Tuesday, May 29, 2007

from swimsuit to Armani suit

43-year-old Tom Westman was the winner of Survivor Palau. He proved to be one of the toughest, most competitive, and - dare I say it - nicest contestants in the show's history. Thanks to a bitter Coby, he was one vote shy of being a unanimous winner. Before he spent 39 days on an island, he worked as a firefighter in New York. After his win, he spent some time on the lecture circuit and even did some modeling for Caribbean Joe.

What is Tom doing these days?
From fighting fires in New York City to winning $1 million on the grueling reality TV show "Survivor," Tom Westman has embraced excitement and challenge and tasted fame. But now he's a rookie working in relative obscurity at The Hartford, sporting a suit and tie instead of a fire hat or the shark-tooth necklace he wore in his bare-chested days on "Survivor: Palau."

He's pitching group life and disability insurance to brokers, who mostly don't know - or care - that he skewered a shark with a machete to feed his starving "Survivor" tribe on the Pacific island of Palau.

Why did he take the job?
"I always did feel that there was something else out there," Westman said. "I had a nagging sense that something had missed me, and corporate America is something I wanted to be part of."

How many people do you know decide to enter corporate America because it's something they always "wanted to be a part of?" Ah, well... whatever endeavor you pick, Tom, you've proven that you'll do just fine.

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