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To  TruittMark Twain once said, "The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why." It was not long after joining Sigma Nu at UNC that Tom Truitt ’85 figured out his “why.” Always in search of underserved markets, Tom is currently CEO of MusicRowSearch, the leading headhunting firm in today’s “it” city — Nashville, Tenn

What was the determining factor in pledging Sigma Nu at Chapel Hill?

I rushed several different houses the fall of my freshman year and simply felt more comfortable at Sigma Nu than any other place.Less pretension and a lot more camaraderie among the guys. The perfect blend of preppy, jocks, nerds — just a great diverse group of guys.

What Psi Chapter influences did you have that helped guide you in making the career and philanthropic choices you have?

My big brother in the house, Thane Kerner ’83, could be one of the most influential sales people I have ever been around in my life. I emulated a lot of what I saw him do and ultimately chose sales as my career profession as a result.  

Tell us about your professional journey from Chapel Hill to CEO of MusicRowSearch.

I have been involved in some type of sales and business development activity throughout my entire career. I have been a stockbroker, headhunter, and an entrepreneur in a couple of different fields. In short, I have continued to redefine myself and take advantage of opportunities as they arose. I enjoy the “hunt" of the sales process as much as the kill. 

I have always been a huge consumer and fan of live music. Living in Nashville, Tenn., a.k.a. Music City, USA, I found that music was always around me. However, I was living in Nashville for 15 years before I pursued the music industry as a way to make a living. As I was surveying opportunities, I realized that the music industry did not have a "go to" headhunter. I found this odd because every industry has a select few "rockstar" recruiters. The music business did not have this; therefore, I set out to become that guy. I am a natural-born networker and have always excelled in relationship-oriented selling. That's exactly what headhunting is all about.

What can you tell your brothers about what it’s like to work in the music industry in Nashville?

Nashville is the "it" city right now. It is exploding with growth and opportunities in many areas, including the music business. Ironically, very little of my headhunting actually involves Nashville-based opportunities. The reason for this is simple — Nashville is dominated by music labels, which are becoming increasingly extinct. Most of my work tends to be in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Las Vegas. That notwithstanding, I have recently launched a new venture called WHO KNEW, a speaker series that incorporates live music. It's all about highlighting under-the-radar, up-and-coming companies, stories, and people in the music industry. This project is Nashville focused and is growing very quickly. I am having a ball figuring it out.

What would you like your brothers to know about you?

I have been happily married to the same fantastic wife, Sally, for the last 23 years. I have two teenagers — a 17-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter. Both are rabid Tar Heel fans. Hopefully at least one of them will wind up going to Carolina. Also many of your readers will be surprised to learn that, last summer, I had a quadruple bypass operation. This came out of left field and left as soon as it arrived. I am fine now, but that little brush with mortality was quite a life-changing experience for me.

What advice would you give the younger you?

Save more money earlier in life!

What is next for you?

I am still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I will continue doing what I've done for the last 15 years — starting new ventures, experimenting with various business models and enjoying every moment I have left on this earth.

How would you like your brothers to remember you 50 years from now?

As the same guy they knew 30 years ago — a wisecracking, very self-confident friend that they could count on at anytime, anyplace.

Brothers can connect with Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..