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Tom Croswell, President and CEO of Tufts Health Plan

Get Konnected!’s “Get to Know” series explores the mentors that attend its bi-monthly networking events and make them possible. Learn more about what these Boston-area working professionals like to do in their free time, their career paths, and what mentoring means to them.

For GK Mentor Tom Croswell, he described coming to work in Boston as “an opportunity to come back home.” A native of Maine, Croswell attended high school in Boston and currently leads one of Get Konnected!’s sponsors, Tufts Health Plan. As CEO and president of one of the largest health plans in the Northeast, he offers his expertise as a third-year mentor at Get Konnected!’s annual CEO/C-suite speed mentoring event, which gives working professionals an opportunity to learn from experienced leaders from a variety of industries.

On working in Boston. The Boston area is vibrant and offers much diversity. One of the favorite parts of my job is meeting people with different backgrounds and perspectives—that contributes to the city’s overall atmosphere in a really positive way. Being part of the health care industry, it’s terrific to be here because we know Massachusetts often leads the country in its health care policies.

On his favorite aspects of leading Tufts Health Plan. The opportunity to be part of such a strong team of talented, dedicated people working in pursuit of the mission of the company, which is to improve the health and wellness of the diverse communities we serve. Being part of a business that is all about helping people get access to quality health care is really very satisfying.

On how Tufts Health Plan became a Get Konnected! sponsor. I was introduced to Colette and Get Konnected! through a couple of our leaders at Tufts Health Plan: our chief human resources officer and our vice president of business diversity. They saw the value of getting involved because of the other relationships we could begin to form by connecting with Colette and Get Konnected!.

On why Get Konnected! is key to Boston’s business community. If you look at the diversity of the population that we as a business and most other businesses are trying to serve, any opportunity to better connect with all of the different elements of those communities—to better understand their needs and to be able to respond to them in a more holistic way—is key. Get Konnected! is part of that.

On what mentorship and mentoring means to him. It has been great to meet people who are early in their careers, and hopefully help them figure out how to realize their potential and achieve their professional goals. That is what’s really rewarding about being a mentor.

On why mentorship and networking is important to one’s professional life. Mentorship and networking expand your horizons. Being able to talk to people who have had different experiences in different industries as they progress in their careers is helpful. There is always something to learn from others.

On his current mentors. For me, mentors are a 360 experience. I get mentored by some of the people who report to me. They provide me with advice and input just as much as other CEOs I may connect with or people at other levels of the organization.

On mentor advice that still applies to his career today. I think some of the best advice I ever got was from my father early on in my career—he was a different kind of mentor. When I left college and was going off to find a job, he said two things to me. First, “Never turn down an opportunity to do something new. Each one of those opportunities is a learning opportunity.” The second was, “Stay out of office politics. Focus on getting the job done and satisfying your customers.” Those are probably the two best tips of advice I got just as I was entering the workforce.

On his favorite place to eat in Boston and Greater Boston. That’s a hard one to call. There are so many fabulous restaurants in Boston. But the one my wife and I go to most often is Via Lago in Lexington. It’s convenient to where we live and has great food.

On how he unwinds from a week at work. It’s pretty much family stuff. I’m blessed with two grandchildren who are ages one and three—they’re a joy to be with. My son and daughter-in-law and the kids live here in Massachusetts. My wife and I play a little golf. We enjoy visiting friends and family.

On the advice he would offer his younger self. I would say two things. One, “Aim high.” Second, “Be confident about yourself.” I think setting high goals for yourself is really important so aim high, be confident about what you can accomplish, and be careful you don’t undersell yourself. If you put your mind to it, you’d be amazed at what you can do.

Some responses have been shortened or edited for brevity.

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