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Connor Herr

Connor Herr, Vice President of Marketing

Connor Herr

Vice President, Marketing

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As a child in Erie, Pennsylvania, I was fascinated by the ships, trains, and steel mills which embodied the industrial Midwest. My career interests started with train engineer and then Great Lakes freighter captain, before finally settling on naval officer. My parents were strong believers in engineering and the sciences, and with their encouragement, I joined the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at Purdue University and pursued a degree in mechanical engineering.

Upon graduation and commissioning in the US Navy, I was selected to join the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. At the time, the fleet was completing its post-cold war drawdown, so many of my responsibilities revolved around inactivating nuclear ships.

Much of who I am today is a result of the habits and traits I learned from the Navy. Attention to detail, precise communications, individual responsibility, and the doctrine of completed staff work are some of the concepts which I learned in the Navy and have attempted to carry with me throughout my career.

While in the Navy, I earned an MS in systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and upon leaving, I went to Harvard Business School and earned my MBA.

After business school, I explored a variety of roles across several industries. Manufacturing operations taught me the value of simplicity and transparency, management consulting taught me the skills necessary for leadership through influence, and financial services gave me an appreciation for the power of analytics and data-driven decision making.

Since joining Swagelok in 2011, I’ve stayed on the marketing side of the business and have had opportunities to learn about our customers, our sales and service centers, and our commercial strategy. Marketing has afforded me the opportunity to gain a broad perspective on the customers and industries we serve, but also build on my analytical strengths through pricing strategy and execution and marketing research.

In my view, the role of our marketing organization is to ensure that Swagelok can sustain our performance over the long-term. We’re responsible for marshaling engineering, service, commercial, and financial resources so that we’re all pointed in one direction and prepared to meet customers where they’re going—not where they are today.

As a leader, I like to create teams that have low personal tension and high task tension. The best and most creative outcomes are created by people who trust and respect each other personally but bring passionately held and widely divergent viewpoints to a business problem.

My wife Katie and I have two children, and one of my favorite things is to bike with them down to the Flats’ Industrial Valley and explore the ships, trains, and steel mills which have always fascinated me. Recently I joined the board of Bike Cleveland to meld my personal interests with a greater cause. Bike Cleveland’s mission is to support sustainable, equitable, and healthy transportation alternatives to people of all means, and their advocacy ranges from bicycle-friendly legislation to shared mobility programs such as dockless scooters and bike shares.