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Abels Joins Schumacher

Bret Abels
Bret Abels

Bret Abels has joined Schumacher Elevator Co. in Denver, Iowa, as vice president (VP) of business development. Here, he will help identify strategic business opportunities to continue moving the company forward. He was most recently president and chief operating officer of O’Keefe Elevator in Omaha, Nebraska. O’Keefe was bought by thyssenkrupp in 2019 (ELEVATOR WORLD, September 2019). He sat on the board of the National Association of Elevator Contractors for three years and served as president in 2016. He also served as an Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation officer for two years.

Abels entered the elevator industry in January 1988 after graduating in Business from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He took a position with O’Keefe in service sales and was promoted to sales manager, then VP of modernization and service, then senior VP. “I love the industry, but the most important thing to me is being proud of your company and what you do. I look forward to being part of the Schumacher team and working to help enhance the company’s future,” Abels said.

MESA Opens 2021 Virtually

Sixteen members took part in the 2021 opening membership meeting of the Massachusetts Elevator Safety Association (MESA) on February 9. They were welcomed via a Ring Central meeting from President Roland Locke, who then turned the meeting over to Wurtec, Inc. Senior Sales and Business Development Specialist Mark Yako. Yako gave a PowerPoint presentation highlighting Wurtec’s Toledo, Ohio, roots and expansive line of tools and safety products designed for the elevator industry. The financial report given by board member Dave Gaudet reaffirmed the association’s good financial health, and the Code Committee report (also headed by Gaudet) announced that the Massachusetts Elevator Board was engaged in a state code review.

Before Locke brought the meeting to a close, he announced that the annual MESA Golf Outing has been booked for the Olde Scotland Links in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, on August 11. Also, Matthew Jackson made the association aware of the recent passing of Ray Anderson, a longtime industry member with FS Payne Elevator Co., and a donation was made to his given charity. Reported by Matthew Jackson, EW Correspondent

Wildeck Names Troka VP of Marketing

Michael Troka
Michael Troka

Wildeck, Inc., based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has named Michael Troka vice president of marketing, responsible for planning, developing and executing all marketing initiatives. Troka has a 20-year track record in corporate marketing and advertising account management for Fortune 500 companies. Wildeck President Dan Lorenz said Troka’s skills will “serve him well as he develops strategies to create demand for our products and enhance the Wildeck brand.” Troka earned an MA in Communications/Marketing and a BS in Biology and from Marquette University in Milwaukee. A subsidiary of Holden Industries, Wildeck is North America’s largest manufacturer of structural steel mezzanine platforms, manual and automated vertical lifts, rideable materials lifts and safety guarding products.

IAEC Forum Postponed, Moved to Orlando

IAEC Forum 2021 has been rescheduled to June 29-July 2 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando the International Association of Elevator Contractors (IAEC) announced. The new location will double the total meeting space from last year’s iteration to provide extensive room for social distancing during seminars, dining/reception and tradeshow, organizers said.

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