David E. O’Connor
Vice President, Distributor Support Services
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Working at a carwash as a kid one summer taught me so much about serving customers. Every customer was different. Some were quiet; some would talk your ear off. Some voiced complaints; others were pressed for time. Engaging with customers from all walks of life back then produced early lessons about the art of communication and listening. I enjoyed the challenge of providing a memorable customer experience, no matter how challenging the situation.
Majoring in management information systems at the University of Dayton served and expanded my interests in computer science and working with people. As programmer for a Dayton-based retailer, I coded systems for purchase-order processing and accounts payable. Writing security software for a VC-funded company accelerated my understanding of sales cycles and pricing. It provided insight into the realities of running a small business and prepared me for a move into financial services. For five years, I worked in Bank One’s electronic banking group, writing software that let retailers authorize ATM and credit card transactions. The experience exposed me to the banking industry and the challenges of acquiring other financial institutions.
In time, I found myself wanting greater involvement in the development and definition of business requirements – not just required programming. An opportunity with Ernst & Young’s consulting business offered a fitting new challenge. One of my biggest projects at E&Y was helping KeyCorp implement a new database of customer information so they could understand and serve customers better. This work taught me the importance of integrity in building strong relationships and influencing people. Similar to my experience at Bank One, these years were marked by the support of mentors and colleagues who truly cared about my development.
When I learned about Swagelok, the company’s focus on customers and integrity stood out immediately. Every associate that I met was consistent about doing the right thing. Upon joining Swagelok, I was able to leverage my technology background while taking every opportunity to understand the challenges of a global manufacturing company. I first served in three information systems roles, including CIO. My desire to help Swagelok get closer to customers – to demonstrate a passion for customers – led to my assignment as vice president, customer service and supply chain. I didn’t grow up in these critical functions, so it was an opportunity to learn and grow. Our teams always sought to listen intently to better understand and serve customers.
Today I serve as vice president, distributor support services, a function that connects distributors and customers to the factory. Our team is committed to listening and understanding the challenges facing our distributor network. Under One Swagelok, insights will be shared and actions taken to drive the overall customer experience to new and higher levels by leveraging our local and global capabilities.
It is my honor to serve on the boards of the American Red Cross, Greater Cleveland Chapter and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.