Tom Madden, one of the most popular and well-respected manufacturers’ reps in the rental business, died last week at the age of 72. Madden, who founded Madden Sales in 1991, was mostly retired although he still represented the Coneqtec Universal asphalt planer line. Madden, who had been based in Hemet, Calif., had lived in Florence, Ariz., in recent years. He died suddenly of a heart attack Sept. 8.
Madden began his construction equipment industry career in the early 1970s with Stone Construction Equipment. He originally worked as a district manager for Stone and later became a regional manager, and held a number of leadership positions for Stone. Madden was especially close with Stone founder Alan Stone. Madden left Stone in 1991 and established his rep business Madden Sales.
Madden was widely respected and appreciated for his honesty and warm personality.
“I worked with Tom for years with Stone, he would go out of his way to help everybody he could, that’s just the way he was,” said former Stone sales rep and later manufacturers’ rep Tim Carroll. “He would follow up with everybody and make sure to get you the information you needed. If he felt there was another contact that would be beneficial to you, he’d go out of his way to connect you with that person, that’s just the kind of person he was. He was a really good and caring person, that’s what we lost.
“I was glad to see that he enjoyed a few years of semi-retirement and that his death came quickly without a lot of suffering.”
Jim Silva, who joined Madden’s rep group in 1994 in California and later became his partner as Madden Sales evolved into Madden-Silva Sales, echoed these thoughts. “He was one of the finest people I ever worked with,” said Silva. “When I left the rental company I worked for and joined Madden Sales, Chuck Maltese, then-California Rental Association executive director told me there was no more honest person with more integrity that I could work with than Tom Madden.”
Over the years Madden represented such lines as Stone, Stow Construction, Harper Air Tools, SNL Generators, Coneqtec Universal, Oztec and Terramite.
Madden, a popular figure at trade shows, would often be seen at shows with his wife Sandy, who helped with his rep business and died in 2009.
Madden is also survived by two daughters Melinda Swanson of Florence, Ariz., and Sherri Murray-Coglietti of Hemet, Calif., as well as two sisters, five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be held for Madden – Thomas Merrill Madden – at 1 p.m., Sept. 27, at Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, Ariz. The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations are made to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, 37615 U.S. 60, Superior, AZ 85273, in honor of Tom Madden.