Today we mourn the loss of a dear friend, ally, and advocate of Operation HOPE and underserved communities and people, everywhere —Mr. Thomas Dortch, Jr. If you were in a person in need, Thomas Dortch Jr., was always there, to help. Always.
Tommy Dortch, as he was known by close friends and associates, had never met a stranger. His firm commitment and belief in the uplift of his community was evident in the way he spent his time, shared his talent, and and gave his energy throughout, his entire life. Even when he was not feeling his best, he always gave his best, to and for others. This is the Tommy Dortch that I knew.
As the president and CEO of several important companies, organizations and important community based leadership initiatives, he exemplified excellence in entrepreneurship and social leadership, and community good, and served as a model for what hard work and opportunity yield in the lives of those who want more out of life. To that end, he shared his talents and insights with our organization as well as so many others, including but 100 Black Men of America, Just Brothers, Clark Atlanta University, and so many others.
He served on Operation HOPE’s Southeastern Regional Board and on the Coordinating Committee for Just Brothers, an organization designed for the collective progress and accountability for Black men in Atlanta working towards personal and communal improvement. He also served as the national Chair for 100 Black Men of America and was a proud supporter of HBCUs and their work through the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.
Tommy will be missed by all who knew him. His impact felt, by those who were helped by him. And there will be a vast leadership vacuum, in spaces and places where he stood and committed to making a difference.
He has left an indelible mark on the Atlanta community, and represents true Black History, for a nation of aspiring dreamers and achievers.
He will be remembered as a pillar, and will be noted nationally as a picture of the potential that we all have as Americans, especially in the African American community. He was a dreamer, with a shovel in his hands.
Let’s salute Tommy’s life, with a day on, instead of a day off, on his birthday. It’s time to get to work. Building a sustainable legacy, on the roots and foundation of his belief garden. A belief made real, in all of us.
JOHN HOPE BRYANT