Steel Products

Execs from Ryerson, Russel, Precoat Headline Summit Distribution Panel

Written by Tim Triplett

Like the mills, service centers enjoyed robust returns in 2018. With one quarter in the books, it appears this year is setting up to be more challenging.

Steel Market Update has recruited three of the industry’s top distribution execs to share their perspectives on steel demand in 2019 during SMU’s Steel Summit Aug. 26-28 in Atlanta. Appearing on the Steel Distribution & Processing Panel will be Edward Lehner of Ryerson Holding Corporation, John Reid of Russel Metals and Kurt Russell of Precoat Metals.

Ryerson: Ryerson’s history of metals distribution dates back over 175 years. The Chicago-based company reported revenues of $4.4 billion in 2018. The second largest service center organization in North America, exceeded only by Reliance Steel & Aluminum, Ryerson operates more than 100 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and China, manned by more than 4,600 employees. The company made headlines last year with its acquisition of another venerable Chicago distributor, Central Steel & Wire Co.

Ryerson is led by Eddie Lehner, who was named President and CEO in 2015 after serving as the company’s Executive Vice President and CFO since 2012. Prior to joining Ryerson, Lehner served as the CFO of PSC Metals, and before that CFO of steelmaker SeverCorr. His career also includes senior general management, operational, financial, accounting, tax and consulting roles for Nucor, Birmingham Steel, Laurel Steel and Deloitte & Touche. Lehner holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati and is also a certified public accountant.

Russel Metals: Canada’s Russel Metals is the fifth-ranked service center in North America and the second largest in Canada just behind No. 4 Samuel, Son & Co. (as ranked by Metal Center News Magazine). The Mississauga-based company does business in three segments: metals service centers, energy products and steel distribution. It has about 65 stocking locations in Canada and the U.S. and employs more than 3,150 workers. Russel reported revenues of $4.165 billion Canadian ($3.1 billion U.S.) in 2018.

John Reid was named Chief Executive Officer of Russel Metals in May 2018, replacing former CEO Brian Hedges upon his retirement. Reid had served as President and Chief Operating Officer since 2016, responsible for the company’s operating units, including purchasing and inventory management. Reid’s tenure with the company dates back to Russel’s 2007 acquisition of JMS Metals Services, where Reid began his metals career in 1991.

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Precoat Metals: Precoat Metals, founded in 1961, is the largest independent metal coil coater in North America. Headquartered in St. Louis, the company has more than 1,000 employees. Precoat Metals is a leader in the application of decorative and protective coatings to continuous coiled metal for use in commercial and residential construction, appliance, HVAC, transportation, and container products.

Kurt Russell was named President & COO of Precoat in 2016. During his earlier tenure at the company, he served as Vice President of Manufacturing, leading the company’s 16 coil coating lines at 14 locations throughout the U.S. on initiatives in continuous improvement and process control, and the implementation of new manufacturing approaches. Russell previously was Director of U.S. Manufacturing at Black & Decker. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.

To see the complete conference agenda and to register, click the link below:

Download the SMU Steel Summit 2019 brochure here

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