This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
(born in 1946 in Connersville, Indiana) is an American entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, and angel investor.
In 1976, Gegax co-founded Tires Plus, a retail tire business, with Don Gullett.Gegax served as Chairman and CEO (Head Coach) of the company and grew the business to 150 stores and $200 million in sales. In 2000, as the company’s majority shareholder, Gegax facilitated the sale of Tires Plus to Bridgestone/Firestone and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus.
Gegax is a best-selling author with books published by HarperCollins and Random House; his management methods have been featured in multiple national newspapers and magazines. In 2001, Gegax founded Gegax Advisors to provide consulting and coaching to business owners and high-level executives; he maintains offices in Minneapolis and San Diego.
Gegax serves as Chairman of The Gramercy Fund, LLP, an angel investment portfolio of early stage companies, as well as his philanthropic venture, Gegax Family Foundation.
Gegax is also the producer of a short documentary named Spark. A Systemic Racism Story that explores the Roots and Remedies of Systemic Racism. www.spark-doc.com
Tom Gegax was born in 1946 in Connersville, Indiana to Elizabeth (Alexander) Gegax and Bill Gegax. Tom’s mother, Elizabeth, graduated from the University of Houston and became a social worker. His father, Bill, served in World War II as a First Lieutenant in Patton's Army 4th Armored Division, Engineering Corp. Following the war, Bill owned a service station, a construction company, and was a top salesman for Gibraltar Mausoleum Co. The couple had three other children: Gary, Tim, and a daughter, Lynn, who died of a brain tumor in 1956 at the age of two.
Gegax attended Indiana’s North Vernon High School where he lettered in golf, tennis, and baseball, and was an All State basketball player. After graduating high school in 1964, he received a Congressional appointment to West Point as a First Alternate. When the primary appointee failed his physical, Gegax successfully passed his own physical and was preparing for admission to the military academy when he was informed that the primary appointee’s failed physical had been waived. No longer headed for West Point, Gegax enrolled at Indiana University where he graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
In 1966, at the age of nineteen, Tom Gegax married Jan Pierson. Together they had two sons: Trent and Chris. Trent Gegax was a long-time correspondent for Newsweek magazine and currently serves as CEO of The Gramercy Fund.Chris Gegax is a video producer. Tom and Jan Gegax divorced in 1991; in 1993, Gegax entered into a relationship with Mary Wescott, a top radio sales representative who now runs Gegax Family Foundation and is on site producer for Tom’s speaking events. They share homes in Minneapolis and San Diego.
Gegax was hired directly out of college by Shell Oil Company in Chicago, IL and worked from 1968 to 1973 in Employee Relations (later called Human Resources) and as a Territory Manager servicing service station dealers with territories in the inner city of Chicago’s southside. He transferred with Shell Oil to Minneapolis, MN in 1973 where he worked as a Sales Manager until 1976.
In 1976, Gegax co-founded Tires Plus, a retail tire business, with Don Gullett. Tires Plus began as a small startup, emerging from an idea Tom sketched onto a restaurant napkin, and mushroomed under Tom’s leadership into a market leader with 150 upscale stores in ten states and $200 million in revenue. Gegax served as Chairman and CEO (Head Coach) and was able to bypass outside investors over the years by tightly managing his company.
In 2000, as the company’s majority shareholder, Gegax sold Tires Plus to Bridgestone/Firestone and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus.
Following the sale of Tires Plus, Gegax founded three companies: Gegax Advisors, The Gramercy Fund, and Gegax Family Foundation. Through Gegax Advisors, Tom provides consulting and coaching to business owners and high-level executives. As Chairman of The Gramercy Fund, LLP, an angel investment portfolio of early stage companies, Gegax, along with his son, Trent, serves as an investor, director, and advisor to a variety of businesses.
