The following autobiography is a story of Tom Powell’s life and work history. It is very personal and private. If you believe mixing business and personal is inappropriate, then DO NOT read on. If you would like to read some of the details and real-life principals of Tom’s success, then please read on.
I was born in the late 1950’s in Miami, Florida. I was the youngest of five children, raised in a middle-income home. I had a loving family, a fun childhood and we all enjoyed an upbringing in a traditional Christian church. I have very fond memories of going to the beach, the city pool and even boating and camping in central Florida in the summers. My dear father worked three jobs to provide for our large family, and there wasn’t extra for the wants and desires, so I learned early on if I wanted extra things in life I would need to work for them. So, I set out early in my young entrepreneurial career, collecting newspapers and coke bottles for recycling, mowing lawns and the like.
My family moved north to the Orlando, Winter Park area in central Florida for job relocation. My dad, Don Simmons, gave our family something money can’t buy…a loving home in the country. Mom and Dad bought a small ranch and I experienced the best three years of my life. We had horses, cows, a pond, snakes, guns, and a hunting dog. It was here that I learned to love and appreciate nature. Though this was the toughest time financially for our family, it was definitely the most memorable. In my teens, I was heavily involved in athletics. I lost interest in our family’s religion and quit going to church. I began working in the summers, doing construction at age 14. I learned to frame apartment buildings and enjoyed the 1972-1975 building boom that Walt Disney World brought to Orlando. At age 15, I was recruited by my next-door neighbor for my first roofing job. I started out working 2 – 3 hours a day after basketball practice during the week, loading shingles and learning the roofing trade. On Saturdays, I had a job maintaining the J Bar J Ranch for millionaire W.M. Davis at his personal home. I spent four years running cattle and horses, washing cars, mowing, doing repairs and maintaining his three homes.