Tom served six years in the United States Navy as a nuclear submariner aboard the USS Hyman G. Rickover (SSN 709) during the Persian Gulf War. He served as a nuclear electrician in the sub's reactor plant and passed the strenuous U.S. Navy Dive School to become the ship's only diver.
After the Navy, Tom attended Purdue Northwest, earning high honors in Finance while working full time. Law school took Tom to South Bend, where he attended the University of Notre Dame. There, Tom worked in the school's Legal Aid office, providing legal services for the less fortunate. After receiving his law degree, Tom returned to Hammond to open his own law practice.
During his tenure, Mayor Tom has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life for the residents of Hammond. His creation of a world-class concert venue, state-of-the-art sports complex, and many miles of bike trails have served to attract and keep families in Hammond. And his experience at Notre Dame inspired Mayor Tom to establish the widely recognized Hammond Legal Aid Clinic, now in its 17th year.
Mayor Tom and his team have also brought in almost One Billion Dollars in economic development during his tenure, including a casino expansion, national restaurant franchises, and destination retail.
The initiative that Mayor Tom is most proud of, however, is the award-winning Hammond College Bound Scholarship Program, which has provided full-tuition scholarships to thousands of Hammond's graduating seniors. This program has received national attention and has been twice awarded the U.S. Conference of Mayor's City Livability Award.
In 2005, Mayor Tom McDermott was named a "Sagamore of the Wabash", the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian by the Governor of Indiana. Also, in 2005, he was named Deputy Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, putting him at the center of state issues. In 2009, Tom was elected Chairman of the Lake County Democratic Central Committee. In 2018, he was named a Chair to the Democratic National Committee's Veterans & Military Families Council.
Tom and his wife, Marissa, are proud parents to four children. Following 18 years of coaching youth baseball, Tom has recently turned to competing in triathlons. He is also a member of the St. John Bosco parish and numerous boards and community organizations.
Tom McDermott brings to his office a combination of real-world experience and old-fashioned love for his roots. Together, these create a man who is bringing positive change to Hammond and who wants to bring positive change to Indiana.
Thomas M. McDermott, Jr. was honorably discharged from the United States Navy.
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