There are no meaningless moments in Tom Longhi’s life. He chooses to live each day improving the lives of his family and the world around him, and attributes his commitment to community to the influences of his mother.
“She helped me respect all aspects of work ethic and to be professional,” he said. “Always help anyone that needs help,” said Longhi, an architect and institutional group leader at Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering, Inc.
Longhi grew up in Thornton, Illinois, a small south suburban neighborhood, and now enjoys the life he has grown accustomed to after having lived in Valparaiso for more than 20 years. The variety of places where people can gather in the Valparaiso area is what he says connects him to the community.
“Thornton was a very small town,” he said. “In Valparaiso, there are places like Central Park and the Urschel’s Skating Pavilion. There are plenty of places to meet in downtown like restaurants, museums, and music venues.”
Longhi graduated from high school in 1977. Having a deep passion for architecture and construction since middle school, he attended Ecole Nationale Superieure D’Architecture de Versailles, France in 1982 studying European Architectural history and graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois – Chicago in 1985.
Longhi has achieved much in his 20-year career. He developed relationships with Moody Bible Institute Leadership of Chicago in 2008 and eventually was awarded the commission to design their largest project in 30 years. He also designed Shive-Hattery’s largest building project in Chicago: the 50,000 square foot, 5-Story Gary Chapman, Global Media Center.
With such a busy and prosperous career, Longhi still finds the time to give back to the community. Serving, he says, is more than just giving monetary donations.
“We have been given so much and there are many others that have so little. It is our duty as Christians and members of society to give of our time, talent and money within our community and to the ends of the earth. My wife and I have tried to instill in our kids that it is not only money to be given. Time and talent are of equal value.”
Longhi most recently served on a mission trip in Kenya through his church. According to Calvary Church in Valparaiso, he dedicated he support children at the Kids Alive Home in Mitaboni, Kenya, including assisting with their food, housing, and educational needs.
Calvary Church continues to send mission teams to support projects, such as building shelters and playgrounds for the community, something quite familiar to Longhi.
Longhi said his time in Kenya provided him with a new perspective. “In all that you have, be content,” he said, reminiscing about the children he served who had so little, but were satisfied anyway.
Longhi, with his serving heart and working hands, walks in his own light with a humble soul, giving credit to his wife, Kelly Longhi for inspiring him to be the man he is today. “There are so many influential people, but my wife keeps me on the straight and narrow,” he said. “She gives me the insight to keep a level head.”