Thank You, Tom
A farewell to PPS president Tom DiAngelis.
By Kevin Hulsey, PT, DPT
Please join me in recognizing and thanking Tom DiAngelis for dedicating the past six years of service as president of the Private Practice Section (PPS).
On behalf of the current PPS board, past board members, past and present committee and task force leadership and membership, staff, and the entire membership of the Private Practice Section, we dedicate a few words to honoring Tom’s leadership and contributions to the section and to the profession.
Tom had the thrill of leading PPS through exciting times. He began his first term as president six years ago by developing a great relationship with our PPS staff, particularly our current executive director Laurie Kendall-Ellis. As most know, our section’s formal relationship with APTA was relatively new on his arrival, and Tom has performed perfectly by working so closely with APTA, while maintaining PPS’s own identity.
The section’s formal relationship with APTA was brought about by a financial crisis, and under Tom’s leadership, the section is in a wonderful financial position. The assets of the section in Tom’s first year as president were just at $1.5 million, and as of this writing, the section’s assets are near $4.8 million, representing a more than a threefold increase. Thank you, Tom.
Tom also served as president before, during, and after passage of the Affordable Care Act. Tom testified before Congress on behalf of physical therapist business owners. Tom hired Jerome Connolly to work as a lobbyist so that the section would have eyes, ears, and a voice close to the ground during the transitional time. Tom also spent many hours of service discussing, reading, studying, and lobbying on behalf of the section members. Thank you, Tom.
Tom demonstrated great leadership on behalf of the section, serving as our chief delegate to APTA’s House of Delegates by passing RC 2 in 2012. This motion, at the time, paved the way for physical therapists to utilize care extenders beyond the physical therapist assistant. That was great work, Tom.
During Tom’s tenure, the section’s annual conference has reached record numbers of attendance, record numbers of vendor participation, and set professional standards on throwing parties. Remember Orlando, Florida, inside Universal Studios? Remember the event at the Wynn in Las Vegas? How about the party of all parties: last year in New Orleans when we participated in a New Orleans–style parade that led us to the Superdome and an incredible football-style party on the turf! I personally thank you most for that party, Tom!
Tom’s leadership style has had direct and significant impact on those who have served with him. One board colleague stated, “I was a new board member and Tom went out of his way to welcome me, coach me, and advise me on how to handle the business of being a director.” Another board member commented, “Tom’s personality is a perfect blend of positive, outgoing, personable with intellect, leadership, and strength.” Tom is also known to be very good at building consensus, working with diverse groups, and allowing all opinions to be heard in a fun and informal manner. “In my opinion, Tom has been a great leader. His calm nature and quick sense of humor provides an open environment for discussion. He also has been able to keep his own agenda at bay and allow the board of directors to chew through an issue and come to an agreement without brow-beating us into it.” Tom’s direct leadership style is most famously represented by Tom’s new board policy titled, “AIS.” “A$$ in seat!” For those who have led groups of physical therapists in a meeting, trying to get them into their seats, phones off, mouths closed, and ready to participate is not an easy task. Tom’s “AIS” policy has now been entrenched into our board’s culture.
Service as president of PPS is an unpaid position. Volunteer service is not easy. The hours are long and the sacrifice is great. Tom sacrificed time from his practice and time away from his wife, his home, his children, and grandchildren to serve PPS. During his service, Tom and his lovely wife, Jeannine, relocated from Ohio to Tacoma, Washington. Tom has transitioned from being an owner of a clinic in Ohio to now owning a clinic in Tacoma. Tom has generously supported Jeannine through her professional development and now service on APTA’s board. Tom and Jeannine have two grandchildren who have not seen Grandpa as much as they would like. However, Tom’s greatest qualities have shone through during his tenure as president. He has served honorably, graciously, and diligently without a single complaint and with a constant smile.
Tom, on behalf of current and past board colleagues, the entire membership, and staff, we thank you for the past six years. You are a great leader, a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, and an exceptional person. Your service, dedication, and passion will be missed.
Kevin Hulsey, PT, DPT, is a PPS director and the founder and chief executive officer of RehabAuthority, LLC,. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.