Faces in the News

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February 2018


American Refining Group assembled a new team to manage sales of its blended lubricants. Todd Cawley serves as business manager for blended lubricants. Cody Leatherman is product manager for base oils and blended lubricants, and Luke Rawding is regional sales manager. Mike Greene was named account specialist for private-label businesses.


Cathy Novak joined Palmer Holland as lubricant and metalworking fluid technical service specialist. She most recently served as technical sales manager at Lanxess’ Rhein Chemie business unit for six years and was also technical director at Eastern Oil, to which she sold her FormCut Engineered Fluids business.

Cathy Novak
Cathy Novak

Dr. Donald “Don” Smolenski started his own consultancy, Strategic Management of Oil (SMO), LLC, in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan. He provides consulting in engine oil specification and test development;, oil condition sensor development and validation, lubricant energy savings measurement, as well as management of hydraulic fluids, metal removal fluids, industrial used oil and indirect chemicals. Smolenski has a background in chemistry and chemical engineering and over 38 years of professional experience in the lubricants industry, including roles at Evonik Oil Additives and General Motors. He most recently served as original equipment manufacturer liaison manager for North America at Evonik, was involved in the development of engine oil tests and specifications such as ILSAC GF-5 and GM’s Dexos, and co-created GM’s patented Oil Life Monitor. He can be reached at donald.smolenski@gmail.com.

Don Smolenski
Dr. Donald “Don” Smolenski 

Renkert Oil added three new hires to its sales team. Spyro Dimitratos joined the company as vice president of marine sales. Celeste Taldo was hired as logistics coordinator, while Matt Monsour is regional sales manager for base oils and process oils in North America.

Spyro Dimitratos
Spyro Dimitratos
Celeste Taldo
Celeste Taldo
Matt Monsour
Matt Monsour

Andreas Rascher recently became head of global marketing at Zeller-Gmelin for the company’s industrial lubricants, release agents and chemicals divisions.

Andreas Rascher
Andreas Rascher

January 2018


Pilot Chemical Co. appointed several employees to new roles at its technology center in Cincinnati. Rick Shook, former corporate technical manager, is now vice president of research and development. Former Product Manager for Pilot Chemical’s business line Bill Rohrer was named director of technology, and Research Chemist Bob Golden is now research fellow. Patrick McCarthy, president of Pilot Polymer Technologies (formerly ATRP Solutions), will also serve as vice president of technology and innovation.

Patrick McCarthy
Patrick McCarthy
Rick Shook
Rick Shook
Bill Rohrer
Bill Rohrer
Bob Golden
Bob Golden

Motiva named Brian Coffman president and CEO, replacing Dan Romasko. Coffman served as senior vice president of refining for Andeavor Corp., formerly known as Tesoro Corp.

Brian Coffman
Brian Coffman

MidContinental Chemical Company made several personnel changes. Technical director Phil Korosec retired after 12 years at the company. Bernard Roell, who most recently served as vice president of research and development at RSC Bio Solutions, replaces him. District Sales Manager for the Western United States Ray Sparling also retired after 10 years at MCC. He was succeeded by Jeff Davidson, who was previously area sales manager. The company also appointed Charlie Schulz district sales manager for the Southern U.S.

Phil Korosec
Phil Korosec
Bernard Roell
Bernard Roell
Ray Sparling
Ray Sparling
Jeff Davidson
Jeff Davidson
Charlie Schulz
Charlie Schulz

ATIEL, the Technical Association of the European Lubricants Industry, named Brussels-based transportation industry expert Marco Digioia president. He replaces Peter Tjan, who retired from the organization in December.

Marco Digioia
Marco Digioia
Peter Tjan
Peter Tjan

Carl Bechem announced that John Steigerwald, president of the German company’s subsidiary in the United States, Bechem Lubrication Technology, retired in December after over 18 years with the manufacturer. Heike Hundertmark, managing director of Carl Bechem Mexico, took over Steigerwald’s role.

John Steigerwald
John Steigerwald
Heike Hundertmark
Heike Hundertmark

Tim Brown, CEO of American Refining Group, stepped down from his role in January. He was appointed CEO in 2015 after serving as executive vice president, v.p. of sales and marketing and director of refinery sales. ARG owner Harry Halloran, Jr., replaces him.

Harry Halloran, Jr.
Harry Halloran, Jr.

Kristy Babb now serves as executive director of the Automotive Oil Change Association. Babb is also the principal and executive v.p. of FSB Core Strategies, which contracted with AOCA for management services in January.

Kristy Babb
Kristy Babb

VP Racing Fuels named Tiffany Boone business development representative for the company’s retail consumer products.

