Best-selling author Tom Gegax served as Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO (head coach) of Tires Plus Stores for twenty-four years. By the time Tom sold his company to Bridgestone/Firestone in July 2000, it had mushroomed from a concept sketched on a restaurant napkin into a market leader with 150 upscale stores in ten states and $200 million in revenue. Throughout that period, Tom’s management and the company’s profitability enabled this growth to occur in this capital-intensive business without having to secure outside investors.
Pioneering the tough-minded, warm-hearted “coaching” style of management, Tires Plus under Tom had a healthy corporate culture that was legendary in business circles for its focus on the well-being of its employees (teammates) and customers (guests), as Tom preferred to call them. The unique pairing of hard-nosed efficiency and a caring environment was a core ingredient in the company’s secret sauce. Tom’s comprehensive, no-nonsense management system catapulted Tires Plus to the top in a competitive industry populated by some of the nation’s largest companies.
Tom’s groundbreaking management methods have been featured in newspapers and magazines across the country, including the New York Times and Fast Company, and on ABC, FOX, CNN, CNBC, and PBS. He has been named a Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. magazine and Ernst & Young, and was the youngest inductee into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame™. Tom has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards, including the national boards of: Center for Science in the Public Interest (chairman), World Business Academy (chairman), Deepak Chopra Enterprises, and Bobby Kennedy Jr’s Waterkeeper Alliance. And served on regional boards of the American Heart Assn and American Cancer Society.
Tom’s book Winning in the Game of Life (Random House) is a blueprint for building a productive, well-balanced life. It received critical acclaim from Publishers Weekly and Booklist and endorsements from mind-body pioneer Deepak Chopra. National business and political leaders, including Curt Carlson, Founder/Chairman, Carlson Companies, and former vice president of the United States, Walter Mondale. Tom’s Big Book of Small Business (Harper Collins) is endorsed by America’s leading business minds, including Ken Blanchard (The One-Minute Manager), Harvey Mackay (Swim with the Sharks) and Richard Schulze, Founder and Chairman of Best Buy.