Skylight Showcase: New Hires of November 2018

We are proud to welcome the three newest members of team Skylight! Learn more about Thomas, Wendy, and Joseph below:

Thomas Gottlieb, Financial Professional, Cincinnati 

Tom in suit walking out of building

Why did you choose to work at Skylight?

I ended up meeting several Skylight team members through a number of networking events. From everything that I heard it seemed like a company with a strong culture that encouraged team collaboration. It is this kind of environment that allows people to be successful and I knew I wanted to be a part of that.

What causes, or community services do you have a passion for?

 I am the president of my Homeowners Association and very active in my small community. I am also on the board of a non-profit that focuses on drug prevention in Cincinnati area schools. Besides that, I also participate in multiple B2B networking programs, some of which have allowed me to participate in my local Chamber of Commerce.

What life achievement are you most proud of? 

I would say continuing to make a significant impact on people’s lives and businesses is an achievement I am most proud of. You know you have made a contribution to the world when friends and associates look you in the eye and thank you for making a difference. There is nothing else quite like that feeling.

Tom Gottlieb's 8 Grandchildren
Tom’s 8 grandkids!

Which celebrity would play you in the movie about your life?

Jack Webb, also known as “Joe Friday”.  Back in the 50’s there was a Detective show called “Dragnet”, and Joe Friday was the main character that always focused on just the facts, nothing else. One of my former bosses gave me that as a nickname because he knew I was all about clear information, not muddled with other nonsense.

What was your first job ever? What did you like/dislike about it?

My first job ever was caddying at a country club for years when I was young. I learned a lot about the importance of being reliable, hard-working, and willing to learn, and these lessons set me up for future success. People—whether they be customers, employers, or clients—notice when you go the extra mile for them, and caddying was the first time I realized that.

Wendy Lane, Executive Assistant, Cincinnati

Wendy smiling with Robert McClendon
Wendy with Robert McClendon during her time with the Ohio Innocence Project

Why did you choose to work at Skylight?

The men and women that make up Skylight don’t just say they are passionate about their work—they show it. Everyone here is committed to maintaining a culture of positivity and teamwork, which makes it a great place to work.

What causes, or community services do you have a passion for?

My daughter currently attends Simon Kenton High School and I serve on the Site Base Decision Making Council for the school. I also have a lot of passion for the Ohio Innocence Project, an organization committed to assisting people who have been wrongfully convicted. I had the opportunity to meet with Robert McClendon, a man who spent 17 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. He was exonerated by DNA testing through the Ohio Innocence Project and freed on my birthday in 2008.

What was your first job ever? What did you like/dislike about it?

When I was 16, I started my first job at a grocery store in Phoenix, Arizona. I must have held just about every position before I left—bagger, front desk worker, candy department associate, then finally cashier. We had crazy characters coming in and out of the store every day and there was never a dull moment. One of my fondest memories of the place was when I was briefly hospitalized after an operation and one of the regulars came in to drop off some old western books to read as I recovered!

Wendy reading a book alongside her cat
Wendy attempts to read during a cat nap

What board game do you believe you have the best chance of winning and why? 

Definitely Scrabble. I have a wicked vocabulary and my spelling skills are excellent. With a few “S” tiles and a blank tile I am unstoppable!

What was the first concert you ever went to? 

I saw the Beach Boys in 1985 at the Arizona State Fair. I remember the place being packed to the brim with screaming fans and the band throwing beach balls into the crowd—definitely an experience I will never forget!

Joseph Johnson, Assistant Agency Supervisory Officer, Toledoheadshot of Joe Johnson

Why did you choose Skylight?

Honestly, I am not sure if I chose Skylight or if Skylight chose me. I had worked in the MassMutual Ohio agency since 2004. I started as an administrative assistant for Chris Heerdegen, then became a career agent with Dale Seymour and Seymour & Associates in 2008. Later becoming a broker before merging with Skylight and the other Ohio offices.

The Toledo office has been a home for me for so long and so many people here are like family. When this position became available I saw it as an opportunity to continue with the firm in a way that would be mutually beneficial for everyone. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, so here I am.

What causes, or community services do you have a passion?

I would say breast cancer awareness and research. “The Rose Run” is an annual event that takes place in my hometown of Petersburg, MI. It is a memorial 5k fundraiser in memory of my mother Rose Hunt who passed away in 2009 after battling breast cancer for the second time in her life.

The run is produced by a non-profit organization started by my sister Jessica Cribbs called the “Strength of a Rose” foundation or SOAR for short. SOAR also produces a Rose Run in Los Angeles where my sister currently lives. The run raises money for breast cancer research through runners’ registrations, donations, and sponsorships. The proceeds are donated to the breast cancer research department at the University of Michigan and a percentage is donated to the local volunteer fire department. I can’t think of a better example of both cause and community.

If you could gain one skill instantly what would it be?

I would love the ability to speak a new language at the drop of a hat—I don’t even care which language! To be able to communicate fluently with a person from another part of the world without a language barrier would be super exciting.

What celebrity would play you in a movie about your life?Joe Johnson Golfing

I am not sure who it would be, but I know the people I would ask to audition. Probably Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, and Brad Pitt. However, I asked the same question to the people that know me best and the responses were not as ideal. Some of the names included Gary Busey, John C. Riley, Christopher Walken, and Steve Buscemi. Regardless of the actor, I would just be excited someone wanted to make a movie about me!

If I absolutely had to sing karaoke, what song would you pick?

I suppose if I absolutely had to get up in front of a crowd I would pick “Ice Ice Baby.” I would choose that song because now I am a part of the compliance team, and “if there was a problem, yo I’ll solve it.

Joseph Johnson is a registered principal of and offers securities, investment advisory, and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC OSJ: 1760 Manley Road, Maumee OH 43537. 419.893.9759.

Thanks for sharing everyone!

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