Tiffany Boone
Tiffany Boone

Palmer Holland announced that Regional Sales Manager Joe Hunt died December 20 at the age of 56. He joined Palmer Holland in November 1993 and had a total of 30 years of experience in the chemical industry. Hunt was president of the Pittsburgh Paint and Coatings Association in 1998, and was also active in the Chicago Paint and Coatings Association and the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers. He is survived by his wife, Cyndi, and two sons, Jay and Brendan.

Joe Hunt
Joe Hunt

December 2017


John Mainwaring joined Metalube UK as senior development scientist. He previously worked at Millers Oils in Huddersfield and Ironsides Lubricants in Stockport, both located in the United Kingdom.

John Mainwaring
John Mainwaring

Kris Patrick was named president of Ergon Refining and Ergon West Virginia, the company’s naphthenic and paraffinic base oil operations. He joined Ergon as a process engineer in 2000 and most recently served as senior v.p. of refining, planning and supply.

Kris Patrick
Kris Patrick

Scott Fenwick, technical director at the National Biodiesel Board in Jefferson City, Missouri, is the new chairman of ASTM International’s Committee D02 on petroleum products, liquid fuels and lubricants.


ExxonMobil named John Verity president of ExxonMobil Chemical. He replaces Neil Chapman, who is now senior vice president of ExxonMobil Corp. The oil major also announced that Bryan Milton will preside over ExxonMobil Fuels & Lubricants Co., which combines the company’s refining and marketing operations into a single unit. Both appointments are effective Jan. 1


South Korean refiner SK Lubricants made several leadership changes. Senior v.p. Tak Cha has been promoted to executive v.p. of SK’s base oil business. Jay Kim, former head of the company’s European regional headquarters, was appointed head of base oil business optimization and development. Former president of SK Lubricants Americas Tony Jin was promoted to v.p. of SK’s newly formed global base oil marketing office at its Seoul headquarters.


November 2017


Pamela Butcher was named CEO and president of Pilot Chemical. She replaces former president Michael Scott.

Pamela Butcher
Pamela Butcher

Nexeo Solutions appointed Michael C. Miller technical manager of metalworking fluids and lubricants at its laboratory facility in Houston.

Michael C. Miller
Michael C. Miller

Christine Banaszek is now sales manager at Charles Ross & Son Co. She joined the industrial mixing equipment manufacturer in 2005 as an application engineer for inside sales and has also been part of its technical services group.

Christine Banaszek
Christine Banaszek

B'laster Corp. named Kurt Gabram CEO after serving as president and chief operating officer since 2013. Randy Pindor, executive vice president, sales and marketing, replaces Gabram.

Kurt Gabram
Kurt Gabram
Randy Pindor
Randy Pindor

Lubrication Specialties Inc. hired Robert “Bob” Miller as director of sales, and Kyle Fischer was appointed director of marketing.

Bob Miller
Bob Miller
Kyle Fischer
Kyle Fischer

Crystal O’Halloran took the reins as executive director of the National Lubricating Grease Institute. She succeeds Kim Hartley, who moves into the newly created position of NLGI meeting planner.

Crystal O’Halloran
Crystal O’Halloran

Sea-Land Chemical announced that president Joseph Clayton will retire at the end of the year. He served as president for 16 of his 34 years with the company and will continue to be involved as a member of its board of directors.

Joe Clayton
Joe Clayton

Jeremy West was named national sales manager for North America at Pilot Chemical. He replaces Bob Rechtin, who will retire from the company in early 2019.

Jeremy West
Jeremy West

Robert “Bob” Olree, who chaired the ILSAC/Oil Committee and steered it through the creation of the GF-5 engine oil specification, died Oct. 19 after a recent illness. He was 74.

Olree began his career at Ethyl Corp.’s research lab in Ferndale, Michigan, where he worked for 17 years. He spent a year at American Motors before joining General Motors, where he worked on automotive fuels and lubricant development for 23 years. He was a lubricants industry representative for GM and then Intertek, and was active as a consultant in industry meetings regarding the ILSAC GF-6 upgrade and engine test protocols.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Olree obtained a bachelor of science degree at Calvin College, as well as a both a bachelor and master’s degrees in engineering at the University of Michigan. He is survived by his wife Judy, three children, a brother, grandchildren and extended family. A memorial service is scheduled Nov. 11 in Troy, Michigan.

