Tom MacDonald


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Tom MacDonald - 1966Tom MacDonald on drums
1966 Yearbook photoTom on drums. This is obviously posed because Tom didn't have a clue what to do with drums
Tom and Susan MacDonald - 1986Tom and Paula MacDonald
1986 Reunion - Tom and Susan MacDonald1991 Reunion - Tom and Paula MacDonald
Tom and Betsy Satterfield - 1996Tom MacDonald
1996 Reunion - Tom and Betsy Satterfield1996 Reunion - Holly Naylor, Dennis Garrett, Sandi Thornton, Tom and Betsy
Tom and Betsy Satterfield 2001Tom MacDonald - 2001
Tom and Betsy Satterfield at 2001 Reunion2001 at reunion
Tom and Betsy MacDonald 2002
Tom and Betsy MacDonald at 2002 Wedding
Tom MacDonald 2006Tom MacDonald and Clint Gruwell - 2006
2006 Reunion2006 Reunion - Betsy with Tom and Clint Gruwell
Tom MacDonald 2011Tom MacDonald on Truck - 2011
2011 Reunion - Tom checking the fit of Holly Naylor's Cheerleeder's Uniform2011 Reunion - Tom starting to set up for group photo

(As of 12/19/15)

Looks like it has been awhile since I've updated this.

Shortly after my last update, my mom passed away just short of age 91 (on 11/12/12). Many of your younger brothers and sisters will remember her as the attendence clerk at the Junior High.She started long after we'd passed through. Sometime after my brother and sister started school - my sister is 12 years younger than I. I guess we would have been Juniors by the time she started at the Jr High..

While my first intention working with a broker was that I would also be able to do regular mortgages, I found I really didn't like being involved with them anymore. First, I like being the expert at what I do and so much had changed that, if I weren't doing regular mortgages on a regular basis, I wasn't always aware of the changes. I've done a couple with my broker holding my hand. Additionally, I network regularly at the weekly meeting of Realtors. Also attending are other mortgage loan originators. I feel much betting asking for their Reverse Mortgage business when I don't compete with them for regular mortgages. They generally feel comfortable with me for that reason that they refer quite a lot of people to me.

The other issue is that I'm at that point in my life were I don't like being in the emergency mode. With a regular mortgage, people might be buying a home. The buyers and their Realtor expect you to be answering the phone 24/7. AND that loan HAS to close on time. With Reverse Mortgages, I can be on vacation, return a call and the potential borrower is likely to say, "Just give me a call when you get back."

And third, I really like working with older adults. Reverse Mortgages are different enough that even those who've had many regular mortgages need to learn about the Reverse Mortgage from scratch. That means I mostly need to be in a teaching mode and use a lot of comparisons to what they do know so they can assimilate this new information. I guess, if I weren't doing this, I'd be a teacher. Even though I've never been a teacher, I feel I've been teaching others all my life. In most jobs I've had, I've been the OJT (On the Job Trainer). Teaching younger or new employees the nuances of their new career. I've always enjoyed that.

Which brings up another stage of my life. For the first 17 years of my adult life, I worked for United Airlines and traveled a lot, nearly for free. Once I left United, I went a long time without much travel. As I got near retirement age, even though I didn't retire, I wanted to start traveling again. We are now getting away at least twice a year for a couple weeks each (Hawaii, the Florida Keys, Alaska, Las Vegas with New England in the fall foilage on the horizon.) I even qualified as a Travel Agent so as to receive a commission and get a discount on our travel. We can even book cruises and tours for others and receive a commission.

Since I work from home and am considered self-employed through the broker, I have more time and a real interest in volunteering more. I was recently honored with a nomination to the local Napa Register for ther Share the Spirit series. The featured me on a front page article a couple days ago. I'll let that recap my volunteer efforts. See 'Mr. Reliable' finds rewards in helping older adults

(As of 8/19/12)

MetLife shut down the Reverse Mortgage division as of June 30, 2012. Out of work again.

But not for long. Fortunately there is no age discrimination in this business. Had a number of offers. Decided to go with a local mortgage broker who also has a focus on Reverse Mortgages. I enjoy working with this group of people (age 62+) and helping them come up with a plan for their financial future.

Working with a broker also allows me to do regular mortgages. I've always come across people who needed or wanted a regular mortgage instead of a reverse mortgage. They wanted me to help them but I couldn't. Now I can and make an extra dime or two.

(As of 11/13/11)

Got a call from a former Wells Fargo Reverse Mortgage manager who had recently moved to MetLife Reverse Mortgage as an Area Manager. He was looking for a Sales Manager in my area. For all the reasons below (taking WF manager position) plus the fact that it was a nationally well known company ("I didn't get no respect" or phone calls from the public at the small unknown company) I felt it was an offer I couldn't refuse. Been there about a year now. I'm responsible for hiring employees for the 5 northern bay area counties (Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano and Contra Costa) as well as originating my own loans (which I can do nationwide). Very good set up.

Betsy (my wife) finally finished art school at the Atelier (see below). It was nearly 5 years of 1.5 hour commutes each way five or six days a week to Oakland. Whew! Glad that is over. We've updated her website recently with some of her new art. One of these days we'll come up with a sales plan.

