Ron Katz was elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Elkay Manufacturing Company on March 24, 1986.
A member of Elkay's founding family, Ron spent the Summers of 1951 and 1952 working part-time in the shop. He started full-time on January 8, 1953 and later that year joined the U.S. Air Force. After a 4-year tour of duty, he returned to Elkay to resume his career in the Production Control Dept.
Ron was elected Corporate Secretary in 1960 and elected to the Board of Directors in 1963. He also assumed additional responsibilities of Purchasing Agent in 1967 and filled in as Production Control Manager from August, 1969 to August, 1970. He went on to become Vice President Corporate Planning in August, 1970. He became Executive Vice President in September, 1980 and President and Chief Operating Officer on March 28, 1983.
Ron was elected Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer on March 26, 1985 and the following year, on March 24, 1986, became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. While he remains Chairman of the Board, he handed the role of Chief Executive Officer on to Tim Jahnke in 2007.
Ric has led Elkay Manufacturing Company as President and Chief Executive Officer at its corporate headquarters in Downers Grove, Illinois, since joining the company in October of 2019. Under his leadership, Elkay has redoubled our focus on global business strategy and advancing innovation in the products we make and the markets we serve, both domestically and in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His vision is to strengthen and expand our vibrant, rapidly-growing global enterprise, even as we turn 100 years old in January 2020.
Prior to joining Elkay, Ric served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Essendant, Inc. (formerly United Stationers, Inc.). In that role, Ric rebuilt the company’s overall strategy and oversaw the largest restructuring in its history. He consistently delivered performance at or above the company’s Wall Street guidance, and the company’s share price increased by more than 50% during his tenure. He planned, negotiated, and announced an industry-changing merger with a major competitor and ultimately navigated the company to a successful combination in January 2019. Before his promotion to CEO, Ric was President of Essendant’s ORS Nasco Industrial business and also Group President of the company’s Industrial Portfolio. He joined Essendant in 2013 as President of Online and New Channels. Prior to joining Essendant in 2013, Ric spent 14 years at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. He was elected Partner at McKinsey in 2005.
Ric earned a Master of Management (with distinction) from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Finance (with distinction) from Indiana University.
His extensive Board experience includes serving on the Essendant Board of Directors, Follett Corporation Board of Directors, Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors and Indiana University Business School Dean’s Council. He is a Member of the Economic Club of Chicago.
In 2017, Steve accepted responsibility for Elkay's Commercial and Industrial Business Unit, comprised of Elkay Interior Systems and Elkay Commercial Systems, which provides design, engineering and fabrication services for diverse segments such as retail fixtures, fast casual restaurants, hospitality, and education. Before this role, in early 2014 Steve accepted the challenge of heading up our International Growth Strategy as President of Elkay International.
Prior to this role, Steve served as Chief Operations Officer from 2010 to 2014. In this role, Steve was responsible for Elkay's operations and supply chain organizations as well as Elkay's International Operations, with full P&L responsibility. Before 2010, Steve was President of Elkay's Plumbing Products Division. He joined Elkay in 2004 as Vice President of Engineering for the Plumbing Products Division. In his prior Elkay roles, Steve was responsible for substantial accomplishments in manufacturing systems, product development, and engineering innovations.
Before joining Elkay, Steve served a 27-year career at ISPAT International, NV/Inland Steel, a $2.4 billion supplier of sheet steel to the automotive industry. At Inland Steel, Steve held several key executive positions, after achieving success in a series of diverse management assignments, including Vice President, Sales & Marketing, and President, Inland Steel Bar Company, a $475 million stand-alone business unit.
Steve is an avid Cubs fan.
As a shareholder and 5th Generation member of the Katz family (the company's founding family) working in the business, Ted remains strongly committed to the company legacy, established by his grandfather and his father before him, that "Our people are our most important asset." If you met him in person, Ted would tell you that he feels blessed to work with such great people – they are the ones who make Elkay special. He grew up with stories his grandmother would tell about how his grandfather kept his coveralls hung on the back of his door, long after he had become an executive, so at a moment's notice, he could go out on the floor where the real work was being done. Ted is proud of that work ethic, and strives to live up to it - to keep that spirit alive in the present day company.
Ted has worked at Elkay since 1992, and held a wide variety of positions, with an eye toward developing a well-rounded understanding of every facet of Elkay's business. He started his Elkay career working as a temp in Accounts Receivable, and has since spent time in Customer Care supporting Halsey Taylor, worked in general and cost accounting, and held a number of Operations roles, including Production Control Manager, Warehouse and Shipping Manager, Plant Manager (St. Charles and Broadview) and led the Bolingbrook Distribution Center. After his time in Operations, he moved to the customer-facing side of the business and spent time as both a Regional as well as Director of Sales for Plumbing Products. For the past several years Ted has headed up Elkay's Market Development group, focusing on new ways to promote existing product lines to end users.
In October 2017, twenty-five years after he started his career with the company, Ted was promoted to President, Elkay Plumbing, with full general management responsibilities for the business.
Ted holds an MBA in Operations from DePaul University, a BS in Accounting from Valparaiso University, and has completed the Executive Development Program at Kellogg.
Kathy has been with Elkay since January 2003. She came to Elkay as its first in-house attorney and in that position handled all legal matters for the company. Her goal is to provide practical business-oriented legal advice to the organization that furthers our business objectives while reducing legal risk. She also serves as corporate secretary, preparing board minutes and keeping the stock ledgers.
Prior to Elkay, Kathy was an attorney for Dean Foods Company, focusing on acquisitions of dairy companies. She started her legal career at a large Chicago law firm.