Bob Olree
Bob Olree

October 2017


Chevron Corp. and its affiliate company Chevron Oronite announced several changes to leadership roles. Oronite president Desmond “Des” King will retire Feb. 1 after 36 years with the company. He will be replaced by Bruce Chinn, general manager of Chevron Corp.’s Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery, effective Jan. 1. Chris Cavote, general manager of Chevron Corp.’s refinery in Burnaby, British Columbia, and chairman of Chevron Canada, will replace Chinn. Michael K. Wirth, vice chairman of Chevron Corp.’s board and executive vice president of midstream and development, was elected chairman and CEO of Chevron Corp., effective Feb. 1. He succeeds John S. Watson, who will retire after 37 years with the company.

Desmond “Des” King
Desmond “Des” King
Bruce Chinn
Bruce Chinn
Chris Cavote
Chris Cavote

Bruce Hendel is now vice president of North American sales for VP Racing Fuels’ race fuel and consumer products business divisions.

Bruce Hendel
Bruce Hendel

Fluitec recently appointed Pierre Vanderkelen CEO. He has served in numerous roles in the company since 2009, including regional sales manager in Europe, general manager for Fluitec in Asia-Pacific and most recently vice president of international sales.

Pierre Vanderkelen
Pierre Vanderkelen

Valvoline chairman William A. Wulfsohn stepped down from his role on the company’s board of directors in September. Wulfsohn, who is also chairman and CEO of Valvoline’s former parent company Ashland Global Holdings, guided the company through its transition as a publicly traded company after its initial public offering last year. Stephen F. Kirk was named as Wulfsohn’s replacement.

William A. Wulfsohn
William A. Wulfsohn
Stephen F. Kirk
Stephen F. Kirk

Brandt Jensen joined Hydrotex as Utah division partner, where he will serve the company’s fuel, food processing and freight customers in upper and eastern areas of the state including Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo and Logan.

Brandt Jensen
Brandt Jensen

September 2017


Polaris Laboratories named Michael Wells national account manager for North America. Wells had previously worked as territory sales manager at Polaris, and also served in sales and business development roles at BureauVeritas and AllFuel Services before rejoining the company.

Michael Wells
Michael Wells

Robert Claire “Bob” Hakeman died August 10 at the age of 85 in Huron, Ohio. He joined Sea-Land Chemical Co. in 1975, where he was executive vice president for over 40 years. After retiring from the company in 2000, he remained a member of its board of directors until 2015. He was also a member of various industry organizations, including the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, the Oil Chemists Society and the Cleveland Chemical Association.

Born April 23, 1932 at the Hakeman family’s farm near Sanborn, Iowa, he obtained a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University before serving in the United States Army. After a brief period in the military, he worked as a salesman prior to joining Sea-Land Chemical.

He is survived by his wife, Chris Ann Hakeman, sons Robert, Michael, Philip, Jim, Nicky and Matthew and daughter Lori, in addition to three brothers, 15 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bob Hakeman
Bob Hakeman

Sea-Land Chemical Co. promoted Jennifer Altstadt to chief operating officer. She was previously director of marketing and later senior vice president of operations and strategy at the company.

Jennifer Altstadt
Jennifer Altstadt

Kirk Schlup was hired as business development manager for Liquid Minerals Group. Schlup has over 30 years of experience in product development and chemical sales and most recently served as managing director of his consultancy, KS Resources.

Kirk Schlup
Kirk Schlup

Emerald Performance Materials appointed Wendy Herbst as general manager for its antioxidants and accelerators business, which is a result of the company’s split of its polymer additives and nitriles groups into separate business units.

Wendy Herbst
Wendy Herbst

Len Badal is now vice president of sales and business development at BioBlend. He previously held senior management roles at Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Len Badal
Len Badal

Pilot Chemical made two new hires. Bill Woods is technical marketing manager for the company’s Mason Chemical division, while Paul Washlock was named distribution sales manager for North America.

Paul Washlock
Paul Washlock

James “Jim” L. Newcombe, 73, died of cancer at his family home in Indiana on Aug. 13. The longtime face and voice of Paramins’ Detroit Trends (later Infineum Trends), he wrote the additive company’s popular roadshow and delivered it to thousands of lubricant blenders and marketers each year, leavening the technical details with dry wit and tart asides.

No less visibly, Newcombe was in the thick of the often heated negotiations between oil and additive companies and the auto industry in the late 1980s and early ‘90s that led to the ILSAC GF-series of engine oils. He was a fierce advocate for the oil/additive side: Wielding technical points like a rapier, he gained the attention and respect of both allies and adversaries, many of whom became lifelong friends. He championed collaborative solutions, too, helping to make the American Chemistry Council’s Code of Practice a bedrock of all API-licensed oils.

