Tom Knox

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 became CEO in January 2014, and with his focus on changing the culture, Westlake is experiencing both an increase in sales as well as double digit profit increases.

Since joining Ace Hardware in 1996, Tom has made significant contributions and was the primary architect of 20/20 Vision, Ace’s long-term retail strategy that has amazing customer service as one of its foundational elements. Tom was one of the founders of the Ace Center for Excellence, a division of Ace Hardware that was founded to share the strategies and key principles that drive the brand’s unparalleled commitment to customer service. He led the charge in spearheading a Wall Street Journal best seller Amaze Every Customer Every Time. Under Tom’s leadership, Ace’s B2B initiative was implemented and Retail Training developed and executed its first-ever Helpful 101 certification for all Ace team members.

In January 2011, Tom Knox was promoted to Vice President, Retail and Business Development. Tom worked in Ace’s field organization as well as in New Business before becoming Vice President. 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 also was owner of two independent hardware stores.

Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Abilene Christian University, Texas and holds a MBA from Amber University, Texas. - See more at:


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.

Ashley PageIGA

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.

Josh NuyttenVice President; SalesWest Central Distribution

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.

Tim OzingaCo-Owner & Marketing Communications Director