Class: 1956Inducted: 2014
Thom Steckbeck believes that CHANGE IS GOOD ad that FATE, LUCK, and HARD-WORK improve your chances for success in life.
As proof, he has enjoyed a dynamic 40 year business career as a Senior executive with four Fortune 300 companies: Polaroid, Bell & Howell, Sony, and Toshiba. And after retirement at 56, as a founding entrepreneur with two consumer products ventures: Moist Mates and Magic Menus.
He graduated with high scholastic scores, 8 APHS Varsity letters, and All State and All Shore honors in football and baseball. He was a proud member of the 1953 State champion football team, and was voted most athletic and versatile member in 1956.
Later, at Brown University, a knee injury slowed down his sports activities. He joined Kappa Sigma and learned to appreciate the arts from his roommate, Ted Turner, founder of CNN. After graduating with a BA in Psychology in 1960, opportunity knocked and Thom answered.
During his 14 years at Polaroid, and for the final six as Director of Marketing, Polaroid grew to a 1/2 billion dollar company. This included the launch of the SX70 and many other national products.
Thom was President of the Consumer Products Division of Bell & Howell and later as CEO, of Bell & Howard & Mamiya, Thom formed a new subsidiary to combine product lines following the merger of the two companies.
While at Sony, he was SVP of the Audio Division, directing the SC launch in the US, named the Discman, and managed the growth of all Walkman in the 1980's, approximately one million per month. Later, Thom became President of the Consumer Products Sales Company and directed sales growth to $1 billion.
As Executive Vice President and Board member of Toshiba America, they tripled market share of TVs to the largest TV Japanese brand in the US in the 1990s.
He was on the Board of Directors of the International Center of Photography, the National Association of Photo Manufacturers Electric Industry and the Somerset Hills YMCA.
Thom could not have done all this on his own, and credits his wife of 55 years, Sandra Kadrey Steckbeck (APHS '57) for supplying the love and support necessary to take five jobs, move into 7 houses, and raise four children with nine grandchildren. He describes it as an "ideal marriage."
Yes---A LIFE OF CHANGE, AND LOTS OF FUN!