header - UAPB Alumni Newsletter - Alumni Highlight

Mr. Tom Bennett

Managing Partner | Vice President | Civil Engineer

by VeLois Bowers

Tom Bennett has worked for the last 35 years as an Civil Engineer, constructing and designing buildings and communities in Texas, Florida and Georgia, rising to the level of Managing Partner, Horizon Homes, Tampa Florida.  “To say I come from humble beginnings would be an understatement.  It is a long way from an Arkansas farm to corporate offices.  I owe much to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).  The degree I received from UAPB has enabled me to design and build Pool Courts for the Pentagon  as well as becoming a key engineer and designer for projects like the ENCORE revitalization Project in Tampa, Florida,” said Mr. Bennett.

Tom graduated from the UAPB with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Trades and Industrial Education (Cum Laude) in 1984 while working 40- hours a week at Coca Cola.  I was a ’Nerd’, he declared.  “Education was my only way to a better life.” Mr. Bennett’s higher education  includes Information Technology Software Application Training, Dekalb Technical Institute, Decatur, Georgia; Computer Aid Design(CAD) training, Gwinnett Technical Institute, Norcross, Georgia; Land surveying, Tampa Bay Technical Center, Tampa, Florida; Civil Engineering and Roadway Training, Florida Technical College Tampa, Florida; Construction Math training, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Florida; and Storm water Discharge Inspector Training, Department of Environmental Protection, Tampa, Florida.

Mr. Bennett started his Civil Engineering career as a Project Engineer at Tempo Mechanical Contractor, Dallas Texas. Next, he became a Technical Engineer, Georgia Pacific Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia. His career ladder includes: Designer, Honeywell Building Controls Division, Atlanta, Georgia; Survey Technician, Roberson and Associates, Tampa, Florida; Construction Manager, King Engineering Associates, Tampa, Florida; Land Development Manager, Pulte Homes Corporation, Tampa, Florida; Land Development/Construction Manager, Ashton Woods Homes, Tampa, Florida; and Vice President, Malphus and Sons General Contracting, Tampa, Florida.  Tom retired as Managing Partner, Horizon Homes, Tampa, Florida.

Mr. Bennett has had an outstanding career in engineering changing the lives of many people and revitalizing communities. We wish to highlight the following awards he has received.  Earl L. Ratliff Quality of Life Award (1999). “Employees voted on who should receive the award.  I was the only African American in the Company in 1999  and this  award was quite an honor, stated Mr. Bennett.”   Other awards include the Division Excellent Award, (2004), Pulte Homes Corporation, Division Excellent Award, (2005), Pulte Homes Corporation;  Division Team Player of the Year(2007), Ashton Wood Homes; Division Team Player of the Year (2008), Ashton Woods Homes. These awards are equivalent to receiving the Heisman Trophy.

Mr. Bennett believes in giving back to the community and he has a great love for Dear Mother. After retiring Mr. Bennett moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, becoming the first African American Street Department Director. He is the  First Vice President, Jefferson County/Pine Bluff  UAPB Alumni Chapter; Vice President, Board of Trustees for Arts and Sciences Center for Southeast Arkansas. He  also volunteers as a  CAD Teacher for students 12 – 17, opening engineering doors for  many.

Tom Bennett married Stephanie Renee Bennett in 2015 at the UAPB Bell Tower, after reconnecting with her after 30 years.  He is the proud father of four girls: Danielle, Katherine, Liach and Megan.  And he has four adorable grandchildren.

Mr. Bennett is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Tau Phi Chapter.