How did the LifePlan develop?

The Paterson Center’s history really began with Thomas G. Paterson. For many years, Tom worked in the corporate planning arena inside companies like Douglas Aircraft, IBM, and RCA.


In 1970, Tom launched a new career as a consultant. Tom and his associate Ted Smith designed an innovative approach to planning that could accomplish clarity, alignment, and breakthrough in just two days.

Tom Paterson

Born in 1925 in New Jersey and later raised in New Hampshire, Tom Paterson married his wife Ginny at the age of 18. Together, they had four children and adopted another three. Ginny died of cancer in the late 1990’s. Three of their  original four children are no longer living. Tom passed away in September 2019.   His legacy continues through others who are gifted and passionate about helping organizations and individuals discover and live their unique purposes in an ever-changing world.

Over the next twenty years, through Paterson and Company, Tom advanced his signature processes, The Paterson Strategic-Operating Planning Process and the LifePlan Process. Many people in America have been impacted by what Tom has designed, discovered or helped to facilitate. Peter Drucker once said that Tom was the most effective consultant in the country.

Masters pass on their craft through identifying and investing in younger, passionate protégés committed to mastery. Tom has done this. In the early 1990’s, Doug Slaybaugh partnered with Tom to launch the first Paterson StratOp and LifePlan training courses in Southern California, designed with the intention of equipping gifted facilitators with Tom’s processes. These trainings waned and halted in the late 1990’s as Tom faced the loss of his wife Ginny. In 2006, Tom and Pete Richardson resuscitated the trainings, building the foundations for an annual calendar of training offerings. In 2008, Michael Murphy and Pete Richardson formed the Paterson Center, LLC and began to build scalable systems for training others in Tom’s processes. Doug Slaybaugh formally joined the leadership team in 2010. In 2011, Tom officially transferred over 36 years of intellectual property to the Paterson Center.

Today, the Paterson Center, based in Littleton, Colorado, focuses on training and equipping facilitators to lead others in self-discovery processes that result in clarity and breakthrough. What Tom has given to us, we now offer to others. Our vision is to equip and cultivate a community of facilitators, each using the Paterson Processes, to guide individuals and organizations toward clarity, breakthrough, alignment, optimal health and exponential results.

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