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Thomas E. Dierckman, former president of the Valencia Co., was born Oct 25, 1948, in Batesville, Ind., the only child of Stan and Marty Dierckman. He lived in Batesville until the middle of second grade, serving as an altar boy on Sundays and every other day a cowboy. Then he moved to Shelbyville, Ind., where his parents worked for General Electric.
In 1963, Tom received the highest honor one can receive in the Boy Scouts of America: He became an Eagle Scout. Tom has always credited the award to his mother, as she was the driving force behind his involvement.
Tom played basketball for Shelbyville High School (Go Bears!). He also ran track and played football, for which he received the Kiwanis Medal his senior year the award for best football player on the team. Tom graduated high school in 1966 with an ROTC scholarship and headed off to the University of Illinois in Champagne-Urbana. In 1971 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy.
Tom selected the Civil Engineer Corps (aka the Seabees) and trained in Port Hueneme, Calif. Upon completion of his training he was posted to Yokosuka, Japan, for his first duty station, remaining there for three years. While there he played and coached the Seahawks basketball team and also played on the All Navy Volleyball team.
Click to watch Tom Dierckman's story with photos
Tom served a total of 11 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps. Part of his active duty was spent serving in Oakland, Calif., as public works officer at the Naval Regional Medical Center, and in Port Hueneme where he spent many hours instructing new Civil Engineer Corps students. He also served two years in Okinawa, leading construction battalions of more than 2,000 men. During his Navy career, Capt. Dierckman received three Meritorious Service medals and three Navy Commendation medals. He is Seabee Combat Warfare-qualified.
While in Oakland, Tom dated Sandy York and married her in 1976. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1977 with a Masterís Degree in construction management. That same year, Tomís first son, Matt, was born. In 1981 came No. 2 son Christian Thomas.
In 1982 Tom resigned his commission, but he stayed in the reserves for the next 17 years. He retired in 1999 with the rank of captain after serving a total of 28 years.
Tom joined The Newhall Land and Farming Company in 1982 and helped lead the company until his retirement in 2004. He was named senior vice president in 1990, president of Valencia Co. in 1994, and a general partner in the Newhall General Partnership in 2001.
Tom was responsible for all aspects of residential, commercial and industrial development for Newhall Land, as well as asset management for the company's 15,000-acre "new town" of Valencia. Among the projects for which he was responsible were the Valencia Town Center Mall, Hyatt Valencia Hotel, Town Center office buildings, Valencia Corporate Center, Valencia Industrial Center, Valencia Commerce Center, Valencia North River, and various other commercial, industrial, recreational and for-sale and for-rent residential projects.
He is currently the managing member of M6 Advisors LLC, providing real estate development consulting services to property owners across California. He also serves part-time as a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, on matters concerning student nominations and appointments to the nation's military service academies.
Tom has served on the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., Valencia Water Co., Castaic Lake Water Agency, and Valencia Bank and Trust. He was a board member for 12 years and served as past chairman of the College of the Canyons Foundation. He is a director emeritus of the COC Foundation and was the 1993 recipient of its Silver Spur award for community service. He is also a past president of the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley and currently serves as vice president of both its foundation and governing boards. He was a recipient of the Boys & Girls Club's Samuel Dixon Award for extraordinary service in 2003 after spearheading efforts to fully fund and complete a new, 27,000-square-foot clubhouse in on the Sierra Vista Junior High School campus in Canyon Country. In 2011 he was named the club's "board member of the decade."
Tom is active with SCV Habitat for Heroes and the SCV CEO Advisory Council. He serves in his church and supports numerous charitable causes including the SCV Pregnancy Center, Young Life, Los Angeles Mission, St Jude Children's Hospital, Covenant House, Catholic Charities, Red Cross, and various veterans organizations. He is a member of the Board of Delegates of the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association and is actively involved with the Civil Engineer Corps/Seabee Historical Foundation and Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme.
Tom enjoys tennis, traveling and spending time with his family: wife Sandy, sons Matt and Chris; two daughters-in-law, Nicole and Allie; and a new grandson, Colton. Tom and Sandy live in Valencia.
The SCV Man and Woman of the Year Committee welcomes the 2012 Man of the Year, Tom Dierckman.