September 2019 -- Kirkland, Washington
Hailing originally from Ohio, Tom Dabasinskas (aka 'Dabo'), moved to San Diego in third grade and has been working his way up the West Coast ever since. He relocated to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California, then to the Bay Area for work, and finally to Seattle, where he landed six years ago.
Tom’s area of expertise is nonprofits and churches. The job that brought him to Seattle was a church in need of assistance with a leadership transition. Their lead pastor was retiring after 30+ years of service and the church, having not recruited for that position in more than three decades, thought it would be wise to get professional help. Tom stepped in to provide interim leadership and help them weather the transition successfully.
This is what Tom has been doing from the start — helping nonprofits through times of transition — although, initially, he wasn’t looking to make a career of it.
“Looking back, it wasn’t an intentional choice,” he said. “I just happened to be in it.”The first nonprofit he helped navigate change was a church working its way through a difficult transition in leadership and turbulent times that threatened to close its doors. It was a crash course for Tom.
“It gave me the first glimpse of the practical, important things to be doing, but also the possibilities, what can happen when you’re doing this important work,” he said. “I saw a church doing the hard work and what a difference it made."
Not only did the church survive, it thrived, grew and planted another church.
Since then, Tom has worked with numerous churches and nonprofits and come to believe this was his calling all along.
“It’s a passion,” he said. “I guess in some ways, it’s in my blood. My dad was buying, selling and operating companies; helping small businesses through times of change. He’d do an assessment and be that hands-on leadership to help the business, just like OneAccord.”
Great People Doing Great Work
It was Tom’s wife that introduced him to his future team.
“My wife said she had a business crush on OneAccord. She initially met different OneAccord Principals and said they were quality, intentional people doing meaningful work. She told me, ‘These guys are doing what you’re passionate about.'"
So Tom got to know a few of the people at OneAccord and was impressed with how the vision and values of the company aligned with his own. When Tom walks into an organization, he’s not interested in consulting and walking away. He takes a hands-on approach, walking alongside his clients through a transition.
“I want to encourage strengths and build skills in a hands-on manner that equips the nonprofit for not just the moment of transition, but success in the future," he said. "My goal is that they would be thriving long beyond the time when we have helped them.”
And because nonprofits in particular don’t always have the resources to bring in the support they need, he was very interested in how OneAccord provides interim leadership to fill in the gaps.
“The fractional support approach is beneficial,” said Tom. “A company like Amazon has the resources to navigate a transition, but it can be debilitating for nonprofits or churches who don’t have the experience or expertise.
“OneAccord has great people and is an amazing company doing really good work that aligns with the values and goals that I have in my work. And I felt like I could learn from the team members and continually grow in how I’m serving nonprofits. That was a real attraction for me and a quick fit once I learned more about OneAccord.”
And that was it. Tom became a nonprofit Principal and hit the ground running. He’ll continue to focus on churches and nonprofits while also working to expand the nonprofit team. The demand is high and the more nonprofit principals, the more OneAccord will be able to serve.
Good Food, Good Conversation
Tom is an unabashed foodie who likes to find local, hole-in-the-wall spots with great flavor, spots like Jimmy Mac's Roadhouse in Renton. “They have an incredible menu,” he said. “These are guys who went into the deep south and found these unique recipes people were willing to share. They’ve got crawfish chowder that’s out of this world, tasty barbecue ribs and dinner rolls that are unbelievable! Everything on the menu’s good.”When Tom isn’t working or enjoying a good meal, he’s probably enjoying the great outdoors.“I love the outdoors,” he said. “Whether that’s going on a hike out in the mountains or under the water scuba diving. I love fly fishing. Even though I’m not really good at it, I love it.”Learn more about Tom’s professional experience and education here. You can contact him directly at (925) 360-7797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.