Toma Lord received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from The Ohio State University. Following her studies, she taught English, domestic arts, and coached football in Chicago and New Jersey public high schools. In New York, she engaged in corporate communications for Cartier/ Georg Jensen and Robert Marston Associates prior to joining The Fur Vault in 1984 as Fred Schwartz's Executive Assistant. Her career continued with Mr. Schwartz after he retired from the Fur Vault in 1989. She participated in the creation of the Raoul Wallenberg Scholarships for the study of Leadership in Comparative Democracies now resident at the Hebrew University. She also assisted Fred and Allyne Schwartz in the foundation of the Auschwitz Jewish Center and the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation. Asked to describe her guiding philosophy, Ms. Lord responded, "Love God, love your neighbor, change the world," a phrase emblazoned on a bumper sticker on the back of her pickup truck.