The basic qualifications for running a professional nail company don’t include military service or a background in rocket science, but the resume of Tom Conroy, the new president and CEO of Seche, includes both. Conroy, who is a long-time friend of Seche’s founder and chairman, Charles Martens, joined the natural nail care company in January to help “grow the company to the next level.” Explains Martens, “Based on my experience, I have been able to take the company to a certain level, but now it needs to go further, which is why I brought Tom on board. With a B.S. in electronic engineering and an M.B.A., he’s got the business background and the technology know how to help us become a truly big player. We’re going to be known for our natural nail care, not just for the best top coat on the market.”
Conroy spent nearly 17 years as an officer in the United States Air Force working in the office of the Secretary of the Air Force’s Special Projects. This department is a critical component of what was considered to be the most classified, top-secret organization in the country—the National Reconnaissance Office, also known as the NRO. “Its mission is very straight forward: Provide information to the President and his staff for the defense of the United States through advanced surveillance systems—spy satellites, in other words,” explains Conroy matter-of-factly.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1994, Conroy stated a computer graphics company in the motion picture industry and worked on some of the industry’s biggest box office hits such as Titanic, Starship Troopers, True Lies, and Virus to name a few. Besides the computer graphics scenes, he designed a visual communication network so that Jim Cameron, Titanic’s director, could see his film dailies and special effects produced in Los Angeles while he was filming in Mexico. Using this same technology, he created a company called SeaMed, which provides visual communication for medical emergencies out at sea.
When asked why the nail industry intrigues him after such an illustrious career, Conroy says he joined Seche because he enjoys the challenge of a new business. “You can’t beat this industry—it’s fun! I’ve met a great group of dedicated people—from distributors to company reps to salons owners. They’re intelligent go-getters, and love what they do. And, most of all, it’s about family. Many companies in this industry are family-run. Isn’t that what life’s all about?” says Conroy.