Faces in the News

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November 2018


American Refining Group President and COO Jeannine T. Schoenecker will resign in March 2019 due to her husband's recent ALS diagnosis.


Shrewsbury, England-based Morris Lubricants appointed Andy Morrey as its new operations manager.


Barbara Kudis of Allegheny Petroleum Products Co. became president of the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association for the 2018-2019 term. She succeeds Dave Croghan of Maxum Petroleum.

Barbara Kudis
Barbara Kudis
Dave Croghan
Dave Croghan

Calumet Specialty Products Partners appointed Dan Sheets to its board of directors. Sheets has 39 years of experience in specialty chemicals and was president of Lubrizol Corp. before retiring from the company in 2017.

Dan Sheets
Dan Sheets

Oxea CEO Salim Al Huthaili was elected in October as a new board member of the European Chemical Industry Council.

Salim Al Huthaili
Salim Al Huthaili

KPI Bridge Oil promoted Victoria Freeman to chief financial officer. Freeman joined the company in 2009 as an accountant and most recently served as group financial controller.

Victoria Freeman
Victoria Freeman

Harrison Chien was named vice president of sales at Flexcon North America, a laminated films manufacturer. Chien most recently served as v.p. of sales and marketing at Luxfer Corp. in Madison, Illinois.

Harrison Chien
Harrison Chien

Consulting firm Kline & Co. hired Debbie Powell as a manager of energy practice. Powell has over 20 years of experience in the lubricants industry and previously worked at Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron.

Debbie Powell
Debbie Powell

Jason Galary was named director of research and development at Fairhaven, Massachusetts-based Nye Lubricants. He previously was applied science and tribology manager.

Jason Galary
Jason Galary

October 2018


SK Lubricants Americas named Jeff Presley its new technical manager. Presley has over 30 years of lubricants experience from various roles held at Valvoline Inc.

Jeff Presley
Jeff Presley

Soltex Inc. hired Cloe West to its technical sales team for the company’s line of performance chemical additives.


Palmer Holland appointed Drew Ursic sales manager for the Midwest region.

Drew Ursic
Drew Ursic

September 2018


Sea-Land Chemical Co. hired Tony Grzejka as account manager for the United States West Coast. He most recently served as senior account manager at Infineum.


Anju Singla joined American Refining Group as railroad sales specialist. She previously held lubricant sales roles at Soltex Inc., MidContinental Chemical Co. and International Petroleum Products & Additives Co.

Anju Singla
Anju Singla

Darren Booth, vice president of operations at Lubrication Engineers Inc., was appointed president of the Petroleum Packaging Council.

Darren Booth
Darren Booth

Wanda Gonzalez was named plant manager for Pilot Chemical Co.’s production facility in Houston. She most recently served as site manager at ISP Freetown Fine Chemicals Inc. in Freetown, Massachusetts.

Wanda Gonzalez
Wanda Gonzalez

Dick Wolpert, marine product line specialist, and Global OEM and Industry Liaison Gary Parsons both retired from Chevron Oronite in September. Richard van den Bulk is Parsons’ replacement.

Dick Wolpert
Dick Wolpert
Gary Parsons
Gary Parsons
Richard van den Bulk
Richard van den Bulk

Texas Refinery Corp. named Patrick M. Walsh its new president. Walsh oversaw the lube manufacturer’s domestic lubricant sales and international sales divisions, and has held numerous management and executive roles at TRC and its subsidiaries over 35 years. The company also promoted J.R. Hannan to senior vice president and chief operations officer.

Patrick M. Walsh
Patrick M. Walsh
J.R. Hannan
J.R. Hannan

Ergon Inc. promoted Kris Patrick to chief operating officer for the company and its subsidiaries. Lance Puckett, senior vice president of the petroleum specialties marketing division, replaces Patrick as president of Ergon Refining Inc. and Ergon–West Virginia.

Kris Patrick
Kris Patrick
Lance Puckett
Lance Puckett

August 2018


Jamie Brunk, lube study manager with HSB Solomon Associates, retired on Sept. 4. Brunk managed the base oil and wax portion of Solomon’s benchmarking and consulting businesses since 2004, as well as the “Worldwide Paraffinic Lube Refinery Performance Analysis” (Lube Study) between 2004 and 2016. Tim Langlais will take over the position. Langlais has served as a global base oil marketing executive most recently with Ergon and also with Phillips 66.

