Today for “Staff Spotlight” we’re sitting down with Tammy Thomson, Director of our Business Development Center. Tammy recently added oversight of the Conference & Event Services department to her responsibilities.
Schoolcraft College: Hello, Tammy, and congratulations on this new addition to your role! To start out, could you please tell us about your position at Schoolcraft College, how long you have been with us and what your responsibilities will be?
Tammy Thomson: My responsibilities are two-fold.
First, I will continue to lead a team of 10 in the Business Development Center (BDC). In BDC, through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), we help entrepreneurs and small businesses launch, grow and improve by delivering consulting services and training. Through the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), we provide training, one-on-one advice and support to businesses seeking contracts with the government.
Last but not least, through Workforce Training Solutions (WTS), we deliver custom training to medium to large companies and support workforce development by contributing to efforts that upskill the workforce and meet the needs of local employers.
In my additional role, I’m leading the Conference & Event Services team. This entails guiding and supporting a team of eight who handle rental of facilities across campus, including VisTaTech Center, Waterman Center, Applied Sciences (AS), Biomedical Technology Center (BTC), Bookstore, Bradner Library, Forum, Grote, Jeffress Center (JC), Liberal Arts (LA), Mercy Elite Sports Center (ESC), Manufacturing & Engineering Center (MEC), McDowell Center (MC), Physical Education (PE), Public Safety Training Complex (PSTC), Radcliff Center (RC), and St. Joe’s Sports Dome.
SC: We are proud that you are a Schoolcraft College alumni. You earned an Associate in Engineering degree in 1996. Could you please share a bit about your days as a student with us?
Tammy Thomson: (That was so long ago. Lol.) As a student at Schoolcraft College it was a wonderful experience. The highlights really included working in the Business Development Center. I have had the pleasure of working with some really amazing people over the years and have made lifelong friends.
More specifically during my time as a student employee, I was given significant support and advice from my team and supervisors both professionally and in support of my educational goals. They were always flexible with my work schedule, allowing me to work around my class schedule. This really helped me continue to focus on my studies.
As a student, I appreciated the faculty here at Schoolcraft and the overall culture that focused on student success. The small class sizes and ability to easily connect with instructors made my experience a very positive one.
SC: As a student and then into your professional career, you’ve held several positions at the College. Please tell us a little about what you did at each of your stops.
Tammy Thomson: My entire time at the College I have worked in the Business Development Center. I began as a student employee supporting the PTAC program and spent 15 years in the program. Over the years, as I gained experience and furthered my education, I transitioned into roles with increasing responsibility within the team. Eventually, I became the PTAC Program Manager, responsible for writing and submitting our grant proposal to the Department of Defense and ensuring all deliverables of the grant were accomplished.
In September 2008, the lead position with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program opened up and I was encouraged to apply for the position. This opportunity would position me well to eventually direct the entire department. I stayed in that position until 2013 when the Director of the Business Development Center (BDC) position opened up, I applied for the position and was selected.
SC: You have a combined 28 years at Schoolcraft College as a student, student-employee or staff member. We thank you for your service! What have been the highlights for you so far?
Tammy Thomson: Leading a team dedicated to helping local businesses launch and grow has been especially rewarding for me. The Business Development Center team is extremely dedicated to the success of businesses we serve and we are good at it!
In addition, my recent transition into working with the Conference & Event Services team has shown me another strong team focused on the highest level of customer service and continued growth. Both of these teams make work not seem like work.
SC: What do you like best about Schoolcraft College?
Tammy Thomson: The people. As I mentioned earlier, I have worked with and been guided through my career by so many intelligent and supportive colleagues and leaders, and that continues today.
SC: Thank you, Tammy. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Tammy Thomson: Yes, I’d like to share this story. During my senior year of high school I was awarded a scholarship from the Plymouth Rotary Club. My mom and I attended a luncheon with the Rotary where I was presented my scholarship. At that luncheon, sitting at our table was the Schoolcraft College Dean, Ronald Griffith. When he learned I was coming to Schoolcraft in the fall, he told me to contact him and he would help me get a job on campus. I did what he told me and he connected me with the PTAC Program Manager in the BDC….and, as they say, the rest is history.
In 2019, I was able to deliver a presentation to the Plymouth Rotary Club, tell that story and thank them once again for the scholarship and for setting me on my career path at Schoolcraft College.