Tradebank first entered the Waterloo-Wellington region in 1996. By 2000, Tom Scnharr, then owner of GTS Windows, was enjoying using barter to grow his business and found out that he had the opportunity to acquire the franchise. Tom knew that it was the right fit for himself and his wife Andree to take on the Tradebank franchise. For the next few years, Tom and Andree focused on growing the Waterloo region. In early 2006, Tom had the opportunity to acquire the Tradebank franchise in Simcoe County near his cottage, and was finding it too much to try and run both a barter exchange and a window company successfully. While he made a good profit from the window business, his passion for working and consulting with small to medium business drove him more towards the Tradebank business. So he sold off the window business to focus full time on Tradebank.
By mid-2007 Tom had also acquired the London franchise by partnering with the then London franchise owner. At that time he and his business partner operated what was known as Tradebank Midwestern Ontario, running back and forth between London, Waterloo and Simcoe County. Unfortunately the business partner did not fulfill his obligations in the arrangement, so Tom bought him out in 2009. Tom always a hard worker and dedicated to serving his members needs did his best to operate all three regions at a high level.
In 2010, Tom was approached by a Hamilton client to acquire the London franchise. Tom realized by selling off the London franchise it would move a little more off his plate, so that he could focus in on Waterloo and Simcoe County. In 2014, he was approached by a relative of one his clients to sell the Simcoe County franchise. Tom found he was spending less time at the cottage and felt that it would be best if the clients in Simcoe County could be managed full time locally versus from a distance. Tom spent a long time working with Dale and Karen and having sales targets for them to achieve before he would sell them the franchise. By March 2015, Tom felt that they were ready to move forward on their own and completed the sale of the franchise.
As a result of divesting himself of other regions, Tom was able to focus more on Waterloo and during 2015 grew the volume by 25% over 2014.
Tom has won the coveted President's Trophy in several years, has personally signed up over 500 barter accounts within Canada.