Newcombe was raised in St. Louis, and worked for Amoco Chemicals after graduating from the Missouri School of Mines & Metallurgy. His 35-year career took him to Hatco Chemical (owned then by W.R. Grace), Exxon Chemical Paramins and finally its successor Infineum International, where he served as marketing manager and liaison to the global auto industry. He served as chairman of SAE International’s Technical Committee 1 on automotive engine oils in the late 1980s, when TC-1 had a pivotal role in setting engine oil standards.

In the 1970s, “Newc” unleashed his adventurous side as racecar driver, running a successful SCCA team with his wife Pat that won the Northeast Championship several years in a row. Later, as Exxon's sponsor representative with its winning NASCAR racing team, he proudly stood in Victory Circle with Geoff Bodine at Daytona.

Besides his love of racing, he also was an avid golfer and active as a community volunteer. Survivors include his wife Patricia Lee, two daughters, a granddaughter, sister and brother, and extended family.

Jim Newcombe
Jim Newcombe

August 2017


Brenda Lim was appointed bunker and lubricant trader at KPI Bridge Oil’s office in Singapore.

Brenda Lim
Brenda Lim

Emery Oleochemicals named Eric Cecilio global business director for its biolubricants division. His most recent role was at Chemtura’s petroleum additives and urethanes business (now part of Lanxess), where he served as commercial director for the Americas.

Eric Cecilio
Eric Cecilio

Chevron Lubricants announced that Farrukh Saeed, vice president of the company’s division in Asia-Pacific, retired from the company after more than 34 years. The company formed two new business units in the region following Saeed’s retirement: Baomin Guo was appointed general manager for the Greater China lubricants unit in Beijing, while Rochna Kaul is now general manager for the company’s Asia/Pakistan lubricants business based in Singapore.

Farrukh Saeed
Farrukh Saeed
Baomin Guo
Baomin Guo
Rochna Kaul
Rochna Kaul

John Mcilroy is the new president of Aegean Marine Petroleum after former president E. Nikolas Tavarios resigned in June. The company also appointed interim president Jean Jose Metey vice president and head of corporate development.

John Mcilroy
John Mcilroy
Jean Jose Metey
Jean Jose Metey

July 2017


Hydrotex hired Todd Hakl as South Dakota division partner to serve fuel and agricultural industries in the state. Stephanie DiGiovanni also joined the company as Wisconsin division partner, to manage the needs of the company’s food processing, industrial and transportation customers.

Todd Hakl
Todd Hakl
Stephanie DiGiovanni
Stephanie DiGiovanni

Dow Chemical has shuffled several executive roles. Pedro Suarez, president for Dow North America, was named chief commercial officer. He replaces Joe Harlan, who will retire after the merger of Dow with DuPont in August. R. Matt Davis, corporate vice president of public and government affairs, added the responsibilities of corporate vice president and of Suarez’s previous role.

Joe Harlan
Joe Harlan
R. Matt Davis
R. Matt Davis
Pedro Suarez
Pedro Suarez

Master Fluid Solutions (formerly Master Chemical Corp.) appointed Kyle R. Stoffer chief financial officer.

Kyle R. Stoffer
Kyle R. Stoffer

Paul Dufresne established lubrication services provider Reliability Playbook, to assist manufacturing facilities in developing and sustaining equipment maintenance and lubrication programs. Dufresne previously worked at Trico Corporation, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals and Koch Industries and has 28 years of experience in lubricant maintenance and reliability roles. Based in Umatilla, Florida, he can be reached at paul.dufresne@reliabilitypb.com.

Paul Dufresne
Paul Dufresne

Manfred Jungk, Ph.D, founded consultancy MJ Tribology to provide training, strategy development, technology scouting and evaluation services for the field of specialty lubrication. Jungk spent nearly 30 years at Dow Corning, where he held executive positions in research and development, technical service and marketing for the company’s Molykote brand lubricants. He can be contacted at manfred.jungk@mj-tribology.com.

Manfred Jungk
Manfred Jungk

KPI Bridge Oil promoted Oliver Denal to senior bunker trader at its Denmark office.

Oliver Denal
Oliver Denal

Jason Denlinger was named Pilot Chemical’s new corporate environmental, health and safety manager.

Jason Denlinger
Jason Denlinger

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. made several changes to its executive management. Peter Cella, president and CEO, retired from the company. Mark Lashier, who served as executive vice president of commercial operations, took over Cella’s role. Senior v.p. of manufacturing Scott Sharp was promoted to executive v.p. of manufacturing. Ron Corn, senior v.p. of projects and supply chain, is now senior v.p. of petrochemicals. Dave Morgan, senior v.p. of polymers, became senior v.p. of polymers and specialties, while Jim Becker, v.p. of specialties, will now report to Morgan as v.p. of polymers. Dave Smith, former senior v.p. of petrochemicals, was appointed senior v.p. of corporate planning and technology. Jim Telljohann, v.p. of corporate planning and development, assumed the role of v.p. of specialties.

