Tom Morales's Story
When Tom Morales was growing up in Indianapolis in the 50s and 60s, it was a much less diverse place to live. His family settled there after several years of traveling back and forth from Texas and Mexico as migrant workers. “We were one of only two Hispanic families in the area,” Tom recalls. “And when I started school, my first language was Spanish. While I felt accepted, I knew I was different, and I always wanted to fit in.”
The second of six children, Tom learned early on how to take initiative, especially when it came to his education. “My parents spoke very little English, and there weren’t any convenient translations or computers to help you. But the nuns at Saint Lawrence Catholic School were willing to help as long as you were willing to work hard.”
After school, Tom worked with the rest of his family doing landscaping, sales, and managing the retail store of a tree nursery. When the high school football coach approached Tom’s father to ask if Tom could play, the answer was that he could play on his own time, when he wasn’t working. This strong work ethic and his experience at the nursery inspired Tom to pursue a civil engineering degree at Purdue University.
After graduation, Tom married and moved with his wife to Wisconsin, where he worked for Proctor & Gamble as an engineering team designing and building a paper mill. When the first of their five children was born, the couple moved back to Indianapolis to be closer to family. Back in Indiana, Tom worked in sales and human resources for Union Carbide and Donaldson for the next twenty-four years.
In 2003, Tom founded the Morales Group as a way to contribute to the Hispanic community. He understood the critical role a good job played in the lives of immigrants who hoped to flourish in their new home, and he believed in the work ethic and talents of the expanding immigrant workforce in Indiana.
“By God’s direction, the support of my family, and the talent we have assembled, we are consciously trying to do something more and something different for our clients, our employees, and our community,” Tom says. “I encourage everyone to listen to the stories of the people around you, to embrace diversity, and to see—as I have—that Indianapolis is not just a crossroads, but also a destination for many with a story similar to mine.”◄ Go Back