Tom Stark, president and owner of Arlington Industries, passed away on Monday, March 6. Stark was widely respected throughout the electrical industry as the consummate entrepreneur and inventor. He grew Arlington from a small fittings manufacturer to a powerhouse in the fittings market known for launching dozens if not hundreds of new products over the years and investing in large end-user advertising and marketing programs to promote them. Stark was also a big supporter of the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA) and Arlington's dedicated network of independent manufacturers' reps. For an rep agency, getting the Arlington line is considered to be a huge accomplishment because of the wide acceptance of the company's products by end users and the company's consistent marketing support and new product launches.
Stark held many patents for Arlington products and loved to talk with electrical contractors and other customers at trade shows to see what type of job-site challenges they were having, and then designing products to overcome these challenges. He was also intimately involved with the company's manufacturing processes, and enjoyed adapting machinery on the company's production lines to the company's constant flow of new products. He also built a company culture at Arlington that attracted top salespeople and regional managers who dedicated much of their electrical careers to the company.
A company statement on his passing said that although Arlington is saddened by the loss of Tom Stark the business operation will continue unchanged.
Arlington was purchased by his father Eugene Stark, Sr. in 1949. Tom became president of the company after graduating from the University of Florida in 1975. Stark was born in South Florida on Nov. 9, 1953 and attended the University of Florida where he met his wife, Betty (Elizabeth) and earned his degree in accounting. He is survived by his wife, Betty, two daughters: Meredith (Camille) Oostwegel and Allison (Aaren) Riley, and three grandsons: Spencer and Winston Oostwegel, and Sawyer Riley; as well as his brother Gene (Jean) Stark and sister Patricia Stark.
Services will be held at Kraeer Funeral Home, 1655 University Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33071, (954) 753-8960, on Tuesday, March 14, from 2 PM to 5 PM.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests a remembrance made in Tom Stark’s name to Childhelp, a nationwide non-profit organization serving the needs of neglected, at-risk and abused children www.childhelp.org.
The staff of Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Construction & Maintenance at Endeavor Business Media pass along our condolences to Betty Stark and her family and the employees of Arlington Industries.