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Tom Vachet Has  Lived An Unexpectedly Rich Life

In the photo above, Tom Vachet is shown with a group he guided down the Bright Angel Trail to the floor of the Grand Canyon Trail. In fact, much of Tom's early adult life was spent in wild places around the world; rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, some with outdoor pioneers like Yvonne Chouinard, Royal Robbins, John Long, and others. Throughout, He has pushed boundaries in the in sports and in business. Tom recounts he always felt there was a carry-over from one to the other, and the lessons learned were applicable wherever he went, driven by curiosity and challenge, both for success, and excellence


Tom has traveled to countless countries for business; from China and Japan, to Canada and Europe, to Mexico and South America. He has been sought out for his expertise by professional athletes and Hollywood celebrities, and has consulted to some of the largest and most prestigious corporations in the world. Tom Vachet has truly lived a life many have called amazing. As a young boy, growing up in a small Midwest farming community, Tom certainly didn't know what lay ahead. He watched his father, and all the other returning WWII veterans, as they toiled in single careers that lasted a lifetime, thinking that's how it was done. Needless to say, Tom's life didn't follow that model.



This truly is why I do what I do.



Tom Vachét


"Tom, you were an angel sent to help Derek's daughter,

but you have helped so many others you don't know.

You are a blessing, and it is an honor to know you."


David H. Abramson, MD

Chief, Ophthalmic Oncology Service

Department of Surgery 

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

New York, New York

December 25, 2009

Tom Vachet's  life growing up was similar to that to the boys in the film, "Hoosiers"


In fact, the school building featured in the movie was Tom's mother's high school where she was a cheerleader. And the small-town basketball teams mentioned in the film were ones he played against. Those Tom admired most were people like John F. Kennedy for his intellect, Teddy Roosevelt for his toughness, and his mother "Katie" for her kindness.  Following high school, after a period in which Tom worked as an EMT becoming driven by a curiosity in medicine, he determined to become a Nurse. Following graduation, and a stint volunteering in Appalachia with VISTA, Tom began his career, opening a consultancy as a Nurse Case Manager and Medical Device Representative.

From that beginning, Tom has evolved into a sought-after consultant, managing both complex medical cases, as well as the health and fitness of many dozens of athlete clients in every sport imaginable, returning many to competition despite devastating, sometimes potentially career ending injuries. Men's Fitness Magazine called Tom Vachet "The Muscle Whisperer", and the trainer and coach who resurrected NBA Star Derek Fisher's career. In addition, fabled Coach, Pepe Laso, the "Father of Spanish Basketball" whose son is the Coach of Real Madrid, has called Tom the "best trainer in the world". And all this in the most recent chapter in a long and successful career.


Prior to a "big life" in Los Angeles,

Tom was a successful "Beltway Bandit" in Washington, DC

Following business school, Tom Vachet worked as a Management Consultant, starting with Arthur Anderson Business Consulting, initially focusing on emerging technology, but then expanding into Quality Assurance, Aerospace, Health Care, Information Security, Defense, Automobile, and the Internet. He has managed or participated in client engagements ranging from the NYSE, the White House, NASA, Intel, and Reebok, to Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space. Most of Tom's business career was spent working out of four different Washington, DC offices, at different times, and with different firms. He ended his business career at GTE Information Systems in 2000 when he was part of the team tasked to merge GTE and Bell Atlantic, and the new entity was called Verizon. The merger was an all-stock deal worth $52.8 billion. Following the closure of the deal Tom returned to his home in LA.

Tom's transition to the world of sports and fitness was precipitated by the overnight failure of a high value startup in Los Angeles, where he had been recruited as a Principal Partner with a 16% equity position. Tom had left a very lucrative position with Global Crossing, as Director of Marketing for Pioneer Communications, for the opportunity. The business failed when the tech bubble burst, and Tom lost 600,000 shares of stock overnight, leading him to question his life's direction. He was nearly fifty years old, and while considering his options Tom decided to address the toll that years of stress, overwork, and endless travel had taken on my health. He joined an upscale gym, hired a trainer, and went to work. After a short while, Tom began to wonder if perhaps he needed to do something radically different. So, he took a leap of faith, reinvented himself, and became a Strength Coach and Trainer.

