Giving Back

Thomas Wire, business architect and data analytics specialist at MMG Insurance, has always believed the importance of giving back to the community and staying connected. This belief has translated into his close work with UMPI. Over the course of his time in Presque Isle, Wire has dedicated much of his time to the staff and students of UMPI.

Wire was born in Watford, England. At a young age he developed an interest in math. Along with this, he was also involved in basketball. It was this interest in sports that would bring him to Maine. While a teenager, he moved to Pittsfield, Maine, as an exchange student to play basketball. Nearing graduation, Wire had learned about UMPI from a coach of his who had attended there.

After weighing out his college options, Wire decided that UMPI was the best choice. “I thought it was the best fit for me,” Wire said. “It was a Maine system school, so it wasn’t too far from home. On top of that, I had heard good things about their basketball program.” He enrolled as a student in 2003. He majored in mathematics, with a minor in business management.

While a student at UMPI, Wire made sure to stay involved in school affairs as much as possible. He was a student ambassador, which he notes was a “great experience.” As a student ambassador, Wire was in charge of giving tours around campus to potential students. This experience gave him a great platform to showcase the benefits that UMPI offered. Erin Benson, director of admissions at UMPI, remembers Wire very well. “Tom was a student in the admissions office that I interacted with for two years. He was bright, motivated, responsible and represented the university well in his role as a student ambassador.”

Wire also spent much of the time as student ambassador working with the UMPI staff. “I learned so much from the people here at UMPI. You really get to know your professors and faculty members. You’re more than just a number to them. Everybody here is focused on providing you with the best possible education.”

Along with his work as student ambassador, Wire was captain of the UMPI basketball team and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. As a member of FBLA, he got the chance to travel to Chicago where he and his team competed in the national C++ competition, an event that brings student programmers across the country. His team placed fourth in the event. “It was a really great opportunity UMPI provided for me,” Wire said. “It was fun competing with other students and to utilize the skills I had gained.”

Wire graduated from UMPI with a 4.0 GPA in 2008. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Wire was accepted into the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2009. While attending LSE, Wire worked as a research analyst for the Optimum Population Trust. He helped develop models and data that projected the impact of a global carbon-reduction proposal over a 40-year period. His reports made it to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009. Wire went on to receive his master’s degree in Operational Research the same year. “I’m very grateful I was able to utilize what I had learned at UMPI. The college really provided me with the skills to succeed after I had graduated,” Wire said.

Having earned his master’s degree, Wire decided to move back to Presque Isle. A big factor in this decision was his wife, Amber. “She’s originally from Houlton so we decided it would be best for both of us if I moved back. I also love the area so it wasn’t a hard decision to make,” Wire said. After moving back to Presque Isle, Wire worked briefly as a business technology instructor at Northern Maine Community College. In 2010, MMG Insurance hired him as a business architect. He has worked there ever since.

Wire is currently president of the Alumni Association at UMPI. Balancing time between work and

volunteering may seem hectic, but Wire doesn’t mind. “The university provided me with so many opportunities and skills, I owed it to myself to give back anyway I could. My main goal is to build the legacy of the school. It’s a great place more people should know about.”

Whenever given the chance, Wire enjoys talking with UMPI students. He feels it’s a good way to maintain a connection to the university. “Some of the things I tell students that I talk with are to take full advantage of the faculty and staff on campus. There are so many great people at UMPI that want to help you succeed. It’s just a matter of utilizing it.” He also added, “It’s important to stay involved and to maintain connections with the people here. The small campus gives you a sense of community that you can’t find anywhere else.” Wire looks forward to seeing UMPI continue to grow.