When Tom Pepin took over the family business in 1982, he assumed responsibility for far more than the largest Anheuser-Busch distributorship in Central Florida - he also acquired a legacy of caring and community involvement that began with his late mother and father, Polly and Art Pepin, the founders of Pepin Distributing Company.
The Pepin family is known across the Tampa Bay Area and beyond for their support of dozens of civic and social causes. Among their most recognizable projects: Pepin Heart Hospital at the former University Community Hospital, now Florida Hospital; the Pepin Academies charter school for children with learning disabilities; and Pepin-Rood Stadium, the main athletic facility at the University of Tampa.
Tom not only embraced his parents’ commitment to the community, he made it a mission of his own. Today, he works with a wide range of civic and social groups, while continuing to support the institutions that his parents helped to launch. “Mom and Dad always said that our business, first and foremost, was building lasting friendships,” Tom says. “The friendships we’ve forged in the community have helped make Pepin Distributing Company the great success that it is today.”
“My family and I have always believed that it’s important to say ‘thank you’ to the community by supporting those who are making a positive difference in other people’s lives every day and those that are making Tampa Bay a better place for all of us to live.”
Born on March 23, 1953 in Gainesville, Tom moved to Tampa at age 14 when his father acquired the distributorship here. Tom attended Jesuit High School in Tampa, where he was active in all sports and a member of the National Honor Society. He graduated from Jesuit in 1971. After high school, he headed off to Middlebury College in Vermont, his mother and father’s alma mater. At Middlebury, Tom played intercollegiate football for four years and was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and a minor in marketing.
Soon after his college graduation, Tom returned home to launch his career at Pepin Distributing Company. He worked his first job as a sales representative from 1975 to 1977, then was promoted to assistant sales manager, a position he held until 1982. In 1982, Art Pepin decided Tom was ready for the big jump and handed the reins of the company over to his son. Tom became president of Pepin Distributing Company and four years later, assumed the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO.
Today, Tom is a proud father to six beautiful children (Cassie, Allie, Bella, Tina, Arthur and Andrea) and is married to the love of his life, Lauren. Tom and his entire family are dedicated to continuing the legacy.