Upon his return to St. Louis, Tom excelled in professional salesmanship and general management roles as he worked alongside his father, Bud Leonard, for the next 40 years at W. T. Leonard & Associates, a ‘Manufacturer’s Rep Firm’. Based out of St. Louis, MO, Bud established W. T. Leonard & Associates in 1951 to represent the most respected brands in the plumbing industry.
When Tom joined his father’s sales team, and in the entrepreneurial spirit of the Leonard family history, he developed a strategy for delivering innovative products that were often more expensive than the competition by proving them to be of greater value in the long run. Through product demonstration and installation, he educated both the plumber and the consumer on their product’s features and benefits. Tom’s portfolio included luxury German faucets made out of solid brass with a precedent pull-out head that would provide serious longevity and functionality, light weight plastic pressure fittings to expedite irrigation installations and provide a solution to rust prone metal fittings, and American made water heaters whose advancements such as proprietary parts with extended warranties, ‘energy efficient’ models, and a self-cleaning feature turned the rudimentary water heater into a high performing household appliance.