Tim Bigwood is the kind of guy you’d want coaching your ball team or backpacking in the Alps with you. He’s all-in, whether it’s on the job for just over a year as General Manager for Trapeze Group’s Workforce Management division in the Americas or chauffeuring his kids to their sports events on the weekends.
He’s committed to being there for others and always striving to make things even better. So, where did all this heart and determination come from? It’s quite a story…
“I think for me, it’s always been about service to others,” says Tim, who’s originally from Long Island, New York. He started out with a plan to be a doctor, but never had an easy time with giving blood himself, so switched his studies to political science and Spanish at the University of Richmond. And when a college friend was up early for gruelling workouts at the gym as part of the reserve officer training corps program for the US Army, Tim decided to join him when he was challenged to a bet that he couldn’t do it.
After graduation, Tim went straight into the army. “So basically, I got into the army on a bet,” he laughs. “I really wanted to do something cool in the army. I became a signal officer and paratrooper stationed out of Fort Bragg, so I jumped out of planes for a while.”
The North Carolina Installation is now called Fort Liberty, one of the largest military posts in the world. The experience gave him a solid foundation for lifelong friendships and calm, decisive action under pressure when every minute counts. (Plus, he’s still committed to keeping in shape for scuba diving and maybe another mountain climb. He mastered Mount Kilimanjaro with a group of 5 Army buddies in 2020.)
In the event of conflict, the paratroopers’ mission would be to jump in behind enemy lines to an airfield and seize that airfield, allowing other resources and personnel to follow. He was responsible for leading signal soldiers to manage all radio communications. He also says he learned a lot about the value of serving the public and building relationships.
“There’s that kind of brotherhood or sisterhood that you have there which is a huge opportunity. I learned to develop relationships and trust before the crisis.”
Mission critical systems for safety software became a focus of an impressive career.
Following his three years of service that ended just before 9/11, Tim stayed connected to the US Department of Defense. He joined a consulting firm designing communications architectures for the army, improving on the systems he’d used as a signal officer. He was living in Augusta, Georgia at the time but then moved to Atlanta for a job within the same company for the city’s social scene and the opportunity to work in counter bioterrorism in support of the prestigious Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, out of Atlanta.
“We had over $2 billion worth of antibiotics that were stationed throughout the US that you can get to in the event of a nuclear, biological, chemical terrorist attack,” he explains, adding that he was managing all the CDC communications for the Technical Advisory Response Units (TARU). “The mission was to be able to ensure that any of the local facilities like hospitals never ran out of the other drugs that were associated with that.” Tim’s role was to lead a team to bring in vaccine or medical supplies, or handle communications between emergency personnel and the CDC.
He also met his future wife, who has a doctorate in physical therapy, through conversations from the balcony of his Atlanta apartment. “I moved into the apartment below hers, so we had kind of a Rapunzel relationship and we really got along.”
They moved to Winston-Salem in North Carolina and stayed. It’s a city with a rural feel and greenspaces – a good place to call home for his three kids, 16, 14 and 11 – and more career moves leading digital transformation. He’s worked in law enforcement technology, implementing remote data-sharing for policing from the Pentagon to state police agencies to many local departments. He’s also headed up a commercial trucking software company for North America and Australia to improve vehicle safety and efficiency.
Diving into people transportation with Modaxo is a natural fit, he says. “People need that to be running. For me, it all comes back to service.”
And as always, Tim has a hands-on approach, talking with customer teams to get to know how they work and what their strengths are. A visit to a transit maintenance garage in Dayton, Ohio, for example, is just one highlight in his Trapeze role so far – with more to come.
“Although I wouldn’t have eaten off the floor, it was the closest that I would have gotten to eating off the floor of any of the garages that are out there. The walls are painted white, and they put in all these extra lights,” Tim says of his tour with the facility manager.“To service clientele that take pride in their work, that’s important.”