Character

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Cole Tomberlain is a person you can trust. He is reliable, dependable, fair and consistent. Cole is known for diffusing conflicts, not creating them. His colleagues know he will always carry his weight and more; he takes responsibility and embraces hard work. Cole believes there are no shortcuts in life; he has says "I may not be the smartest or most organized but hard work and a soft heart can overcome almost anything." He is tenacious, confident and optimistic but also knows life is not always fair. Cole handles hard knocks with class and humility. The joy he feels in leading others to succeed is evident in his role with Young Professionals of Longview, a group that works to develop and encourage young talent to stay local and give back to the community. Cole's work ethic and character are unparalleled.

Since he was a young child, Cole's personal mission statement has been "to whom much is given, much is required." Even when he was a little boy he asked people to bring canned goods to his birthday party instead of gifts. He incorporated this motto into the logo he designed for the Tomberlain family farm. These are not just words to Cole; he lives them daily.

Through his generous efforts with Combat Warriors and Young Hero Warriors, war veterans and their families have enjoyed hunting, fishing and family activities in East Texas to help improve their quality of life and build stronger family relationships. Dancing his way to top honors, Cole participates annually in the Dancing With the Stars competition to support East Texas CASA, raising thousands of dollars to build homes for the less fortunate. As a Stephen F. Austin Alumni, he has worked on the SFA Alumni Foundation Golf Tournament and other events to raise money for scholarships. The Tomberlain family personally awards SFA scholarships to East Texas students. Through Young Professionals of Longview, which Cole helped establish, he has mentored young professionals in Longview, with the goal to keep young talent local and further strengthen the local economy. Cole is an advocate for downtown Longview; his efforts have resulted in new businesses and restaurants in downtown, creating new revenue sources and economic growth in the city. One of his greatest impacts has been the annual fundraiser he established for Longview World of Wonders Children's hands-on Discovery Center, which has resulted in over $550,000 raised to fund the creation of the museum. The center officially opened in August 2016 with over 12,000 children attending in the first year.

Cole is one of the most respectful people I have ever encountered. His optimistic approach to life, business and relationships makes him a joy to be around. Even though Cole is only 27 years old he has accomplished more than most people 3 times his age. But, he is not boastful; he always gives the credit to the team, whether it's his work team, a nonprofit committee or his family. He is a true leader in every sense of the word but what is most impressive is he leads with such strong character, never forgetting his motto of "to whom much is given, much is required."

The $50,000 donation would help fund the final exhibit for Longview World of Wonders. Cole approached LongviewWOW five years ago, wanting to help fund the creation of the children's discovery center. He stated "I can't afford to support the Capital Campaign with a large donation but I can put on an event." He created the Bourbon & Bowties event to benefit Longview WOW and chaired it the first three years. He committed to net $20,000 a year, for a total gift of $60,000. He put together a committee of strong minded young people with a passion for children. The event was more successful each year, raising a total of $192,820 in 3 years. The fourth year, Cole found a new couple to chair the event but he served on the committee as the Bourbon Trail Chair. Because of the foundation he laid the first 3 years, the event raised over $350,000 the 4th year alone. A total of $543,743 has been raised from Bourbon & Bowties and it has become the most successful event in Longview. The children's discovery center provides a hands-on learning environment, teaching children through play. The center has five major exhibit areas: The Park, where their talents and creativity are expressed through plays, music and more; The Invention Garage, where children use household items to create their own inventions; Build It and Build It Junior, where Legos are used to challenge even the youngest of minds; The Farm & Market, where they learn about farm to table nutrition, the economics of feeding a family, and how to care for animals. The final exhibit is Energy City, an area that teaches how natural resources are used to power homes and businesses. This exhibit is not fully funded; to have this donation made in Cole's honor to fund the final exhibit would be an awesome tribute to a young man who works tirelessly to make his community the best place to raise children. He and his wife Kendall are expecting their first child, who will one day play on the exhibits his or her parents worked to fund. The gift will then complete a full circle.

Cole has recently been named the Best Insurance Agent in East Texas, an award voted on by the general public, which speaks volumes about how the community at large respects his character and work ethic. Tomberlain Insurance Agency, under Cole's leadership, was inducted into the 2016 Foremost Hall of Fame, one of only 6 agencies chosen for this award in the entire western half of the United States. He has earned or been honored with numerous other industry leading awards. Cole is quick to acknowledge that God has indeed blessed he and his family, he gives all the credit to God, his family and his wife. Cole is so very deserving of being chosen as the Rare Life Award recipient.

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