Thomas J. Morales is a Plant Operations Assistant at LVMC, responsible for pickups of waste such as routine trash, but also biohazards and pharmaceuticals. He was hired in July 2010.
What is something people don’t know about you?
Something people don't know about me probably would be that I am low-key friends with actress Yvette Nicole Brown. I met her in 2015 when I was taking my first painting course at Allan Hancock College. One of the assignments was to paint a portrait of someone. I chose my favorite actress. After I was finished I thought it would be fun to try and get her to like it on Instagram. I commented on one of her posts asking if she'd check it out, thinking she probably wouldn't see it. She did though. At first, she just "liked" and commented on my post. I thought it was so great and really didn't expect any more to come from it. A few weeks later, I got a message from her asking to buy it. I was elated but didn't want to charge her for the painting. I asked if we could do a meet and greet instead. It was a long shot but she was filming a reboot of the Odd Couple at the time. She invited me and a guest to the taping and we would get to meet and I'd give her the painting. I met her that November and it was so great. She's one the nicest when it comes to meeting fans. After that, she started following me on Instagram. We occasionally talk through direct message. It's a very surreal thing to happen.
Also, I have illustrations published in the nursing textbook “Core Curriculum for Ambulatory Nursing 4th Edition.” My illustrations are in a chapter authored by LVMC House Supervisor Anabel Quintanar.
What is your favorite quote or motto?
"Nothing changes if you're comfortable.” Sometimes we have to take those unknown leaps, otherwise, we stay stagnant and don't get to see all the great things God has for us.
What is your dream career?
My dream career would be being a children's book illustrator. I would also love to work at Pixar. I started drawing in 2012. I've always been artistic, always doing something creative. When I finally realized art was my path, I started taking classes that would help me get to a place where I could do it professionally. Withdrawing, you get to create so many things. You can do so much with it. It can make people feel good when they see it. That's probably the main reason I do it.
What motivates or inspires you?
What motivates and inspires me would be my family and friends. I've been blessed with some really great people in my life.
What is your favorite thing about the Lompoc Valley?
My favorite thing about the Lompoc Valley would have to be the small-town charm.