Peter Cella
Peter Cella
Mark Lashier
Mark Lashier
Scott Sharp
Scott Sharp
Ron Corn
Ron Corn
Dave Morgan
Dave Morgan
Jim Becker
Jim Becker
Dave Smith
Dave Smith
Jim Telljohann
Jim Telljohann

June 2017


American Refining Group hired David Breitigam as vice president for environmental, health and safety compliance. He spent 12 years in Marathon Petroleum Co., most recently serving as corporate refining EHS security manager.

David Breitigam
David Breitigam

Lilly Epstein Stotland was named president of Vesco Oil. She joined the company in 2004 and is a co-owner as well as a member of the board of directors.

Lilly Epstein Stotland
Lilly Epstein Stotland

Don Shaw is Troy Corporation’s new senior vice president for Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and India and for the company’s regulatory affairs department. He has spent 17 years at Troy, most recently as vice president and general manager for the company’s operations in Asia-Pacific and for regulatory affairs.

Don Shaw
Don Shaw

Acme-Hardesty hired Deanna Mulicka as inside sales and marketing specialist. Prior to Acme-Hardesty, she served as industry representative at Brenntag Solutions..

Deanna Mulicka
Deanna Mulicka

E. Nikolas Tavlarios resigned as president of Aegean Marine. He will serve as a consultant for the company, which formed an interim leadership team to oversee operations until a new president is appointed.


The Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers named its executive committee for the year 2017-2018 during its annual meeting and exhibition in late May. Michael Anderson of Falex Corp. was appointed president of STLE. He is joined by vice president Greg Croce of Chevron Products Co.; secretary Michael Duncan of Daubert Chemical Co., and treasurer Paul Hetherington of Petro-Canada Lubricants. STLE also elected three new members to its board: Karen Harrington of Afton Chemical, Brian M. Holtkamp of Nye Lubricants and David Turner of Citgo Petroleum Corp.

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson
Greg Croce
Greg Croce
Michael Duncan
Michael Duncan
Paul Hetherington
Paul Hetherington
Karen Harrington
Karen Harrington
Brian M. Holtkamp
Brian M. Holtkamp
David Turner
David Turner

Troy Corporation named Ismael “Izzy” Colon senior vice president for science and technology. Colon has over 40 years of experience in the specialty chemicals industry, including 20 years at Troy.

Izzy Colon
Izzy Colon

Sanjiv Singh is now chairman of Indian Oil Corp. He will also serve as chairman for the state-owned oil company’s subsidiary, Chennai Petroleum Corp.

Sanjiv Singh
Sanjiv Singh

Vasu Bala joined Tiarco Chemical as global technical director for the company’s lubricant, latex and water treatment additives. Bala previously worked with Afton Chemical and most recently with BASF Corp., where he led global technology and technical marketing operations.


Hi-Tech Lubricants Ltd. appointed Faraz Akhtar Zaidi as the company’s director, replacing the late Muhammad Basit Hassan.


Jeff Cox was appointed vice president of the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association. Prior to joining AMRA, Cox had various leadership roles in marketing and education at Bridgestone.


May 2017


Lubrizol Corp. has made several changes to its senior corporate management, effective June 1. Bob Graf, vice president of research and development, will assume the newly created position of v.p. of data science and analytics. Julie Edgar will take over Graf’s role, and will also serve as chief sustainability officer. The company also named Tesham Gor v.p. for corporate strategy and consumer insights. In addition, v.p. for engine oils Tom Curtis will be appointed senior v.p. and president of Lubrizol Additives, effective Nov. 1. He replaces Dan Sheets, who will retire at the end of this year after 33 years with the company.

Bob Graf
Bob Graf
Julie Edgar
Julie Edgar
Tesham Gor
Tesham Gor
Tom Curtis
Tom Curtis
Dan Sheets
Dan Sheets

Stephen Forsyth will serve as chief integration officer on Lanxess’ management board, effective June 1. He will be responsible for incorporating the acquired businesses of Chemtura, where he held the roles of executive vice president and CFO. The German company also appointed Jens-Christian Blad head of corporate development, effective September 1. He replaces Markus Eckert, who will lead its Urethane Systems business unit.

