Tom Ford, chief executive and majority owner of the 90-unit Stockade Cos. LLC of Taylor, Texas, is living proof that a job washing dishes can lead to the executive suite. As a teenager in 1966, Ford washed dishes at the first Sirloin Stockade Steakhouse in Oklahoma City. He continued working in various positions at the steak-buffet concept through college, including as night manager and cashier. He purchased his first restaurant in the Austin area in 1979. Ford became the majority ...

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