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Monday, Sep 25, 2023

40 Under 40, Means

Thomas Means, 33 Director, Stone Talpert Employee Benefits When small and mid-sized companies need to develop an executive or employee benefit plan, 33-year-old Thomas Means is a go-to professional. Means is a University of Southern California graduate who recently went back to school to earn an MBA from Cal Lutheran University. He serves as director at Stone Talpert Employee Benefits and Financial Services in Westlake Village and says a commitment to ongoing education has made him stand out. “A passion for education and knowledge — it makes me a more well-rounded adviser,” Means said. He also credits an ongoing and diverse education for accelerating his career. As an outside consultant, Means says one of the most satisfying parts of his job is helping a diverse range of clients figure out what’s best for their business. Means also is engaged in the business community and was recently selected as chairman of the board for Agoura Hills-based nonprofit Hopes Haven, which helps the families of children suffering from long-term illness. The avid USC football fan says the greatest career lesson he’s learned is simply to “be yourself.” “It shows (clients) that you are confident and trustworthy,” he said. “And it’s more fun.” He offers these words of wisdom to other young professionals: “If you don’t like the way something is going, take a leadership role and make it better.”

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