Jens-Christian Blad
Jens-Christian Blad
Stephen Forsyth
Stephen Forsyth

Walsh & Associates named two new account managers. Marcus Morgan will manage the company’s clients in the Southeast U.S. and Shakil Vyas will oversee customers in Southwest.

Marcus Morgan
Marcus Morgan
Shakil Vyas
Shakil Vyas

Axel Christiernsson recently hired two account managers. Dennis Eijdenberg now manages Axel’s clients in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland, while Per Nilsson serves the company’s customers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Dennis Eijdenberg
Dennis Eijdenberg
Per Nilsson
Per Nilsson

Elevance Renewable Sciences named Karl Schoene CEO. He succeeded Tony Parnell, who became executive chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Karl Schoene
Karl Schoene
Tony Parnell
Tony Parnell

Pilot Chemical announced that Tom Melhorn, plant manager at its facility in Lockland, Ohio, retired from the company May 1 after 38 years, serving 30 of those in his role at Lockland.

Tom Melhorn
Tom Melhorn

Phoenix Petroleum Philippines named Henry Fadullon its new chief operating officer. He replaces Romeo de Guzman, who will now serve as vice chairman of the company’s board of directors.


April 2017


Anders Petersen is KPI Bridge Oil’s new bunker and lubricant trader at its Denmark office. Petersen has worked in bunker trading roles for companies in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Mumbai, India.

Anders Petersen
Anders Petersen

Pilot Chemical hired Jeff Crume as regional sales manager for the Northeast U.S. He replaces Rob Pifer, who moved to the role of regional sales manager for the Midwest.

Jeff Crume
Jeff Crume

Amalie Oil appointed Paul McCoy regional manager for the Central United States. McCoy has held sales and management roles over a 25-year career, including at Pennzoil, Quaker State and Shell Lubricants.


Todd Cawley has joined American Refining Group as global business development manager. Cawley has more than 20 years of experience in the oil industry, most notably working in sales at Sinclair Oil Corp.

Todd Cawley
Todd Cawley

Albert J. Amatuzio, founder of Amsoil Inc., died April 1 at the age of 92. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Amatuzio trained with the Naval Air Corps after graduating from high school in 1942, serving 25 years with the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Air Force and the Duluth Air National Guard as a fighter pilot and squadron commander. It was during this time that he developed an interest in synthetic engine oils and, after a period of research and development, formed Amsoil in 1972.

While other companies have disputed the oil manufacturer’s claim to have been the first U.S. marketer of synthetics, Amsoil became one of the country’s main and steadiest promoters of such products. Amatuzio stepped down as president and CEO of the company in 2015.

He is survived by his children, daughters Lyn and Lorry, sons Dan and Alan—who is the current copresident of Amsoil—as well as brother Richard, sister Antoinette and six grandchildren.

Al Amatuzio
Al Amatuzio

Infineum announced that Ken Kalisky, sales director for the Americas, retired from the company. Latin America sales manager Fabian Devita took over Kalisky’s role.

Ken Kalisky
Ken Kalisky

C. Bradley Steven is Palmer Holland’s new president. The company also named Bryn Irvine CEO.

C. Bradley Steven
C. Bradley Steven
Bryn Irvine
Bryn Irvine

Hirotaka Kawano is the new managing director for Azelis in Japan. Kawano succeeds Mitsuru Katada, who retired from the company at the end of March.

Hirotaka Kawano
Hirotaka Kawano

March 2017


Danny E. Larkin, an automotive industry veteran in research and development of engine oils, died Feb. 1 at the age of 70. A Northville, Michigan, native, Larkin spent 32 years in Detroit Diesel assisting in lubricant development programs and application support for commercial fleets equipped with the company’s diesel engines.

After retiring from Detroit Diesel, Larkin joined ExxonMobil as a consultant, providing technical support to truck fleets for optimizing drain intervals and recommending lubricants to increase performance. He also worked alongside Test Engineering Inc. in reviewing and approving heavy-duty diesel engine oil formulations for additives and oil companies from 2004 until his death.

He served as chairman of the Engine Manufacturers Association’s Lubricants Committee and was also involved with the joint EMA/American Petroleum Institute Diesel Engine Oil Advisory Panel, remaining committed to diesel engine oil development throughout his entire professional life.

Larkin is survived by his wife Lynn and son Brad.

Danny E. Larkin
Danny E. Larkin

 

PT Pertamina appointed Elia Massa Manik president of the company. She steps into the former role of Dwi Soetjipto, who was dismissed from the Indonesian state-owned oil company Feb. 3.


