Chamber chairman loves the ‘Dad life’

Tom Trimble – an Oncor official and chairman of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce board of directors – enjoys a moment at the recent Tomato Fest with his twin daughters Anna (left) and Maggie.

“Dad life” has been a joy and a blessing, and Tom Trimble couldn't be any happier about that.

A lot of the younger men at his office – Trimble is an area service manager for Oncor – approach him for guidance on parenting, “and the best answer I have is that you will be amazed at how much you can love another person. It is a blessing from God to be a dad, and you should treat it like that,” he said. “Being the 'person' for my girls is my favorite thing in life, equal to being a husband to Amanda.”

The couple has twin daughers, Anna and Maggie, who turn 8 next month.

“If you notice their initials are A&M and yes, that is because I am a very devout Aggie – I am third generation Aggie and hope they can be fourth,” he said, explaining that “it took quite a bit of convincing with my wife” to use names with those initials.

“I even had to go into to find Annas and Annes and Annies in our family history to say, 'we have to use Anna because it's a family name,'” Trimble said. “My wife sniffed out what I was doing early on but agreed to the names anyway, and I got my healthy A&M twins on July 8, 2011.”

Although twins, Anna and Maggie have very distinct personalities, their father said.

“What I love about them is their individuality. They are so very different and that is why I call them the 'worst twins ever,' but only jokingly because they are the best. Maggie is my princess and loves gymnastics, shopping and helping around the house. Anna is my 'can do anything' girl and wants to be an astronaut,” Trimble said. “Anna does Tae Kwan Do, loves otters and is deeply religious. They are in so many things that they truly keeps us on our toes.”

The couple's early days of parenting were a challenge, not only because there were brand-new babies to care for (“the first 18 months or so were really tough on me and especially my wife. The girls went through 30-36 diapers a day and ate a lot as well”), but also because the family lives in the Whitehouse area and Trimble was working out of Dallas at that time.

“I was away all the time and hated it. After I changed jobs to Oncor and started in Jacksonville, it made all our lives easier,” he said, adding that Amanda was – and continues to be – the one who helped keep things flowing smoothly.

“The best thing for me is my wife … having Amanda is critical to my sanity. She is 'my favorite' person and keeps my work life balanced and on as even a plane as possible.”

Although his name can be found in news reports whenever disasters strike the area, regarding Oncor power outages and restoration, Jacksonville residents are more familiar with Trimble due to his active involvement with the local Chamber of Commerce. Presently, he serves as the Chamber's chairman of the board of directors.

That involvement is a way Trimble hopes to inspire his daughters to be actively involved in their community, now and in the future.

They are very caring girls, and especially Maggie loves to help me with everything. But getting them involved now will hopefully start a practice for them helping in the future,” he said, adding that for him, the most important thing for him as a parent is to help his children understand why he's so dedicated serving people through his job and in the community.

“We talk about it as much as we can. They understand people lose power sometimes when storms come through so I have to leave. They call me and ask if they can help. But I always talk to them about people in need and doing what you can to help. They are very understanding and compassionate girls,” he said. “When doing Chamber activities, I talk to them about getting involved in the community, and I try to involve them when possible like Tomato Fest and the rodeo and other events in the 23 different cities that I cover (with Oncor). A work/life balance is great when you communicate with each other.”

A strong sense of family is something also important to Trimble and his wife, who live on his family's homestead with various family members settled close by.

“The biggest tradition we have is loving family, and it is inspired by our throwback family: What that means is that my whole family – mom, dad, my brother and his family, my sister and her family, my mother-in-law and father-in-law, my sister-in-law and her family – all live on the same property in Whitehouse. We get together weekly, if not daily, to eat, work, play or pray,” he said, calling it a very special gift to share with his daughters.

Another tradition he and his wife have adopted with the twins is to “celebrate the start of a great year of learning” by going out to eat after the first day of school every year.

“Knowledge and learning is very important to me – we read together and they are even sitting here watching me answer (an email) and asking questions themselves,” he said. “My dad was and is my best friend. He used to involve me in his work at the coal mines (I loved it because what boy doesn’t like life-sized Tonka Trucks?). – he was always there, even though his job had him in Dallas many years. He was an inspiration to me that no matter what is going on, you can be there for your kids. And he always was.”

Trimble says he looks up to other family members, as well, as role models in parenting.

“My grandparents (Tennie and Dado) were huge role models for parenting and life in general. My mom and dad continue to be role models, and I learn from them daily on how to raise my girls and have a happy family. My in-laws are the best and most loving people as well – they teach me so many different things about parenting and secrets on my wife,” he laughed. “They all have had a role in my parenting style, and I love them for it. I am truly blessed to have them all so close and share in my family’s life. I wish all could be this blessed.”

Parenting continues to be a surprise to him, as it has from the very start, but Trimble said it's something he loves wholeheartedly.

The earliest surprise was learning “how much you can love someone instantaneously,” while with having twins, “I am surprised at how you have to take such different approaches with parenting each girl. Just like customers at work, the girls are different people with different needs, and I have to tailor my interactions with them individually,” he said. “And I love it.”

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