A Fond Farewell

May 2, 2022
Nb 1 10813054

All of us at Locksmith Ledger reluctantly say farewell to Publisher Nancy Levenson-Brokamp and wish her well as she eases into retirement. After 38 years in our industry and 28 years in various positions with Locksmith Ledger, Nancy’s official last day was April 29.

In 1983, Nancy accepted a position as a sales manager with Glynn Johnson, expecting to stay a short time and move on. Next, she worked as an independent contractor after Ingersoll Rand (now Allegion), acquired Glynn Johnson. After a short break when her daughter was born in 1993, she was hired as sales and marketing manager for Locksmith Ledger in 1994. “I got hooked on door hardware,” she says. “It’s been an adventure that I never thought would last this long.”

Twenty-eight years ago, the locksmith industry was focused on mechanical locks. Automotive work involved knowing how to unlock cars with specialized tools that reached inside the door and grabbed a latch.

“When I came to Locksmith Ledger, the industry was starting to move into single-door access control and some very small integrated systems,” she says. “Since then, it’s been an explosion of mechanical to electronics, from keys to cards and fobs, and now it’s our phones. Mechanical is still extraordinarily important. I don’t see mechanical necessarily ever going away, but it sure has been a transition from mechanical to basic electronics to major electronics to integrated systems.”

Nancy says she will miss the people she’s known for almost three decades but not the budgeting, spreadsheets and endless conference calls. Although she has many friends among her clients, Nancy remembers that Security Lock Distributors founder Sid Schwartz was the first to welcome and encourage her when she was almost the only woman on the trade-show floor.

And like her clients, many of Nancy’s colleagues have been along for much of her journey.

“Nancy has been a dynamo since she joined us at Locksmith Publishing back in Chicago in the early 1990s and throughout her entire career,” says Editorial Director Steve Lasky, who hired Nancy in 1994. “She truly loves this industry and has given it her heart and soul. We will miss her love and [Hersheys] kisses at SHDA meetings and her tenacity in the office when it comes to setting goals and achieving them. It has been a wild ride, these last three decades together.”

Nancy’s dedication to her team and her customers is unmatched,” adds Managing Editor Emily Pike. “We all will miss her enthusiasm and insight. Locksmith Ledger team meetings will never be the same.”

Sales representative Brian Lowy sat next to Nancy in the Arlington Heights office until COVID forced remote working. “I can’t believe you’re retiring! Are you sure you’re old enough?” Brian quips. “Congratulations, and say hello to early bird specials instead of early morning meetings. It has been a genuine pleasure working with you.”

“Nancy was very encouraging and positive as I was learning the ropes,” says Senior Editor Will Christensen. “You could see how much she cared about the magazine.”

Here’s hoping Nancy can take a few deep breaths, decompress, work in her garden and spend more time with her husband, Bob, and daughter, Franki. We can’t wait to see her next chapter. Best of luck and keep in touch!