French Gerleman Names New Vice Presidents

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French Gerleman, a St. Louis-based independent distributor of automation, datacom, electrical, power transmission and safety products and services, announces four new Vice Presidents.

Steve French, French Gerleman's Vice President of Operations

Steve French named Vice President of Operations at French Gerleman

French Gerleman announces the promotion of Steve French to Vice President of Operations, Adam Ruebsam to Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Sales, and Mike Kelsch to Vice President of Supply Division, and the hiring of Jim Wojkovich as Vice President of Construction Sales.

A fifth-generation family-owner, French earned a B.S. degree in business management from Samford University in 2001. After working summers for French Gerleman during high school and college in warehouse and customer service positions, French started full time for the company in 2001 in an inside sales position. Prior to being named Vice President of Operations, he also held positions in catalog development and e-commerce management. In his new position, French’s focus will be on business process improvements to gain efficiencies. He will oversee the purchasing, pricing, warehouse and customer service departments. He is a network member of Affiliated Distributors, a consortium of independent construction and industrial products distributors, and is a member of the Board of Deacons at Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in St. Louis.

As Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Sales, Ruebsam will be responsible for automation and electrical supply division sales in St. Louis and Washington, MO. He will also be responsible for Rockwell Automation initiatives in French Gerleman’s Columbia, MO, and Quincy, IL, branches. Prior to being named to his new position, he served as Director of Business Development supporting strategic initiatives around component OEMs, corporate accounts and clean energy. Before joining French Gerleman, Ruebsam spent nearly ten years with Rockwell Automation serving in various sales engineer roles in Omaha, NE, and St. Louis, MO. A 2000 graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, he earned a B.S. degree in industrial engineering. Ruebsam has been active in St. Louis Clean Cities; served on the St. Louis Science Center’s advisory committee for EVie, their electric truck with interactive energy exhibits; and is a frequent speaker on clean energy topics including electric vehicle charging stations.

Kelsch will focus his efforts as Vice President of Supply Division on growing electrical supply and safety sales in the St. Louis and Washington, MO, markets. He also oversees the company’s storeroom services program, governmental (GSA) program and the industrial lighting team. Prior to his promotion, he served French Gerleman as a division sales manager for nearly eight years. In all, Kelsch has more than 25 years of industry experience including various warehouse, sales and management roles. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Missouri, St. Louis, with a B.S. degree in business administration. He also completed the Electrical Products Education Course (EPEC) though the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED). He is a member of the Electrical Board of Missouri and Illinois. Active in the community, Kelsch has served as a house captain for Rebuilding Together three years, rides in Bike MS to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and has sponsored several outings to support the Christmas Carolers Association. He is also active in St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church and served on the Board of Aldermen in Crestwood, MO, in 2008 and 2009.

Wojkovich brings more than 30 years of electrical distribution experience to French Gerleman. As Vice President of Construction Sales, he will focus his team on growing sales to electrical contractors in the St. Louis and Washington, MO, branches. He earned a B.S. degree in business and political science from Franklin College in 1979 and has received advanced training in ISO9000 and lean distribution. Wojkovich spent the last seven years serving as branch manager, area manager and general manager for a national electrical distributor in Florida. He has been active in the Electrical Council of Florida and his church.

About French Gerleman
French Gerleman is a leading regional supplier of profit-boosting automation, datacom, electrical, power transmission and safety products and services to the industrial, commercial and construction markets. A fifth generation family owned business based in St. Louis, MO, French Gerleman has locations in Quincy, IL; Kansas City, KS; Columbia, MO; and Washington, MO. For more information, visit

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Kim Mathes

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