Press Room

August 10, 2021

CANTON, OH—Brandyn M. Eckhart has been promoted to President of AFD Industries, according to Richard E. Vinciquerra.

A native of Seattle, WA, Eckhart began his career in the elevator industry at AFD Industries in 2016 as a sales representative and was promoted to National Accounts Manager in 2018.

Eckhart is a graduate of Malone University in Canton, OH with a B.A. in communications. He also attended Chabot College in Hayward, CA, where he earned an associate degree in social science.

In addition to his role at AFD, Eckhart will assume the position of President of LMG Industries, an AFD subsidiary located in Hammond, IN.
AFD Industries has more than 60 years’ experience in supplying high quality components to the elevator industry. With corporate operations in Canton, OH, its products are stocked in warehouses strategically located throughout North America. For more information, visit


Contact: Richard Vinciquerra, President/AFD Industries, Inc./330-452-3300/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Wurtec is excited to announce that Blake Pilgrim has been promoted to President of the Wurtec Group. Blake has been with Wurtec for nine years, two of which he led Accounting and Human Resources, four years as our Director of Operations, two years as Director of Sales & Marketing, and as of recent our Vice President of Sales.

Blake has spent the last four years reporting to our Board of Advisors to ready himself for this position. Blake will provide general management leadership along with implementation of strategic plans and build upon existing sales opportunities and efforts. The President has direct responsibility over the Finance, Engineering, Sales/Marketing, HR/People Operations, and Operations department heads. Blake will work closely with Steve Wurth to support the Wurtec Core Values, Employee Engagement, Company Focus, and Annual Budget.

Steve Wurth will continue to hold the office of CEO and Executive Chairman, with a primary focus on vision, customer relations, and innovation at Wurtec. Steve will also work as Wurtec’s culture champion to ensure customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

With this announcement, Joel Wooley has been named to Wurtec’s leadership team as Director of Sales and Marketing. Joel has 26 years of industry experience, of which many were in leadership roles.

Wurtec feels these changes position Wurtec for another 36 plus years of innovation, excellent customer experience, and an engaged workforce.



Miami, FL, July 1st, 2021 – American Elevator Group (“AEG”), today confirmed their investment in South Florida Elevator Service Corporation (“SFES” or “the Company”), the second of several anticipated acquisitions throughout Florida and the Southern United States, following their earlier acquisition of St. Petersburg-based Right Way Elevator in April 2021.

Established in 2015, SFES provides their full range of services across the South Florida region, with particular emphasis on maintenance, repairs, violation corrections and new equipment installations.

President and CEO of SFES Emilio Paneca welcomed the investment from AEG, commenting “Although we are a relatively young business, now is the time to accelerate and capitalize on our growth opportunities. The strength and resources available to us through AEG will guarantee that we quickly achieve our true potential.”

Robert Schaeffer, CEO of D & D Elevator, who will be assisting Emilio and SFES Vice President Armando Amat, welcomed SFES to AEG, saying “I am excited we have been able to include SFES within our portfolio of the nation’s best service operations. AEG acknowledges the potential for strong business development in Florida, and with SFES and other quality businesses that we expect to join us soon, we will continue to grow apace.”

About American Elevator Group
American Elevator Group is a collection of trusted, highly reputable, select elevator service companies. Their key focus is to deliver exceptional customer value while covering all industry specialisms, from legacy maintenance and repair services to high-technology installations and modernizations.



Irving, Texas: Smartrise Engineering is now including a 5-year warranty for every C4 and Hydro:Evolved controller sold, once again changing the way business is done in the elevator industry. If you previously purchased a C4 or Evolved controller, this also applies to you, as your warranty has been extended to 5 years as well.

It is Smartrise’s commitment to quality and our absolute faith in our controllers that allow us to offer such a long-term warranty. “Smartrise controllers are the most reliable in the industry and are built to last, so extending the warranties on C4 and Hydro:Evolved is an easy choice,” said Smartrise CEO Gilbert Zogbi. “We hope that with this warranty building owners, contractors, and consultants that choose C4 and Hydro:Evolved controllers will have peace of mind knowing that Smartrise will have their back longer than anyone else in the field.”

To learn more about Smartrise and our controllers, head to




Irving, Texas - Smartrise Engineering, the Irving, Texas-based elevator controller company, recently launched its new customer portal, once again showing how Smartrise is finding new ways to improve the customer experience. Smartrise customers can claim their account through their sales representative, then head to to access all the benefits of the portal.

Customers will be able to track shipments from Smartrise’s warehouse to their final destination, find all their drawings, reports, and manuals in one place, and add team members to the portal to streamline the Smartrise purchasing process. With additional features soon to come, the Smartrise Customer Portal emphasizes how much Smartrise values their customers having the best possible experience when purchasing a Smartrise controller. “We are proud of the development and launch of this portal," said Smartrise General Manager Juliette Burns. "By giving customers all the information about their projects right at their fingertips, the portal will make working with Smartrise easier than ever."

If you want to learn more about the Smartrise Customer Portal or to claim your account, contact your sales representative, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call us at 469-678-8000.

ABOUT SMARTRISE: Founded in 2005, Smartrise Engineering is the largest independent elevator controller company in North America. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, Smartrise uses open market technology to create an elevator controller that is simple to install, easy to use and maintain, and is backed by our industry-leading technical support team. This dedication to quality has led to Smartrise winning the prestigious Ellies Award for Best Supplier of Controllers in 2019 and 2020. To learn more about Smartrise, head to our website,