Hall Of Fame Inductees
The individuals nominated should have made a significant impact or positive influence that assures the future of our industry in the lives of generations to come.
Once nominated, an individual’s biography and photo are updated on the site, and he or she is placed in the polls for voting. At the end of the year the committee takes into consideration the votes and decides which candidates are inducted.
Those with a star (*) next to their name below were either inducted posthumously or have passed away since being inducted.
- Person with integrity and passion
- Minimum 20 years in industry
- Someone who has developed or invented new technology
- Has made contributions that resulted in change
- Contributed to mankind’s needs in his field
- Provided education and encouragement with self-sacrifice
- Changed the industry
After his college stint in 1962, Tom started a career in direct sales as a “door-to-door” salesman selling everything you can think of, from china, crystal, cookware, encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners, etc.; even mink coats to ladies who were, at that time, called “airline stewardesses.” In 1970, he lifted his sights to business machines and to the first digital back-lit LCD calculators by Smith-Corona Corporation. By 1972, he was even selling insurance and real estate.
Tom’s career took a major turn in 1975 when he committed his life to Jesus Christ, got married to Kay, and began a forty year career in the landscape and irrigation industry, beginning with Griswold Controls. After ten years with Griswold, he stepped out on his own and established Gentile & Associates, a manufacturers’ representative firm, but that wasn’t enough, he also started a landscape construction and maintenance company for four years, while still maintaining Gentile & Associates.
Rich Murray joined Tom in 1990 to form Gentile-Murray Associates until he retired in 2003. Later that year Tom then incorporated Gentile & Associates. The following year a friend, Steven Kim, came aboard, and in 2005 became First Vice-President. Steve Lynch, who had worked for Lasco Fittings for twenty-eight years, joined as Second Vice-President one year later.
Currently, Gentile & Associates, Inc., in association with Jon Stead, Nate Stead and Matt Tankersley represent fourteen high quality landscape and irrigation product lines; covering the specification, distributor and contractor markets in Northern and Southern California, Hawaii and Mexico.
When asked what he thought about the last forty years, he said, “Thank you, Jesus, for saving me. Thank you, Kay, for marrying and loving me. Thank you to my children: Andriana, Kimberly and Nick, for loving me and thank you to the wonderful manufacturers and the terrific customers who support us. “
You can find all the fine products that Gentile & Associates, Inc. represent at: gentileandassociates.com.