Tom Ford- Goodwill Panama

Remembering Tom Ford

Tom FordThe Bikes for the World community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Tom Ford, chairman of the board of our long-time partner, the Panamanian Association of Goodwill Industries (Goodwill Panama).

On behalf of the Bikes for the World community, I have communicated my deepest condolences to Tom's widow Julee, as well as to Goodwill Panama executive director Sheila Sanchez and board chair Ariel San Martin.

Tom, an engineer by training, was a long-time resident of Panama. In the 1970's, he joined with local businesspeople to found Goodwill Panama to provide educational alternatives and employable skills for troubled and disadvantaged youth. He served for many years on the board of directors of the U.S.-based Goodwill International. He was a long-time Rotarian, the founder of a scholarship fund to further the education and employment of the blind, and in his professional and personal life, an exemplar of integrity and commitment to helping others.

Tom Ford with beneficiariesGoodwill Panama incorporated bicycles into its program beginning in 2000, and in 2005 approached the newly-formed Bikes for the World to continue and expand the program. Since that time, Bikes for the World has donated 22,261 bicycles, and some 100 portable sewing machines, making Goodwill Panama our second-largest recipient.

Through this long collaboration, Tom became a personal friend, and I and many others will greatly miss him.

-Keith Oberg

Director Bikes for the World

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