Thomas Epley is a Turnaround CEO With an Unmatched Record of Success
After injuries plagued the University of Nebraska football team in 1969, assistant coach Tom Osborne asked Boyd Epley – an unknown varsity pole vaulter at that time – to implement a strength program and train injured players. Soon enough, these injured players returned stronger and healthier than before when training with Epley.
His methods proved so effective that in 1978 he spearheaded the establishment of a National Strength and Conditioning Association to help unify and professionalize this field.
Early Life and Education
Thomas was raised on a dairy farm north of Waverly, Iowa, where he participated in 4-H activities and competed in the National Brown Swiss dairy judging contest – winning first place and earning him recognition as a top judge award – as well as FFA and chorus in high school.
He currently resides in Iowa City and is the proud parent of three daughters and one son, as well as several loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews who carry on his legacy. Additionally, he founded Vesticon – a medical device provider which caters for vertigo among other conditions – which offers treatments. Three days per week he sees patients while spending the other days working at Vesticon; his dedication and hard work shaped who he is as an individual. He feels very connected to his family; their dedication and hard work are what have helped form him into who he is today.
Thomas Epley is an award-winning turnaround CEO with an exceptional record. He has successfully saved multiple businesses that were either facing an imminent collapse, or at risk.
Thomas studied drumming with Jeff Shoup, who profoundly impacted him. This one-on-one training brought a great deal of knowledge through osmosis; Thomas also gained much insight from Stephen Sondheim’s plays by reading their lyrics and understanding the psychological underpinnings.
He gained valuable professional experience shooting a commercial in Detroit. Here he gained insight into acting professionally quickly while learning industry expectations from professionals as well as life lessons from this experience. It also inspired his plans of moving to New York next fall to continue his theatre career.
Achievement and Honors
Epley began working for Nebraska in 1968, where he created its inaugural strength and conditioning program. Later that same year he founded the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) to revolutionize coaching by adding scientific rigor to athletic training practices and increase athletic performance among varsity athletes. Epley retired in 2006 before serving as Director of Coaching Performance with NSCA until moving back to Lincoln as Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning until 2014.
Chapman University recognizes its graduating seniors who demonstrate extraordinary scholarly accomplishments far exceeding what would typically be expected. Furthermore, these outstanding seniors must exhibit leadership across one or more of the four pillars guiding Chapman University: intellectually stimulating activities (i.e. reading or research papers), physically challenging physical activities, social interaction or spiritual development.
Thomas Epley lives in Runnemede, NJ with his wife Eleanor. He is the father of Lisa Ramtahal and grandfather to Hanna, Elisabeth, and Juliet; and son of Margaret and Millard B. Epley Jr (deceased), brother to John W. Epley (also decedent) as well as Mary Lelly Waters Epley.
He currently sees patients three days a week and dedicates the other two days to vesticon, his daughter’s startup which has already launched two of her father’s inventions into production. Additionally, he has published two books and lectured extensively about vertigo.
His love for the 70’s songsters of his youth hadn’t returned until 2018, yet they were always there.
Epley has made an illustrious career at Caterpillar for more than three decades, leading various divisions within their organization – Wheel Loaders & Excavators Division, Corporate Accounting, Large Power Systems Division (LPD), EAME Operations, Electronics & Machine Systems and Customer & Dealer Support among them.
Epley has led several companies successfully without prior industry or product expertise in any one field, such as Technicolor’s reproduction of Hollywood movies on videocassettes for home rental; Potter & Brumfield (electrical relays); Bekins Moving Company; AMI (mixed-signal semiconductors); FMC Corp (commodity chemicals); or Paradyne (modems and network devices).
He currently serves as director for several companies: