Building Relationships with Rick Thomas

When clients reach out to show us the creative control they take customizing their own Jarvis desk top, we share the awesome pictures around the whole office. These photos are exciting and prove to be a great opportunity to connect post-purchase; I'm always interested in knowing how that new active-office setup is treating you. When my world collided with Rick Thomas, I was happy to learn that he's a connections kind of person, too.

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Rick is a business advisor at Pilot Wealth Management in downtown Portland. The nature of the financial industry isn't normally known for emphasizing relationships, but, as Rick put it, "I'm somewhat of a unicorn." He values human connection and attaining his clients' long-term visions for their businesses.

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He also has a passion for woodworking. When good friends of his mentioned that one of their walnut trees were dying and needed to be removed, Rick jumped on the opportunity to cut it down in exchange for the wood. After hauling it away, he cut the log into planks using a portable mill. These pieces of beautiful black walnut were stored away in his woodworking shop for 15 years before Rick found a project worthy of its majesty.

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When Rick and his business partners moved into their downtown Portland office, the aged wood finally found its purpose. For some time, he's had his eye on a Jarvis standing-desk frame. With his mind set on a customized desk top, he made an appointment with Creative Woodworking to run the planks through their large planer. The process ended up a bit hairier than expected; the first step is to make sure there isn't any type of metal hiding in the planks before putting wood through the planer. Surprisingly, the metal detector went off several times with Rick's designated desk piece. "I spent the next two weeks digging out the metal," he explained, "which turned out to be bullet fragments."

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Through his woodworking experience, Rick developed an appreciation for the story behind every tree he's worked with. By digging a little deeper (and digging out the bullets), he discovered that the black walnut was once used for target practice in the 1950's. He finished the desk top by hand and cast the bullet fragments in resin as a memento.

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The view from Rick's windows overlooks the city of Portland and its many bridges can be spotted in the distance. Bridges are a powerful symbol at Pilot Wealth Management. "After all, it's not about today," he explains, "it's about tomorrow." Rick is dedicated to helping his clients achieve a better tomorrow as well as living that mantra himself. One way he does this is through the daily use of his standing desk, which provides many long-term health benefits. Not only does Rick get to enjoy the flexibility of his Jarvis frame, but also the fruits of his labor while working at his carefully curated and handcrafted black maple desk top.

Stay crafty my friends,
Jen M.