Insurance chief executive and athletic director Tom A. Goss was born on July 6, 1946 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended Knoxville’s Austin High School, where he was a standout football star in the 1960s. Goss went on to attend the University of Michigan and was named to the All-Big Ten team as a defensive tackle during his senior year. He graduated in 1968 with his B.S. degree in education.
Goss was first hired by Procter & Gamble in 1969. In 1970, he became a regional manager at R. J. Reynolds Industries, and was then named regional vice president for sales at Del Monte Corporation where he worked until the mid-1980s. Goss subsequently returned to Michigan as vice president of sales and marketing at Detroit's Faygo Beverages. In 1987, he moved to California and served as an executive at National Beverage Corporation until 1993, when he was named president and chief operating officer of PIA Merchandising. In March of 1997, Goss established and became managing partner/advisor of The Goss Group, Inc., a commercial insurance brokerage firm. That same year, he applied for and was hired as the first African American athletic director of the University of Michigan.
In 2000, Goss resigned from the University of Michigan and became chairman of The Goss Group, Inc. In 2001, The Goss Group, Marsh Inc. and the GMAC Insurance Group announced the establishment of a joint venture company, Goss LLC, where Goss also went on to serve as chairman.
Goss has served on numerous boards throughout his career, including the Barbara Ann Karmanos Institute, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Tigers Baseball Advisory Board, United American Healthcare Corporation, and Omni Care Health Plan Inc. He was the former board chair of the Detroit Workforce Development Board, and has served as a trustee to the African American Experience Fund of the National Parks Service & Foundation. His awards include the 2001 University of Michigan’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award.
Goss is married to Carol Goss. They have three children: Anika, Fatima and Maloni.
Tom Goss was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 1, 2014.