Meet our executives and leadership team
For over 20 years, Valley Fire has enjoyed steady growth under the guidance and leadership of the current executive team. Please take a minute to meet our leaders:
Tom Hartel – President
Mr. Hartel has served as President of Valley Fire Protection Systems since 1995. Prior to joining Valley, Mr. Hartel was Treasurer with K & S Automatic Sprinklers, Inc., located in Bellwood, Illinois.
Mr. Hartel graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.B.A. in Business Administration, where he majored in Finance. He also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business with specializations in Finance and Accounting. As a young man, Tom earned the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 13, Northern Illinois Chapter.
Tom plays a leadership role in numerous industry trade associations, and BOMA/Suburban Chicago named him “Associate of the Year” in December 2005. Tom’s grandfather Harry Hartel began his fire protection career in the early 1900s with Grinnell Fire Protection in San Francisco. Tom’s father Frank Hartel entered the industry in the early 1950s after having served in the Korean War.
Mr. Hartel is active with several charitable organizations. He and his family reside in the Western Suburbs of Chicago.
John G. Flynn – Vice President
Mr. Flynn has served as Vice President of Valley Fire Protection Systems since 1988. Prior to joining Valley, Mr. Flynn was Vice President with Chicago Sprinklers Corporation which was located in Carol Stream, IL and then purchased by K & S Automatic Sprinklers, Inc.
Mr. Flynn entered the Fire Sprinkler Industry as an apprentice with Sprinkler Fitters Local Union 281 in 1972 and is a member in good standing.
Mr. Flynn is active with several charitable organizations, and resides in the Western Suburbs of Chicago with his wife. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Jeff Fuka – Plumbing Division Manager
Mr. Fuka came to us in 2017 with 18 years of union plumbing experience. The knowledge and expertise he acquired since his graduation from the apprenticeship program in 2004 has made him the perfect fit to run one of Valley’s fastest growing divisions.
Jeff expanded our service area to include Kane County as he and his family took up residence in the Northwest Suburbs. When they are not spending their weekends boating on Lake Michigan, Jeff and his wife are home playing dress up with their 3-year-old and newborn baby girls.
Mr. Fuka and his staff are focused on customer satisfaction and retention because he knows firsthand that the plumber-client relationship thrives on trust and reliability. Jeff is a trusted problem solver; he stays up-to-date with current plumbing codes and the latest technologies and products.
Steve Ekberg – Construction Superintendent
Steve Ekberg started in the fire sprinkler industry as a pipe fitter back in 1985, joining Valley in 1997. He has been instrumental in maintaining high-quality installation standards while also getting the work done safely and on-schedule. As Construction Superintendent, he manages 40 field employees.
Maggie Trapp – Human Resources Manager
Maggie Trapp joined Valley in 2016 as Human Resources Manager. She is responsible for talent acquisition, associate relations and retention, and benefits administration. Prior to joining Valley, Maggie spent several years in the automotive manufacturing industry. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton.
Dave Sobota – Contract Sales Manager
Matt Clegg – Designing Manager