Back in 1979, Bill Stroud wouldn't have told you he'd end up heading a giant chain of stores or that the average size of a new store would hit 20,000 square feet. He didn't know his company stock would be traded on the NASDAQ exchange or that he'd have employees as far away as Chicago and Minneapolis.
He knew one thing, though. As he pulled up to the loading dock next to a giant department store truck and loaded his own merchandise into a modest little van, he vowed that someday he'd have a truck as big as anyone else's. That day has certainly come. Now it's not just that Bill Stroud's trucks can pull up right next to the big guys'-it's that his trucks are the ones to look out for.
Birth Date: July 2, 1925
Residence: Arcadia, California
Marital Status: Married to Joyce for 42 years
Children: Kathy Martin, 40; Steve Stroud, 39; Jeff Stroud, 34
Family Involved in Business: Joyce Stroud (wife), company secretary and vice president;
Jeff Stroud (son), director of merchandising for housewares and decorative tabletop;
Jean Stroud (daughter-in-law), assistant buyer for decorative and kitchen accessories.
Business Philosophy: "I hope every [Entrepreneur] reader gets a chance to start his or her own business. It makes life more interesting, gives you a broader perspective. And, best of all, you get to do things the way they need to be done."