After 41 years, the Bethel Park-based mobility and transportation company Keystone Coach Works Inc., is under new family ownership.
Founder and former chief executive officer Deedra Knaus has sold the family business to another family of cousins, Ed and Don Shelpman, longtime employees and mobility advocates for the physically challenged.
Keystone Coach Works, Western Pennsylvania’s oldest adaptive mobility equipment provider, is an independent retailer and installer of mobility vans and equipment for individuals, school districts, contractors and group home-based organizations for the physically challenged.
Under new ownership, Ed Shelpman has been named president and CEO. He has nearly 40 years in the mobility business and is the parent of a physically challenged daughter, knowing the personal and professional sides of the business.
“We are very pleased to be able to keep Keystone Coach Works an independent company versus becoming part of the industry’s consolidation,” he said. “Don and I are as committed as always to our customers and those with special mobility needs. We are excited about the new opportunities ahead for us and are pleased to succeed Deedra who is assisting us in the transition.”
Don Shelpman has been named vice president of sales and has been running the company’s sales department for more than 15 years. With a background in physical education, he made a career change from teaching to assisting people with disabilities to make the right choice for their vehicle needs. Through the years, he has learned so much about the different physical challenges each individual might face on a daily basis.
Ed Shelpman has served as service and production manager for Keystone Coach Works since 1980, two years after the company’s founding. He supervises new vehicle production and oversees the complete service needs of Keystone customers. He is responsible for overseeing the process for reconditioning used vehicles and completion of all new consumer and commercial builds.
“It was time to turn this mission-driven mobility business over to new owners to help take it to the next level,” Knaus said. “These two key employees have been the heart of the business for more than three decades, and they share the same core values that helped this business grow in the years following the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.”