Member Spotlight: Tom Harrison

Thomas-Harrison-Picture-(1)Tom Harrison was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Michigan Ladder Company in 2004. The company was founded in 1901 and is the oldest ladder manufacturer in the United States. He is only the fourth leader in the company’s history.

Under Tom’s leadership, Michigan Ladder Company reversed its decline in sales and returned to profitability within a year. During his tenure he has significantly improved the company’s financial position, including substantially reducing its debt.

Prior to joining Michigan Ladder, Tom held a variety of sales, marketing, and international business positions with Ford Motor Company and was one of four selected, division-wide, to the team charged with developing and leading the complete reorganization of Lincoln-Mercury Division.

Following his career with Ford, Tom was named Director of International Business for Carhartt, Inc., and led the acquisition of its European subsidiary. Following the purchase, he was appointed Managing Director of the European operation and lived in the Netherlands for three years.

Over the course of his career, Tom has had the opportunity to live in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia as well as overseas and has conducted business in over 70 countries.

Tom is actively involved in the community and sits on the board or chairs committees of several community and charitable organizations. Tom has developed a close relationship with Eastern Michigan University’s College of Business where he co-authored a paper with two professors and has been a frequent guest lecturer. For his professional and civic contributions, he was honored with the local chamber of commerce’s Business Person of the Year Award.

Tom’s personal and professional accomplishments have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Fox News and the Kudlow Report, featuring Larry Kudlow, on CNBC. He was selected to participate in one of the regional White House Economic Roundtables and subsequently selected as one of 30 people invited to the White House in Washington DC for an economic summit.

Tom has extensive strategic and operational management experience as a chief executive as well as experience leading companies through substantial organizational change and challenges. He has demonstrated an ability to return companies to profitability and improve productivity through technology and streamlined business processes.

Tom received a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from the
University of Michigan. Tom and his wife reside in Saline, Michigan, and have four children.