Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

One quick note to those who may be thinking about attending our Steel 101 workshop in Memphis. We only have a few spots left and I expect the workshop will be sold out within the next week or so. If you have an interest in attending and you have questions about the workshop, please send them to If you know you are ready to register, you can do so online: or you can go through our office at 772-932-7538.

I want to take a moment to send out congratulations to two of my long-time friends and previous co-workers who have, or are about to, retire from the steel industry in the coming days.

Deb Banic of NLMK USA and I worked together for 10 years when I was an agent for Winner Steel (now NLMK Sharon Coatings). Deb is retiring from NLMK at the end of April.

NLMK put out a note on Deb’s background when they announced her retirement: “Deb originally joined Sharon Steel in 1971 and worked there until October 1992. Her last position at Sharon Steel was as a Statistical Process Control Analyst. Due to the Sharon Steel shutdown, she was able to complete her BS degree at Slippery Rock University, graduating in 1995. She then joined Winner Steel in 1996 as an Inside Sales Representative. She has held the positions of Conversion Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager and Outside Sales Representative with Winner Steel and most recently Regional Sales Manager with NLMK.”

Deb was instrumental to my success at Winner Steel and I am sure her customers were happy to have her as their sales manager. She will be sorely missed by the industry and I wish her and her family nothing but the best in the years to come.

Another long-time friend that goes back to my early days at Pacesetter and Sterling Steel/Duferco – Keith Hanzi has retired. Keith and I worked together at Pacesetter and traveled together to some interesting places. We went to Brazil when we were selling steel to Carrier’s plant there. If you have an opportunity, you need to ask Keith about the first day of the trip (can you say caipirinha?). We also tried to travel to Iowa on a plane with a bunch of turtles. We never made it to Iowa because of an ice storm (the turtles did), and I learned my first lesson about expense reports when I returned from that trip….

Keith was the first person I hired when I left Pacesetter and started a service center operation for Duferco. The service center was called Sterling Steel and over time the Chicago plant that we started together ultimately became the Kloeckner Chicago operation. Keith flourished in purchasing, quality control and customer relationship positions due to the warmth of his personality and his penchant for wanting to find the root cause of problems and then make them go away.

I am sure Kloeckner and the greater steel industry in general will miss Keith and his infectious smile. I wish Keith and his wife Liz all the best in retirement.  

As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, Publisher

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