Originally from Chicago, Tom grew up in textile factories. An aerospace engineer by training, Tom graduated from college and started working officially, first in his father's plant and then his own.
Today Tom runs one of the last textile factories in Rhode Island, Bouckaert Industrial Textiles (BIT), Inc. Founded in 1988 to manufacture disaster relief blankets, the company later branched out into manufacturing technical needle-punch felt, both wool felt and synthetic, for the non-wovens fabric industry. Today, BIT is the leading US manufacturer of industrial felt products located on the East Coast, owing in no small part to Tom's knowledge of and never-ending curiosity about the machines.
Tom is featured in Back to the Work's room devoted to textile mills and manufacturing.