Money Talk

Episode 68

Thomas Osborne

Host Ed Sutkowski talks with Thomas Osborne, C. Mfg. E., Senior Vice President of Engineering Development, Training and IP Development for Cook Group Incorporate.

William A. and Gayle Cook incorporated Cook Incorporated in 1963 for $1,500; it began to manufacture wire guides, catheters and percutaneous needles used by radiologists for angiography in a 3-bedroom apartment located in Bloomington, Indiana. Bill Cook sought the advise of Richard Osborne, a local jeweler, as to the methods employed to manufacture Cook Incorporated products. When asked if Richard knew anyone who might possess Richard’s skills, Richard suggested his son, Tom Osborne, then barely 18. Bill, Gayle, the bookkeeper/quality control inspector, and Tom, the first production employee, worked together in the apartment and produced first versions of the products. Since then, Tom is now Cook Incorporated’s Senior Vice President, Product Development and Training and is responsible for training all of Cook’s new engineers as well as being heavily involved in patent prosecution and litigation.

Cook Incorporated, now the nation’s largest private medical equipment manufacturer, consists of 42 separate business organizations, employs 12,500 individuals world wide with 17 locations in 4 continents. It sales exceed $1.7 billion; the $1,500 investment is now worth approximately $6 billion. Bill later described Tom as “…a genius” and one who was just “destined” to succeed. Bill Cook’s April 2011 New York Times obituary complimented Tom’s achievements and suggested that “His name is on almost every patent.”

Tom describes the beginning of his journey with Cook, the Bill Cook characteristics and the man who has given in excess of $200 million to various charities, including the construction of the $15 million facility located in Canton, Illinois, Bill’s birthplace, which shall ultimately employ 300 full-time employees. The Tom Osborne, Bill Cook and Gayle Cook’s story reflects what is good about the United States of America and its opportunities for individuals to succeed.

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