Tom O’Hanlan, founder and CEO of Sealevel Systems, Inc., received the Outstanding Manufacturing Lifetime Service Award at the 2018 South Carolina Manufacturing Conference and Expo.
Rick Jenkins, conference director, explained the award recognizes an individual whose contributions have had a significant and lasting impact on the South Carolina manufacturing community.
Judges for the award said, “Tom O’Hanlan has been committed to giving back to the community in many tangible ways; including supporting STEM initiatives and serving in leadership roles in education, healthcare, manufacturing councils, and other community-focused organizations.”
In his acceptance speech, O’Hanlan said, “South Carolina is a great place to do business; we’ve enjoyed being here for 37 years. Without family, friends, customers, suppliers and a good community of support like this, we wouldn’t be here today.”
In Sealevel’s early days, O’Hanlan personally manufactured each product. He is a proud patent holder for several of those early inventions. Since then, Sealevel has invested $1.6 million in equipment and over $400,000 in facility upfits to provide quality manufacturing services. Sealevel has grown to provide more than 60 jobs in Pickens County with 30% of those positions in skilled manufacturing. However, being great at a career has never satisfied O’Hanlan. He also challenges himself to be great at community.
O’Hanlan’s service-oriented passions range from chairing the Baptist Easley Hospital Board of Directors to acting as an advisory board member for the Pickens County Career Center, and everything in between.
O’Hanlan is most proud of his work in founding Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County (MCPC). MCPC was created at a time when the county lacked unification and a shared voice. Leaders from the School District of Pickens County, Tri-County Technical College, and the manufacturing community now work together to provide job skills awareness and involve area CEOs in Pickens County schools. The outcomes are hugely rewarding and can be seen throughout the community.