Tom Dempsey is a business executive with 50 years' experience in diversified businesses including publishing, manufacturing, resort development, and hospitality. He graduated from Fenn College at Cleveland State University with an engineering degree. Saint Leo University awarded Tom an honorary business doctorate for his business accomplishments, philanthropy, and tenure as a university trustee and advisor.
Tom began his career in sales at Lincoln Electric during the growth of the welding industry. In time, he became publisher of Welding Design and Fabrication Magazine at Industrial Publishing Company. Eventually, Tom became president of the company. Eventually Tom led the merger of Industrial and Penton publishing companies, becoming chair and CEO of Penton Publishing, a subsidiary of Pittway Corporation. The Penton portfolio included leading business to business publications such as Industry Week, Air Transport World, Restaurant Management, Lodging Hospitality, Progressive Architecture, Handling and Shipping, and Hydraulics and Pneumatics.
During his tenure with Penton, Tom conceived and developed Saddlebrook Resorts Inc. Under his leadership, Saddlebrook became a unique resort with over 550 deluxe guest rooms and suites situated in a close-knit walking village design on 480 acres. It served an international clientele. Some of the world's most successful corporations selected Saddlebrook for their annual conventions, leadership retreats, and new product launches. It was at Saddlebrook where Nick Hall and Tom Dempsey crossed paths - although their journeys to that point could not have been more different.