Modesto, Calif. – 5.11 Tactical, creator of the tactical apparel industry and favorite brand of public safety professionals worldwide, is starting a new era. Founder and CEO Dan Costa is handing over day-to-day leadership of the company to Tom Davin, 5.11 Tactical's chairman of the board of directors.
Dan Costa, a chef by trade, founded 5.11 Tactical in 2001 with the authentic tactical pant and is credited for revolutionizing the public safety uniform business. Most uniform dealers in the U.S. catering to police, fire and EMS departments showed stagnating sales until 5.11 Tactical created a new segment, which has grown steadily since 2002.
"5.11 Tactical is largely responsible for the development of the tactical or off-duty segment," explains Roger Heldman, a uniform dealer who has been in the industry for 33 years. "Dan Costa's energy and creativity opened the industry's eyes to the importance of marketing and promotion. In eight years he was able to build a brand as strong as others that have been around for 50 years or longer."
"In 1990 all police officers wore patrol uniforms as there were no special teams," explains Mike Harden, chief of police in Modesto, Calif. "Now we have 14 teams dealing with everything from drugs and gangs to bombs and homeland security." These special teams require specialized apparel and gear – that is where 5.11 Tactical excels and innovates.
From its humble beginnings the company has grown to include over 400 styles and products from tactical and duty gear, to footwear, outerwear, accessories and packs. In 2007 Costa sold controlling interest in 5.11 Tactical to TA Associates, a private equity group based in Boston, Mass. Recently, Costa has spent an increasing amount of time working on his passion for giving back; whether it be creating a 9/11 tribute or the hosting Modesto's version of The Apprentice. Dan is anxious to devote more energy to his passion for supporting the youth of Modesto in learning the value of work and social responsibility. After handing operations over to Davin, Costa will remain in the role of founder for 5.11 and continue to provide long-term strategy and insight to guide the organization.
"Tom has been our chairman for the past year and has earned the trust of our people and dealer network. He's a former Marine with a 25-year track record of building great brands and developing leaders at all levels. I look forward to supporting Tom as he works with our team to take 5.11 to the next level," says Costa.
Davin was a U.S. Marine infantry officer where he served in command assignments for four years before being selected to become and Infantry Tactics Instructor at The Basic School on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Va. Following the Marine Corps, Tom earned an MBA at the Harvard Business School. Prior to joining 5.11 Tactical Tom was CEO of Panda Restaurant Group (Panda Express), where he lead the dramatic growth of the company from $500 million in sales to more than $1.2 billion. He has served as a director on the board of Oakley Inc.
About 5.11 Tactical
Located in Modesto, Calif., 5.11 Tactical creates innovative, user-required products that enhance the safety, speed and performance of law enforcement, military, fire and EMS professionals worldwide. Built on a foundation of durability, quality and value that began with the authentic 5.11 Tactical Pant, 5.11 Tactical's team of over 300 employees leads the industry in delivering the world's most innovative gear, head to toe. By working directly with end-users and utilizing the expertise of highly-qualified subject matter experts, all 5.11 Tactical products exceed rigorous and exacting standards. Learn more about 5.11 Tactical's best-selling tactical clothing, uniforms, station-wear, outerwear, footwear and accessories at www.511tactical.com.