Inside Thomson Reuters

Hobbies & side projects of employees #workingatTR

During the week, employees working at Thomson Reuters are engineers, writers and lawyers, working on projects that advance technology and impact people around the world. Outside of the office, however, they are just as exceptional. We’ve collected some of the hobbies and side projects that fuel Thomson Reuters employees when they aren’t working to provide trusted answers. 

During the week, employees working at Thomson Reuters are engineers, writers and lawyers, working on projects that advance technology and impact people around the world. Outside of the office, however, they are just as exceptional. We’ve collected some of the hobbies and side projects that fuel Thomson Reuters employees when they aren’t working to provide trusted answers. 

Abigail Crider - the Fly Fisherman

My husband and I are both employees at the TR Eagan location, and we are avid fly fishing anglers in Minnesota. We run our own blog The Driftless Flyer; we’re team members of a fly rod company, and we are volunteers with Minnesota Trout Unlimited, a state chapter of the national organization with a mission to conserve, protect, restore, and sustain Minnesota’s cold-water fisheries and their watersheds.

In 2017, our goal was to fish 100 days each… my husband reached 140 days of fishing in 2017, and I reached about 90. For 2018, we made sure to fish the January 1 trout opener (the first day of the trout fishing season), which was about -20 with wind chill. Several local news stations/papers wrote up segments on the Opener and on the negative effects of winter road salt on water pollution, and they featured my husband and me. You can read them here and here.

We love talking about fly fishing and getting other friends and coworkers excited about it! 

Patti Tibbs - the Gardener

When I am not working at Thomson Reuters, I am volunteering as a Carver-Scott Extension Master Gardener. I have been part of the Master Gardener program since 2013 when I joined as an intern.

The University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener™ program is an internationally recognized volunteer program. It exists in all fifty states, in Canada, and in the United Kingdom. The activities of the Master Gardeners benefit schools, community gardens, youth programs, environmental education programs and farmers markets, to name a few. In my two counties alone we have over 100 trained volunteers accredited by the University of Minnesota Extension who provide free, unbiased horticultural and environmental best practices. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life through informed decision-making.

I have enjoyed gardening since I was young and this program has given me that opportunity to share my love of all things gardening related with other people in my community. My husband and I have property on which we have done a large prairie restoration, maintain fruit trees and vegetable gardens plus we also have honeybees as part of the UMN Bee Squad’s Hive to Bottle program. We really love the outdoors and helping the environment in whatever small way we can.

Part of being a Master Gardener is answering gardening related questions, which I do on quite a regular basis with my co-workers. I enjoy researching questions and coming up with answers that will allow the person to be better informed and hopefully be successful with whatever issue they face. One note of caution: if you ask me about anything gardening related make sure you have plenty of time for the answer I tend to go on and on and on…

Pat Wolesky - the Outdoorsman and Photographer

When I’m not in the office, I’m usually hiking somewhere with camera in hand, photographing nature and particularly wildlife. Most of my pictures depict urban wildlife within a few miles radius of Eagan, MN. My favorite subjects are raptors (eagles, various owls, hawks, osprey, etc.), deer, otters, miscellaneous mammals (foxes, coyotes, and raccoons are some of my favorites – and I love red squirrels). I also take tons of sunrise and sunset pictures. I’m currently assembling a story line and materials for a coffee table book focusing on wildlife activities throughout the seasons in Minnesota, with lots of wildlife photos and a few scenery photos for each season.

In the process of doing this, I’ve suffered a sprained ankle, a broken wrist, and a damaged rotator cuff, and battled Lyme disease, borderline frostbite, bee stings, chiggers, etc. It’s worth it.

Daniel Kelley - the Trustee

This past fall I decided to run for office, and I won! I am currently beginning a 5-year term as a voting member of the Board of Trustees for College of the Redwoods, a small community college in my home region (Eureka, CA). The college has approximately 4,000 full-time students and offers a wide variety of transfer credit and career centric courses. In particular, they help train most regional law enforcement through their police academy and also have the only medical science training program in our area. I have had to ramp up quickly on education legislation and budgeting methods but I feel excited about the opportunity to contribute to the health and success of a college that is important to so many students and businesses in the region. The board's landing page (photos updated soon) can be seen here. A local news article about my campaign can be seen here.

Joyce Clifford - the Pilot and Photographer

I have two primary hobbies—well three really, but two where I spend most of my time. I am a pilot.  I fly a small two-seater airplane. I primarily use it to fly aerobatics, but I will take trips with it.  