As an author, Tom’s Big Book of Small Business: You Don’t Have to Run Your Business by The Seat of Your Pants (HarperCollins, 2007), has gained endorsements by America’s leading business minds, including Ken Blanchard ( The One-Minute Manager ), Harvey Mackay (Swim with the Sharks), and author of the foreword, Richard Schulze, Founder and Chairman of Best Buy. The first incarnation of the book, entitled By the Seat of Your Pants, was a best seller, with Sam's Club selling 60,000 copies to its small business clients. His co-author on these books was Phil Bolsta. Tom's first book, Winning in the Game of Life: Self-Coaching Secrets for Success (Random House, 1999), is a blueprint for creating a productive, well-balanced life. It received critical acclaim from publishing industry bellwethers Publishers Weekly and Booklist, from self-help and spiritual guru, Deepak Chopra, and from national business and political leaders, including Curt Carlson, Founder/Chairman, of Carlson (formerly “Carlson Companies”), as well as former Vice President of the United States, Walter Mondale.
Tom first developed an interest in healthy food in 1977, at age 31, after experiencing low energy, high anxiety, and a fifty-pound weight gain; he changed to eating a somewhat more healthful diet. In 1989, at the age of 43, a bout with cancer caused him to refine his diet even further to focus on organic, natural, whole, plant-based food and occasional fish.
Gegax’s long-time interest in healthy living motivated his implementation of wellness programs at Tires Plus and inspired his interest and involvement in environmental advocacy.
Tom’s extensive Board of Directors’ service includes several health and environmental organizations such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Deepak Chopra Enterprises, John Robbins’ EarthSave, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance, Dan Buettner (Blue Zones) and Chairman at Center For Science in the Public Interest, an organization that has always been at the forefront of health (organic standards, food labeling).
In addition to his service on the boards of health and environmental organizations, Tom has served on numerous corporate and nonprofit boards.
Tom has been an advisor and coach to a number of high-level executives such as former Vice President Al Gore, whom he helped transition from politics to the business world following Gore’s loss in the 2000 presidential race. Additionally, Gegax has been a featured speaker and/or advisor for a wide variety of companies, including those of which he serves as a board member. Following is a partial list of Tom’s other speaking and consulting clients: 3M, ADPA (Automotive Dealers Parts Managers Association), Al Gore Enterprises, American Association of Micro Business Owners Small Business Expo, Bridgestone/Firestone, CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association), Detroit Chamber of Commerce, Domino's Pizza, Farmers Insurance, Indiana University Kelley School of Business, International Franchise Association, John Deere, Marquette Financial Companies, Merlin Corporation, Michelin Tire Company, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Society of CPAs, National Association of Women Business Owners, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Sandler Training, SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), Sun America, U.S. Bank, University of Minnesota.
Connersville is a city in Fayette County, east central Indiana, United States, 66 miles (106 km) east by southeast of Indianapolis. The population was 13,481 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of and the largest and only incorporated town in Fayette County. The city is in the center of a large rural area of east central Indiana; the nearest significant city is Richmond, 26 miles (42 km) to the northeast by road. Connersville is home to the county's only high school. The economy is supported by local manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. Employment and population have been declining since the 1960s and it is among the poorest areas of the state in median household income and other economic measures.
Arne Helge Carlson is an American politician who served as the 37th governor of Minnesota from 1991 to 1999. A Republican, Carlson's viewpoints are considered to be moderate. Prior to his governorship, he served as the Minnesota State Auditor from 1979 to 1991.
Continental Tire the Americas, LLC, d.b.a. General Tire, is an American manufacturer of tires for motor vehicles, and semi trucks. Founded in 1915 in Akron, Ohio by William Francis O'Neil, Winfred E. Fouse, Charles J. Jahant, Robert Iredell, and H.B. Pushee as The General Tire & Rubber Company using funding from Michael O'Neil, William Francis O'Neills' father, who owned Akron's O'Neil's Department Store. The company later diversified by 1984 into a conglomerate with holdings in tire manufacturing, rubber compounds, rocketry and aeronautics (Aerojet), and broadcasting.
Harvey Samuel Firestone Sr. was an American businessman, and the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, one of the first global makers of automobile tires.
Deepak Chopra is an Indian-American author and alternative medicine advocate. A prominent figure in the New Age movement, his books and videos have made him one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in alternative medicine. His discussions of quantum healing have been characterised as technobabble – "incoherent babbling strewn with scientific terms" which drives those who actually understand physics "crazy" and as "redefining Wrong".
