KEES Security Guru Retires After 33 Years

August 18, 2020

Duane Hotchkiss, team leader for security products at KEES, has decided to retire at the end of August after more than three decades with the company.

Duane spent his early career in Iowa as a sales rep at Swanson, before being recruited to a small town in Wisconsin by company founder Ed Zieve. When asked about the move, Duane will tell you how KEES was perfectly situated next to Road America, where he loved to race sports cars. He thought he'd work here for a few years and make the most of living near the racetrack. Even though auto racing initially drew Duane to Elkhart Lake, it was the people and business opportunity at KEES that kept him here.

Working alongside Ed, Duane led many important initiatives for the company during his time in the driver's seat. Most notably, he helped to establish KEES as a leader in security products after production shifted from detention equipment suppliers to HVAC manufacturers. This included growing and evolving the product offering to meet the demands of customers and the marketplace, with a recent focus on the behavioral health market. Duane was also a long-time member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), helping to set and shape industry standards.

He readily shared his deep knowledge and expertise with customers and the team around him, helping to train and develop many of his colleagues. In fact, he has worked closely with KEES Sales Engineer, Andrew Hunt, to ensure KEES will continue to provide the same high level of security product expertise for years to come.

“Duane has always been a true partner to our customers, but also to me and the rest of the team at KEES. He is always eager to share his knowledge, quick to pitch in, and a real team player all around. He will be missed.” said Steve Tanski, Sales Manager.

Bob Norman, KEES President, added “Duane was crucial to KEES in our early days as we became established in the marketplace. His unwavering commitment to our reps has been a guiding light through the years. We are so thankful for his loyalty and wish him a well earned retirement.”

KEES Security Guru Retires After 33 Years
Duane manages quotes and orders during the early 1990’s. He purchased the first desktop computer and set up the first quoting spreadsheets so KEES could respond even faster to customer requests.