An interview with Oliver Platts-Mills, co-founder of the Tom Tom Founders Festival. Conducted April 11, 2012 by Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Brian Wheeler.
[see companion news story]
Q. Give us the Oliver Platts-Mills 101
A. I was born in England and moved here when I was 3 years old. My father took a faculty position at the University [of Virginia], he’s a doctor, professor in the med school. So I’m a county resident, or I was a county resident, at that time--Meriwether Lewis, Henley [Middle School], Western Albemarle High School.
I decided to leave Charlottesville and went to Wesleyan University in Connecticut because Charlottesville is still, but then, felt like a small town where I would end up knowing everyone and run into my parents if I went to UVA, so I had to get out. I stayed away for about 8 years and moved back here with Natasha [Sienitsky] who is now my wife, and we came back on the premise of going to graduate school. I took some classes to get into graduate school and we both went to graduate school around the same time. I went into systems engineering at UVA for my masters.
Q. Tell us about your employment after you graduated from college?
A. I was very interested in environmental issues going in to graduate school, and more than that just wanted to think about how the world was changing with respect to energy. So this was what got me into graduate school and as I came out, I had moved away from that a little bit but was fascinated by how there was a differentiator in the world about those who understood how money worked and those who didn’t. I could see that there as a great value in sort of getting into that game, so I was looking for a job that would expose me to the financial world of investments.
[Platts-Mills is now an analyst at an investment firm in Charlottesville]
Q. What is your role in the Tom Tom Founders Festival?