New titles, duties for professionals based around the country
Lavallee Named thyssenkrupp Elevator North America CEO
Kevin Lavallee, a 30-year industry veteran, has been named CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator North America, taking over from interim CEO Steve Wedge, who has transitioned back to his chief financial officer role. Based at thyssenkrupp’s new Atlanta-area headquarters, Lavallee is tasked with guiding and growing thyssenkrupp’s most profitable business unit, which accounts for more than one-third of the group’s total global revenue.
Lavallee has spent most of his career in roles of increasing responsibility with thyssenkrupp, starting in the early 1990s when he worked for Canada’s Northern Elevator, which was acquired by thyssenkrupp. Described by thyssenkrupp as instrumental in the acquisition of Dover Elevator, Lavallee has served as thyssenkrupp Elevator president for Canada, Australia and the U.S. (New England Region). After pursuing a career outside the elevator industry, Lavallee returned to thyssenkrupp Elevator in 2019 as global head of Field Operations, overseeing 50,000 employees in 65 countries. In addition to his CEO responsibilities, he will continue in this role.
New CEO, President for Kencor
Dencor, Inc., headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has implemented a succession plan that went into effect on November 1. Karen Kennedy Dodds, formerly vice president, has become CEO. She continues to oversee the company’s financial, administrative, legislative and legal areas. Dodds is a graduate of the College of Charleston in South Carolina and holds an MBA from West Chester University in Pennsylvania. During 15 years at Kencor, she has worked in the field and the sales, finance, human resources and business development departments. She is chair of the Elevator Contractors Council of the National Association of Building Contractors and has taken executive training at the Vistage® organization for the past 11 years.
John Dodds, formerly chief operating officer (COO), has become president, expanding his duties to include control of all internal and external operations. He has more than 20 years’ experience at Kencor, where he started in the field as a helper and moved to mechanic, troubleshooter, adjuster, superintendent and service manager before becoming COO. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Delaware Technical Community College and is studying to earn his bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. He has held various roles with the National Association of Elevator Contractors, including board member, executive secretary and chair of the Certified Elevator Technician (CET®) and QEI programs. For the past seven years, he has undergone executive training at Vistage.
After 50 years, Kencor founder Rick Kennedy, formerly CEO, has moved to the new position of executive chairman. Kennedy said the new CEO and president have been performing the duties of their new offices “for some time and deserve the titles and recognition that go with them.”
New Chief Elevator Inspector for Washington State
The state of Washington has a new chief elevator inspector. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries announced Gerald Brown began work for the state on October 16. Brown was chief elevator inspector for Nebraska’s elevator program for seven years. He also has a National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials (NAARSO) professional license and is a NAARSO Level II Certified Amusement Inspector and a QEI. He served as chairman of the Nebraska Governors Conveyance Advisory Committee. The official announcement said of Brown, “He is what the elevator program needs — a leader who understands the program, is a good communicator and can build relationships with existing staff and stakeholders.”
Smartrise Announces New VP of Sales
Smartrise Engineering has appointed Greg Zuckett as its new vice president of sales. He will primarily focus on growth in the North American market, as well as expanding into new markets. Prior to joining Smartrise, Zuckett led North American sales for Wittur USA. A graduate of Ohio University, Zuckett said, “I’m looking forward to being part of such a dynamic and growth-focused company, where the sky is the limit, and where the people embrace it.”
Key Changes in A17.1/B44, 2019 Edition
The National Elevator Industry, Inc.’s (NEII) newsletter, NEII Insider, listed the key changes in the 2019 edition of the ASME A17.1/CSA B44 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. More than 100 proposals were approved, with some modifying multiple requirements within the code. The changes include clarifications to existing sections, updates to existing requirements and the addition of new requirements. NEII highlighted the most notable changes as:
- Extensive updates to the requirements for hoistway and car-door locking devices
- Additional requirements for car-door reopening devices
- New requirements pertaining to executable software (unique software identifier)
- The addition of requirements for two-way emergency communication for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired
- Changes to enhance and clarify the requirements for Firefighters’ Emergency Operation and use of elevators in emergencies
- Updates to the private-residence elevator section to incorporate more requirements for machine rooms, machinery spaces, control rooms and control spaces
- Additional requirements for escalator braking
- Multiple updates to maintenance, alteration and testing requirements in Part 8
The code is updated every three years, with this edition to be published by the end of the year. NEII said of it: “All jurisdictions should strongly consider updating to the latest standard, A17.1-2019/B44-19, along with the referenced standards, to ensure the greatest level of safety for the public and elevator personnel.”