Tom Winborne retired from Clark Nexsen at the end of 2016, leaving a legacy of commitment and remarkable growth that spanned four decades. Beginning as a summer student in 1973 and returning as an architectural intern in 1975, he went on to invest 41 years of his career with Clark Nexsen. Tom was integral to the firm’s growth from 35 architects and engineers to more than 400 and in establishing key areas of market leadership. He brought experience as an architect, designer, project manager, and principal-in-charge and held multiple leadership positions within the firm, including COO and CEO, and now, Chairman Emeritus.
Tom spent four years in Madrid as an architect and project manager leading design teams on more than 30 projects in Spain, Italy, Greece, Iceland, and Bahrain. He designed projects in Egypt and Jordan, making project presentations to client, King Abdullah. Working within and leading the DoD market, he developed the firm’s firearms training facility design expertise. This expertise led to projects with FLETC in Georgia, Maryland, and New Mexico; the FBI at Quantico and West Virginia; and numerous local law enforcement agencies. In 2008, Tom led a design team in completing the Squadron Operations Facility at Fort Bragg, the firm’s first design-build project for the DoD – a project that advanced Clark Nexsen as one of the first firms delivering design-build projects for the DoD. In 2006, Tom led the design team in completing one of the first sustainable projects for the DoD, the Squadron Operations Facility at Goldsboro Air Force Base.
His numerable accomplishments include hiring the first female architect who went on to become a shareholder; leading the first project fully designed in the metric system; leading projects winning four design awards in Aviano, Italy; leadership of early projects translated into Spanish, Italian, and Greek; and the first project drawn in CADD for the TRADOC Command and Control Facility.
A lifelong resident of Chesapeake, Tom remains involved in advancing regionalism in Hampton Roads. He is serving as the 2017 Chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber, the region’s premier business organization. The Hampton Roads Chamber helps businesses succeed, drives regional economic growth and enhances the quality of life of the community’s residents. The Chamber strives to improve the local economy by working with the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance to attract new business to the area, helping existing businesses to expand, working with partners to improve the local workforce, promoting amateur sports events and providing leadership training.
Tom’s service on boards also includes the Old Dominion University Educational Foundation, TowneBank Chesapeake Board, Greater Norfolk Corporation, Leadership Hampton Roads, and the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design. He has been active within industry professional organizations such as the Construction Specifications Institute and AIA for more than 40 years, including serving as president of the Tidewater Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute.
Tom earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and is a lifelong Hokie fan. In recognition of their commitment to the university and the College of Architecture, he and his wife, Nancy, were recently named to Virginia Tech’s distinguished Ut Prosim Society, established in 1986 to recognize donors who are leaders within the community of philanthropy that sustains the school.
Colleagues and clients describe Tom as determined, resilient, and a leader who stands up for what he believes in. Clark Nexsen congratulates Tommy on his retirement!