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2. Putting Towns on the Map

Chances are, Tom Buxton has your number. As a collector of consumer data, he has 20 terabytes of information on everything from where you eat breakfast to whether you watch Leno or Letterman. Ueber-demographers like Buxton often spook people, but he has found a way to serve not just retailers but also communities. His CommunityID service helps smaller cities recruit retailers based on local demographics, pairing them up with a Walgreens, Barnes & Noble, or one of 3,500 other retailers. “If your community needs a Pier 1,” he says, “we’ll give you [VP of real estate] Rick Blackwelder’s name, his phone number, his address, and a marketing package that he can understand that shows he’d be successful.” Retailers identify underserved markets, and consumers get convenience, jobs, and added tax revenues. Buxton served 100 new communities last year.

2005 FAST 50 WINNER

Tom Buxton, 54

President and CEO

The Buxton Co.

Fort Worth, Texas

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