Tom Uhler is a founder and principal of Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners, a concierge “white glove” financial planning team that comprehensively integrates the portfolios and assets of its select client base for intergenerational, long-term success.
Yet as successful as Uhler has been in business, he’s likely more renowned and respected for the work he does outside his office — for Tom Uhler is a man passionately dedicated to contributing his time and talents to multiple organizations that improve our quality of life in Southwest Florida.
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He’s been acclaimed Person of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and even Hero of the Year. He sits on many boards, chairs big events and has for many years served as narrator of The Nutcracker by Gulfshore Ballet. His energy seems boundless.
Each issue, “Take Five” poses five questions to a community personality that have not been shared in advance. Here, we catch up with dynamo that is Tom Uhler and learn what drives his passion to make lives better.
- You’ve earned a variety of significant awards and accolades for your service to the community; where does that giving come from?
As our lives have unfolded, my wife Linda and I have always had the luxury to focus on each other, our community and our work. I think both of us have charitable intent in our blood. I’m also an Eagle Scout and I think that’s a core tenet of Scouting, giving back to the community.
- What are you involved with this year, and do you have an idea how many volunteer hours you log in a year?
I don’t think I want to go there (editor’s note: said with laughter)! I’m very fortunate, I have a business partner who’s very organized, and we’ve developed an office system that runs very smoothly. It frees me up to spend a lot of time on the things I care about. This year, my involvement includes Southwest Florida Symphony, United Way and a board position with Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation.
- When did you begin narrating The Nutcracker, and has that been your most visible role?
I think it’s visible certainly having done it for almost 10 years, but I think you’re also visible anytime you’re doing something big, such as the year I chaired the United Way Campaign, or when Linda and I chaired the American Heart Association Heart Ball. Whenever you’re proclaimed this or receive that award, you get your 15 minutes of fame.
- Is there one moment or instance that’s been most rewarding to you?
If I had to pick one, it was when Jim Nathan of Lee Memorial Health System and I were chosen to be Junior Achievement Laureates of Lee County. Anytime you’re selected with Jim Nathan is pretty special. He’s obviously one of the best known people in the community for doing good.
- You deal with a physical challenge and don’t let it slow you down; what would you tell others on the sidelines about getting involved?
I think you wake up every morning and decide if you’re gonna make it a good day or not. I am wired such that I choose to make every day a good day. I am very thankful I’m here. About the time I was diagnosed with cancer, a couple of pretty good friends of mine were diagnosed, too. One has since died and another is struggling, and as of two weeks ago, I am three and a half years cancer free. I’m not Superman. I just think you make a choice how you want to treat life.
By John Sprecher | Images by Milissa Sprecher