This award recognizes an individual that has made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. It is intended to recognize the efforts of a private or public sector individual working for enhanced trail recreation on either the local, state, or national level.
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan destroyed Tom's home and over fifty miles of existing Florida Trail.
Tom postponed the route establishment work he was coordinating on Eglin Air Force Base and hit the trail to assess the hurricane's damage. Based on Tom's data, the Forest Service brought in a chainsaw crew to complete the reopening of the trail. Tom worked alongside, providing on-the-ground expertise and ensuring that the work was completed to the standards agreed upon by the Florida Trail Association and the US Forest Service.
Tom's ongoing work as Section Leader for the Eglin AFB Trail has resulted in a collaborative relationship between federal, state and nonprofit partners where the needs of the trail, land manager and federal administrator are all met in a win-win partnership benefiting the public.