My Name Is ... Tom Carlson

Director of dining services at Wind Crest Retirement Community

Alex DeWind
Posted 3/6/18

About me I was originally born and raised in the Bay Area of California. I moved to Highlands Ranch in middle school and went to Denver Christian for middle and high school. I transferred to …

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My Name Is ... Tom Carlson

Director of dining services at Wind Crest Retirement Community

Posted

About me

I was originally born and raised in the Bay Area of California. I moved to Highlands Ranch in middle school and went to Denver Christian for middle and high school. I transferred to University of Colorado-Boulder my second year, where I studied marketing and business administration. I received a master's in business administration from Phoenix University.

I spent 25 years with McDonald's Corporation, ending the last seven years as a franchisee of five restaurants in downtown Denver. Last July, I made a career switch. I was recruited by a company called Erickson Living, which manages Wind Crest. I had always seen Wind Crest while I was running on the High Line Canal Trail but I never really knew what it was.

My wife and I have been married 12 years. This position allows us to stay local. We currently live in Lone Tree. We have an 8-year-old daughter, Sofia, and a son, Tommy, who is 3.

Video of son goes viral

Last year, during the All-Star game, Tommy was sitting in his high chair, grumpy because the Rockies weren't on TV. When Joe Buck announced the league hitter for the national league, my son started freaking out and screaming, “It's Charlie Blackmon.” I sent the video to my mom and she posted it on Facebook. The next night, they ran it during the Rockies game. It was on "Ellen," the "Today" show — all around the globe. The Rockies were gracious enough to bring Tommy to the ballpark a couple days later and he got a one-on-one with Charlie.

My role at Wind Crest

I serve as part of the executive team that is made up of eight directors. I oversee everything and anything that pertains to dining at Wind Crest — we have over 1,300 residents. We have 10 venues with four additional restaurants coming in. I have a staff just shy of 300 that I manage and a full catering department, both internal and external.

It's very similar to a cruise ship — think of it that way. I manage everything that relates to dining: delivery, take out, cafés.

What I like about working at a senior community

It sounds cliché but my favorite part is the residents and interacting with them on a day-to-day basis. Everyday, I go home feeling like I impacted somebody's day in a positive way — not just residents but staff as well. Two years ago, I went through a life transition where I developed a mission of wanting to serve other people and improve peoples' lives.

Fun fact

I once drummed with Charlie Daniels Band and was able to go on tour with them for a while.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is..., contact Alex DeWind at adewind@coloradocommunitymedia.com

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