W&J to Honor Entrepreneurs of the Year at ELD

Created: November 7, 2014
Last Updated: January 17, 2020

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WASHINGTON, PA (Nov. 6, 2014) – Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) will honor Larry O’Brien ’66, the Chief Operating Officer for Universal Protection Services, and Helen Hanna Casey, President and CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, as Entrepreneurs of the Year at its 28th annual Entrepreneurial Leadership Dinner, Nov. 13, at The Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh.

O’Brien brings more than 43 years of experience in security management to his current position as COO for Universal Protection Services, one of the largest providers of total security solution in the United States. He is an expert in contract security services, integrating security technology and team building.

Previously, O’Brien was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Security Forces, Inc. (SFI) and its subsidiaries, SFI Electronics and SFI Whelan. Under his leadership, Security Forces grew from $1.2 million in 1971 to over $110 million today making it one of three largest privately owned security companies in the US. He was the founder of SFI Electronics and the co-founder of SFI Whelan. An innovator in security management, O’Brien also was a founding owner of TransNational Security Group and Security-Net.

In recognition of his success, O’Brien was named North Carolina Security Executive of the Year by the NC Chapter of The American Society of International Security and National Security Executive of the Year by the National Association of Security Companies.

O’Brien received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Washington & Jefferson College in 1966, and a master of business administration in marketing from Temple University in 1971.

Helen Hanna Casey, her sister Annie and brother Hoddy, are the second generation of leaders in family-owned Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the fourth largest real estate company in the United States, overseeing 170 offices and 6,200 sales associates and staff in eight states. With Howard Hanna’s mortgage, title and insurance divisions, the company provides a true one-stop shopping experience. In 2013 the company sold over 52,000 homes and commercial properties with total revenues of $299,258,000.00.

Casey serves on several boards, including the Executive Committee of the Allegheny Conference, TriState Capital Bank, and the Pennsylvania State Planning Board. She also has chaired the national groups Realty Alliance and the Real Estate Services Advisory Board Committee of the National Association of Realtors. She has been named by Inman News as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate, and was named among the Top 200 Women in Business by Working Woman’s Magazine, for which she was invited to the White House. Casey is a nationally recognized speaker on real estate and business.

Casey has received honorary doctorate degrees from Carlow University, where she also served as Executive in Residence for their MBA program, and Georgian Court University.

 

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work.

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