CANDIDATE for US CONGRESS, Indiana 4th
Meet Tobi Beck
Get to know the woman behind the movement, her life, what she stands for, and what her plans are for our state and country!
Working with others to reach a goal. It’s not just words, it’s about making it happen. By listening, building, and understanding, Tobi has found success throughout her life and career.
Her family was always politically aware and active to various degrees. “I remember being called to the porch one evening by my mother when I was very young and told to listen to the church bells; they could be heard in the distance. She told me I may never hear it again in my lifetime…….the world, the whole world, was at peace. Discussions at the dinner table about Nixon and Liddy led to lessons on ethics and values.” At that time, in grade school, Tobi began to see the world picture, and how people were impacted locally.
She spent ten years in Florida in middle school, high school and working her way through college at the University of South Florida. While she gathered acclaim in the National Honor Society and National Forensic league, she also participated in “Mock Congress” where students would introduce bills and create debate on national, and international topics of interest. “Even then, we discussed the merits of gun control and the impact of abortion, the need for a balanced budget and discrimination. Many of the topics have not changed in 30 years, even though the flavor of the problem has.”
In college she enrolled in ROTC, and entered the Army upon graduation to continue her generations old family tradition of serving in the military. She was branched to the Military Police and assigned to a Strategic Force (STRAF) Unit. After rigorous training in law enforcement, military operations in the battlefield, special weapons security, physical security and various other follow on courses, she was assigned to the 571st Military Police Unit at Fort Ord. While the assignment was at Fort Ord, the unit itself spent most of its time deployed on various missions.
Tobi recalls two operations in particular that were significantly impactful to her worldview and how the US fit in it. The first one was to Cuba in support of Operation Safe Harbor handling the Haitian refugees. “I saw people in the worst circumstance of their lives, political refugees, fleeing certain death. They were willing to risk a water passage on crafts that could hardly be called boats for the chance to be taken in, for a chance to live. Many were turned away, not all those that were turned away lived.”
The other operation that impacted her worldview significantly was in Somalia, a few months before the incident depicted in “Black Hawk Down.” She planned and execute various types of combat missions with her platoon. “Some there wanted to look down at the Somali and had a number of derogatory names for them, but I wouldn’t, nor would I let my troops. To do so was to dehumanize them, and underestimate them. I don’t think it was an accident that my platoon had one of the highest success rate and lowest casualty rate for units doing active missions. Many, many lessons in leadership came out of that time in my life.” Among the many hard won lessons she values is a true understanding that the destination is what is important when there is an objective. How you get there can be flexible. The route can change based on unknown conditions. A leader has to be flexible enough to negotiate the unexpected and still keep an eye on the goal.
After active duty, she joined the Reserve and started her career in Security Design. She expanded her knowledge in Internet Technology (IT) as the needs of the industry changed. In 1996, she was called to Atlanta in the wake of the bombing at Olympic park, to help design and build better security on the spot. In 1999 she led a technology team to mitigate the effects of ‘Y2K’ in Silicon Valley. In 2001, she was once again asked to help serve as additional security after 9/11. In 2006 she moved to Indiana, and has been here ever since, expanding her career in IT and using her leadership to improve the teams she works with.
With both an international perspective, and a strong national one, she can understand what is unique about the Hoosier state, and what makes the people in it worth fighting for. “It is said that there is no ‘light’ without ‘darkness’, that you can’t understand something without a comparison for it. I know the good in people because I have seen the very worst that human nature has to offer. Likewise, I know the value of the people, all the people, of Indiana, because I’ve had the opportunity to live elsewhere. I’m clearly a Hoosier, not by a happy accident of birth, but by choice.”
She is an avid reader, and fan of science fiction, strategy and fantasy novels. Tobi enjoys sewing and is an acclaimed knitting designer. She and her husband share their home with two cats and a giant schnauzer.