Tom Mauss '96, master's in Business Administration
President and CEO, Louis and Company
Sometimes silver spoons are not an option, a fact that Tom Mauss noted at an early age. He would not inherit a vast fortune and a dream job. He could, however, through education and hard work, create his own dream job, and perhaps it would be all the more sweet for having earned it the hard way. Mauss, who received his master's in business administration from Cal Poly Pomona in 1996, is not easily discouraged from achieving his goals.
"From my early 20s, I had a dream to be a general manager or president of a company," he says. "I charted a course that began with a business education — first, an undergraduate degree and then a graduate degree. Education is a critical factor for success in any field."
Mauss certainly achieved his early dream. As president and chief executive officer of Louis and Company, he believes in providing value to his shareholders. Mauss does this by creating strategic business plans the drive the business forward while bringing value to the shareholders. Louis and Company, which is part of the Wurth Group, is a wholesale distribution business that serves the woodworking and cabinet building industry by supplying everything from hinges to power tools to decorative hardware to cabinet lighting. Or, as Mauss says, he and his company are dedicated to becoming the top global distributor of the high-quality products needed to design and build places to live and work in.
"It's about developing, nurturing, and managing business relationships with shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers," he says. "I've always viewed our organization as more than just the headcount of employees. There is an expanded network of relationships."
| Dr Abolhassan Halati, Tom Mauss and Dr. Henry Co discuss storage problems as part of the Faculty Fellows Program at Louis and Company in Brea.
In the not too distant future, Mauss would like to see Louis and Company triple in size, while still maintaining its commitment to providing employees with a secure working environment with competitive salaries and benefits. But this alumnus is about more than the workplace. Mauss also takes time to serve as the College of Business Administration Alumni Association president, encouraging students through his presence on campus.
His advice to current and future students?
"The brightness of your future rests in your own hands," says Mauss. "People who accomplish great things are really just normal people following great dreams."