Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


For the past three days, I have been studying the nominations of 21 young individuals who were nominated by their companies for the 2019 SMU NexGen Leadership Award, which this year is being sponsored by the Steel Manufacturers Association. The process has been exhilarating to say the least.

I decided many years ago that as I wind down my career, I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to promote and support young talent into our industry. By that I mean manufacturing, distribution, trading, processing, fabrication and companies associated with the manufacture, sale or use of flat rolled and plate steels.

The first step in this multi-year process was to begin writing articles about how steel is bought and sold and articles about ethics in the industry.

John Packard Summit 18From there I started our Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals Workshop.

Throughout the process, I have had an “open door” policy of listening to anyone who asks me a question or wants to make a suggestion, especially if they were new to the industry.

It was through my collaboration with one of our judges – Jack Bellissimo of Hubbell – that the idea of the SMU NexGen Leadership Award was born. The idea was (is) to recognize and celebrate the excellence of emerging leaders within the greater steel community.

I want to share the names of the 21 nominees for the 2019 SMU NexGen Leadership Award. The candidates are each exceptional and deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments within their company and within the steel industry. The nominees are mentioned below in no special order:

Harrison Ferrell of Windsor Door LLC.

Farhaz Jassani of Steel Spectrum LLC.

Wes Kaigler of Jemison Metals.

Lauren Bryson of Pacesetter.

Eric Daniel of Metalwest.

Sadie Kelosky of Magic Steel.

Andy Polka of Leeco Steel.

Brian Frye of KW Industries.

Jeffrey Heinke of Jemison Metals.

Sam Curtis of Jemison Metals.

Austin Adams of Conklin Metal Industries.

Meredith Meade of Tempel Steel Company.

Kristin Boyle of Big River Steel.

Drew Gross of Alliance Steel.

Brit Capizzano of Chemcoaters.

Shelby Ray Throneburg of Eagle Steel & Metal Products.

Patrick Magee of Imperial Manufacturing Group.

Matt Niemeyer of Leeco Steel.

Ted VanDorn of Mitsui USA.

Kathleen Cox of Pacesetter.

Viv Helwig of Vested Metals International, LLC.

I want to thank each of the companies that nominated one of their employees. I think this speaks well for your company as well as the employee who was nominated.

As I write my Final Thoughts late in the day on Sunday, the judges have NOT selected the top three finalists. The competition is that strong.

Judge Lenore Trammell of Big River Steel sent me a note after reviewing all of the nominations, “Reading these nominations gave me great comfort that the future of our industry will be in great hands! They should all be very proud of their accomplishments and I look forward to seeing what they do in the future.”

Judge Eddie Lehner of Ryerson said, “Wow, impressive group and well done by the nominators.”

I want to take this opportunity to thank the four judges (I am the fifth) who are assisting in the process of evaluating the strengths of each of the nominees and then coming to a consensus on the top three candidates. The judges are Lenore Trammel from Big River Steel, Phil Bell of the Steel Manufacturers Association, Jack Bellissimo of Hubbell and Eddie Lehner of Ryerson.

The top three nominees will be provided free admission to the 2019 SMU Steel Summit Conference as well as up to $1,000 to cover travel and hotel expenses so they can attend the conference.

The ultimate winner of this our first SMU NexGen Leadership Award will be presented to our Steel Summit audience on Tuesday, Aug 27.

The winner will receive:

A mentorship day with Steel Dynamics CEO Mark Millett.

Invitation to attend one of our Steel 101 or Steel 201 workshops with registration fees waived.

Invitation to the 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference with registration fees waived.

An engraved award plaque.

A video of the award being presented.

Recognition in the SMU newsletter.

I want to thank Phil Bell and the Steel Manufacturers Association for their sponsorship of this year’s award.

Steel SummitHere is the latest regarding the 2019 SMU Steel Summit Conference – we will have record attendance. Here are some of the companies that registered people over the past few days: Blackhawk Steel Corp, West Central Steel Inc., ABB, Olympic Steel, Duferco, Schnitzer Steel, HSM Solutions, Willbanks Metals Inc., JIT Warehousing & Logistics…

We are holding 50 new rooms at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel (404-762-7676 to book or look on our website for a booking link). The shuttle coming out of the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel, which is located across the street from the Westin, will service both hotels to the convention center. Next year there will be another hotel added to the Gateway complex as we prepare for the 2020 SMU Steel Summit on Aug. 24-26.

I have been speaking with many of the presenters and there are things happening within the industry that will be new to those attending our conference.

A reminder that CRU and SMU will be discussing our new SMU Service Center Inventories and Shipment Data as we prepare to roll out the product to our Premium level subscribers in September. If you would like information about how to become a Premium member or what the costs might be, please contact Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012 or by email at Paige@SteelMarketUpdate.com. Paige will also be at the SMU exhibition desk during this year’s conference.

We are now 14 days away from the conference. If you need any information about costs, program or how to register click on this link.

Steel 101We have a limited number of seats still available for the next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop, which will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, and will include our first tour of the Nucor Gallatin steel mill. For more information please click here.

The next 13 days are going to be hectic for me. Wish me luck. See you in Atlanta.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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Final thoughts

I’ve had discussions with some of you lately about where and when sheet prices might bottom. Some of you say that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices won’t fall below $800 per short ton (st). Others tell me that bigger buyers aren’t interested unless they can get something that starts with a six. Obviously a lot depends on whether we're talking 50 tons or 50,000 tons. I've even gotten some guff about how the drop in US prices is happening only because we’re talking about it happening.