Tom Nolan understands his customers’ needs because he’s been there.

Tom Nolan understands his customers’ needs because he’s been there.

Meet Tom Nolan, Sales Manager at Superior Industrial Supply. Over the last four years, Tom has integrated his customer service background and military experience into the sales process to deliver timely solutions when customers need it most. Tom followed in his grandfather’s and uncle’s footsteps and joined the air force shortly after graduating high school and served in the United States military for 12 years. His time there not only continued the family tradition, but offered Tom a chance to be part of something bigger than himself — something he brings to his Superior teammates and customers every day.

1. You’ve had experience with Superior Industrial Supply before joining the team. Can you tell us more about that relationship? 
My family had a Nissan dealership and sold forklifts. Superior actually helped us with all of our hydraulics, fittings and hardware for our service department. They were always there to help us out when we were in a pinch and need something fixed, repaired or delivered quickly. Years later, an opportunity arose when Gregg Pepper was looking for a sales manager to support Paul Kratz, the Vice President of Superior. I had my resume out there and went through the interview process, joined the team and have been there ever since.

I think my past experience being a customer of Superior helps me understand the customer’s needs even better and allows me to support my sales team in many ways.

2. How does your military experience impact the work you do today?
I learned to work with many different people. In the military, you’re always training and you’re often temporarily assigned to another department and boss within your organization. As a sales manager, the experience helps me play to my individual team members’ strengths. I think it’s important to identify a person’s talents and guide them to a place where they are going to succeed rather than expecting everyone to do things the same exact way.

3. What do you love most about working at Superior?
There are so many reasons why I love working here. As second-generation business owners, Gary Wack and Paul Kratz are awesome. They let you be the best you possible. They just hire the right people and let everyone do their thing. I have a great team of salespeople, they’re always willing to do whatever a customer may need. Everyone works together and its fun place to work and grow. It’s nice to work with other veterans as well. I think we have about four or five other vets and the comradery is amazing.

4. What’s something many people don’t know about you?
For a short time at church, I was a Stephen minister. That’s a minister who counsels those service men and women who are just coming out of the service and reintegrating into the civilian world. After a while, I left that capacity and started training other ministers to deliver that care and counseling to veterans.

Another fun fact is that I recently bought my grandparent’s house where I grew up. My family spent holidays and summers at that house, but it was sold after my grandparents passed away between 2000 and 2001. Not long ago, my wife and I were looking for a house with some land and a swimming pool and my old family home was suddenly on the market. I really believe it was meant to be. Now, I look forward to Sundays when I entertain and cook for my whole family. It’s really come full circle.

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