TOM WOOD: Floor Coverings International
This guy has heart. While his professional life has deep roots in the College Pro family, his global volunteerism is leaving a legacy for his children and his community.
Education: Boston University (B.S.)
Rookie Year: 1985 (turf: Newton North, Boston)
Current Home: Atlanta, GA
Just an 18 year old trying to put himself through college…
This was Tom when he decided to become a painter for a local College Pro franchise. The pay offered was incredible, and he jumped in without looking back. He returned the next year as a production manager for the same franchisee, and with their booming success he decided there was no choice but to return the next year as a Franchisee himself. Great choice, Tom. He absolutely rocked it, with record-breaking revenue in a huge turf. Of his 5 job site managers, all went on to become franchisees themselves (see just how much they rocked it). All of this was enough for Tom to switch his career path. “At the time, there were very few legitimate home services competitors, so going into that business was very lucrative. I decided to stick with College Pro as a full time employee so that I could launch my career in the industry”. It was a good call, but quite a different path from his original plan of becoming a professional musician. “My roots go back to College Pro, and it’s remained very near and dear to me. A lot of full time staff at Floor Coverings International are ex-College Pro, as well as some of our best franchisees.”
Tom followed up his College Pro career by moving to Fort Lauderdale in 1990. He was itching to run his own business again after 3 years on the franchisor side at College Pro. Tom opened a full year painting franchise and it did incredibly well, becoming a million-dollar business by its second year. Eventually, he started missing the affiliation and reputation of College Pro, so together with Steve Rogers and Charlie Chase he concocted a plan to start CertaPro painters. It converted Tom’s business in Florida to what we now know as CertaPro, with Charlie Chase as the president in 1992. In 1998, he stepped out of that role to become President of The Franchise Development Centre for 7 years. Sticking to his roots, he later became the Vice President at The Franchise Company, now, First Service Brands, before making the switch to one of College Pro’s sister companies, Floor Coverings International. As President & CEO, Tom now leads the company as the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Laying inspiration and beauty at the feet of their customers, Tom and his team are consistently striving to be the best.
Tom and his wife decided a long time ago that social responsibility was something they wanted to take seriously. They looked internationally at orphanages in Romania and the Ukraine, where they have been extremely involved in fundraising and running summer camps for the kids. As their kids grew older, Tom and his wife also wanted them to give back. “International volunteering is great, and it’s important, but sometimes it closes people’s minds to their own backyards. I think by travelling to places like Romania your heart becomes open to giving back, but that work you do there is temporary, safe, and often work that the locals can do themselves. That’s when you stop and realize that there are people within your own community that you can support.” With that, Tom and his family have become very involved in homeless shelters such as the Central Night Shelter in Atlanta, where they run teams to fundraise, serve food, and stay overnight to supervise the men in the shelter. Tom also works to help men in the shelter plug back in to the community and find advancement opportunities.
Tom went to the School of Music at university for Trombone Performance, but hasn’t played the instrument since the night before he graduated
Tom loves to travel with his wife
He gets his competitive spirit out with a weekly tennis game (“actually, 3 or 4 games a week”) so that he can blow off steam before heading to the office
He and his son are trying to scuba dive in as many places as possible around the world
This article called Tom the "coolest guy in franchising"