Q & A with Avon Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tom Downard
I am from Indianapolis. I was raised on the west side and went to Ben Davis High School. I attended Indiana Central University (University of Indianapolis) and received my Bachelor’s Degree.
How long have you been with the Avon Chamber of Commerce?
I have been a member of the Avon Chamber of Commerce since its inception in 1997. I have been the Executive Director since January 2000.
What led you to this position?
Being a business owner in the community, I wanted to be a part of growing an organization that would help our community grow and thrive.
Are you from Avon?
Where did you work before this?
I have lived in Avon since graduating from college. I have been an entrepreneur since 1988 in various forms of business. I was first involved in the Subway franchise business as a multi-unit owner, then was the owner of the Avon Amoco (now BP in Avon). My business partner (Charlie Rodgers) and I continued in the commercial/retail development business with locations in Avon, Columbus and Greencastle.
What does a typical day look like for you?
The nice thing about my day is that it is always different. I love what I do and the people that I do it with. Having been in the community for 30 years, you get to know people and being able to work with them on a daily basis is very rewarding.
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of in your career.
I am very proud of the fact that I have been fortunate to grow along with the Town of Avon, first as a developer and second as a support organization with the Avon Chamber of Commerce. Avon is growing into a fantastic place to live and raise a family.
What is your main goal for the future?
One of my main goals in the near future as the Avon Chamber director is to help the Town of Avon grow its economic development. There is plenty of room to continue to pursue the type of development that helps broaden our tax base and provide tremendous business opportunity for our residents.
Tell me about your family, ages, etc.
I am very blessed to have two wonderful children. My son, Alex, is 19 and in his first year at Manchester University, and my beautiful daughter, Abby, is in her senior year at Cardinal Ritter High School.
What are some hobbies of yours?
I am in my fifth year as a girls’ high school basketball coach at Cardinal Ritter. I have enjoyed the sport my entire life and take pleasure in sharing that with others. I also enjoy playing golf.
What was your last vacation?
My last vacation was to Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. We enjoy going with friends there on Spring Break.