Mark Langston and OctoChem of Vandalia was recognized as the Teachers and Coaches Entrepreneurship Program Entrepreneur of the Year for 2019 at a ceremony held at Kaskaskia College on last night.
Founded in 1995, OctoChem has been a leading provider of marketing and fulfillment services for the chemical and biotechnological industries. Langston established OctoChem after developing the idea of providing a more efficient solution for companies, laboratories, research centers and universities to obtain lab samples in a timely manner to be used in product research and development. “So we don’t necessarily provide a finished product,” explained Langston. “We provide the ingredients these companies use to make the items that you use in your home.”
Since expanding his company to his hometown of Vandalia in 2003, Mark has led OctoChem to become one of the top fulfillment services worldwide partnering with clients not only from the United States, but Asia, Canada, Europe and South America as well. Some of the company’s more prominent clients include BASF and Dow Chemicals.
Since the birth of OctoChem, the company has grown into a reliable, first-class company that is still unique in its services. This success has allowed Mark to expand his company and provide additional jobs to the community. In the last 15 years he has increased the employment levels from 10 to over 80 employees. Through his entrepreneurship, Mark is continuously thinking outside the box, finding new solutions that will support continued growth into the future. A proud member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors, OctoChem is certified as a Responsible Distributor in the industry. This certification sets a high standard for quality and safety in the industry.
Denny Garrett, OctoChem Operations Manager, told the crowd that “Mark doesn’t wait for things to happen, he makes things happen!” He added that, “OctoChem has a bright and positive future and it’s all because a chemist had a crazy idea 23 years ago and pursued his dreams.”
Langston then added that “I want to thank Kaskaskia College, the KC Foundation and the TCEP committee for this honor. Twenty-three years ago I did have a dream that I was excited about. We hit the ground running when we moved the company to Vandalia. We faced challenges at first but I know now that it was a great decision. We are proud to a part of the Vandalia community. We faced challenges at first but now we have a lot of great memories to look back on. I hope that we continue to make significant strides and make an impact.”
TCEP is a multi-faceted initiative to promote understanding, appreciation, and support of America’s free enterprise system. The purpose is to recognize teachers and coaches for their many significant contributions to our community and to support activities and events that recognize and encourage entrepreneurship. TCEP activities include the Distinguished Lecturer series, Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, workforce development scholarships, and support for community, entrepreneurial and economic development programs and events at Kaskaskia College.
Kaskaskia College President George Evans says, “We are proud to honor Mark Langston and OctoChem tonight. They have a solid reputation in the district and are a true asset to our community as a whole.”