Bridgestone Corporation is a Japanese multinational tire manufacturer founded in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi (1889–1976) in the city of Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan. The name Bridgestone comes from a calque translation and transposition of ishibashi (石橋), meaning 'stone bridge' in Japanese.
Pep Boys is an American automotive aftermarket service chain. Originally named Pep Auto Supply, the company was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1921 by Emanuel "Manny" Rosenfeld, Maurice "Moe" Strauss, W. Graham "Jack" Jackson, and Moe Radavitz. Pep Boys is headquartered in the Philadelphia suburb of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey S. Firestone (1868–1938) in 1900 initially to supply solid rubber side–wire tires for fire apparatus, and later, pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles, and the company was a pioneer in the mass production of tires. Harvey S. Firestone had a personal friendship with Henry Ford, and used this to become the original equipment supplier of Ford Motor Company automobiles, and was also active in the replacement market.
Caleb Blood Smith was a United States Representative from Indiana, the 6th United States Secretary of the Interior and a United States district judge of the United States District Court for the District of Indiana.
Auburn was a brand name of American automobiles produced from 1900 to 1937, most known for the Auburn Speedster models it produced, which were fast, good-looking and expensive. However, after the 1929 Wall Street Crash, and the economic downturn that ensued, Auburn's expensive automobiles, along with its also very expensive sister marques Duesenberg and Cord, saw inevitable sales downturns, and all vehicle business halted in 1937.
The Firestone and Ford tire controversy of the 1990s saw hundreds of people die in automobile crashes caused by the failure of Firestone tires installed on light trucks made by Ford Motor Company.
Jacques Albert Nasser is a Lebanese Australian American business executive and philanthropist. Known for a management career at Ford Motor Company spanning several decades and continents, from 1999 to 2001 he served as Ford's CEO and president. He subsequently was a partner at One Equity Partners (JPMorgan), as well as on the boards of British Sky Broadcasting and Brambles. Also previously on the international advisory council of Allianz and Chairman of the Australian mining company BHP Billiton from 2010 to 2017, Smart Company named Nasser No. 6 on a 2012 list of the "most powerful people in Australian boardrooms."
Gotham Chopra is an American sports documentarian, media entrepreneur, producer, podcast host, director, journalist, and author. He is a co-founder of Religion of Sports, Liquid Comics, Chopra Media, and the Chopra Well. He is known for his sports-centric films, having worked with athletes such as Tom Brady, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Simone Biles and Michael Strahan.
Leonard Kimball Firestone was an American businessman, diplomat, and philanthropist.
Tornel or Hulera Tornel is a Mexican enterprise and only surviving Mexican tire manufacturer in Mexico, dedicated to making tires and other automotive industry-related products. Founded in 1933 by Mexican businessman Armando Tornel, who in October 2006 entered the Worldwide Tire Industry Hall of Fame. Hulera Tornel is the top Latin American tire manufacturer, and one of the largest tire manufacturers currently active in the world.
Hubert Joly is a businessman and Harvard Business School faculty member who formerly served as chairman and CEO of Best Buy. He is also the former president, CEO and director of Carlson, a global hospitality and travel conglomerate based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US.
The Seiberling Rubber Company was an American tire manufacturer for motor vehicles.
Adel F. Halasa is an American scientist noted for his contributions to the development of rubber, particularly in the area of tire tread polymers for the Goodyear AquaTred tire. In 1997, he won the Charles Goodyear Medal, bestowed by the American Chemical Society, Rubber Division to individuals who "have been the principal inventor(s), innovator(s), or developer(s) of a significant change or contribution to the rubber industry".
Commercial Tire is a chain of tire stores located in the United States, providing tires and related services to owners of passenger, commercial, and agricultural vehicles.
In motorsports, a tire war occurs when more than one manufacturer provides tires for a motorsports series. Historically, tire wars have occurred in many high-level series, such as Formula One, NASCAR, Super GT, and MotoGP.