Jamie Brunk
Jamie Brunk
Tim Langlais
Tim Langlais

Colleen Murphy-Smith was named director, base oils, at Motiva, replacing Bryan Schorzman, who was appointed director, refining and strategy analysis.

Colleen Murphy-Smith
Colleen Murphy-Smith

Ametek Brookfield appointed Hitesh Shah global vice president of sales. Shah has over 25 years of experience in sales and executive roles, having worked at General Electric, Meggitt Sensing Systems and most recently as global sales director at Novanta.

Hitesh Shah
Hitesh Shah

John Bucci is vice president of technical development with the Savant Group. He brings over 30 years of experience and knowledge in process R&D, chemical manufacturing and mechanical processing, most recently with Hemlock Semiconductor Corp.

John Bucci
John Bucci

Lanxess named Jacques Perez as its new country representative in the United Kingdom and managing director of Lanxess Holding UK, effective Oct. 1. He previously held positions at Lanxess India, where Neelanjan Banerjee is now country representative and managing director. Banerjee will also remain head of the Advanced Industrial Intermediates business unit.

Jacques Perez
Jacques Perez
Neelanjan Banerjee
Neelanjan Banerjee

Bob DeGennaro, editor and founder of industry newsletter OEM Lube News, died on July 27. The July 30 edition was that newsletter’s final issue, his son Ryan told its readers and sponsors. DeGennaro spent his career in the oil and gas industry working for companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil and Gulf Oil before retiring to start a consulting business and the newsletter more than 14 years ago.

Bob DeGennaro
Bob DeGennaro

Lubricating Specialties Inc. appointed Carmen Fiordirosa to the newly created role of director of e-commerce.

Carmen Fiordirosa
Carmen Fiordirosa

Pilot Chemical named attorney John Brantley, who has provided counsel to the chemical company for 13 years, director of the company’s board.

John Brantley
John Brantley

Jim Becker, current vice president of polymers at Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., assumed an additional role to coordinate commercial and technical resources to advance the company’s sustainability strategy.

Jim Becker
Jim Becker

Richard “Dick” Kabel, who spent 32 years at General Motors Research Laboratories and was one of the key figures in the development of the ILSAC passenger car motor oil standard, died July 29 at age 85.

Born in Detroit, he attended the University of Detroit and later graduated from the General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan. In addition to his career at GM, Kabel was an active member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, serving on its board of directors, and formed Rich-Lo Consulting after his retirement from GM in 1987.

Kabel is attributed with developing the framework that led to the ILSAC specification, which replaced a handful of different standards that were used in the late 1960s, including standards from SAE, the American Petroleum Institute and ASTM International.

Kabel is survived by his wife Lois Kabel, children Keith Kabel and Kathleen Kania and sister Dee Berg, as well as five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Dick Kabel
Dick Kabel

Edward J. Palecki, a former general manager of the National Lubricating Grease Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, died Aug. 2 at the age of 91. He worked with Trans World Airlines in various management capacities for 34 years and led NLGI for six years after retiring from TWA. He is survived by sons Michael and Paul, daughters Mary, Carol, Ann Fierstos and Jean Ray Chubrilo, as well as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Edward Palecki
Edward Palecki

Miranda C. Hubbs was appointed to the board of directors of Canada’s Imperial Oil.


Amanda Eversole will join the American Petroleum Institute this fall as chief operating officer. She previously served as managing director and head of public affairs at JP Morgan Chase & Co.


Patrick McCloud will take over as CEO and managing director of Chevron Lubricants Lanka effective Sept. 1. He will take over for Kishu Gomes, who resigned from the position in May.


Bryan Stewart was hired as operations manager at Penthol LLC’s new Houston office.


July 2018


Middleborough, Massachusetts-based measurement and control instrumentation manufacturer Ametek Brookfield appointed Vicki Case global marketing director.

Vicki Case
Vicki Case

Pilot Chemical Co. Vice President of Research and Development Rick Shook retired from his position at the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company after nearly 40 years. He will remain involved with Pilot Chemical in a consultant capacity.

