KEP Welcomes John Danes As New President
Big news – John Danes was named president of Kent Elastomer Products and assumed the role on November 1, 2023, replacing Bob Oborn who served in the role since 2011.
Both are longtime employees and are well-known to most of us here at Kent Elastomer Products. The two have worked together for decades and formed a great friendship.
Bob, who has worked for KEP since 1981, recalls when John arrived in 1987 as a general laborer.
“You could tell he was a natural leader,” Bob remembers. John credits Bob for nurturing him.
Bob’s answer to that? “In every role where John replaced me, he did it better!”
Danes credits Oborn for important milestones of growth: Under Oborn’s leadership, Kent Elastomer acquired dip molding capabilities to expand its customer base. Danes and others in the organization also praise their friend, mentor, and outgoing president, Oborn, for his biggest contribution to Kent Elastomer Products: In 2006, he led the organization to adopt Lean manufacturing practices in their three facilities.
“Lean makes us more efficient, makes our jobs easier, cuts waste – it makes a huge difference,” states Danes.
While Oborn celebrates Danes’ high standard of hard work and quality, Danes credits Oborn for his personal career growth. “Bob has been a great mentor and friend,” states Danes. “Bob inspired me to get my MBA. Bob has cleared the path for me to do — because he did it before me.”
“John is not just a leader at work,” states Oborn, who referenced Danes’ involvement in the Southeast Local School District Board. “John’s the complete leader, in his community as well.”
Oborn confidently promises both employees and customers continuity. “I think the biggest message is that John’s promotion is a continuum. John is a proven commodity.”
Congratulations Bob on your retirement – and welcome to longtime VP John Danes as our new president!