The Pittsburgh Smart 50 help spark the region’s business success and strength

 

pit_DennisOatesDennis M. Oates
Chairman, president and CEO
Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc.

Just two months after joining the board of directors at Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc., Dennis M. Oates was named president and CEO. As a first step, Oates refocused the entire company on a relentless pursuit of best-in-class lead times, on-time performance and customer responsiveness.

Lean manufacturing practices were implemented, capital investments were made to overcome operational bottlenecks, advanced metrics were adopted to monitor progress and the management team was built up with key members.

Oates gained the title of chairman, and then in 2011, acquired Patriot Special Metals. This move put the pieces in place to substantially broaden Universal’s production capabilities and its product range, while enabling its entry into new market niches.

The next phase for realizing the full benefits of the acquisition and moving Universal to more technologically advanced alloys was earning 12 major industry certifications that led to winning 33 new customer approvals in three years from companies such as Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation.


 

pit_AmeliaPapapetropoulosAmelia Papapetropoulos
Owner
Fire Within

Women are a growing part of the energy industry. Their presence, however, has created a new need in what has long been a male-dominated industry — women’s apparel.

Amelia Papapetropoulos and the company she owns, Fire Within, have been actively filling that growing need.

Fire Within is the first company of its kind to take the lead on manufacturing industrial clothing for women. Many other companies feel that it is sufficient to provide smaller sizes of men’s apparel. Fire Within recognizes that women’s bodies are different, but the jobs are the same.

By researching and talking to women who use Fire Within products, the company has created a line that meets and exceeds the needs of women working in the energy industry, all while providing top-of-the-line safety features. By helping women in the energy industry, Fire Within is leading the way to get more women involved in one of the area’s fastest growing markets.


 

pit_RoccoPetrilliRocco Petrilli
President and managing partner
SAMI LLC

While working at Borg-Warner, one of the largest suppliers to automakers around the world, Rocco Petrilli learned about an emerging field, super abrasive machining, which is sometimes described as grinding at machining speeds.

This SAM technology can save manufacturing costs, reduce the time required to manufacture parts and produce parts that last longer.

In 2011, after Petrilli left Borg-Warner, he learned that the company had made a strategic decision to abandon its SAM facility and get out of the business. Drawing on his network, he quickly put together an investment group and created Super Abrasive Machining Innovations or SAMI LLC.

Acting as president and managing partner, he located SAMI in Elk County, the global center of the powdered metal industry where the “hard parts” of cars are manufactured. Because these parts are so tough, SAM is a perfect technology for making them.

In the last four years, SAMI has quadrupled in size and is now working to identify potential acquisitions that would broaden its capabilities.


 

pit_LoriannPutzierLoriann Putzier
COO
IntegraCare Corp.

Loriann Putzier, along with her partner Rick Irwin, formed IntegraCare Corp., a for-profit operator of assisted, independent and memory care communities. As COO, Putzier has grown IntegraCare into a management company handling 12 communities with four more set to open in the next year.

IntegraCare’s success is largely due to the strong imprinting Putzier and Irwin have placed on the company. IntegraCare communities operate on a set of principles known as The Distinctives.

These 22 telltale characteristics of IntegraCare range from making sure each community has a front porch to encourage community, to aviaries that provide entertainment to residents and families, to cleanliness standards that include smell checks to ensure no IntegraCare community smells “like a nursing home.”

This focus has ensured sustained growth in practically every important measure over the past 15 years, top performance in regulators’ reviews and strong consumer satisfaction marks from patients and families.


 

pit_TobyRiceToby Rice
President and COO
Rice Energy Inc.

Toby Rice founded Rice Energy Inc. in 2007, and the premise for the company was simple: To create a shale development company that delivers industry-leading results by leveraging technology.

As president and COO, Rice’s innovative leadership, uncanny ability to recognize potential and create the right team, and ability to generate pride, empowerment and ownership of the family-owned and operated company, ultimately culminated in Rice Energy going public in January 2014.

In an industry with an aging management demographic — Rice Energy’s executive team is nearly 20 years younger than the oil and gas industry average — Rice Energy has become a beacon for young, entrepreneurial minds.

Rice’s vision has shown that technology can enable the company to collect and process data and turn that information into solutions faster.

In this regard, youth and their embracement of technology is an asset. Today, Rice Energy is a top 40 producer of natural gas in the U.S. and manages approximately 2,000 sub-contractors on a daily basis.