Raised on a small farm in California’s Central Valley, Tom van Overbeek learned very early in life the value of work and about the unique character of California’s rural communities.
Tom attended public high school and then Junior College before entering UC Davis supporting himself financially in his college years. At the age of 21, Tom left college to start his first company with a $500 investment, making backpacks designed to carry books, among the first businesses of its kind to make backpacks designed and marketed to students through College Bookstores, Sporting Goods and Bike shops.
Tom later pursued a career in the emerging computer industry working his way into management, becoming a VP for one of the first semi-conductor companies. In three years, that company’s revenues soared and it was acquired by a major corporation. Tom’s work in the computer and communications industries took him across the United States, Europe and Asia.
During his career in the technology industry, Tom visited Chico frequently, including when his son attended Chico State. Tom and his wife, Kim, fell in love with the community – calling their move to Chico “one of the best decisions of our lives.”
Tom has poured himself into Chico’s civic life, working to promote the community’s small businesses, public safety and civic pride through the Safe Chico initiative. Tom is also involved with The Chico Downtown Business Association, a Board Member of the Chico Property Based Improvement District and is a member of the Chico Police Citizens Advisory Committee.
Tom and Kim have 3 children, and six grand-children.