Tom Votel Named Board Chair of International Safety Equipment Association

St. Paul, Minn. (November 18, 2021) – Tom Votel, Ergodyne President & CEO, was elected Chair of the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) at the group’s annual fall meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

Tom Votel with ISEA Logo

An ISEA board member since 2011, Votel previously served for 2 years as Vice Chair alongside outgoing chairman Craig Wallentine, Global Business Development Manager, DuPont Safety & Construction (retired). Assuming Votel’s previous post as Vice Chair is Nate Kogler, Vice President of Products & Engineering, Bradley Corporation. Other board elections include Kelly Kolb, Senior Business Development Manager, Kimberly-Clark, to the position of ISEA Board Treasurer.

Votel became Ergodyne’s President & CEO in 1986, and went on to build the company into one of the most trusted and respected developers and innovators of specialized safety work gear. Now part of the 164-year-old Klein Tools Family of Companies, Votel and Ergodyne remain relentlessly focused on the mission to Make the Workplace a Betterplace™.

“I am honored to assume the role as Chairman of the ISEA Board of Trustees. We’re really in a strong position, closing 2021 with a great plan, superb staff, an engaged board and growing membership,” said Votel. “In 2022, we will endeavor to continually improve and enhance our value to members and drive the noble goal of advancing standards that ensure worker safety and health.”

Votel added, “With safety in the workplace more important than ever as people get back to work following the greatest global pandemic in history, the safety equipment industry has a larger audience and heightened profile. ISEA will lead the way to ensure protecting workers remains a top priority in business, education and government.”


The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) is the association for safety equipment and technologies. It is a forum for information sharing and industry action, providing market insight and advocating for the use of safety equipment to help protect workers. Since 1933, ISEA has been the recognized leader in the development of performance standards for personal protective equipment (PPE), which protects more than 111.1 million workers across the U.S. Nationwide, the safety equipment industry supports 345,001 total jobs and generates more than $71.6 billion in economic activity. In 2020, the safety equipment industry paid $5 billion in federal taxes and nearly $4 billion in state taxes, for a total tax generation of $9 billion.


Since 1983, Tenacious Holdings, Inc. (dba Ergodyne, a Klein Tools Company) has pioneered the development of products that Make The Workplace A Betterplace. What started with just one product has grown into a line of top flight, battle-tested, Tenacious Work Gear®; all precision crafted to provide protection, promote prevention and manage the elements for workers on jobsites the world over. The current lineup is extensive and constantly growing: ProFlex® Hand Protection, ProFlex® Knee Pads, ProFlex® Supports, Skullerz® Head & Face Protection, Skullerz® Eye Protection, Trex® Footwear Accessories, KREW’D® Skin Protection, Chill-Its® Cooling Products, N-Ferno® Warming Products, GloWear® Hi-Vis Apparel, Squids® Lanyards, Arsenal® Gear and Tool Storage, and SHAX® Portable Work Shelters.

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