Alumni Spotlight Tommy Zoghby
Posted on October 30, 2019 by
Tommy Zoghby went to South as it was where most of his high school friends were attending.
“While I actually went to classes, I also enjoyed the fraternity life that was housed
on Bayfront road on Brookley,” said Zoghby. The two most noticeable things he received
from South were: one, a first-class education that prepared him to compete with others
from any part of the country. The second, was his wife of 43 years (Kathy). Zoghby
met Kathy while living in student housing, in Hillsdale, which was located approximately
where the new stadium is being constructed. “Kathy and I both proudly have two degrees
from South Alabama.” Zoghby has an accounting undergraduate and an MBA from the Mitchell
College of Business. Kathy has a biology degree as well as a physical therapy degree.
After graduation Zoghby elected to stay in Mobile and work with a large local CPA firm. After eight years of public accounting he left to become the CFO of Volkert, headquartered in Mobile. Volkert is a $150 million engineering and consulting firm with over 1,000 employees, which ranks in the top 1% of all engineering firms in the United States. Zoghby’s career as a Senior leader of Volkert resulted in over 30 years of continued growth for the company. Zoghby was instrumental in the establishment of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan which provides sustainability for employee owners and their retirement. He was also integrally involved in Strategic Planning as well as corporate acquisitions and mergers. During his tenure with the Company he had oversight responsibility for the financial, accounting, human resources, legal and IT functions.
Zoghby retired last year and never regrets the decision to stay local. “While I know I could have made more money had I moved around the country with a large fortune 500 company, it was important to me to help grow a large company based in my home town where most of my family lives.”
Zoghby has been involved in many businesses, civic and charitable organizations. He currently serves on the Executive Advisory Council for the Mitchell College of Business at the University of South Alabama and on the Mobile Area Water and Sewer Board of the City of Mobile. Zoghby said, “I am glad, in retirement, to be able to serve on the MCOB advisory board to stay connected to South and the Mitchell College of Business. My service on the MAWSS Board also helps me give back to the community by using my business expertise to help MAWSS provide clean water in a responsible and efficient way that protects our waterways which are so important for those of us living in Mobile.”
Among others Zoghby served on the Board of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and committees of the Business Council of Alabama. He was also a past Chairman of the Board of the American Red Cross. Zoghby was honored to have been a recipient of South’s National Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service award in 2013 and was named one of the IMPACT award recipients for the Mitchell College of Business in 2017.
He has served as president of the University of South Alabama’s National Alumni Board of Directors and was also a member of the Board of Directors of the University of South Alabama Foundation. With assets of $300 Million the USA Foundation provides significant support to many areas of the University. He is a graduate of Leadership Mobile and Leadership Alabama. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Mobile and the Senior Bowl Committee.
When asked about giving advice to future students, Zoghby shared, “My advice to current students is to enjoy all of the social aspects that college life at South has to offer while also staying focused on your degree and keeping your GPA as high as possible. The technical things you learn and your GPA will assist you in getting that first job. However, your ultimate success and happiness after that will rely on all of your people skills and work ethic. Enjoy college but stay focused on learning both technical and people skills. You want college to be a great experience but don’t want it to be the highlight of your life; you want to continue to grow from there.”
Zoghby and his wife Kathy have three children and five grandchildren. An important part of their retirement revolves around spending time with their five granddaughters.
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