Honoree Headshot

Thomas Padula

Padula Media

Location: West Chester, PA
Founded: 2017
Industry: Marketing and Advertising

At age 17, Thomas Padula created a drone photography and video business, offering his services to realtors on Zillow. He grew the business from $1,000 a month revenue to $4,000–$5,000 per month by the time he was a senior in high school, and he chose to go to college locally — at West Chester University — in order to keep the business going.

Juggling a full-time college course load and running a growing business proved challenging. The company evolved to add more services, including social media management, and changed its name to Padula Media. That’s when Padula made the difficult choice to leave school to focus on the business.

Today, Padula Media offers search engine optimization, video production, photography, advertising, website design and development and outsourced CMO strategy services. It has its own office with five full-time employees and is on pace to generate $1 million in revenue in 2022.

“Padula Media serves small businesses that are looking for growth in their business through digital marketing,” the company said. “Whether it be video, branding or a marketing campaign, we follow our tagline as our strategy: Imagine, capture and inspire. Let’s imagine what we are looking to accomplish together. Then, we capture your brand/story. Finally, time to share it with the world and inspire.”

In the coming years, Padula plans to grow the company to 10 full-time employees and from 60 clients on retainer to 350. The next step will be to expand the company’s geographic footprint into new markets, modeling the same strategy the company used to grow in its current space in West Chester.

Padula was part of the first class of VISTA Millennial Superstars in 2019, and he was named to the 40 Under 40 list of most influential people in Chester County. He has spoken on multiple occasions to the entrepreneurship class at the Villanova School of Business, and has addressed groups at a summer camp called Spark the Wave.

“If you don’t matter to others, you are irrelevant,” Padula said. “This is especially true in today’s fast-paced society. Throughout the past five years at Padula Media, my intention has been to grow our team members individually while growing our clients’ companies as a whole by helping them matter. Continuing to help others grow with the mindset of helping them become industry ladders is what I strive to do to help curate a culture to drive myself forward.”

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Honoree fun fact

In 7th grade, I proposed the idea of doing the weather announcement on the morning news to the technology director. After some convincing, we got it started. This started my love for videography, which then led to me flying a drone indoors in my 9th-grade photography class.

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