I have found that the portlets are executed first then the tabs and the header. I need to create and store some information and objects to be used by the portlets before any portlets have executed. Therefore After login, but before portlet execution I need to do some processing. I thought the header.jsp would work until I found out it gets created after the portlets. Can someone tell me how to change the order of creation, or a better/different place to do my processing/setup processes.
I think you are tackling the problem the wrong way. Creating objects and storing information has nothing to do with the header UI.
If you are trying to provide service to your portlet then you should create a service (look at mbeans as an easy way to create a service that can easily be accessible).
Dependinng on what you want to do you can nosider using an interceptor