Dr. Thomas LoBasso
Daytona State College

Dr. Thomas LoBasso is president of Daytona State College, a position he has held for six years. Dr. LoBasso has been with Daytona State for 20 years. Ninety-five percent of Daytona State students are Florida residents and 91% are from Volusia County.

What implications do you see for your business resulting from the coronavirus and how are you mitigating the potential risks and challenges?

There are some online practices we engaged in that were either brand new or enhanced. We learned that some of these were actually a better way to serve our students and will stay in practice post-pandemic.

What actions have you taken or will take to return to the growth expectations you had as 2019 ended?

For us, we need to revitalize the value of in-person learning. Online learning is great and appropriate for some students, while others benefit more by the in-person experience. I think some students have formed a reliance with online learning that may not serve them as well as face-to-face. We need to demonstrate the value so that students will again choose the face-to-face mode when they know it is the best choice for them. When will it be achieved? Fall 2021/Spring 2022

A company’s culture flows from the top down. What leadership skills do you find effective in promoting the company’s mission and vision to employees, clients and customers?

First and foremost,…care about them, take care of them and communicate, communicate, communicate.

At EVOLVE we have a shared belief that leaders develop their success skills by overcoming the challenges and adversity they face. Do you believe that hypothesis and if so, what adversity have you faced and overcome that helped put you where you are today?

Yes, I do believe you develop certain skills during challenges and that they serve you as you progress in your career. I think I have had many diverse experiences over time that prepared me to be where I am today. It’s hard to pinpoint just one. I have had challenges in my professional experiences that include severe financial challenges, natural disasters, and now a pandemic. I was in the Army National Guard for 21 years and that experience taught me a great deal of discipline, organization and persistence. As a collegiate athlete, I learned how to be a good teammate, how to win even against others that may have more resources and skills by outworking them, and how to handle losing and build from those losses to prepare you for the next time.

What closing comments or counsel would you offer to emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs to continue their path to success?

I always say be really good at what you are responsible for and understand how your department or area fits into the bigger picture of the organization. Having the knowledge and understanding of the bigger picture will help you make better decisions and you will be noticed when other opportunities present themselves.

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