Ben O’Hanlan - Chief of Technology

I was born in Waynesboro, VA in 1976 and soon moved to Delaware, then Maryland before settling in South Carolina a few years later. My Dad graduated from Virginia Tech and joined NCR after college, and NCR is why we moved around. NCR (National Cash Register) did not pivot from cash registers to PCs well, and my Dad was laid off in 1984. He worked as a consultant in the textile industry for a couple years, hooking computers up to textile loops to monitor down time, operator efficiency, etc and then decided to start our family’s business in 1986 - Sealevel Systems. Sealevel designs and manufactures communications and I/O products for harsh environments and sells extensively into the military, public safety and oil & gas industries. I helped in the business from the beginning, testing products in middle school and working in shipping in high school.

I attended the University of Colorado, Boulder from 1994 to 1999, earning a BA in US History. I met my wife, Joy while home one summer for a friend’s wedding and she moved to Boulder with me for my final year of college, working as a nurse at Boulder Community Hospital. After graduating, we moved back to Greenville, SC where I worked in sales at a publicly traded maintenance management software company for two years before rejoining the family business in 2001, the same year Joy and I got married.

I started in sales at Sealevel and converted the inside sales team from reactive order takers to more aggressive, proactive sales people. We decreased our reliance on two private label resellers, taking the business more direct with customers, and revenues doubled every 5 years. From sales, I moved on to company president after securing a large defense contract that doubled the company’s revenues again. As company president, I brought circuit assembly in-house through a $2M cap-x project that achieved an ROI in just under 12 months. Bringing circuit assembly in-house allowed revenues to continue to double every 5 years by offering greater design and manufacturing capabilities to customers. Prior to leaving the company in early 2020, I again expanded the business into new markets by developing IoT solutions, which created cloud-based monitoring and control hardware and software and monthly subscription revenues.

After leaving the business in early 2020 to focus on other interests, I started a software company during covid to create a cloud-based software solution around body temperature screening with thermal cameras, which included facial recognition, access control and trend analysis. As body temperature screening became less relevant during covid, the company transitioned to IoT hardware and software solutions for customers in various industries, from RFID based point-of-sale to consumer products to the music industry.

Joy and I have two teenagers that we enjoy watching grow into fine young adults. Our son Brooks will soon turn 18 and graduates high school this year, after much success in both basketball and lacrosse, winning a state championship in basketball this year and going deeper in the lacrosse playoffs than any team in school history. He plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall, studying Computer Science Engineering. Our daughter Marleigh is a rising junior and enjoys running cross country and playing the cello for the school. As a family, we enjoy being outside together, hiking, camping and backpacking. When we aren’t having fun with the kids, Joy and I practice yoga together, as well as spending time with our dog, and I try to get out on the golf course every once in a while.

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