|Address||1830 Rittenhouse Square Apt. 10A|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , United States
|| 00, 1942
Jun 30, 2011 02:28pm
Caucasian - Liberal - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Jobs/Industrial Growth - Pro Environment - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gay Marriage - Pro-Gun control - Pro-Labor - Married - U.S. Navy - Catholic - Straight -
|Info||Thomas "Tom" J. Knox |
Tom Knox grew up in Philadelphia’s Abbottsford housing project. He is the oldest of four sons of Thomas and Margaret Knox.
Tom’s father was a steel worker at the nearby Midvale-Heppenstall Steel plant and his mother supplemented the family income by selling homemade pizzas to their neighbors. Tom worked to help his mother and father provide for his younger brothers.
At 16, Tom left high school and chose to join the Navy so that he could send a portion of his pay back to his family. After 4 years of service and 2 promotions, Tom left the Navy and returned to Philadelphia. Tom started working as a door-to-door salesman, but his entrepreneurial spirit soon led him elsewhere. He began creating and protecting jobs by starting his own businesses, and by turning failing businesses around.
Over the past three decades he has owned, managed, and sold his own software, banking, and health care insurance companies, including Disc Systems, Inc., Crusader Bank, Fidelity Insurance Group, Gimco International, and Kasser Industries. Tom rapidly developed a reputation as a tough negotiator and turn-around specialist.
In 1992, when it seemed that the city’s fiscal crisis would require tax hikes or service cuts, Mayor Rendell asked Tom to help him balance the budget and help create the city’s five-year plan. Tom, who is not a career politician, asked that two conditions be met before he agreed to join then- Mayor Rendell’s first mayoral cabinet as Deputy Mayor for the Office of Management and Productivity. First, Tom would accept nothing more than a salary of $1 per year. Second, Tom would leave the cabinet as soon as the budget had been balanced.
Eighteen months and $1.50 later, Tom’s efforts had helped to erase a quarter-billion dollar annual budget deficit, had saved vital city services, and had prevented a major tax hike. On June 30, 1993, the city had a budget surplus of $10 million dollars. Tom kept his promise to resign once he did his part to balance the budget and left office one week later. Tom helped to efficiently eliminate wasteful spending by re-establishing a bidding process for many city contracts, consolidating and reorganizing the city’s Management Information Services, and reorganizing the Office of Fleet Management. By renegotiating many of the city’s leases and insurance contracts, Tom was able to save the city $78 million dollars per year and win the respect and loyalty of powerful politicians.
A valued leader and consensus builder, Tom helped establish the Mayor’s Private Sector Task Force, a coalition of over 41 area CEO’s and 300 area executives. Tom’s office implemented over 150 of the Task Force’s cost reduction and productivity initiatives, which resulted in an additional savings of nearly $100 million dollars per year.
On leaving city government, Tom carried his public service into the private sector when he took a job as Special Deputy Rehabilitator & Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co., which had been placed in rehabilitation by the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner. As Special Deputy Rehabilitator, Tom managed the day-to-day operations of Pennsylvania’s 5th largest insurer and implemented a series of management and productivity initiatives that revived the earlier bankrupt company. Again using his skills as a turnaround specialist, Tom was able to help protect over one quarter of a billion dollars in public money.
When not serving the city or the state, Tom supports the community by raising money for a number of charities and non-profit organizations, in addition to providing educational scholarships for more than 20 underprivileged students. Deeply committed to medicine and public health, Tom has served as a Director for the Association for Surgical Education Foundation and has supported research into the causes of and treatment for cerebral palsy.
In 2007 Tom ran for Mayor of Philadelphia. His goal was to implement a reform agenda. Tom felt that Philadelphians were not receiving their money’s worth in services paid by their taxes. Tom was sick of the pay to play influence, corruption in government, and the massive debt that is once again growing out of control. His commitment to reform agenda influenced the progress in Philadelphia.
Tom has never forgotten his roots in the Abbotsford housing project. He worked his way out of poverty and into the ownership of several major public and private companies. And as one of the driving forces behind the reform agenda in Philadelphia, Tom looks forward towards the future and serving Pennsylvania.