Rick Shook
Rick Shook

Consultant Roy Fewkes, a recognized driveline lubricant and lubrication expert with over 40 years of industry experience, died May 11 at age 69.

Born in Derby, United Kingdom, he obtained an M.B.A. from Loughborough University. Fewkes’ involvement in the automotive industry began when he developed and built motor racing engines during the 1970s. Those motor racing activities later resulted in his appointment by the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association as a senior motor racing official responsible for safety and technical compliance.

Fewkes’ industry background also saw him managing business units at General Motors and Lubrizol. At GM, he conceived and implemented the company’s Dexron licensing and approvals program for automatic transmission fluids, eventually turning the Dexron trademark into a brand covering other products that he was instrumental in developing, including gear oils, dual clutch transmission fluids and hydraulic fluids.

After his retirement from GM, he became a consultant to original equipment manufacturers and oil and additive companies. Fewkes also authored and co-authored a number of published articles and technical papers related to lubricants, lubricant development, lubricant testing, and other lubricant related issues, and his name is on a number of patents regarding transmission fluids and tests.

He is survived by his wife, Emma, and two children, William and Sarah .

Roy Fewkes
Roy Fewkes

Donald Brinkman, who built Safety-Kleen into a national recycling company and later was on the board of directors at Heritage-Crystal Clean, died June 11. He was 87.

Born in Chicago and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois, Brinkman attended the University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign where he earned a bachelor's degree in business. He later went on to receive an MBA from Northwestern University. Donald began his career in marketing research, joining CR Industries of Elgin, Illinois, in 1960. He recommended that CR Industries purchase Safety-Kleen, and the acquisition was completed in 1968.

He became Safety Kleen's president and CEO until his retirement from the company in 1998, and then served as director of Heritage-Crystal Clean from 2002 to 2012.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly, his children, Scott, Bonny Putney, Barbara Ladd, Donna Spethman and Dawn Walters, sister Shirley Modelhammer, as well as 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild .

Donald Brinkman
Donald Brinkman

Clariant announced that Deepak Parikh, the chemical company's region president of North America, has been appointed to the board of directors of the American Chemistry Council for a two-year term. He most recently served as Clariant’s region President for India, Middle East and Africa as well as vice chairman and managing director of Clariant Chemicals.

Deepak Parikh
Deepak Parikh

Rajesh “Raj” Shah, director at Koehler Instrument Co., became the youngest recipient of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers’ P.M. Ku Award, which he was given at STLE’s annual meeting in Minneapolis in May. The award recognizes outstanding and selfless achievement in service of the organization’s mission. Shah has been an active STLE member for over two decades, serving as its annual meeting technical chair, lubrication education course chair, fundamental lubrication committee chair and technical editor of STLE’s Tribology and Lubrication Technology magazine.

Raj Shah
Raj Shah

Doug Church, president and CEO of Elco Corp. (now part of Italmatch Chemicals), retired from the company after 17 years. Dave Millin replaced him as CEO, in addition to being named executive vice president of Detrex Corp. Danny McCaul became president of Elco Corp. and president and CEO of Detrex Corp. He is the CEO of both Italmatch USA and Compass Chemicals, units of Italmatch, both in Smyrna, Georgia.


Authentix named Kevin McKenna as its new president and CEO, succeeding Bernard Bailey, who will remain as chairman of the board. The Addison, Texas-based company provides end-to-end authentication solutions to help safeguard customers' lubes and other refined products.


United Kingdom-based Vickers Oils hired Ian Bower as business development manager and Esther Murray as marketing communications manager.


Functional Products Inc. promoted Erik Willett to technical director, where he will be responsible for developing and expanding Functional’s line of additives.


June 2018


Chevron Lubricants Lanka's CEO and managing director Kishu Gomes resigned from his role in late May. Rochna Kaul, general manager of the company's Asia and Pakistan region, is acting CEO and managing director.

Rochna Kaul
Rochna Kaul

Kirill Vereta was appointed general director of Lukoil lube arm LLK International, succeeding Maxim Donde. Vereta was general director of Intesmo as well as deputy general director for manufacturing and chief engineer of LLK International.