(As of 2/26/09)

About a year and a half ago, Wells Fargo offered me a manager position. It would still allow me to do Reverse Mortgage sales for commission plus added a salary and an override on my employees production. Seemed like a good idea at the time. On 9/11/08, they eliminated that and another manager position they had recently created and laid me off. Since WF had already replaced me with two people in my old territory and I'd just hired two in my new territory, there really wasn't any place for me to go even though local management wanted to keep me.

So, this was a new opportunity to determine what I want to be when I grow up. I took the shotgun approach. I created a sole proprietorship called MacDonald Consulting. Have done some business consulting, management consulting and computer consulting. There were also some new things happening in the Reverse Mortgage field. I really like working with this clientele and wanted to keep dong reverse mortgages. So I joined a small company and also originate reverse mortgages. I just uploaded a revised website called Reverse Mortgage It has a lot of practical information about reverse mortgages. Unlike most reverse mortgage websites, it is in my own voice with frank talk. This is the way I work with people on a face-to-face basis - trying to work out with them if a reverse mortgage is the right choice.

I've been winding down the travel business. They were doing quite well but started to go downhill after 9/11/2001. As of this tax year, I've closed down the three partnerships and S Corp. Saves me time on taxes and the software for that type of business. But still have the websites up. They still generate some income at no cost or time involved. I run the income through the new MacDonald Consulting.

Long term, I'd like to rely on income from websites rather than work one hour for one hour's pay. If I do just work for a salary, I don't see retirement in my future. Truth is, I will never have my dad's retirement. Golf six days a week. Sit and watch TV the rest of the time. Nope. That is not on my to do list.

Betsy has decided she wants to be an artist when she grows up. She is currently going to art school at The Atelier. It is a 3 hour round trip 6 days a week. You could say she is committed. A national art magazine (The American Artist Workshop) just did an article on the school. One of her current projects is mentioned and shown in the article. She is named as Betsy Tamblyn - her maiden name. We use that on her website to be a little more unique.

(As of 8/26/06)

Bounced around a lot after high school. Did 2 years at MPC. Started working with United Airlines in Monterey in 1967. Then San Jose State with an Aeronautics major. Quit with one semester to go?! To Seatle in 1972. Got BA degree there at the University of Washington. To SF in 1980. To L.A. in 1982. To Ohio?! in 1984. Quit UAL and moved back to Monterey in 1985. Computer company hired me as a Sales Manager and went bankrupt a few months later. (I swear it wasn't my fault.) Scrambled to stay afloat. Did some computer technical work with CTB/McGraw-Hill - got my MBA while there. Not sure why - everyone else did, so... Then Wells in 1989 at Pebble Beach. Sure enjoyed working there. Real nice to pop down to the golf course during tournements including the US Open.

Moved to Napa, CA in February, 2001.Wanted to move to Napa to find some warmer weather than the Monterey Peninsula offered. Am now a Reverse Mortgage Consultant.

Left one type of position (Premier Banking Manager) with Wells Fargo in Aptos, CA for a very different position (Reverse Mortgage Consultant - for those over age 62) with Wells Fargo.  Have been with Wells Fargo about 17 years.

The move and job change were specifically designed as a life style change. With my current day job, I work from home. Home is 5 minutes from the office. It is not unusual to hit the pool to cool down. (No, I'm not rich - I bought a condo with a pool and hot tub). My upstairs office looks down on the pool but with all the redwood and other trees, I can't see any of the other 100 condo units. I nearly feel like I am in the middle of a forest.

We go up to North Shore frequently. Have a small condo in Incline Village.

I also run an S-Corp (Adventures & Entertainment, Inc.) and three similar partnerships offering hotel, airline and car rental reservations over the Internet. I started Adventures in 1995 as Monterey Bay Adventures and Entertainment.. It has only been since 1999 that I have changed over to the online hotel reservation business. (September 11th was not kind to us.)

I seem to be pretty well linked at the hip with the Internet.   When a new interest comes up, I seem to volunteer (am volunteered?) to start a new web site such as this one.

I have been with Betsy Satterfield since 1995 and got married in 2002. Betsy had a 1995 Miata. I don't think I had ever been in a convertible before she got "Casper". (It is white with white interior and the license plate "A GHOST"). Alas, Casper stranded us one time on the side of the freeway and therefore signed his adoption papers. We now have a 2001 Special Edition Miata in BRG (British Racing Green). We belong to a Miata club named the Bay Area Miata Association (BAMA). We take a number of day rides with this group as well as longer trips. We did a two week trip from the Bay Area to Vancouver, BC. We were on freeways for a total of about 20 minutes using the backroads as much as possible. One year, we took a four day trip to Death Valley. Again, staying on the backroads. In both cases, there were about 35 Miata's (Miatae?) and 60+ people. Check out the web site for some of the other outings we have had.

Both my sons, my ex's and mother still live on the Peninsula. I was even made a grampa on Cinco de Mayo.

Next time you are wine tasting in the area, invite us along and we can talk about old times.

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