 

Mark McLaughlin, vice president of Hicks Oils in Du Quoin, Illinois, died Feb. 23 at the age of 56. McLaughlin began his career in sales at Anheuser-Busch and Vess Soda, both in St. Louis, before joining Hicks Oils in 1995. After working in sales, in 2005 he was promoted to the position of vice president of operations. He was also a key representative for the company at the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association. He is survived by his wife Laura and daughter Katie.


Wendi Varner is Groeneveld Lubrication Solutions’ new national sales manager. She will support sales growth for the subsidiary of Netherlands-headquartered Groeneveld Group while based in the company’s recently established branch in Atlanta.

Wendi Varner
Wendi Varner

Palmer Holland announced Russ Bachman is the company’s new vice president of marketing, while Gus Munoz was appointed sales manager for the Southern United States.

Russ Bachman
Russ Bachman
Gus Munoz
Gus Munoz

February 2017


 

BioAmber, a Montreal-based manufacturer of succinic acid for products including industrial lubricants, appointed COO Fabrice Orecchioni president of the company. Orecchioni replaces president and CEO Jean-Francois Huc, who will continue to serve on the board of directors.


Cyclo Industries hired Fabrizio Flaminio as international business manager for Latin America. Flaminio has 20 years of experience in international automotive aftermarket sales, and will develop Cyclo’s markets in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Fabrizio Flaminio
Fabrizio Flaminio

Manfred Fuchs will step down as deputy chairman of the supervisory board at Fuchs Petrolub SE after 13 years, effective May 5. Susanne Fuchs, a third-generation member of the Fuchs family, has been nominated by the supervisory board to succeed him after the company’s annual general meeting.

Manfred Fuchs
Manfred Fuchs
Susanne Fuchs
Susanne Fuchs

Shell Australia appointed Zoe Yujnovich chairwoman of the company, which includes her predecessor Andrew Smith’s roles as executive v.p. of Australia and New Zealand and country chair, effective April 1. Smith will become executive v.p. of trading and supply for Shell’s global operations in May.

Zoe Yujnovich
Zoe Yujnovich

W. Brian Smith will serve as executive vice president and COO at Troy Corporation. He has held several leadership positions over 22 years with the company, most recently as vice president.

W. Brian Smith
W. Brian Smith

Used oil recycling expert Fabio Dalla Giovanna has taken a position with Egeo Oil in Portugal, working to establish an alliance of companies to develop and operate rerefineries around the world. He has also served as president of UEIL and of GEIR, the European rerefining association.

Fabio Dalla Giovanna
Fabio Dalla Giovanna

Pilot Chemical named Bert Gutierrez new general manager for Latin America, replacing Sarah Mester, who was appointed director of corporate development in January.

Bert Gutierrez
Bert Gutierrez

Katharine Morgan is now president of ASTM International after serving as executive vice president and v.p. of technical committee operations over 33 years. She succeeds James A. Thomas, who served 25 years in the role.

Katharine Morgan
Katharine Morgan

Perrysburg, Ohio-based metalworking fluids manufacturer Master Chemical recently appointed Michael McHenry CEO and David Barned global vice president of operations and supply chain.

Michael McHenry
Michael McHenry
David Barned
David Barned

At Starfire Premium Products, Darrin Ward was named COO. Leigh Smith was hired as vice president of sales for the company’s Eastern United States distribution network, while Jeremy Chase joined as v.p. of sales for the Western U.S. Tim Wullenweber was promoted to v.p. of marketing and technical services.

Leigh Smith
Leigh Smith

Indian Oil Corp. named S.S.V. Ravakumar director of research and development. He previously served as executive director of refining technology at the company’s R&D center in Faridabad, in the Indian state of Haryana.

S.S.V. Ravakumar
S.S.V. Ravakumar

January 2017


Chevron named Michael Wirth vice chairman, effective Feb. 1. Wirth served as executive vice president of midstream and development at the company.


Palmer Holland appointed former Wallover Oil president Eric Kielts business manager for lubricants and metalworking fluids. Kielts spent 27 years at Strongsville, Ohio-based Wallover before Houghton International purchased the company in July.

Eric Kielts
Eric Kielts

Karen Neu assumed the role of senior sales representative at Shamrock Technologies. Neu previously worked as additives account manager at Air Products.

Karen Neu
Karen Neu

Metalube UK promoted Wayne Thornhill to product manager of its Metraform range of products. Jon Dutton joined the company from Houghton International and will support Thornhill as technical sales manager. Dexin Luo also joined as development chemist for Metalube China.

