In English, tai chi chuan (more commonly known as “tai chi”) simply means “the ultimate”. Represented by the yin-yang symbol, this ancient form of Chinese martial arts helps bring about mental clarity and calm by focusing the mind on the body’s movements.
After graduating from the prestigious Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, Tom Ficklin continued his education at Bucknell University in PA, where he earned a bachelor’s in political science. He then left his home in Pittsburgh for good to pursue a graduate degree in divinity from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, CT. Here he has made a home for himself, his wife, Julia, his son, Toma, and his two grandchildren.
Having assumed leadership roles in several companies, Tom’s experiences are varied; his career path, unorthodox. After serving as Director of Health and Education for the Urban League of Greater New Haven and then working in human resources for fifteen years, Tom’s career path transformed. He became CEO and Editor in Chief of the Inner City Newspaper and then pursued a career as Chief Information Officer for Empower New Haven, where he was responsible for creating and implementing brand identity, partner media relations, awareness campaigns, program launches, and multimedia platforms. When asked about the course of his career, Tom replies, “My profession continues to evolve, but my interest in writing and communicating has been a conscious preoccupation for my entire life.”
Like tai chi, Tom’s career has been about coordination—a process of learning to leverage what is generated and received to create balance. The pinnacle of his work is the Ficklin Media Group, started in 2008 and dedicated to “Delivering Your Unique Brand Experience and Big Picture Marketing in a Multichannel Media Driven World.” Ficklin Media Group is a culmination of several decades of management experience, extensive networks and relationship building, and the celebration of our common humanity.
Tom attributes his success to the world around him. “I view life as being a daily mentorship opportunity; everyone you meet can be a source of inspiration and support,” he shares. In five years, Tom sees himself continuing on his path: “Continuing to contribute and to be supported. The cycle of life is endless and we must just recognize what is important and what is not.” His hobbies, or “preoccupations,” as Tom calls them, are tennis, yoga, tai chi, and a developing knack for cooking.