Automotive Aftermarket Trailblazers Among 2014 OBLs

Thomas O'Hare
Daniel Langdon

Northwood University will honor retired President and CEO of Worldpac Thomas O’Hare, and President of East Penn Manufacturing Daniel Langdon as two of eight nationally known business men and women at its 34th Annual Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) Awards Gala at The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida on Saturday, February 1st 7:00 pm. Tickets are $375 per person. For high resolution photos, biographies, and individual press releases for all of the honorees, please visit the: Outstanding Business Leader Online Newsroom

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Thomas O’Hare’s first job was selling hot dogs, soda and ice cream in the center field bleachers of Fenway Park.  But fortune smiled, O’Hare said, when he was able to attend and graduate from Boston College and then join the Marine Corp as a ‘wet behind the ears 2nd lieutenant.’ “I never would have made it without the help of a rough and tumble, take no prisoners Master Gunny,” he smiled. “Without his guidance, only the shadow knows my fate.”

After serving in the armed forces, O’Hare attended Tufts University, earning his Master’s degree in economics and subsequently interned at the Federal Reserve in Boston before starting his own business and subsequently joining Ford Motor company. “There, I learned a great deal while dedicating 17 years to  various sales and marketing positions as I travelled throughout the country,” he said.

O’Hare then left Ford to become the President and CEO of Butler Auto Group, a major automotive conglomerate consisting of a vehicle distributorship, port operation, and trucking and finance companies located in the metro New York area.” After spending 12 years with the company I wanted more and needed a challenge,” said O’Hare. “And boy did I get one.”

In January, 1995 the automotive aftermarket trailblazer signed on to become the president and CEO of an auto parts company with the goal of integrating two other companies. Successful with this merger, the group was ultimately named WORLDPAC.  Encouraged with the prospect of additional growth, O’Hare then successfully merged two additional companies to become part of the group on January 1st, 2000. We were thankful that the Y2K merger was also successful, as WORLDPAC grew substantially over the ensuing years,” said O’Hare of the company which was recognized as one of the Top 10 Best San Francisco Bay Area companies to work in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

As president of East Penn Manufacturing, Daniel Langdon oversees the daily sales, marketing, and financial functions of a privately-held company that operates the largest, single-site lead-acid battery facility in the world. Currently with over 8,000 employees globally and 90 warehouses and distribution centers across North America, the conglomerate has experienced remarkable growth over the last ten years. In the last five of those years, East Penn has doubled in size to over a 2 billion dollar a year enterprise and is still growing.

Since assuming the role of president in 1994, Langdon has upheld a long-standing, deeply enriched company culture of intrinsic quality, organization-wide integrity, innovative sustainability, industry leadership, and community outreach. Most essential to this culture is a cohesive family of co-workers who continue to strengthen the company making it one of the Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania for 13 consecutive years. Working in collaboration with an accomplished executive team, the leadership has not only allowed this culture to be sustained, but has created the kind of environment in which it has flourished and grown. Langdon's commitment to these core company values, its people and customers, has earned him a high level of respect among his fellow co-workers and other industry leaders.

Langdon’s introduction to East Penn Manufacturing began in 1979 when he joined four partners to form Reinsel & Company Certified Public Accountants and secured the account as its Accounting and Auditing Partner. It was in this position that he first met DeLight Breidegam, East Penn’s founder and chairman. A 2004 Northwood University Outstanding Business Leader, Breidegam eventually became Langdon’s boss when he joined the company in 1986 as Controller. Langdon was then promoted to Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer in just a few short years.

Crediting his extensive background in finance, his 1973 Bachelor of Business Arts (BA) degree in Accounting from Lycoming College, and his early employment as Audit Staff Member at Deloitte Haskins & Sells as creating a strong foundation for leadership success, Langdon has played an instrumental role in the battery industry over his time at East Penn.

Northwood University annually recognizes a select group of men and women for their business achievements and for their support and exemplary leadership of the communities in which they live and work. These individuals serve as role models for Northwood University students, all of whom are engaged in the study of business management and who aspire to successful careers. In the 34 years since the program’s founding, more than 300 business leaders from more than 30 states and several countries, representing dozens of industries and fields of business expertise, have received the Outstanding Business Leader Award.

 

On Friday, January, 31st. 1:30-3:00 pm, the day of the gala presentations, Northwood University students will ask questions of the OBL Class of 2014, as well as past honorees, at an afternoon forum held at Northwood University Florida. The forum provides the opportunity for honorees to share anecdotes relating to the obstacles and challenges they encountered while on their personal road to business success, as well as remedies relating to how they overcame them. For additional  information please call (561) 478-5539.


ABOUT NORTHWOOD UNIVERSITY

Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in seven states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers accelerated, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.