Tom Munro working on his first granite countertop in 1989.
A Career Path
Thanks to Randy and WYO, Tom grew into a responsible young man who understood the value of hard work. After a couple summers in the WYO program, he started working at the A&W drive-through in Wheaton.
Later in high school, Tom started working as a tile setter’s helper for his Uncle Don and frequently worked for a tile company in Glen Ellyn. It was there that he found another mentor. “Scott Watson taught me how to read blueprints and do takeoffs (estimates). He took me under his wing and let me listen in as he worked with customers in the showroom on weekends, ” says Tom. “A few years later Scott helped me get my first sales job with one of his tile and stone distributors. Although I lived near Wheaton, my territory was Gary, Indiana, and the south side of Chicago. It was a great experience.”
Tom quickly worked his way up and became regional manager for the largest tile manufacturer in North America at the age of 21. In 1996 Tom pulled himself off the road and started his own tile and stone company. “I moved into fabricating granite countertops in 1999 and became one of the largest natural stone fabricators in the state of Indiana,” Tom says. In 2012, he expanded his business by developing the Supreme Surface brand of stone care products. His flagship product is a non-toxic “All-In-One” cleaner, polish, sealer, treatment for granite, quartz and marble. Today Tom has multiple brands of specialty cleaners, marketed under the name Munro-Co, that are sold through nearly 7,500 marble and granite fabricators across the United States and Canada as well as Bed Bath & Beyond, True Value and Ace Hardware stores.
Today, Tom is pulling out of the stone fabrication business and focusing his efforts on his brands of specialty cleaners and treatments. He currently travels back and forth between his offices in Indianapolis and Wheaton.
It turns out Tom learned a thing or two about mentoring from his days at Wheaton Youth Outreach and his early career—he’s had the joy of mentoring his own son in his trade. “My 24-year-old son Eliot became interested in the cleaners business and spent a few years working with me,” he says. “Today he’s marketing a brand of hair care products specifically developed for curly hair. My youngest son Sam attends Indiana University and plans to pursue medical school. I’m very proud of both of them.”
When Tom looks back at his life and career, he credits Wheaton Youth Outreach with making a huge difference. “Having people who cared and taught me how to work and respect others was so important during my youth,” he says. “I can’t thank Outreach enough for what it taught me when I was younger. It helped me tremendously.”