Written by Amelia Jeffers
Photography by Leslie Fox
Twelve years ago, Tom Lennox was growing restless with his work as an accomplished public relations executive at Abercrombie and Fitch overseeing global communications, crisis management, and financial communications for the retail giant. An unexpected cancer diagnosis might have thwarted any ambitious career moves for most, but Tom accepted the challenge - first to beat his cancer, then to embrace an idea for a fundraiser that was brewing around The James (The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute).
Just a year later, Tom launched Pelotonia, a cycling event and nonprofit that has grown to be the largest rider-based organization in the country. Regarded nationally as a leading grass roots funding source for cancer research, Pelotonia has raised over $200 million in 11 years, and is on track to net over $28 million annually. Though Tom stepped down from Pelotonia as CEO in 2014, he has continued to advise the development of rider-based events around the country through his nonprofit, Chainbreaker, putting the cumulative dollar-impact of his work at well over $250 million dollars.
Some people fight cancer. Some fight and lose, some fight and win. But a few fight cancer, win, and suit back up to fight it for every one of us.
1. Salt: everything gets a few shakes.
2. Cold draft beer in a pint glass: I gave the craft beer thing a shot for a while but being served hoppy IPA’s in a snifter by 23 year-old experts wore me out.
3. Tapered WHITE Jeans: My friends and family would tell you that I have a pair or two...
4. Flip-flops: pretty much a year-round thing since the Abercrombie days.
5. FIT Camp with Bill at the Arena District Athletic Club: Efficient, full-body workout, as much pain as you can take… definitely a love/hate thing.
6. Family Snapchat: a great way to communicate, stay connected and laugh.
7. Trips to Sun Valley with my fly rod: Very simply, standing in a stream casting to trout makes me happy.
8. Sarcasm: Half the content of my texts are ‘lost' on the recipient. So, Apple… will you please release a sarcasm emoji?
9. NY pizza: It’s really my only gripe with Columbus. I’ve heard many times, "it’s the water” or something like…”oh there’s a guy from Brooklyn…" blah blah blah; wrong, it doesn’t exist. And if I can get solid NY pizza in Greenville, South Carolina and Minneapolis, we can pull it off in CBUS.
10. My Doctors at The James: enough said