Tom Ghinder was recently featured in an article in the Akron Beacon Journal. “Why aren’t people working? They’re looking for better jobs, seeking child care or retiring“. In this interview, he talks about how his life changed during Covid and coming out of retirement.
The excerpt that features Tom is below.
“How do you live a quality life? Good housing. Being able to understand the neighborhood and world around you… my mission right now is to figure out a way to bring a universal education support system to Akron.”Tom Ghinder
Tom Ghinder retired from his tech career in 2016.
At 60, the Akronite is back on contract for the same company where he worked before retiring.
While some retirees are being recruited to fill gaps in the ongoing labor shortage – CNN reported in December that about 2.6% are “unretiring” – Ghinder said he went back in large part to help Akron Promise, the education non-profit he founded with his wife, Daralee Ghinder.
“At the beginning of 2021, Akron Promise had grown enough we needed a
professional director instead of me, an entrepreneur,” Tom Ghinder said.
In April, Akron Promise hired Jeanne-Hélène Roy as executive director to fulfill its mission of helping students at Kenmore-Garfield high school succeed in trade programs or graduate from community college or university.
Eventually, Ghinder said he hopes Roy can expand the program to all Akron
children, preparing for each child for long-term success from the moment they’re born.
Ghinder said he returned to work last year in large part to help pay for Roy and what she can do for Akron Promise.
And in some ways, the pandemic made coming out of retirement easier.
Ghinder’s job analyzing data and systems for large corporations had always
required him to travel, often flying home on weekends just long enough to check inand then fly away again.
He didn’t like the travel, even though he always found the rest of his work
satisfying. “Now, I will always work from home,” he said.
That’s partly because of his niche experience, Ghinder said, but also because clients have grown accustomed to working remotely during the pandemic. Cutting travel also saves businesses money.
But there’s been a lot of other changes in the business world in the five years since he retired, he said.
Ghinder said he’s still learning to navigate cloud storage and when to use business messaging apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams versus email or direct messages.
For now, he’s glad to be back in tech and has no horizon for a second
retirement, especially because he’s working from home.
But even when he does retire again, he said he will never give up serving kids and education.
“How do you live a quality life?” Ghinder asked. “Good housing. Being able to
understand the neighborhood and world around you… my mission right now is to figure out a way to bring a universal education support system to Akron.”