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Voices Discovered: Tom Van Dessel

June 7, 2018

We had the amazing opportunity to hear the story of Tom Van Dessel, CEO of BuzziSpace. On a day to day basis, he runs North American business for the furniture company. With his business partner in Belgium, they determine global vision, strategy, and corporate governance.

Q: How did you wind up in the commercial furniture/acoustic business?

A. Prior to BuzziSpace I had a 18 year career with a Fortune 500 company in an unrelated industry.  My business associate (a childhood friend from Belgium) was in the interiors industry and had the idea for BuzziSpace.  So, we joined forces and started BuzziSpace as a stand alone business.

Q: What type of career would you have in an alternate universe?

A. I always thought being a park ranger would be a great job!

Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A. I think I’m actually quite introverted.  I love to read and cherish time to myself with a good book.

Q: What motivates you?

A. Opportunity.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: Best career advice you have ever received?

A. If you feel like you are in total control, you are probably not going fast enough.

Q: Favorite book (business or pleasure)?

A. Business: Good to Great (collins), Primal Leadership (Goleman/Boyatzis), The Goal (goldratt)

Pleasure: Pillars of the Earth (Follet), Clan of the Cave Bear and entire Earth’s Children series (Jean Auel)

Q: Where would we find you on a Sunday afternoon?

A. With the family, usually at home.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: Your go-to cocktail (or mocktail)?

A. Hendricks & Tonic with a slice of cucumber.

Q: What makes you truly happy?

A. When the people around me are happy.

Q: As you know, HPU is right here with incredible students looking to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams – what three pieces of advice would you give them?

A.

1. You don’t know until you try, it’s ok to fail, don’t quit.

2. Integrity above all else – if it cannot be done with your head held high, it’s not worth it.

3. Share the credit – no matter how good your ideas and skills, you will never be successful without the help and trust of others, make a point of recognizing that.

Photography by ZoZo Photography

Q: Where do you like to grab a cup of coffee?

A. 83 Custom Coffee.

Q: Restaurant you can’t get enough of?

A. Penny Path

Q: Local shops doing everything right?

A. Sunrise Books.

Q: Favorite place to grab a drink?

A. Real Creations.

Q: Excluding yours, what High Point company or business do you admire the most?

A. High Point University and Old Dominion.

Q: Where would you tell a first-time visitor to High Point to go and why?

A. For a furniture person, the Bienenstock Library, what a gem! For a non-furniture person, drive through the downtown showroom district to get an appreciation of the scale and importance of the furniture business to our City.

It was a pleasure speaking with Tom and we are honored to share her story here.

Voices Discovered is a series where High Point Discovered asks questions to High Point business leaders and entrepreneurs to share their view, consider it a peek into the heart and soul of our local businesses. We hope you will be inspired to investigate more. Past guests have included IV Culp and Michael Beaver.

Discover our High Points,

The HP Discovered Team

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