CEO and President
Thomas Stravino honed his considerable customer service skills by literally catering to some of the world’s biggest stars. As head of business development for a Hollywood catering company, he became a master at feeding and pleasing such VIPs as Bette Davis, Diana Ross, Bob Seger, Pete Townshend, Elton John and Pope John Paul II.
In just a few years, Stravino grew gross annual revenue at Michael’s Epicurean, Inc. from $100,000 to $2.5 million. In the process he set the company up with its first computer network and business software system, and was bitten by the information technology bug.
In 1992 Stravino opened his own IT shop, CompNet CNS, in Burbank, California. Stravino’ s client list soon boasted several Fortune 500 companies including Bank of America, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Safeco Insurance and Penske Automotive, many of whom still rely on CNS to keep their IT running.
CNS now serves major corporations across the country, helping them with everything from network and software upgrades to on-site engineers and project managers. Among the company’s many successful projects are a 50,000-user VOIP phone deployment, a Windows 7 upgrade for 40,000 users, and deploying servers and teller machines to 285 bank branches in five states.
CNS is also in demand as a subcontractor for such leading IT firms as Xerox and Dell. Among the clients CNS helps them serve are the Boeing Company and the United States Air Force.
A self-taught “marketing guy” who employs the classic principles of Dale Carnegie, Stravino knows how to listen. That’s why his clients can rely on him to give them what they need, not just what they want. “We’re old school,” says Stravino. “We go out to fix problems and we deliver.”
Stravino also has an unmatched ability to find and recruit top IT talent and place them where they will do the most good. While he speaks “geek,” Stravino prefers to let his expert staff handle the hardware and software while he concentrates on providing excellent customer service. “Customer service is customer service, whether you’re in IT or entertainment,” he says. “It’s a people business, and the fundamentals are treating the customer with respect and dignity.”
As a result, CNS is one of the top full-service IT firms, providing repairs, software upgrades, hardware refresh, staffing solutions, project management, network support and help desk services. In 2013, CNSwas recognized by the prestigious Inc. Magazine 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
Stravino is a trained singer and musician who graduated the Crane School of Music with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a minor in education. He taught school and worked as a talent agent in the music business for several years prior to joining Michael’s Epicurean, Inc.
In his spare time Stravino travels and enjoys camping, water sports and jet skiing.
Business Services Manager
Tom Ford combines the commercial contracting skills of an attorney with the savvy of a diplomat to ensure that relationships between CNS’ clients and suppliers go smoothly. A veteran planner and negotiator, Tom has managed supplier and customer relations for Hewlett-Packard, Affiliated Computer Services and Xerox on behalf of customers that included Nike and GM. At CNS he has worked with such major clients as Boeing, Disney, Marriott, MGM and Mercury Insurance.
Tom enjoys solving challenging problems while ensuring that CNS’ clients can focus on their business instead of worrying about the many details of an IT project. In one instance, he ensured that a Fortune 50 company in the resort industry could set up 6,000 employees with new network-enabled iPhones, despite a limited budget and only one week to find technicians with the required skills.
An alumnus of the University of Oregon, Tom holds a B.Sc. degree in political science with a minor in economics.
He has earned the CCM Associate certification from the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management.
In his leisure time, Tom enjoys skiing, golfing, family vacations and restoring his vintage English Country-style home.