An electrical engineer who originally aspired to be a rock star — instead went to Penn State Abington (Ogontz) and later became a thriving entrepreneur.
Tom Krol ’96, credits his varied life experiences for helping mold him into a community leader as well as a successful CEO. After graduating from Cardinal Dougherty High School, Tom went to Penn State Abington (Ogontz) for two years. While being the lead guitarist in a moderately successful heavy metal band, he learned and became intrigued with circuitry. Inspiration for this field of endeavor came from Professor Robert Avanzato and Paul Hutta. It was a relationship that prompted him to make engineering his career choice and completing the last two years of study at The College of New Jersey.
While still in his early twenties, Tom became an ambitious junior engineer initially working as a production professional for a company specializing in producing data acquisition devices for military flight testing. Later, he began designng innovative products that helped people — starting with the co-invention of a phone with voice recognition. It was for an elderly quadriplegic friend who feared the inability to dial 911 in an emergency. Although voice recognition technology wasn’t advanced back then, Tom and his friend built a working prototype, an achievement that inspired Tom to start his own company.
IMET Corporation, or Innovative Manufacturing for Electronics Technology, is a contract manufacturing and product development company specializing in PCB Assembly and electronics engineering. Its 15,000 sq. ft. facility in Southampton, PA develops equipment for medical companies, businesses, the military and consumers. IMET’s recent innovative products include a wheeze detector, a home automation system, and the “Wizard of Oz” pinball game machine – inspired by the original 1939 Warner Brother hit movie – each containing 56 printed circuit boards and more than 2,300 components. Those achievements helped IMET attain a 400% increase in sales throughout the recession-plagued years of 2008 through 2011. National and regional recognition soon followed, with IMET being named to the Inc. 5000 list and voted “2014 Manufacturer of the Year” by Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
“Don’t be afraid of failure — because you can learn and grow from adversity,” Tom advises. “There are ups and downs in business just like there are in everyday life. If you aren’t a risk taker, you might live the rest of your life regretting not having taken the chance,” he says to students and new entrepreneurs. The alumnus also reveals “motivation and persistence to be the real secrets of success. Don’t hesitate to do something you love because of fear of failure. Just go for it.”
For more information about Tom & IMET, visit www.imetcorporation.com.