Tom Slack

Slack was an innovative, out-of-the-box sort of guy who seized opportunties while his competitors sat back and scratched their balls.

In the 70’s I called Tom with a problem: a bank, owned by Lloyd Bentsen, was threatening to cancel coverage due to an enormous rate increase. Tom sent a corporate check down on a Braniff flight the next day, in the amount of $100,000. “Tell the bank president that we want to make a deposit for a one year Certificate of Deposit as we value his business. ” That “good will gesture” paid off.

When Tom was elevated to the position of Vice President of Sales of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, he decided that good salesman should be paid what they were worth, and poor salesmen should also be paid what they are worth. He added a sales incentive bonus system. My income shot from $24,000 to over $50,000 in short order. That was good money in those days.

– Editor


Longtime Tyler resident and business leader, Tom Weldon Slack Jr., passed away Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.

He was born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., his parents relocated to Texas where he graduated from Lee High School in Baytown and later from Southwest Texas University in San Marcos.

Mr. Slack most recently had served as president and chief executive officer of Lone Star TPA Inc. in Tyler which he started in mid-2011. Prior to that time he served as chief executive officer of HealthFirst TPA, Inc. and vice president, Managed Care of East Texas Medical Center. Mr. Slack relocated to Tyler in 1981 after serving as senior vice president of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Texas in Dallas. He founded the sales agency Risk Funding Alternatives in 1981 and in 1983 added the services of a third party administrator.

Mr. Slack was past president and founder of the Texas Association of Benefit Administrators and was involved in many civic activities, most recently serving as board member and chairman of the Tyler Independent School District Foundation. Additionally, he had served as tri-chair of the Patriot Golf Classic which is a major fundraiser for the UT Tyler Scholarship Fund. He also served on the UT College of Nursing Advisory Board; and donated his time to numerous other civic activities.

He was a member of the First Christian Church in Tyler.

He loved his family and friends and was an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. At one time he was involved with raising thoroughbred horses at his farm in the Bullard area, and in recent years he achieved the distinguished award of “Quail Master” as bestowed by Texas A&M University. He cherished the time he spent at his ranch in Scurry County where he was able to hunt and enjoy quality time there with his family.

Mr. Slack is survived by his wife, Marcia Hare Slack, Tyler; daughters, Lacy Mattek and husband Phillip Mattek of Tyler, Bliss Taylor of Austin, Trisha Slack of Dallas; son, Preston Slack of Austin; grandson, Cameron Dean Slack, Dripping Springs; granddaughter, Lauren Elizabeth Mattek, Tyler; brothers, Bobby Slack and Lynn Slack of Houston; and also parents, Tom W. and Dorothy M. Slack of Baytown.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Green Acres Baptist Church with the Rev. Bryan Grant officiating. Visitation to follow immediately afterward. Graveside services will be in Mount Vernon on Friday at 1 p.m. in Fairview Cemetery in northwest Franklin County, north of Mount Vernon.

You are invited to make donations to the Tyler ISD Foundation or Texas Association of Benefit Administrators, in lieu of flowers.

Tyler ISD Foundation, 315 N. Broadway Ave., Suite 401, Tyler, 75702; Tom Slack Memorial Legislative Fund, c/o Texas Association of Benefit Administrators, P.O. Box 90325, Austin, 78709-0325.