Businessman James A. Kettinger, a University of Wisconsin-Parkside alumnus and a current member of the School of Business and Technology Advisory Board, has announced the completion of his purchase of IEA, Inc. Kettinger ('80, Business & Administrative Science) has served as IEA's president and chief executive officer for the past five years and purchased the company from George and Sue Newell.
Kettinger's company, which is now called Engendren Corporation, manufactures heating and cooling systems for large-scale internal combustion engines in its IEA division and thermally-managed enclosure units for data center equipment in its Silver Linings operating unit. Engendren employs 255 people at facilities in Kenosha and Menominee Falls, WI.
In a news release, Kettinger explained the origin of his company's new name.
"The new company name is based on the word 'engender,' which means 'to cause or develop,' reflecting a key theme of our long term strategic plan," Kettinger said. "Engendren is a platform for strategic growth of our existing companies and for the birth of new companies."
Kettinger said in order to take advantages of its many domestic and global growth opportunities, the company needed to expand its financial base. In light of the obligations such expansion presented, the Newells felt it best to implement their established succession plan.
"Jim has done a great job guiding IEA to its current strong market position," said George Newell. "Sue and I both felt having the company in the hands of someone who knew and appreciated our business would ensure the best possible future for our employees, suppliers, and sales representatives."
The best, Kettinger said, is yet to come.
"As exciting as this stage of the venture is, it is just our beginning," he stated. "We're now in a position to take this enterprise to an even greater future."In addition to joining the SBT Advisory Board this year, Kettinger received the university's Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award during commencement ceremonies in May 2012. He also served as the SBT's spring semester Executive in Residence, speaking to students and faculty about his career experiences during two programs in the Student Center Cinema.