KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana awarded the Charles D. Smith Award to Tom Roy during the 3rd Annual BIG Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Winona Heritage Room.
Established in 2015 and named in honor of its inaugural recipient, this special accolade recognizes an individual or individuals who demonstrate passionate volunteerism, strong community leadership and a lifelong commitment to serving others.
Originally from Grafton, Wisconsin, Tom Roy moved to Kosciusko County in 1970. The oldest of eight children, Tom comes from a humble background built on strong family values, hard work and sheer determination. It is through these values that Tom has become one of the most inspirational business and community leaders locally and nationally.
After a very brief time with the San Francisco Giants baseball organization, Tom pursued a career in radio, taking his first job in West Virginia. His love of baseball is exceeded only by his passion for Christ and he felt the call of God to pursue a college degree. Tom enrolled at Grace College & Seminary in Winona Lake. After graduation, he took a head baseball coaching job at Tippecanoe Valley High School for three years. It was during this time he met and worked with Charlie Smith as an assistant football coach. Tom continued to develop his professional career coaching and ministering to college athletes, and developed a deep love for helping and encouraging others. God pressed upon Tom’s heart to build a ministry and, in 1979, Unlimited Potential Incorporated (UPI) was born. Tom has ministered to players through chapels, training camps and baseball clinics for 28 years in his mission to reach, teach, and train baseball players for the purpose of sending them out into the world to share the love and good news of Jesus Christ. During this time, he has had the privilege to serve Christ by speaking and conducting clinics in many venues through UPI locally and internationally.
Today, Tom and his wife, Carin, reside in Winona Lake. They have two daughters, Amy and Lindsay; and six grandchildren, Hannah, Luke, Faith, Tommy, Sam and Lainey. Still a Kosciusko county resident and community leader, Tom assumes the role of President and Founder of UPI and works for the advancement of the ministry, stays in contact with “UPI alumni,” and cares for ballplayers through counseling.
Tom is an inspirational speaker, author, counselor and mentor to many. His passion for mentorship, children and community change led him to support Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor and advocate. Tom, his family and his community influence have helped the Agency grow into the premier mentoring organization that it is today. It is with great honor that Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates the lifetime achievements of Tom Roy with the 2016 Charles D. Smith Award.