Kathy holds a Bachelors degree and law degree from the University of Illinois. Go Illini!
As Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, John leads the company's finance and accounting teams and sets the strategy for financial planning and reporting, audit, cost accounting, risk management, capital finance, banking relationships and tax.
John joined Elkay in the summer of 2014 with extensive leadership experience in finance and accounting, including eight years in public accounting with Arthur Andersen & Co. and over 20 years in a CFO role, with both privately held companies and with divisions of publicly-traded companies. He has a proven track record in management, business leadership and working with investors, boards of directors, and banks, as well as developing strategies for consistently growing enterprise value.
John's strengths lie in business strategy, financial forecasting, business valuation, domestic and foreign operations and mergers and acquisitions, talents that are vital to Elkay's long term goal and governing Value of being in business forever.
Prior to joining Elkay, John was with Broan-NuTone Group in Hartford WI, where he has served as Group Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2001. Prior to Broan-NuTone Group, he served as Chief Financial Officer for eBizMix, a division of Hallmark Cards, eFunds /Deluxe Data, a division of Deluxe Checks and Amity Leather Products. He holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
As Vice President, and Chief Information Officer, Patti is responsible for seeing that Elkay provides a timely, accurate and professional level of service at each and every point of contact. This includes all strategies and efforts related to our information technology platforms, on a global basis. Her leadership, experience, and expertise are instrumental in helping Elkay plan and implement the technology platforms and tools that are capable of taking the company into the future.
Patti's priorities for the IT function have been ensuring that our systems are capable of satisfying the organization's information needs, enterprise-wide, for optimal decision making; utilizing our ERP system to deliver critical new business insights; building an IT organization that fosters teamwork and professionalism by empowering them to provide cost-effective, high quality service to their internal customers across the company; delivering solutions that support the Strategic Plan and core business requirements; and building a structured process for integrating Elkay's many systems and infrastructures.
Patti joined Elkay in October of 2010 after spending 11 years at A.M. Castle & Company, a leading distributor of specialty metals and materials for the aerospace, defense, oil and gas, power generation and heavy equipment industries. At Castle, Patti served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer leading a multi-year, multi-site and global implementation of the Oracle E-business Suite ERP.
Patti holds an MBA in Operations and Supply Chain from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL and a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A committed business leader outside of work as well as in the office, Patti serves as a mentor and active leader in the Women Unlimited, i.c. Stars and Think IT organizations.
As Vice President, and Chief Human Resources Officer, Larry Brand is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the human resources function at Elkay. The goal of Elkay Human Resources is to balance the organization's business objectives with the best interests of our employees. This complex and mission critical team focuses on everything from attracting talent, onboarding and developing our employees, providing compensation and benefits, talent management and succession planning for the organization, to corporate communications.
Larry also serves as management liaison between the Elkay Board of Directors and Compensation and Human Resources Committee.
Larry joined Elkay in July of 2016 with a wealth of human resources experience and significant global leadership experience. He has served as a strategic business partner to CEOs, Board of Directors, and senior leadership teams across his career. Larry's experience, knowledge and leadership abilities help assure that our HR function acquires and develops the people that are critical in carrying out our strategic initiatives and driving company growth and profitability consistent with our value: Our Strength is in Our People.
Mark Whittington has been with Elkay since 1999, when he joined the company as the Plant Manager in Broadview, IL. Since that time he has served in a variety of roles including Director of Manufacturing Sink Operations, Vice President of Manufacturing and Supply Chain (Plumbing), Vice President of Sales and Market Development for the plumbing products western region, Senior Vice President of Sales for the Plumbing Division, before stepping into his current role of Executive Vice President Plumbing.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Illinois State University, and a Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Prior to joining Elkay, Mark spent several years in leadership positions in the packaging and steel industries.
Mark enjoys spending time with his family and hunting, fishing and boating near his home in Lake of the Ozarks.
As Executive Vice President, Plumbing, Franco Savoni has overall responsibility for Product Life Cycle Management from consumer insights research, ideation, product roadmap development, new product development, and product portfolio management for Elkay’s international plumbing business.
Franco became part of the Elkay team in September, 2007. His professional background includes over 22 years of leadership in Engineering, Project Management, Product Development & Product Management with specialized expertise in leading engineering and portfolio management teams to identify needs and develop innovative solutions in global marketplaces. Prior to joining Elkay, Franco worked for Nobel International, Thyssen Krupp - Budd and Robbins Gioia Consulting.
Franco holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor, and an MBA with an emphasis on Strategic Leadership from Lawrence Technological University. He is a Certified Professional Engineer in Ontario.
Bryan English, Vice President of Corporate Finance, recently joined the company’s senior leadership team, reporting to John Pendergast, Chief Financial Officer. Bryan focuses on leading the Finance function and building capabilities to support Elkay’s global growth strategies, facilitating company-wide strategic financial planning and forecasting in support of company investment decisions, and coordinating strategy creation and review with Elkay’s global leadership team and our Board of Directors.
Bryan joined Elkay in October 2009. In October 2011, Bryan was promoted to Corporate Planning/Reporting Manager where he was accountable for facilitating and administering the budgeting and financial forecasting process, developing and maintaining Elkay’s cost and profitability application, and overseeing the financial reporting function. In January 2013, Bryan was promoted to Finance Director, with full responsibility for all financial planning, forecasting, reporting, and analytics for all Elkay’s company reporting units, including all management reporting.
Bryan graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. He earned his CPA certification in 2008. He is currently completing his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.