Tom Murphy teaches a customer service class to TSA security screeners.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Tom grew up on Long Island in New York.
He attended Brooklyn Prep, Villanova University (for two years,) and graduated with a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin in 1971.
He taught in Boston Public Schools after college, before attending the University of British Columbia, where he earned an MFA in Creative Writing in 1978, and won a CBC Playwriting Award.
Following graduation, he worked as the editor of the Bayside Times, Queens’ largest weekly newspaper, then took a position as a university vice-president in Miami, Florida.
There he created the "Miami Nice" program, a project designed to teach customer service to taxi drivers, hotel workers and others. He was selected by South Florida Magazine as one of Miami’s "People to Watch." [PDF, 3.9MB]
He created The Service Institute and focused his initial customer service training efforts on major hotel chains and airports nationally.
Throughout the 1990s he trained 30,000 air travel workers at airports and airlines around the country. His close relationship with many of the aviation officials who were directly affected by 9/11 gave him a unique perspective to tell the "untold" aviation story of 9/11. In 2006 he published Reclaiming the Sky, a story about the courage of air travel workers in the face of great loss.
In his business consulting work, he works with aviation and other businesses to develop the potential of their "frontline" public contact staffs. His programs help employees and produce business gains for his clients. He continues to write (in 2004, he won honorable mention in a national screenwriting competition) and directs a national non-profit, the Center for Reclaiming the Sky. The program helps aviation workers recover from 9/11 and cope with the stresses of on-going threats.
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