ABOUT MICHAEL H. COLE
Former President of Cape Associates, Inc.
A leader, family member and friend.
Michael H. Cole was born on Feb. 21, 1947 in Hartford, CT. He graduated from Hall High and went on to earn his Masters in Engineering from Cornell University. In 1972 he married Jeanne Langhans, daughter of Cape Associates founder Lester Langhans. After marrying Jeanne, Michael went to work for Les, first in the field and then on to the office and eventually to Vice President. In the mid-eighties, Lester retired and sold Cape Associates to Jeanne and Michael. Michael became President and ran the business until his retirement at the end of 2012. For several years prior, Michael thought endlessly about, and planned meticulously for, the transition of ownership and management at Cape Associates. Over those years, he and Jeanne transferred ownership to their three children, Lindsay, Matthew and Casey, who took over the reins on Jan. 1, 2013. Management of the company was passed on to a newly formed ‘Executive Committee’ comprised of Matthew, Mark Kinnane and Rich Bryant.
During Michael’s tenure as President, Cape Associates not only came into the world of computers (progressing from Lester’s machine tape accounting) but also spread its influence by opening two additional offices, one in Barnstable Village (now in Yarmouth Port), and the other in Chatham. Michael cultivated a greater diversity of work as well, by establishing and growing other departments: Services, Painting and Property Management. When he took over in 1985, Cape Associates had 45 employees; while he was there, year-round payroll grew to just over 100 employees.
Michael was known as an extremely fair, kind and generous employer and friend, with a quick and contagious laugh. He was also an amazing mentor. He led many employees to more difficult and challenging positions within the company…places they had not thought of going themselves. At the annual Cape Associates dinner, the Michael H. Cole Mentor Award is presented to someone who follows in his footsteps in this way, mentoring and developing fellow co-workers.
Michael was very active in the community in numerous posts, including as a past President of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Cape Cod, as well as serving on various local boards including the Eastham Planning Board. He was active in the Eastham United Methodist Church where he served as a Trustee and served on the Finance Committee.
Michael was extremely generous. The Michael H. Cole Charitable Giving Foundation was established to continue the giving that was so important to him.
As with Lester, who set the standard, Michael personified commitment, quality and integrity. He, too, made it a priority to see that employees got 40 hours of work per week. He never sacrificed quality for the bottom line. Together, these two men set the example for those who come after them at Cape Associates.