UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics

Top Appliance Entrepreneur Will Speak at UNH Nov. 15

By Janet Lathrop
UNH News Bureau

November 7, 2001

DURHAM, N.H. -- David Oreck, 78, one of the nation's most successful entrepreneurs and founder of Oreck Corporation, the appliance and vacuum cleaner manufacturing firm, will speak on the University of New Hampshire campus Thursday, Nov. 15, in a talk sponsored by UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics. Oreck's public speech will be in the Strafford Room in the Memorial Union Building from 12:40 to 2 p.m.

Steve Bolander, dean of the Whittemore School, said Oreck's appearance is an outstanding opportunity for UNH faculty and students to hear from one of the country's most successful manufacturers and marketers. "We are very pleased to be able to attract this calibre of business leader to our campus," said Bolander. "And what better person to discuss successful sales and marketing strategies than a man who has been rated one of the most recognized people in the United States?"

Oreck will also address business students in marketing classes at the Whittemore School as part of his visit here.

An energetic and charismatic leader, Oreck began his business at RCA, selling radios door-to-door as a young veteran of Army Air Force combat missions in World War II. He soon led that company in sales, and later headed its most profitable appliance market area.

In 1963, Oreck founded his own corporation which marketed an extremely successful niche product -- the light and maneuverable upright vacuum cleaner -- to the hotel industry. The machine proved sturdy and reliable enough to clean hundreds of hotel rooms daily. Under Oreck's guidance, the company also was an early leader in offering hypoallergenic products for sale long before indoor air quality became a national concern.

A native of Duluth, Minn., Oreck is often asked to speak to business groups on marketing and manufacturing in America, in particular on building brand names, identifying niche markets, and maintaining high quality in manufactured goods. The Oreck Corp. now employs 1,500 people between its New Orleans headquarters and Long Beach, Miss., manufacturing plant.

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