Des Moines manufacturing company EFCO Corp. has announced a senior leadership transition. After more than 38 years as chief executive officer, Al Jennings (top) has appointed Executive Vice President Curt Bennethum (bottom) as CEO. Scott Walter, the company’s chief operating officer, has added the title of president. Jennings, 84, will retain his current role as chairman of the board.

Jennings, an Iowa State University alum, is a former chair of the ISU Foundation and received the distinguished Order of the Knoll Campanile Award in 2004. He has served on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers for 20 years and next week will be honored with a Legends in Manufacturing Award by the Iowa Association of Business & Industry.

“It has been a privilege to serve as EFCO’s CEO,” said Jennings, who has worked at the company for 63 years. “I’m proud of the work our team has done to build the company my father, W.A. Jennings, founded into the success it is today,” said Jennings. “I am excited about the future and look forward to the contributions of our new leadership team. This transition will be a great growth opportunity for EFCO.”

EFCO, which employs about 500 people at its plant on Northeast Broadway Avenue in Des Moines, provides products and services to the construction industry for the forming and shoring of concrete. The company has been family-run since it was founded in 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression. 

Bennethum, 48, will be the first CEO of the organization who is not a descendent of founder W.A. Jennings. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and has completed coursework toward a master’s degree in industrial relations from Iowa State University. 

The Jennings family will continue to be actively engaged on the board and as team members in positions across the company. 

Walter, 34, is the great-grandson of W.A. Jennings. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in business administration from Iowa State University.