

You are walking down the street on your way to work. There is a dog drowning in the canal on the side of the street. Your boss has told you if you are late one more time, you get fired. What do you do? Grab the dog and hurry to work, I don't think anyone would mind if I brought my dog to the office.

If you could go back in time and change one historic event, what would it be? To everything there is a time and purpose, but it has always bothered me that Judas Iscariot did not tell Jesus he was sorry for betraying him.

What's your favorite condiment? Ketchup — It has been a staple since I was a child playing Combat!

Do you have bumper stickers of any kind on your car? None, but I drive a truck, and it says "Sanford Honda".

If you could never hear the music of one musical artist ever again, which would it be? Any heavy metal, loud band, I have recently even gained an appreciation for rap.

If you could create one rule that all society had to live by, what would it be? You have to do something to help someone else each day.

How do you define success? Generally people like you, no debt and good health.

Ever wondered by Kamikaze pilots wore helmets? No, I am sure it was a government regulation.

Hamburger or pizza? Hamburger.

Describe your life philosophy in six words or fewer: Love God, help one, have fun.