It began with headaches and a hand tremor.

They worsened to the point I couldn't attend to my business.


By 2011 Tom Vachet's sports related business, Elite Performance Management was soaring. Unfortunately, he began to have medical symptoms that were alarming, and knew he was going to have to address it. After a consultation and diagnosis in LA, Tom reluctantly closed his business, and came to Tampa, Florida where his children, and five young grandsons were nearby, to receive treatment. Tom spent two years under intense medical care, and during that time, He reflected on what in life was important. Tom decided not to return to LA. Instead, afterward, he found work as an ordinary trainer, in a gym, in Sarasota, Florida, working primarily with an aging population, many of whom faced health challenges, limitations, and disabilities. It was highly rewarding work.


Tom had been thinking about what's next, and it seemed natural that he would leverage all this life experience acquired in order to continue to help others. He finally understood that time-tested adage, that wisdom is a product of time combined with experience. Now, with True North, Tom is circling back to where he began, which is in Health Care, where as a Patient Navigator Tom can offer guidance through a complicated system, in Life Coaching, and Leadership and Team development where Tom can leverage his own experience helping both individuals and teams. It's an exciting opportunity, and Tom looks forward to this new chapter in his life and career.


Tom's athletes and celebrity clients entrusted him to supervise all elements of their care if they became sick or injured,

just as he had done for Derek Fisher, and then for his daughter. His corporate clients trusted his leadership, judgement, and decision-making skills, as well as his ability to build and lead successful teams.

During Tom's career, he worked with the CEOs of many Fortune 50 companies from a variety of industries, managed the health and fitness of many dozens of athletes from every sport, and traveled around the world in the process. He has survived business failures, turnarounds, acquisitions, downsizes, mergers, and sales. Tom has declined CEO opportunities, and made more in a single year, than his father did in his entire lifetime. He also has personally experienced marriage, divorce, child raising, business failure and success, personal sickness, loss of friends, family, and loved ones. Tom has faced his own demons, including life-long depression. He had done it all with his eyes wide open, meaning he processed all these experiences, often with the additional help of others, understanding their implications, and learned from them. As a result, Tom now lives a happy and contented life.


Tom has come to appreciate wisdom really does come with age and experience. He now has both.

What better way to leverage all this, than helping others through his own business, True North

Tom has discovered the most rewarding experiences of life come by doing good things for others. Those included time working for Habitat for Humanity, giving his time as a Peer Support Volunteer at the Veterans Hospitals, and establishing the "In The Spirit of Giving Foundation". In December, 2009 Tom received this note from Dr. Abramson at Sloan Kettering. After helping manage Derek Fisher's daughter through her cancer treatment, Dr. Abramson referred several other families to Tom, and he assisted each of them as they worked through the fear and worry associated with a child diagnosed with a deadly disease. On a pro bono basis, Tom helped to guide each family through the process. Thankfully, all of them had good outcomes. Tom feels blessed to have the opportunity to help them all.

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Degrees & Qualifications
  • Accelerated MBA, Marketing & Branding, Stanford Business School, 

  • BSN, Minor in Psychology, University of Evansville

  • Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse

  • Certified Nurse Case Manager

  • BSI/ASQ Certified Lead Quality Auditor

  • Professional Patient Advocate Institute Training

  • Owner, Elite Performance Management

  • VP Marketing & Sales/Equity Partner, Smart Charger

  • VP Marketing, Global Crossing/Pioneer Communications

  • VP Marketing & Sales, GTE Information Systems Division

  • Consultant, The Market Group

  • Western U.S. Regional Account Manager, BSI Quality Assurance

  • Consultant, Arthur Anderson

  • VP Marketing & Sales, Kuschall of America

  • Owner /Health Care Consultant, Therapeutic Solutions

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