Co-Founder & Executive Director
After earning a Masters in Literature in 1991, Tommy moved to Los Angeles and started picking up furniture out of the garbage, refurbishing it, and selling it in weekly sales called Avant-Yard. Within two years he had a factory in South Central, Los Angeles with more than 30 employees. In 1998 Tommy moved back to New York and opened a retail store, Nova Zembla, known for its distinctive merchandise and excellent value. He also provided consultant and advisory services to socially responsible businesses. In April 2015 Tommy co-founded Refoundry with Francisco Pinedo, and serves as the organization’s Executive Director. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the ReEntry Advisory Acceleration Program (REAP) at the Columbia Business School’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, as well as the #CLOSErikers campaign committee. Tommy also is working with the Tamer Center and with the Resilience Education program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business to develop new workforce development curricula that focuses on financial literacy, negotiations and entrepreneurship. Under Tommy’s leadership Refoundry’s innovative model and strategic vision has garnered significant attention in the media, as well as from government agencies, elected officials, organizations and businesses, with more than twenty entities across the country requesting Refoundry bring its model to their communities.