Posted March 9, 2022

NEFCO announces succession plan

NEFCO, the Connecticut-based distributor of construction supplies and engineering services, announced the company's succession plan.

NEFCOMatthew Gelles will succeeed his father, David Gelles, as president and CEO, effective April 4. Ron Cipriano will be promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer. Cipriano is the son-in-law of David Gelles.

David Gelles will transition to executive chairman, focusing on relationships with NEFCO’s suppliers, driving sales, and furthering NEFCO’s larger strategic goals. 

David Gelles and his father, Gerry, acquired a small fastener distributor in East Hartford, Connecticut in 1981. Since then, NEFCO has grown into the leading supplier of SHARP tools and construction supply products along the East Coast. 

“Having started NEFCO in 1981 and led the business as president for the last 41 years, I feel this is the right time to transition to the next generation. I am very proud of what Matthew has accomplished over the last 12 years at NEFCO; he has proven himself as a true leader with exceptional vision and ability to execute on his vision. Ron has been a tremendous asset to our leadership team and has provided great counsel and management over the last 12 years. NEFCO couldn’t be in better hands, and I cannot wait to further support our next generation leaders as they continue to grow and expand NEFCO.”

As president and CEO, Matthew Gelles will provide leadership for the entire company, with an emphasis on long-term value creation, growth, profitability and return on investment. He will be responsible for NEFCO’s strategic, financial, and operational execution with oversight over all NEFCO departments.

He joined NEFCO full-time in 2010 and has served as executive vice president since 2019. He has led NEFCO’s strategic planning for the last decade and has been the driving force behind NEFCO’s ambitions to become a large national supplier. Since joining NEFCO, he has led the successful execution of NEFCO’s strategic growth plan, which he designed in 2012, implementing a wide array of growth strategies including acquisitions and organic branch openings.

“I am excited and grateful to take on the role of president and CEO. I have learned so much from my father and have huge shoes to fill, both literally and figuratively,” he said. “Our vision at NEFCO is to partner with contractors across every jobsite in America. Every day we are delivering on that vision, and I feel incredibly fortunate to take on this role and support our 500 associates as we build NEFCO into a national distributor. We are building a dream team and a truly special company. While we have grown tremendously over the last decade, we have a lot left to accomplish and, in many ways, we are just getting started.”

Cipriano will be responsible for several functions that support all NEFCO’s entities, including heading and planning all operational facets of NEFCO including the logistics, human resources, information technology, customer service and engineering departments. He will continue to oversee all legal issues while ensuring NEFCO’s customer experience remains an industry leader as it continues to grow via organic openings and acquisitions.

He joined NEFCO full-time in 2010 and has served as senior vice president of operations and general counsel since 2019, where he has been focused on organizational development, operational efficiency, and acquisition/branch integration.

“I look forward to partnering with Matt in our mission to be the single best partner for contractors whenever they build while continuing to provide sound counsel, guidance and direction to our championship team in their pursuit of building a fulfilling career at NEFCO,” Cipriano said.