Elliot Younessian, Chief Executive Officer
Elliot has served Kärcher since June of 2006 initially with the Kärcher Floor Care, Inc. and more recently as Chief Operating Officer of Kärcher North America, Inc. He joined Castle Rock Industries, the holding company of brands such as Windsor, Prochem, Tecserv and Graco in Sept of 2000 with more than 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Engineering, and Operations.
Elliot’s unique Marketing and Engineering background allowed him to manage both the Engineering and Marketing teams with Castle Rock and subsequently with Kärcher Floor Care. More recently, Elliot was part of the team that consolidated all the North American companies and created a single holding company of Kärcher North America, managing 11 different and unique brands with in North America.
Prior to Castle Rock, Elliot was at Samsonite Corporation for over 15 years, where he was involved in the areas of corporate strategy, Marketing and Engineering servicing the US, European and Asian markets. He was involved in extensive international market evaluation and product development.
Elliot began his professional career in 1981 upon earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and subsequently received his MBA degree from the University of Colorado, Denver. Being a certified expert in Lean Management, he has applied Lean Manufacturing principles as part of the operational and engineering excellence.
Thomas Brendel, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Brendel joined Kärcher North America in 2008 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG in Germany where he was the Head of Group Accounting and Tax Services. Mr. Brendel has more than 14 years of experience in tax consulting and production companies including Arthur Anderson and Berner GmbH.
He earned a Masters degree in Business Administration from Bayerische Julius-Maximilians University at Wurzburg, Germany and also studied at the University of Wales in Swansea, Great Britain.
Bill Ott, Vice President of Technology Development
Bill joined Kärcher in 2012 to lead the Technology Development organization in driving Portfolio Lifecycle Management for North America. He brings a diverse background in product development, innovation and technology creation from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies servicing many industries and markets. This unique combination enables Bill to create a compelling vision and to lead his team to deliver world-class results.
He has experience managing cross-functional development teams in Europe and Asia and driving global collaboration through engineering automation, process alignment and leveraging lean product development techniques. He is adept at balancing strategic thinking with tactical execution and aligning his team to deliver the highest value.
Bill holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, MS in Mechanical Engineering from Binghamton University and an MBA from Syracuse University.
Donita Gardner, Vice President of Human Resources
As Vice President of Human Resources, Donita’s responsibilities encompass all Kärcher HR, employee benefits and payroll functions in North America. Donita has held senior Human Resources positions within Kärcher since 2004. Prior to joining the company, she was employed in various HR management roles with manufacturing, aerospace and defense, telecommunications, and higher education organizations.
Donita earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelors degree in Management from Michigan State University. She also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and is a past President of the Colorado Human Resources Association and National Committee Member with SHRM.
Tom Bettis, Vice President of Sourcing and Asian Operations
Tom has served Kärcher since June 2006, initially with Kärcher Floor Care, Inc. He joined Windsor Industries, Inc. in July 1995 with 20 years of both domestic and international Materials and Operational Management experience.
Tom’s extensive knowledge of business practices in Asia spans from 1989 to present, including 2 years of living in China as a General Manager of an electronics manufacturer.
Mr. Bettis received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
Dan Spickard, Sr. Director of Manufacturing Operations
Dan joined Karcher in 2013. As the leader of North American Manufacturing Operations, Dan champions KNA’s commitment to creating value for our customers through the application of Lean operational and management practices.
During his 20+ year career, Dan has held various roles in operations and senior management in both high-tech Fortune 500 companies and privately-held mid-sized industrial equipment manufacturers. He brings a broad base of experience and expertise in manufacturing, logistics, engineering, and management to the Karcher executive team.
Dan holds B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a MBA from the University of Denver.
Jeff Fithian, Vice President of Information Technology
Jeff joined Kärcher in October 2009 and was initially responsible for leading Kärcher North America’s SAP operations and project teams, before taking his current role as head of Kärcher’s Information Technology department. He brings over 16 years of experience in the office products, electronics, software, and consumer products industries with leadership roles in ERP Systems Implementations, Business Process Re-Engineering, Custom and Packaged Software Application Development, and IT Management.
He has worked in both the US and Europe with leading Fortune 500 companies and consulting organizations, including Andersen Consulting, Corporate Express, Sun Microsystems, Storage Technology Corporation, and Siemens AG.
Jeff is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.S and M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.