Instructor Biography

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Tom Esselman

Tom has spent the past 22 years working for Hallmark Cards, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri, including five years with Hallmark International in the UK. Combining a business management background with a flair for creative product development and the retail marketplace, Tom has led a number of breakthrough initiatives at Hallmark, most notably the creation of song cards and the recordable greetings business. He drove innovation growth initiatives through partner relationships with the MIT Media Lab, the Institute for the Future, and multiple open innovation practitioners. Tom earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a Masters in Management Degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Throughout the years, Tom has been active in many charitable organizations. With his Italian heritage (from his mother’s side) driving his interest in cooking, he has donated countless homemade pizzas and biscotti to support schools and social causes. In addition to his charity work and pizza donations, friends and family have appreciated his role as drummer for the popular band, Anchovy Fishermen. Tom “feels like a kid again” in his new role with the Institute for the Ages. He relishes the chance to help “rewrite the book” on Aging.