O’Keefe Elevator Company is pleased to announce the historic election of new officers. The new officers are: Dennis B. Wychulis, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer; Bret A. Abels, President and Chief Operating Officer; Alan L. Gilmore, Senior Vice-President and Secretary; Sam M. Sennett, Vice-President Service; and Scott D. Ethington, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.
After 44 years with O’Keefe, the last twelve as President, Wychulis is stepping away from day to day operations of the business. He will stay active in an advisory role to the executive management team while pursuing other personal interests. Abels has been with O’Keefe for 28 years, most recently as Senior Vice-President. He will oversee all day to day operations of the company. Gilmore has 34 years with O’Keefe and will continue his duties as head of new construction. Sennett has 20 years of experience in the elevator industry. The last twelve years with O’Keefe have positioned him to assume duties previously performed by Abels. Ethington is in his fifth year with O’Keefe, previously as its Controller.
The vote of the board was historic in that Abels becomes the first President who is not an O’Keefe family member. Since its founding over 100 years ago by Denis O’Keefe Sr., all five presidents prior to Abels were family members. The grandchildren of Denis Sr. still own 100% of the business. They are all represented on the Board and unanimously approved this new executive team.
O’Keefe is the largest full service elevator company operating in Nebraska and Iowa. O’Keefe is the exclusive distributor for ThyssenKrupp (formerly Dover) elevators in the two state area.
Abels, in addition to his new duties as president of O’Keefe, is currently serving as the president of the National Association of Elevator Contractors. NAEC is an association of approximately 700 members composed of elevator contractors, suppliers, consultants, and other professionals in the elevator field.