News Release


National Elevator Industry, Inc.
Announces New Executive Director

  • NEII ® brings on Karen Penafiel as executive director to coordinate and manage internal and external communications and operations
  • Primary focus will be to implement a long-term strategic growth plan

CENTREVILLE, VA (July 5, 2016) - The National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) announced today that it has engaged Karen Penafiel, CAE to serve as its executive director, effective July 1, 2016. The NEII executive director ensures that the organization's Long Range Strategic Plan remains relevant and current, evaluates opportunities for growth and effectively communicates the goals of the association.

Acting in partnership with the NEII board of directors, Penafiel will serve as the principal liaison between the board and its various committees. As the executive director, Penafiel will embody the NEII mission and will have full authority and responsibility for managing the association and coordinating ongoing operations and directives established by the organization.

Since 1989, Penafiel has worked with the Building Owners Managers Association (BOMA) International, most recently as the Vice President of Advocacy, Codes and Standards. During her tenure, her focus was to establish BOMA as the premier commercial real estate association on legislative, regulatory and codes issues. In her 26 years at BOMA, she has held several positions within the advocacy division. In 2008, Penafiel was promoted to Vice President, Advocacy with Codes and Standards added to her role in 2012. Penafiel graduated from Hamilton College with a Bachelor's Degree in Government.

"We are confident that Karen will be an exceptional asset to our association," says Larry Wash, president of the NEII board of directors. "With her longstanding industry experience, we see this appointment as a fresh opportunity to expand NEII's capabilities and continuing to work in the best interest of our members."

With this new appointment, NEII bids farewell to longtime Managing Director, Ed Donoghue, who is retiring from the association. Over the last 40 years, Donoghue has acted as chair of numerous industry organizations and is one of the foremost authorities on elevator codes and safety, formerly serving as   NEII's Codes and Safety Consultant.

"Ed's presence will be greatly missed within NEII," says Wash. "I cannot express enough gratitude to this man who has faithfully helped us grow NEII into the institution that it is today. On behalf of the NEII, we wish him only the best in his retirement."

Coinciding with this appointment, NEII's headquarters will also be relocating:

Mailing address:
National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII)
Attention: Karen Penafiel, Executive Director
5667 Stone Road, #265
Centreville, VA 20120

Telephone number:
(703) 266-3100


About NEII
National Elevator Industry Inc. (NEII) is the premier national trade association representing the interest of firms that install, maintain and/or manufacture elevators, escalators, moving walks and other building transportation products, including parts or components. NEII   promotes safe building transportation for new and existing products and technologies, and works with various organizations on the formation, adoption and enforcement of the latest building transportation codes and standards. NEII membership includes the major elevator companies in the United States, if not the world. NEII offers Regular, Trust and Individual memberships. For more information about NEII, please visit

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