Born and raised in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, Tom was inspired to travel after spending a summer working on the docks in a Naval shipyard. After graduating first in his class from the University of Montreal, Loyola at age 19, he found free passage on a tramp ship, and made his way to the Baltic Exchange in London, England. After working his way up from chauffer to broker, Tom launched what would become a successful career in international bulk shipping. After a stint in Montreal, he moved his family to the United States in 1979, where he met John Royce, and the two would become lifelong business partners.
Tom founded Westport Navigation, a shipping brokerage that he and John would operate for over 30 years. As shipbrokers, they coordinated shipments of commodities such as iron ore, steel slabs and grain to ports all over the world, including Brazil, China, India and Europe. At its peak, Westport Navigation handled freights totaling $150MM annually. With his work requiring extensive travel, Tom became familiar with some of the best hotels and restaurants around the world, and developed a passion for great hospitality.
In 1986, Tom & John moved their shipping offices from Westport, CT to Brookfield, CT and purchased land where they planned to build commercial office space. Instead, they decided to re-open an existing banquet hall that came with the property: Fox Hill Inn. More than thirty years later, the company has grown to include five venues, including Fox Hill Inn and Candlewood Inn in Brookfield, Waterview in Monroe, CT, Riverview in Simsbury, CT and most recently Le Chateau in South Salem, NY. These venues represent some of the area’s most recognized and beloved wedding destinations, and all boast outstanding reputations for the quality of service offered.
Tom received the 2014 Ancell School of Business Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year award and is an active and devoted member of the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Parish in Brookfield, Connecticut.
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