The Samuel Curtis Johnson College of Management at Cornell University has bestowed its highest honor upon Peter B. Orthwein, executive chairman of Thor Industries Inc. According to a press release, Orthwein is the recipient of the school’s 2019 L. Joseph Thomas Leadership Award, which recognizes alumni for their exceptional demonstration of vision and leadership, sound business sense and commitment to community.
“I am very grateful to have received this award from my alma mater,” Orthwein said. “It’s humbling for my professional journey to come full circle like this – learning everything I could while at Cornell, becoming successful in the business world and coming back to celebrate that success. There are hardly words to describe this feeling.”
Orthwein, who earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Cornell, co-founded Thor with the late Wade Thompson in 1980 when they acquired Airstream Inc. Since going public in 1984, Thor has grown both organically and through strategic acquisitions in the RV and bus sectors. Today, the company is the sole owner of operating subsidiaries that represent some of the world’s largest RV manufacturers.
Outside his work at Thor, Orthwein serves on the board of trustees for the Choate Rosemary Hall School and the board of directors of Silver Hill Hospital. He has been a member of the YPO/WPO Fairchester Chapter since 1989.
“We are so proud to have such an incredible co-founder to look up to,” said Bob Martin, Thor president and CEO. “Nearly 40 years since Thor’s inception, Peter is still a powerful example of great leadership.”