Kirill Vereta
Kirill Vereta

Pilot Chemical Co. named Mike Clark chief operating officer. He most recently served as vice president, organics, at Sasol Performance Chemicals in Houston.

Mike Clark
Mike Clark

KPI Bridge Oil made four new bunker and lubricant trader appointments and announced the relocation of one of its traders. Mikkel Kristensen now works at the company’s office in Denmark. Eren Onder joins KPI’s Istanbul location from Turkey’s OMV Petrol Ofisi, while Marc Cook will be based in the London office. Paul Martinez was hired to the lubricant and fuel supplier’s office in New York, where bunker and lubricant trader Cihan Birdogdu relocated from Istanbul.

Mikkel Kristensen
Mikkel Kristensen
Eren Onder
Eren Onder
Marc Cook
Marc Cook
Paul Martinez
Paul Martinez
Cihan Birdogdu
Cihan Birdogdu

Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) appointed Pham Van Thanh as its new chairman, replacing Bui Ngoc Bao, who retired in May.


May 2018


Greg Croce of Chevron Products Co. was named president of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers for the year 2018-2019 at its annual meeting in Minneapolis. He joined the company in 2000, where his roles have included global account manager/OEM service engineer, North American product line specialist, base oil optimization specialist and currently technical manager of the Delo heavy-duty diesel engine oil brand.

Croce replaces Michael Anderson of Falex Corp. and is joined by vice president Michael Duncan of Daubert Chemical Co., secretary Paul Hetherington of Petro-Canada Lubricants and treasurer Ken Hope of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. STLE’s newest board members are Aaron Greco of Argonne National Laboratory, Robert Jackson of Auburn University and Farrukh Qureshi of Lubrizol Corp.

Greg Croce
Greg Croce
Michael Duncan
Michael Duncan
Paul Hetherington
Paul Hetherington
Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson
Ken Hope
Ken Hope
Aaron Greco
Aaron Greco
Robert Jackson
Robert Jackson
Farrukh Qureshi
Farrukh Qureshi

Regina Harm was promoted to president of Afton Chemical Corp. She has spent 11 years with the company and served as senior vice president and chief operating officer prior to her promotion. She replaces Robert Shama, who was appointed vice president of strategic original equipment manufacturers.

Regina Harm
Regina Harm
Robert Shama
Robert Shama

Ergon, Inc. announced that its founder, Leslie B. Lampton, Jr., died of natural causes April 17 in Jackson, Mississippi. He was 92. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Lampton joined the Unites States Navy in 1943 and served during World War II and the Korean War. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Mississippi in 1948, he managed a Firestone tire shop in Jackson after completing the company’s management training program in Memphis. He founded Ergon in 1954 as a fuel delivery business for construction companies and led the firm for 64 years. He is survived by his four sons, Leslie, Lee, William “Bill” and Robert, who serve on Ergon’s board of directors, as well as 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. His wife, Dorothy, died a few days after his death .

Leslie B. Lampton
Leslie B. Lampton

BASF appointed senior vice president Uta Holzenkamp to lead its fuel and lubricant solutions global business unit. She succeeds Martin Widmann, who moved to another role at the company’s Care Chemicals division.

Uta Holzenkamp
Uta Holzenkamp

Ed Pyatt was appointed account manager for the St. Louis region at Walsh & Associates.

Ed Pyatt
Ed Pyatt

Kristiaan Van Severen joined Belgium-based Kemat as product manager for polyisobutylenes..

Kristiaan Van Severen
Kristiaan Van Severen

Vancouver-based Gen III Oil named Mark Redcliffe as its new executive vice president of corporate finance.


GP Global appointed five senior traders to its new offices in Hull, United Kingdom and Seoul, South Korea. Steven Taylor, lead for physical supply, and Susan Needham, trading operator, oversee the company’s office in Hull. Senior Bunker Trader Robin Park will lead operations in South Korea. The oil manufacturer and trader also named bunker traders Chris Holroyd and Dave Matthews to lead its existing office in London.


Petronas Dagangan Berhad, the domestic marketing arm of Malaysia's state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd., appointed Dato' Sri Syed Zainal Abidin Bin Syed Mohamed Tahir as CEO and managing director effective June 1, 2018.


