Community leader, Tom will be honored at Paso Robles Chamber Annual Gala

Ask anyone living in or around Paso Robles about Tom Madden and the same words will come up time and time again – humble, hard-working, and community-oriented. And these are just a few of the reasons Tom was chosen by the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce as the Roblan of the Year for 2017.

Tom Madden, Paso Robles, Roblan of the Year

Photo by Meagan Friberg
Tom Madden stands alongside one of his refurbished tractors.

Upon learning of the award, Tom said, “I am humbled and honored.” He joins the ranks of notable community supporters who have shared the title over the years, including his mom, Katharine “Kakie” Madden, Roblan of the Year with Albert Davis in 1986.

“Many people who have received this honor have been role models of mine,” Tom said. “They have been pillars of the community. Knowing the committee thinks enough of me to include me with those folks is very humbling. The most special one, of course, is my mom. I feel like I am in the Hall of Fame for Paso Robles!”

The Chamber will honor Tom at the Annual Gala on February 3 at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. Chamber Board Chairman Matt McLish said, “Tom exemplifies what it means to love and support a community. We are excited to honor him.”

Recognition Committee Chair Liz Aflen said Tom received several nominations, including some from past Roblans of the Year.

“Tom just has Paso Robles in his heart,” said Sharon Ross, Roblan of the Year 2015. “He works tirelessly, he is always involved with one event or another, and he is committed to the betterment of our community. Tom is one of the most friendly and hard-working men I know.”

Wade Taylor, Roblan of the Year with Carol Tucker in 2011, said, “Tom works countless hours for our community, spearheads many fundraising efforts, and gives a lot of his personal time and money. Tom has that Paso Robles pioneer family attitude – he is quiet, humble, goes about his business, and gets things done.”

Paso Robles Native

Born and raised in Paso Robles, Tom is the sixth child of Jim and Kakie Madden – and has five older siblings – Pat, Kathleen, Anne, Jim, and Michael. His parents were extremely active in the community. Jim was the Paso Robles City Attorney and a SLO County Superior Court Judge. In addition to being the 1986 Roblan of the Year, Kakie served in many volunteer roles throughout SLO County.

“I had tremendous role models with my parents,” Tom said. “Both were very civic-oriented. So, when it came to volunteer work, I guess you could say I came by it naturally. My parents always stressed to us that this community had always been wonderful to us and we all have to give back. To win that lottery of being born in Paso Robles, leave for my education, return here to work and raise my family and be a participant in the community – that’s winning the lottery! We get to live in a place where people come to vacation!”

Tom Madden, Pioneer Day, Paso Robles, Roblan of the Year, California Mid-State Fair

Courtesy photo
The Madden Family — Tom, Maggie, Jacob, and Lori — are pictured at the California Mid-State Fair.

Tom attended kindergarten at Marie Bauer Elementary School, grades 1-8 at St. Rose, and graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1978. While at PRHS, he participated in multiple sports and student government. His favorite teachers and coaches included Scott Larson, Gil Asa, and William Mains, and he is still in touch with many of his former classmates including John Wilcox, Mark Perry, and Paul Viborg.

He and his wife of 22 years, Lori Lamacchia, are parents to Maggie, a junior at Texas A&M, and Jacob, a senior at Templeton High School. Active in 4-H and FFA, they raise sheep and breed miniature Australian Shepherds, and Lori is a photographer for Pioneer Day. They like to travel and call McPhee’s in Templeton their “family haunt.” If you want to find Tom during lunch, go to Catch; owner Chico Mora and Tom are good friends.

Tractor Guy, Community Supporter

An avid collector of antique tractors – his favorites are from the early 1900s – Tom is highly involved with Pioneer Day, serving on the tractor committee, the Board of Directors, and as Chairman for 2016 and 2017.

“I got involved in Pioneer Day because of the tractors,” he said. “Some of my earliest memories as a kid were of watching the parade and being mesmerized as the tractors rolled down Spring Street. The Pioneer Day Board is made up of tremendous people from all walks of life that pull together to promote and perpetuate the history of farming, agriculture, and western life in SLO County.”

Tom Madden, Pioneer Day, Paso Robles, Roblan of the Year

Courtesy photo
Tom Madden drives one of his tractors in the Pioneer Day Parade.

Tom also started the Santa Margarita Antique Equipment Show. Held on Memorial Day Weekend, his intention from the start was for it to not only featured antique tractors and equipment, but to be a patriotic event as well. The inaugural Santa Margarita Tractor and Equipment Show, held in 2010, was so successful Tom and his fellow volunteers decided to make it an annual event starting in 2015.

In addition, Tom is a Founding Chair of the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival and he served on the Paso Robles Wine Festival committee for 15 years, including two years as co-chairman. He is past President of the Boys and Girls Club of North San Luis Obispo County. He was a founding director of the Children’s Museum at the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse, and former director of the Heidrick Ag. History Center in Woodland, the Economic Vitality Corporation of SLO County, and the Cuesta College Foundation.

It Takes a Team

A business attorney, Tom earned his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Santa Clara. After graduating law school, he practiced with the San Jose law firm of Berliner, Cohen & Biagini before joining Sinsheimer, Schiebelhut & Baggett in San Luis Obispo, where he became a partner in 1995. Tom left to form his own practice, Law Offices of Thomas J. Madden, in 2001 and, in 2002, he joined Adamski Moroski Madden Cumberland & Green LLP where he is a senior partner. His work focus is in the areas of transactions involving the sale of wineries, real property and vineyard and winery development, and the formation, governance, and sale of business.

When asked how he manages to give so much of his time to the community, Tom deflects the attention from himself and turns the spotlight on others.

“Without my family, my law partners and staff, my friends, the board members of all these committees, and the other volunteers I could not do all that I do. I have a great family who understands the need of giving back. I also have great law partners and staff who support me and let me do all of these things that make Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County a better place to live for all of us. I am honored and humbled, but I didn’t accomplish any of this by myself. This is not about Tom, it’s about ‘The Team’. I may be the one receiving the award, but I wouldn’t be here without every one of these people doing their part to keep everything going.”