Chairman, Board of Directors
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 remails Chairman of the Board, he handed the role of Chief Executive Officer on to Tim Jahnke in 2007.
Tim has led Elkay Manufacturing Company as president and Chief Executive Officer at its corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois since December of 2007. He also serves on the Board of Directors. Under his leadership Elkay has continued to demonstrate industry leadership in the markets we serve, and has significantly expanded globally into growing markets in Europe, the Middle East, South America and Asia.
Since stepping to the helm, Tim has led the company through a significant shift in strategy, building a dynamic culture that has redoubled its commitment to providing world class customer experiences and focusing the company on expansion into new products and markets, worldwide. His vision has been to create a fun, high-energy environment where people enjoy coming to work each day, and where they feel motivated to innovate and do their very best work for the company.
Prior to joining Elkay, Tim served as group president, Home and Family Products Group of Newell Rubbermaid, where he spent 21 years in a variety of leadership roles including president and group executive of several consumer business units, top human resource executive and as a corporate officer.
Mr. Jahnke earned his Bachelors Degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh in 1981.
In addition to his roles with Elkay, Tim also serves on the Board of Directors at Kimball International and plays an active role supporting the American Heart Association of Chicago.
President, Elkay International
In early 2014, Steve accepted the challenge of heading up our International Growth Strategy as President of Elkay International. In this capacity, Steve will be responsible for driving Elkay's global market growth including Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America.
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. Prior to 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, ever-hopeful Cubs fan.
President, Plumbing and Cabinetry
Tom has been with Elkay since 2001, and has served in a number of strategic roles, including General Management, Product Development, Strategic Implementation, Marketing Services, and ERP Implementation Leadership.
In his current role, Tom is focused on consolidating all channel sales, marketing, operations and supply chain in order to continuously improve service levels to our customers and optimize the performance of the business as a whole.
Tom holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois at Champaign and a Masters of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University.
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 recently added the responsibilities of Chief Human Resources Officer. This role requires balancing the business objectives of the organization and the best interests of our employees. As with her legal responsibilities, the objective is always to promote actions that best serve sometimes competing interests. 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!
Chief Financial Officer
As 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 BBS in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.
Vice President and
Chief Information Officer
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. On the IT front, this includes all strategies and efforts related to our information technology platforms as well as our customer care team, on a global basis. When it comes to customer care, Patti and her team focus on providing the people, process and tools necessary to provide the best possible experience for the customers Elkay serves. 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 eBusiness 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.
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 Vice President/ General Manager of Traditional 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.
When he is not spending time with his family, Mark enjoys hunting and playing golf in his free time.
As a shareholder and 5th Generation Katz family member 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 feel 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 for 22 years, 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. 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.
Ted holds an MBA in Operations from DePaul University, a BS in Accounting from Valparaiso University, and hascompleted the Executive Development Program at Kellogg.
Brian joined Elkay in January, 2012.As Vice President of Operations – Cabinets, Brian leads all planning, procurement, manufacturing, quality and logistics for all of Elkay’s cabinet product lines.
Brian’s professional background includes over 20 years of supply chain and manufacturing experience, with expertise leading productivity, growth, plant start-up, manufacturing capacity, planning, inventory strategic procurement, and quality initiatives.
Prior to coming to Elkay, Brian spent eight years with General Electric Company where he held positions as Operations Manager for the GE Consumer & Industrial division, Americas Supply Chain Manager for GE Healthcare and most recently Multi-Site Plant Manager for GE Energy Management. Prior to his time at GE, Brian worked for 3Com Corporation, Bodine Electric and General Motors.
Brian has a Bachelors degree in Business Management and Finance from Lewis University.
Vice President International Operations
Javier joined Elkay in 2001 as General Director of EB Tecnica in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. After 8 years he was promoted to VP International Operations. In this role, he has been growing the presence of Elkay products made in US, Mexico & China in the Central, South America and the Caribbean region, China and Asia region, Middle East region. Under Javier’s leadership, Elkay added Quetzal, a High-End Mexican Cabinet company to the Elkay family, and began selling high-quality Chinese-made Cabinets into China. In Mexico, through the EB Tecnica brand, Elkay introduced an appliance product line. EBT is also the exclusive distributor for Tempest & Staron solid surface tops in Mexico.
In addition to his strengths as a general director, Javier brings a unique multi-cultural perspective to merging the needs and requirements of American-base companies with companies from different cultures.
Prior to joining Elkay, Javier worked for 7 years with The Stanley Works, on Stanley Hand Tools Division in Puebla Mexico, and prior to that he worked for Good Year and Gillette and three other Mexican Companies ICA, INFRA, Empresas Lanzagorta.
Javier holds an Industrial Engineer Bachelors Degree from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and Top Management Program from IPADE/Harvard Business School in Mexico.