Dexin Luo, Wayne Thornhill and Jon Dutton
Left to right: Dexin Luo, Wayne Thornhill and Jon Dutton

Bridget Cook Crocker, technical support manager with Houston-based Soltex Inc., died Dec. 22 at the age of 54. Crocker spent 25 years in the lubricant additives industry, working as a chemist and in technical support and sales roles at Gateway Additives, Lubrizol and PCC Chemax. She is survived by her husband, Jeffrey Todd Crocker, daughter Amber Shay Crocker and son Tyler Vance McGraw.

Bridget Cook Crocker
Bridget Cook Crocker

Nynas announced that sales executive Lina Zuluaga and sales manager for Latin America Marcela Tocelis will lead its new office in Bogota, Colombia.

Lina Zuluaga
Lina Zuluaga
Marcela Tocelis
Marcela Tocelis

Datacor appointed Dan McCusker vice president of sales. McCusker has 25 years of experience in the chemical software industry.

Dan McCusker
Dan McCusker

Warren Distribution promoted Curt Knapp to chief operating officer of sales and supply, and Donna Weeda to COO of operations.

Curt Knapp
Curt Knapp
Donna Weeda
Donna Weeda

KPI Bridge Oil promoted Mark Perrins to trading manager at its London office. Perrins previously served as bunker and lubricant trader as well as team leader at KPI.

Mark Perrins
Mark Perrins

Michael P. Smith was named executive vice president and president of performance chemicals, strategy and development at Ingevity. Smith’s new responsibilities combine with those of Edward A. Rose, who served as executive v.p. and president of performance chemicals and will leave the company, effective January 31.

Michael P. Smith
Michael P. Smith
Edward A. Rose
Edward A. Rose

HollyFrontier announced changes to its management team related to its pending acquisition of Suncor Energy’s Petro-Canada Lubricants. Mark A. Plake will resign as president of subsidiary Holly Logistics Services to preside over Petro-Canada Lubricants. President and CEO of HollyFrontier George Damiris will take Plake’s role. Richard L. Voliva III will be promoted to executive vice president and CFO of HollyFrontier, effective March 1. He replaces Douglas S. Aron, who will pursue work outside the company but provide consulting and transition services through the end of the year.


SI Group has realigned several executive roles. Stephen Haller assumed the role of senior vice president for North America. His previous role has been filled by Philip Ingham, who was named senior v.p. for strategy and new business development. Ingham served as v.p. of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations, a role which has assumed by Andreas Missy, former senior director of finance for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Paul Tilley is now senior v.p. of business excellence and global key accounts. Previously, he oversaw SI Group’s North American operations and accounts. William Scheffer, vice president of operational excellence, retired after 35 years with the company.

Stephen Haller
Stephen Haller
Philip Ingham
Philip Ingham
Andreas Missy
Andreas Missy
Paul Tilley
Paul Tilley

John Schaeffer Shields, chairman of Schaeffer Manufacturing Co. in St. Louis, Missouri, died Dec. 5 at the age of 91. Shields’ career began in 1951 at IBM, then Projected Planning Co. and W. Alfred Hayes & Co. In 1981, after the successive deaths of the company’s three principals – his brothers, president Tom Shields and vice president Gwynne Shields, and v.p. and national sales manager Marty Schwab – Shields and his sister, the late Jacqueline Shields Hermann, restructured the company to keep it family-owned for future generations. Shields became chairman that same year, overseeing the company’s growth to approximately $140 million in sales both in the U.S. and 40 other countries.

John Schaeffer Shields
John Schaeffer Shields

Roman Myrna was appointed vice president of manufacturing at Sonneborn. Myrna has more than 25 years of experience overseeing operations at specialty chemicals facilities.

Roman Myrna
Roman Myrna

 

Calumet named D. West Griffin executive vice president and COO. Griffin has served in executive management roles for a number of energy corporations over 30 years.


Croda promoted Scott Davis to manager of strategic accounts for lubricants and polymer additives. Davis previously oversaw accounts in the Midwest United States.

Scott Davis
Scott Davis

Sebastian Crawshaw has announced his retirement after 23 years as owner and manager of OATS, a global lubricants data provider. Crawshaw will be succeeded by Peter van der Galiën, managing director at Haynes Publishing Group, which is set to acquire OATS.

Sebastian Crawshaw
Sebastian Crawshaw

Eric Schnur assumed the chairman, president and CEO roles for Lubrizol Corp. effective Jan. 2, succeeding James Hambrick, previously chairman and CEO, who completed a 38-year career with the company. The planned management transition was announced in mid-2016. Schnur, who has been with the company more than 27 years, was named Lubrizol's president and COO June 1, having previously served as president of the Lubrizol Advanced Materials business segment for eight years.

Eric Schnur
Eric Schnur

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