THOMAS W. WRIGHT
Thomas W. Wright, a Kentucky native, attended Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. While a student there, he saw a business opportunity and put his education on hold to pursue the "American Dream." With a loan of $2,500 he bought a used bread truck and outfitted it with a small pressure washer unit. The "company," headquartered in Ashland, Kentucky was called Mobile Pressure Cleaning.
In early 1978, Mobile Pressure Cleaning entered the environmental services market. The base of the company's business broadened to include high pressure water and air moving equipment. A new corporate entity, AmeriQuest, Inc. was created and included not only the original company, but also four other divisions, each providing a wide range of environmental services to many of America's major corporations.
In September, 1991, AmeriQuest was purchased by The Brand Companies, Inc., a major operating unit of Waste Management, Inc., a Chicago based international environmental corporation. Mr. Wright continued on with the new company as its Group President. Subsequently, the Brand Companies merged with another Waste Management, Inc. unit; Rust Industrial Services.
Shortly after joining Rust Services, Mr. Wright increased their annual sales from $36 million to $230 million and administered the growth of the company from eleven geographically local offices to 63 locations operating from coast to coast.
In anticipation of the expiration of his contractual association with Rust Services, Mr. Wright, in 1966, began to evaluate other entrepreneurial opportunities. In so doing, he formed NextQuest, Inc., a broad-based management company, also located in Ashland, Kentucky, to utilize his entrepreneurial skills and resources to seek out, evaluate, and acquire business opportunities with high turn-around and growth potential.
NextQuest has been highly successful and has acquired major ownership positions and management responsibilities in specialty apparel manufacturing, "national name brand" bedding manufacturing and financial institutions. Evaluations continue on even more diverse business opportunities and challenges.
Mr. Wright's community activities reflect that he has never forgotten his humble beginnings. He is an avid sponsor of Junior Achievement, Past Board Chairman of Rose Hill Christian School, and past Regional Vice Chairman of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (where he also served on that organization's Executive Board of Directors). He was formally a member of the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation, a director of National City Bank and, past President (and now a member of the Board of Directors) of Ramey-Estep Children's Home and a director of the Ashland Area Young Men's Christian Association. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of First State Financial Corporation in Florida.
In 1990, Mr. Wright was awarded the International Toastmasters' Award for outstanding civic and community involvement. In 1989, he received the coveted Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the service division from the State of Kentucky, that citation sponsored by Inc. Magazine and Arthur Young Associates.
Mr. Wright serves on numerous boards in which he and his company have investments.
Tom and his wife Debbie have two children (a boy and a girl, both in college) and reside in Russell, Kentucky.