Place of birth: Pittsburgh
Education: Bachelor of science degree, chemical engineering, University of Notre Dame, 1977; M.S.E. chemical engineering, Princeton University, 1978; MBA Katz Graduate School, University of Pittsburgh, 1987
First Job: Process engineer, Corning
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
I have three choices, of which, I have had the opportunity to work for two: Dick Simmons, retired CEO, Allegheny Technologies; Ken Iverson, former CEO, Nucor; and Tom Graham, retired president and CEO of U.S. Steel and AK Steel.
Each found a way to redefine their sectors of the tough metals business when most in their industry failed. They focused on aggressive cost reduction combined with revenue growth and excellent customer service to differentiate their businesses.
What is the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
Success in manufacturing businesses comes from a combination of driving operational excellence and new revenue growth.
What has been your toughest business challenge?
The turnaround of a high-performance aerospace super-alloy producer after Sept. 11 devastated that industry sector.
Describe your leadership style.
I believe in open, honest communication. I try to build consensus in the business planning stage, and I am more of a taskmaster in the business execution stage.