This Week's Meeting

Posted by Mandy Sheldon
This Week's Meeting
September 21, 2017
Our Speaker this week is Tom Esselman, CEO, Connecting For Good. His topic is "Bridging the Digital Divide: KC as a National Leader."

Tom Esselman is the CEO of Connecting For Good, a Kansas City-based non-profit dedicated to bridging the digital divide, providing computer skills, computers, and internet access to low-income communities.  He is also the Director of the Front Porch Alliance (FPA) Collaborative Leadership Team.  The FPA, tenant of the same urban core campus – LAMP (Linwood Area Ministry Place)—as Connecting For Good, serves low income families with home visitation for early childhood and family support, as well as student mentoring and minor home repair programs.  Both organizations are devoted to stabilization of the urban core family as the foundation for a life-improvement path out of poverty.


Tom spent 22 years as an executive at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, where he led the development of a variety of technology-enhanced products, including Song Cards and Recordables.  He retired in 2012 to pursue non-profit leadership opportunities in Florida, and now back in Kansas City.  He actively partners with his wife, Mary Esselman, who is the CEO of Operation Breakthrough, an urban core early learning center, in serving over 400 impoverished youth and families every day.


Tom is a graduate of Georgetown University, with a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Affairs, and of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, at Northwestern University, with a Masters of Management.