Tom Knox is President and CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ace Hardware Corporation with 108 retail stores and sales of $290 million.
Tom Knox is a firm believer that success in business, and in
life, is best driven by a focus on serving others, instead of
From 2014 to March of 2018, Knox served as President and CEO of Westlake
Ace Hardware, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ace Hardware Corporation.
During his tenure, Westlake grew from 85 stores to 121, and sales increased
from $230 million to $350 million. His focus on culture and values led to
numerous initiatives, including the development of Westlake Helping Hands,a nonprofit organization that serves Westlake associates in times of need.
Since joining Ace in 1996, Knox has made significant contributions to the
business. He was the primary architect of 20/20 Vision, Ace’s long-term
retail strategy that uses amazing customer service as one of its foundational
Knox was also one of the founders of the Ace Center for Excellence, a division of Ace Hardware with a mission to share the strategies and key principles that drive the brand’s unparalleled commitment to customer service.
He spearheaded the development of Wall Street Journal best-seller “Amaze
Every Customer Every Time,” and under his leadership, Ace implemented a
renewed B2B initiative and developed and executed its first-ever Helpful 101
certification for all Ace team members.
In January 2011, Knox was promoted to Vice President, Retail and Business
Development after holding positions in Ace’s field organization as well as in
Prior to joining Ace, Tom was Chairman for the Business Department at
Navarro College in Texas where he developed and implemented a program
in Hardware Store Management. He has also owned two independent
Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University,
Texas and holds an MBA from Amber University, Texas. In his spare time,
Knox enjoys woodworking, home remodeling and dabbling in real estate.
As a company that firmly upholds our values, it was important for us to find a speaker for our annual Leadership Summit who would inspire our leaders by encouraging values-based behavior. Tom Knox’s presentation as our keynote speaker not only successfully accomplished what we were looking for, but also complemented our Summit in an entertaining and encouraging way. Through his presentation on value-based leadership, our leaders learned the importance of enhancing their unique leadership skills with the company’s values in order to find success. I know that Tom’s insight resonated well with our audience, and we continue use pieces of his presentation every day to support the success of our leaders and our company.
Tom’s message was very relevant and meaningful. He challenged our company and our customers with some ideas on how to improve business. There is credibility in his message because he feels and faces similar challenges every day at Ace. I would recommend Tom to most any business interested in a message that is real and can make an impact.
Ace Hardware’s outstanding reputation for service makes them the gold standard for independent retailing. When looking for companies that fit into a Business Session program on service culture, Ace was the obvious choice – and Tom Knox the perfect speaker. Tom’s presentation on Ace’s long-term strategy for amazing customer service was captivating, insightful, and just the inspiration our IGA independent retailers needed. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit.