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GAL/HW and Magnetek make personnel announcements.

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GAL/HW: VPs and HR Chief

GAL Manufacturing/Hollister-Whitney (HW) has appointed two vice presidents, broadened the responsibility of another and added a chief human-resources (HR) officer. Ken Harmon has been named vice president of product support and development, and Daniel Baltzegar has been named regional vice president for the southeastern U.S.

 Harmon, an industry veteran with 38 years of experience in the elevator industry, was previously owner and president of Harmon Elevator Co., until the company was purchased by Oracle Elevator Co. While with Oracle, one of the nation’s largest independent elevator companies, Harmon became involved in all aspects of installation, modernization, lift service and repair, and new elevator construction. He attended Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina, majoring in Electrical Engineering. After completing his studies, he worked as an International Union of Elevator Constructors mechanic and adjuster with Montgomery and Otis. Over the years, he has acquired numerous professional licenses, as well as his Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) credential. 

Baltzegar brings nearly 20 years of elevator-industry experience to GAL/HW. He previously served with Oracle as vice president of sales and marketing. Prior to this, he worked with Miami Elevator Co., which has since been acquired by thyssenkrupp Elevator. He holds a BS in International Affairs from Florida State University and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University. He is a QEI and holds a Florida Certificate of Competency mechanic’s license.

James Varon has been named VP of engineering for all GAL locations, including New York, Quincy, Toronto and Asia. He will be responsible for all aspects of engineering, such as R&D, new-product introductions and contract engineering. Beginning at GAL 37 years ago as a mechanical draftsman, he moved up to door equipment engineering manager in 1985, then engineering manager in 2000 before progressing to VP of engineering at GAL in 2014. At his last post, his scope was limited to the Bronx, New York, facility.

Mark Boelhouwer, GAL president and CEO, said Varon “has played a crucial part in GAL’s engineering activities since joining the company some 37 years ago, and I am delighted to be able to confirm that his talents will now benefit all our operations going forward.”

Richard Wong has been named chief HR officer for GAL, GAL Canada and HW, a role that makes him responsible for all aspects of the company’s “people strategy,” Boelhouwer said. Wong has more than 20 years of HR experience in industrial manufacturing and across many Fortune 500 companies. In his prior roles, he has served as regional head of HR for Teva Pharmaceuticals based in New Jersey and director of supply-chain HR for the PepsiCo, Frito-Lay Northeast Region, based in Connecticut. He holds a master’s degree in Industrial Relations from Wayne State University in Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Commerce from the University of Windsor in Canada.

Magnetek Hires Business Development Managers

Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Magnetek has announced two managerial hires. First, Jeffrey Johnson joined the company as a Business Development manager for its AC Elevator Drives business. Johnson is responsible for managing AC elevator, escalator and related drive sales throughout North America and has experience in AC drives, DC drives, industrial control technology and sales. Ed Butte, director of Magnetek’s Elevator business, said Johnson’s “background and technical experience in drive controls and customer support will be a valuable asset for our customers’ businesses.” Johnson holds a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology Studies from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and has experience in the AC drives market from his time at Rockwell Automation and Holt Electric.

The drive designer and manufacturer also tapped Andrew “Andy” Hawkinson as an OEM Business Development manager for its Elevator Drives business. Hawkinson is responsible for managing elevator-drive sales to major elevator OEMs throughout the U.S. and brings experience developing customer-focused solutions to the company. Butte explained, “He has experience working with OEMs, consultants and other stakeholders in both new and modernization projects in the commercial building market.” Hawkinson holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He most recently worked as a Business Development manager at CaptiveAire.

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