Business Buzz – March 2021


Tom Clements Tutoring

(Elana O'Loskey, Photographer)
Tom Clements, pictured outside the Orinda Library, has authored books on ACT, SAT, writing and grammar. He uses them at Tom Clements Tutoring to teach local high school students how they can obtain higher scores on these tests.

    Tom Clements has been in the tutoring business for 30 years and is still excited about being around young students and “making them smarter” (his tagline). During COVID-19 restrictions, all his classes are conducted virtually on Zoom.
    His approach to distance learning is highly structured and unique. “I provide students with practice tests, academic materials and prepared notes and slides using Zoom screen share capabilities. Then, with a whiteboard at my side, I toggle back and forth between screen share and the whiteboard, asking questions to ensure that students stay focused and engaged,” he said.
    He emphasizes helping students get a better grasp of academic material and better scores on SAT and ACT tests. He said that along the way he tries to instill a love of learning and a desire for excellence in all his students. He said creating an environment kids want to return to makes this possible.
    As an undergrad, Clements went to St. Mary’s College on an athletic scholarship, studied science and literature and returned a decade later to obtain a Master’s degree in business with the emphasis on applied mathematics. As a result, his tutoring programs draw on his expertise in a broad range of subject matter: physics, chemistry, mathematics, literature, creative writing and economics. Later he returned to St. Mary’s as an English instructor, teaching freshman grammar and composition.
    He is the author of several best-selling books on Amazon for SAT/ACT writing and grammar, which he uses in his test-prep programs. He hopes students will use his free, interactive grammar app, “Killer SAT ACT Grammar,” available on his website,
    Clements works out of Rheem because as a St. Mary’s graduate and teacher, he has a strong attachment to the vibrant local culture and surrounding community. “All four of my daughters went to Campolindo High School and have gone on to successful professional careers. My oldest is now a professor at Rice University,” he said.
    His wife, Michi, is an artist who is currently displaying paintings at the Moraga Library. He swears, “Back in the day, I was a hip-hop dancer in a performing group in the City. Links to some of my dance videos are still on my website.” The couple supports local schools, the Orinda Fourth of July Parade and Orinda Action Day.
    Contact Tom at 925.376.4704, or visit His office is 346 Rheem Blvd., Suite 110B, Moraga.

Ashley Lowe Design

(Elana O'Loskey, Photographer)
Ashley Lowe, Orinda resident, is busy with her analytical graphic and web design business called Ashley Lowe Design, but enjoys viewing the local art installations as well.

    Ashley Lowe is an analytical graphic and web designer based in Orinda who opened her business in 2018 to be near family and friends. With four years of experience and training in graphic design focusing on both branding design and traditional print design, she has worked on magazines and catalogues. Her training also focused on web design, user experience design, photo editing, photography and animation.
    Designing attractive, informational websites that serve as an extension of a small business’ ability to showcase services offered in their communities is her goal. She has provided services for BUNZ, a unique burger joint in Berkeley; Forest Design, a graphic design agency in S.F. and El Castillito Taqueria, a Mexican restaurant in Livermore.
    With COVID-19 restrictions in place, having a reliable website where people can find what they want is especially important, Lowe noted. Few would disagree that small businesses need a good, searchable website. Analytics show as many as 74% of people search for a restaurant online before deciding to order from it. “So much potential business is lost when people are unable to find information needed to complete a transaction,” said Lowe.
    Lowe offers Orinda small businesses a free consultation to assess how she can best assist them to succeed through the services she provides. “Oftentimes, it’s not as simple as just creating a website. Because I’m local, it will be easy for Orinda residents to get in contact and really plan ahead,” she said.
    Ashley Lowe Design practices all covid-19 precautions including remote meetings and mask wearing. Contact her via email at, visit or call 626.817.3648. Her hours are Mon. – Thurs. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Fri. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.