Greg Wade was named CEO of Tank Holding Corp., which manages polyethylene storage tank manufacturers Norwesco and Snyder Industries. Wade was hired by Norwesco in 2005 and held various roles in the company, including vice president of sales and marketing.


KPI Bridge Oil hired Zoe Tang as bunker trader at its Singapore office. The company also promoted Alysha Chambers to group marketing manager.

Zoe Tang
Zoe Tang
Alysha Chambers
Alysha Chambers

Peter Vanacker will become CEO of Neste Oil on Nov. 1. Vanacker currently serves as CEO of German specialty chemicals company CABB Group. He will replace Matti Lievonen, who will retire from the company Oct. 31.

Peter Vanacker
Peter Vanacker

Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants appointed Jim Carroll executive vice president of operations, a newly created position within the company. He has had a 20-year tenure at Schaeffer’s, most recently serving as vice president of technical services.

Jim Carroll
Jim Carroll

April 2018


Oxea appointed Lars Eric Johansson as its new senior vice president of strategic alliances. He previously served as chairman of Perstorp Aegis Chemicals India and of Shandong Fufeng Perstorp Chemicals China.

Lars Eric Johansson
Lars Eric Johansson

Ted Selby, a lubricant testing pioneer whose inventions are used worldwide to unlock the secrets of oil rheology, oxidation, deposits and more, will receive STLE’s highest technical honor, the International Award. The accolade will come during the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers’ annual meeting, which expects to draw some 1,600 delegates to Minneapolis, May 20-24.

Selby began researching fuels and lubricants in 1952, first at General Motors and then at Dow Chemical. Armed with a master’s in physical chemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit, in 1969 he founded the Savant Group of companies in Midland, Michigan, and expanded it to include test developer Savant Inc., bench test manufacturer Tannas Co., and the Institute of Materials, which monitors the quality of engine oils worldwide.

Numerous groundbreaking test concepts and methods, including several ASTM standards that are integral to engine oil specifications, owe their existence to Selby, who is Savant’s vice president, technical development. Among his far-reaching inventions are the Tapered Bearing Simulator; the Thermo-oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test; the Scanning Brookfield viscometer technique; the Phosphorus Emissions Index and the Selby-Noack oil volatility apparatus.

Read more about Selby's accomplishments in the April 18 issue of Lube Report Americas.

Ted Selby
Ted Selby

Sea-Land Chemical Co. made several promotions to its executive and senior management teams. Craig Lundell is now senior vice president of commercial operations for the United States and Europe. Christy Henley serves as vice president of sales at the company. Jack McKenna, who is national account manager and vice president of business development, will also assume the responsibilities of vice president of Sea-Land Chemical Canada. Mark Christeon is national account manager for strategic accounts in addition to leading business development in Mexico and Latin America. Sakura Olah was named to the newly-created position of director of business processes, adding to her responsibilities as director of international operations at the distributor's divisions in Canada and Europe. Jeff Levandowski was named director of commercial operations after serving 10 years as supply chain manager, while Joe Ramey was promoted to director of accounting and management of information systems. David Smith was named business manager for Sea-Land Chemical Europe.

Craig Lundell
Craig Lundell
Christy Henley
Christy Henley
Jack McKenna
Jack McKenna
Mark Christeon
Mark Christeon
Sakura Olah
Sakura Olah
Jeff Levandowski
Jeff Levandowski
Joe Ramey
Joe Ramey

Lubrication Specialties Inc. hired Brian Merz as director of national account sales. Prior to joining the company, he served as senior key account manager for Idemitsu Lubricants Americas and has held similar roles at Shell Oil Products and Pennzoil-Quaker State Co.

Brian Merz
Brian Merz

Sean Lalonde was promoted to director, global base oil and wax, at HollyFrontier. He most recently served as manager of base oil, white oil and automotive original equipment manufacturer business in the Americas.

Sean Lalonde
Sean Lalonde

Christina May was named business line manager at Pilot Chemical Co. She most recently held the role of market development manager at Cincinnati-based metalworking fluid and coatings manufacturer Michelman.

Christina May
Christina May

Victor Franco Paredes is the new CEO of Lubricantes de Americas (Lubral). He joined the company in 2015 as director of sales and operations.

