Tom Wood went to a Magnolia Hi-Fi store in 1983 to buy a stereo for his orange Ford Pinto. He was so impressed with the experience that he returned the following week to apply for a job.
Then 23 years old, he started as a car audio installer. When asked about his future plans at a 90-day job performance review, he said, “I’ll give it a year and see how it goes.”
He never left.
Tom recently celebrated his 35th anniversary with Magnolia, a premium audio and video brand that Best Buy acquired in 2000. Based in the Seattle area, he spent his first 23 years serving as an installer, manager, display designer, trainer and salesman. For the past 12 years, he has worked in home theater, where he now holds the position of lead installer.
“I consider myself fortunate to have worked with some of the best people in the business,” Tom said. “I’ve been part of the melding of Magnolia with Best Buy and have seen that the partnership has been great for both brands. I am proud to be part of that result.”
Through the years, Tom has installed tech for local athletes and celebrities. He has done residential and commercial projects. And, in recent years, he has even found himself doing projects for the children of past customers.
Technology has evolved a lot since Tom bought that car stereo — a Concord analog tuner with a cassette player — for his Pinto in 1983. But one thing has remained the same: He loves using his expertise to come up with creative solutions to address customers’ needs.
“No two days are alike. It’s a lot of fun and creativity,” he said. “That hasn’t changed in 35 years. I love what I do.”
Photos, from 1984 and 2016, provided by Tom Wood.