Former MEADVILLE, PA. — David Whitlock, who built Conair Group's reputation as its director of corporate communications from 1970-87, died Feb. 1 at Meadville Medical Center.
Whitlock of Oil City, Pa., was 65. No cause of death was available.
Whitlock handled advertisements, news releases and wrote speeches at the auxiliary equipment company.
``He probably did more in building Conair than anybody else. He made us look like a $50 million company back when we were a $5 million company,'' said Vincent Witherup, Conair's vice president of international sales.
He was the son of Carl Whitlock, founder of Whitlock Inc., a maker of hopper loaders. His father sold the company to AEC Inc. in the late 1960s, and David Whitlock left to join Conair in 1970.
Conair was founded in Franklin, Pa., in 1956 as Rainco Mfg. Inc. The company was relatively small when Whitlock joined. Conair employed 140 and had sales of $4.3 million in 1972, according to the book The Making of Conair by founder John Reib.
Some of Whitlock's well-known ads portrayed life in small-town Franklin and work at the equipment company. Reib, in his book, said: ``Dave managed, in those early years, to portray Conair as a much, much larger company than we really were. Some of his brochures implied we were a company 10 times our size.''
In 1987, he formed his own marketing communications firm in Oil City, Whitlock Associates Inc. He was active in his business until the time of his death.
Whitlock was a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association.
He was instrumental in starting the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad, a tourist attraction in northwestern Pennsylvania, through his work on the board of directors of the Oil Creek Railway Historical Society.
Whitlock is survived by his wife, the former Lynne R. Meyer; a daughter and her husband, Jennifer C. and Jeff Irwin of Meadville; a son, Steven M. Whitlock of Oil City; and two grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 10 at the Second Presbyterian Church in Oil City.