I’m also an amateur wildlife photographer. I love taking pictures of birds, but other wildlife is fair game, too. I live in such a wonderful place here on the coast in California that I have the opportunity to take pictures of not only birds but also whales and other marine life.

Oh, and I travel. My most recent trip was a cruise through the Panama Canal. The year before, I went up the Amazon River. Before that, it was the Gobi Desert, Kenya, Tanzania, Russia, Spain, France… The list goes on. I try to take one big trip a year, and I have tons of travel pictures!    

Jonathan Reeve - the Scout Admin

I help out with a scout troop. One of my biggest jobs is to run a camp in February for the newest kids. Most of them haven't camped before, so we spend one night at a site not far from home. It's a new experience for them to live among the trees in a tent they put up themselves. We teach them a couple of knots and then get them to build something with rope and big poles ("pioneering"). Usually, it's a rope bridge held up with A-frames. If they learned the knots ok, it stays up and they can climb over it. We also do rock climbing and target shooting with air rifles, and we sing some campfire songs.

The parents sometimes take some convincing that it's ok for their kids to sleep in a tent in February, but their kids never seem worried about that, even if it snows a little. One year I broke my arm just before the camp, but it turns out that one arm is enough for camp admin, and there are plenty of other people to help with everything else.    

Victoria Whitehurst Barrow - the Singer

My big passion is singing.  Whilst working, I completed my diploma in classical voice at a local music conservatory.  I regularly sing with a well-known choir in Geneva and have also performed occasional solos.  We learn 3 programmes a year and perform in concert at least 6 times a year.   We rehearse on a weekly basis, and occasionally spend entire weekends singing together.  At concert time, we rehearse several times in the same week.  Scheduling does get quite stressful at times... I do love it though, as it gives me an opportunity to practice my skills with like-minded people, discover different professions, work with professional orchestras and musicians, enjoy Geneva's concert halls and churches, and last but not least to regularly experience the rapturous joy of creating beautiful music together.  

Michael Wallevand - the Author

I’ve spent the last two years working on a fantasy novel featuring a young heroine who can literally become anyone. This allows her to break stereotypes and see how the world treats the person she has become. Her world is largely patriarchal, but living a secluded life in the woods with her adoptive mother, she brings a different perspective to everyone she meets, human or otherwise. With an indomitable spirit, keen intellect, and unwavering sense of justice, she could restore her father’s throne. She just doesn’t know that she’s the princess who was supposedly killed twelve years ago.

Written for fans of Harry Potter and Lord of the RingsThe Lost Royals follows Tildy as she crosses the realm of Evereign to regain her true name and kingdom while struggling to maintain a sense of self in a body going through more changes than your average teenager.

In our world - the real one - where we continue to see gender inequality and other prejudices, I think girls and boys need more role models who help them look at others as human beings first. I see the book series as a way to encourage reading, form a more compassionate society, and expand children’s minds to think in creative ways. I want to someday sit down and read these books to my kids, nieces, and nephew, telling them, “I wrote this with your future in mind.”

Kate MacEachern - the Public Speaker

One of the interests I've pursued is Toastmasters. If you want to focus on speaking skills or leadership skills and have fun getting to know colleagues, there are several West clubs at our Eagan and Rochester locations. In other locations, there would be non-company clubs. Thomson Reuters (at least in Eagan) will fund a portion of the annual dues. I've gotten to know people across the company who would never have crossed my path, and I've learned a lot about so many different subjects when people speak on things of interest to them.

The exciting part about Toastmasters is finding ways to connect with others better. Maybe you can more effectively let people know why a project or an outcome is important or explain why you feel the way you do at work or at home. Maybe you can get better at speaking on the spot. Maybe you can represent your team better in a presentation and talk about your team's great work. I've had the chance to see co-workers who had trouble presenting or leading a meeting become confident and good at both. I've seen people from our club move on to success in Toastmasters competitions with speeches that can change your life. This is an example of the way Thomson Reuters helps its employees gain skills and use their abilities.

Kerry Fager - the Videographer

One of my consistent hobbies is making short films with my brothers and sisters (there are seven of us).  We've been doing it for as long as I can remember, and all for the fun of it, even now that we're adults and are scattered across the world.  The intended audience is just ourselves.  The quality of them has gradually increased over the years, but we want every one of them to be done well.  While there has been a specific purpose behind some of them (honoring my brother for his service in the military, celebrating an 80th or 90th birthday of a grandparent, etc.), we do them primarily because we all love storytelling so much.

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