President and CEO O’Keeffe’s Inc. / SAFTI FIRST
William O’Keeffe brings more than 60 years of experience in the architectural building supply industry as the President and CEO of O’Keeffe’s Inc. / SAFTI FIRST. His successful career in the architectural building supply business began in high school when he first worked as a glazier installing skylights throughout California, learning hands-on the fundamentals of working with all types of glass and aluminum extrusions.
In 1978, Bill performed the first US testing of advanced fire rated glazing products from Europe. In 1981, Bill officially established SAFTI FIRST, a division of O’Keeffe’s Inc., and became the first USA-based company to develop, manufacture and bring to market advanced fire rated glass and framing systems used in schools, universities, hospitals, offices, mixed-use buildings, hotels, factories, data centers, laboratories, urban interface areas and high-end residential homes. Bill has been an advocate for public safety from the start. After learning about the thousands of injuries caused by traditional wired glass – most of which happening to unsuspecting school children, he led the charge in a successful code change that now prohibits the use of traditional wired glass in doors, sidelites and other hazardous locations. At the same time, he developed clear, safe and economical tempered glass alternatives to traditional wired glass that offer better protection and value than any foreign-made wire or ceramic glazing product used in the same application.
Under Bill’s leadership, SAFTI FIRST was the first company to have USA-made, fully code-approved, fire rated and hose stream tested glazing products rated 20 minutes to 2 hours. SAFTI FIRST holds patents on many of these newly developed fire rated products, including a 2 hour fire resistive glass floor system. SAFTI FIRST remains committed to developing products that enhances the design and safety of buildings. In addition to fire rated, he has developed glazing systems that also protect against hurricane, ballistic attack, blast, forced entry, UV, noise, and more. Today, SAFTI FIRST is the only vertically integrated, single-source fire rated glass and framing manufacturer in the USA – with four state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and a dedicated research and development facility in Merced, CA. The company is currently headquartered in Brisbane, CA.
On a personal note, Bill serves on the board for the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame (BAHSOF), a non-profit organization that is committed to celebrating sports greatness while inspiring youth sports participation throughout under-served communities in the Bay Area. TM