Victor Franco Paredes
Victor Franco Paredes

Lubrizol promoted J. Brian Pitts to corporate vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. He succeeds Brian Valentine, who will leave the company later this year.

J. Brian Pitts
J. Brian Pitts

Peter Coleman was named business development consultant for Europe at VP Racing Fuels. The company also appointed Ron Wick business development representative for the Midwestern United States.

Peter Coleman
Peter Coleman

Puma Lubricants named Charles Du Bois global lubricants technology manager. He previously worked in lubricants and global business development roles at Tribol, Castrol and Chemserve.

Charles Du Bois
Charles Du Bois

Chris Cullen joined Petrico as supply chain manager. He previously worked at Norcros Adhesives and Zenteum.

Chris Cullen
Chris Cullen

U.S. Lubricants promoted Tony Springer to industrial channel director for the company’s products. He has over 20 years of sales management experience and has spent nine years working at U.S. Lubricants.

Tony Springer
Tony Springer

Hydrodec CEO Chris Ellis resigned from his role in April due to the illness of a family member. Lord Moynihan, chairman of the rerefiner, was named interim CEO and executive chairman.


March 2018


Harvey Lewis Golubock, who worked at Witco Corp. for 28 years and then became president and COO of American Refining Group for 14 years, died Feb. 24 in New York City. He was 75.

Holding a chemical engineering degree from City College of New York and an MBA from Rutgers University, Golubock’s career at Witco spanned from 1969 to 1997. In that time his roles included planning analyst, assistant to the president, assistant to the chairman, vice president and general manager, vice president of corporate communications, vice president supply and distribution, and finally group vice president for lubricants.

Among Witco’s assets he oversaw was Kendall Refining in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the world’s oldest continuously operating crude refinery and the birthplace of Kendall motor oil. When Witco sold off its lubricant assets in 1996 (including the Kendall brand), no one wanted the refinery. It at last was sold in 1997 to private investor Harry Halloran--who immediately recruited Golubock to run it.

He and the new owners at ARG revitalized the base oil business and launched a line of finished lubricants under the new BradPenn name. ARG also made Gulf brand lubricants under license for the Northeast U.S., and became a key supplier of railroad engine oils after acquiring that business line from Valvoline.

After retiring in 2011, he resided in Suffern, New York. His wife Barbara survives him, along with daughters Janis and Rhona, and other family.

Read more about Golubock’s life in the April 2018 issue of Lubes’n’Greases.

Harvey Golubock
Harvey Golubock

Pilot Chemical Co. named Glynn Goertzen vice president of corporate development. Goertzen also serves as president of Pilot’s subsidiary, Liquid Minerals Group.

Glynn Goertzen
Glynn Goertzen

David Purvis is Metalube UK’s new global product manager. He will oversee the company’s international business for its high performance protection grease for overhead line conductors as well as wire rope products.

David Purvis
David Purvis

Fuchs Lubricants hired Alex Holmes as head of industrial product management. He previously held a similar role at Lubrizol.

Alex Holmes
Alex Holmes

Heike van de Kerkhof was named head of Castrol’s lubricants business in Europe and Africa. She most recently worked at the Chemours Co. (spun off from DuPont’s performance chemicals businesses), where she was vice president, global sales of Titanium Technologies and president of Chemours’ international operations.

Heike van de Kerkhof
Heike van de Kerkhof

Monson hired Tony Yerkes as account manager for its lubricants and metalworking fluids businesses in Michigan and Ohio. Prior to joining Monson, Yerkes provided technical service and product management for metalworking fluids and fuels at Afton Chemical.

Tony Yerkes
Tony Yerkes

Bob Merz was appointed senior manager of corporate communications at VP Racing Fuels, which markets fuels, additives and lubricants.

Bob Merz
Bob Merz

Anthony Kruczek was appointed senior product manager at B’laster Corp. He previously held product management roles at JohnDow Industries, Accel Performance Group and PolyOne.


Lake St. Louis, Missouri-based Bunton Industrial Solutions added Billy Marquart to its sales team. He will specialize in metalworking fluid applications for the regional original equipment manufacturer market.


Shishir Joshipura, managing director of SKF India, has resigned from the company, effective at the end of this month. Joshipura served eight years in his role.


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

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