Tom Mara – The Coolest Man in Seattle
Tom Mara may hold the coolest job in Seattle. For 30 years he has led KEXP from its beginnings as a local radio station to becoming one of the leading music platforms worldwide.
Since 2010, he has represented District 58 of New York State Senate. Additionally, he sits on both its Finance Committee and Investigations Committees.
Early Life and Education
Mara was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. After attending South High School he earned an associate’s degree at the School of Practical Arts before serving in the Army National Guard.
He is an active member of the Republican party and currently represents the 58th Senate District, covering parts of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben and Tioga counties. Re-elected five times to two-year terms since his initial election.
Mara is not only known for his work at KEXP but is an avid sports fan as well, cheering for both the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. Additionally, he is the proud parent of four children including Kerion O’Mara who now serves as a police officer in Providence. Additionally, Mara is also a committed patron and advocate of Springstead High School Theater (renamed in his honor recently).
Mara became known for his integrity and class during his time with the Giants. Additionally, he played an important part in growing the NFL into one of America’s favorite sports leagues.
After leaving Seattle’s KEXP last year, Mara declared his intention of retiring and “walking the earth”. But not long afterward he accepted an appointment at SIFF as CEO.
Many MARA programs require students to complete an internship. We spoke with an SJSU MARA alumni about her experience navigating multiple internships on her journey to a successful career in records management. Click through to hear more of her story.
Achievement and Honors
Thomas Mara is an American composer, singer and actor nominated for both a Grammy and BAFTA for his work on “Return of the Jedi”. Additionally he has been nominated 15 times for an Academy Award despite never taking home one yet.
In 2021, his daughter Jennifer Cavaliere and family honored Tommy Mara by renaming Spring Hill High School Theater after him as the Tommy Mara Center for the Arts. Tommy loved coming here, often spending his free time there.
Philip Vincent Moyles of Class 1954 established this award to recognize students’ outstanding commitment to furthering social justice as per Catholic social teaching. Each year one rising senior is selected as recipient. This prize honors their parents.
Tom Mara leaves behind his loving wife of 56 years, Beverly A. Mara of Grafton, Massachusetts; two devoted children; Joseph D. Mara of Worcester and Nancy Fay and Paul Fay of Charlestown; two cherished grandchildren; Chloe Fay and Seamus Fay; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Today there is both a railway stop and lake named for him in British Columbia. Additionally, his brother immigrated from Ireland and died at Cobourg, Ontario during 1859.
Tom was also an award-winning artist, contributing regularly to the Revere Telegram & Gazette and enjoying golfing and fishing with family and friends – his greatest joy was spending time at home with his wife and family.
Tom Mara is best known as a Politician but also boasts a net worth of $5 Million from his successful work in business, politics and horse show breeding. Additionally, he serves on the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Drugs and Medications/Lab Review Task Force as co-chair.
Since 2010, he has served in the New York State Senate. To secure his 53rd district seat, he overcame both a primary challenge from fellow Republican James Bacalles as well as Democratic Pamela Mackesey during general elections.
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