October 5, 2021


October 5, 2021


Pittsburgh Chemical Day
2021 Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Leroy M. Ball

President & CEO, Koppers

Leroy M. Ball is President and Chief Executive Officer of Koppers and serves on the company’s Board of Directors. Under Leroy’s leadership as CEO, Koppers is focused on safely delivering customer-focused solutions through the development and application of technologies to enhance and preserve wood. Additionally, he has placed special emphasis on advancing the company’s people-focused culture.

Leroy joined Koppers in September 2010 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, providing oversight for the finance, treasury, information technology and investor relations functions. From May to December 2014, he held the role of Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for the company’s global business operations. He was elected President and Chief Executive Officer in January

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Prior to Koppers, Leroy spent 10 years with Calgon Carbon Corporation, an international chemical company. During this time, he served as Controller before being named Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. He also served as President of the company’s majority-owned Japanese joint venture.  Previously, Leroy was employed with Carmeuse Lime Co./Dravo Corporation for nine years, where he held several positions in the finance area.

 Leroy is a member of the Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) Board of Directors and a Trustee of Robert Morris University.  Active in the community, he serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and is the Board Chair of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Leroy is also a Board Member with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and is the Walk Chair for the 2021 Western Pennsylvania March of Dimes March for Babies.  Additionally, he is a Presidential Roundtable Member of the African American Chamber of Commerce and serves on The Advanced Leadership Initiative (TALI) CEO Council.

 In 2016, Leroy was honored with the Board Diversity Ambassador Award from 2020 Women on Boards, Pittsburgh.  In 2018, he was selected as an Outstanding CEO by the Pittsburgh Business Times.  Most recently, he was recognized with the 2019 Safety in Action ICON Award from DEKRA Organizational Safety and Reliability.

 Leroy received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Florida International University and earned an MBA from Robert Morris University.

 He resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is the proud father of two daughters, Leah and Ally.

TOPIC: To be determined

Rupal Deshmukh

Principal, Kearney’s Strategic Operations

Rupal Deshmukh is an enthusiastic supply chain practitioner and management consultant.  As a Principal in Kearney’s Strategic Operations practice, Rupal has spent the last 11 years helping her clients build more profitable and sustainable supply chains. She specializes in strategic sourcing, network design and operations. She works across industries, with most time spent in the chemical, retail, and telecom sectors. In her time at Kearney, she has contributed to the Annual CSCMP State of Logistics report for 5 years and written about most topics related to supplier collaboration and the trucking market. Most recently, she has been focused on helping her clients build customer-centric and efficient omnichannel supply chains. Rupal received her B.E. in Industrial Engineering from Nagpur University and her M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech.  During her free time, she loves traveling, painting, and spending time with her 2-year-old Rhea, and husband Abhishek.

TOPIC: Supply Chain Resilience –  Lessons Learned from a Turbulent 2021

Dr. Haakan Jonsson

President & Chairman of the Board of Directors,  Covestro LLC

As president and chairman of the Board of Directors at Covestro LLC, Dr. Haakan Jonsson serves as the senior leader of Covestro’s U.S. organization.

Haakan brings more than 25 years of various business expertise to the position. He began his career with Bayer in 1992 as a scientist in Pittsburgh. Since then, Haakan has held various positions in the U.S. and Germany, including director of manufacturing for Bayer Corporation, vice president of Innovation Americas for Bayer Polymers, vice president and head of business development for the Polycarbonate business unit, senior vice president and head of the North American and EMLA (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America) Supply Chain Centers and senior vice president and head of global innovation for PCS.

Over the years, Haakan has served as a member of several industry boards, including the Institute of Polymer Processing in Germany, Plastics Europe Germany and Paltough Industries Ltd. in Israel. Currently, Haakan serves on the Board of Directors for the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). 

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In the Pittsburgh region, Haakan serves on the Board of Directors for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh.

He holds a Master of Science in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in polymer technology—both from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Haakan and his wife, Leanne, currently reside in Marshall Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh. They have a daughter, Andrea, and a son, Erik.

TOPIC: Building a resilient business to weather a dynamic market

Mike Jeffries

Product & Tech Service NAFTA,  Covestro LLC

Michael began his career at Covestro (Mobay at the time) in 1989 working in the Quality Assurance Laboratory. In 1992 he moved into Research. There he worked on the scale up of the various polyisocyanates, polyisocyanate prepolymers, polyaspartics and polyurethane dispersions into production. In 1998 he specifically began working on the development on new isocyanate resins for use in the coatings industry. Michael has been awarded 14 patents and holds a BS Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a Field Technical Service Manager in the Coatings and Adhesives Division of Covestro.

TOPIC: Ways to Incorporate Sustainability and Circular Economy Principles in Product Development


David Luebke

CEO, LumiShield Technologies

Over his twenty-year career as an engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur, Dave Luebke has developed the strong conviction that turning amazing science into great products is both the most difficult and the most rewarding step in the R&D process.  As CEO of LumiShield Technologies, he built a team to take a clean, safe and inexpensive coating process from the test tube to manufacturing scale.  It was no surprise that along the way he made extensive use of his technical background as well as the organization, recruiting, and fundraising skills obtained while leading carbon capture research at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.  What was more of a surprise was that the hands-on mechanical know-how, just-get-the-job-done pragmatism, and ability to communicate with a wide variety of people that he learned growing up on a farm in the rural South proved to be just as valuable.  When he isn’t looking for the next great innovation that just needs a little help to see the light of day, Dave can usually be found outside gardening, hiking, or fishing with his wife Jessica and their dog Gus.

Jared Raszewski

Founder & CEO, DisSolves

Jared Raszewski is the Founder and CEO of DisSolves. DisSolves produces edible packaging from natural ingredients that dissolves in water, and the packaging is used to package individual servings of powdered food products like protein powder, instant coffee, and baby formula into pods. He graduated top of his class from the University of Pittsburgh where he studied in chemical engineering, chemistry and economics. Jared started DisSolves because he believes pairing sustainability with additional convenience is the best way to maximize one’s impact on the environment. Jared is a Pittsburgh native, and outside of work, Jared enjoys tending to his collection of desert and tropical plants and taking long walks outside while listening to audiobooks (Catch-22 has been his favorite thus far).

John Bettis

President/COO, Bettis Brothers

John Bettis III serves as President of Bettis Brothers Sand and Gravel (BBSG) and IntegrServ LLC. Mr. Bettis is responsible for all operations, new business development, procurement, supplier diversity and relationship management. John was successful in securing multiple joint venture partnership for BBSG and was instrumental in securing the landmark EQT partnership. A 20-year business, real estate and supplier diversity professional, Mr. Bettis has held executive and senior vice president positions at Quicken Loans, Urban Mortgage as well as Urban Lending Solution. A licensed title agent and owner of Plus Real Estate Solutions. John’s passion is business, under his and Jerome’s leadership BBSG has become a multi-million-dollar corporation within its first year of existence.

In addition, Mr. Bettis has more than ten years of experience in sports marketing, public relations, communications and entrepreneurial initiatives. John is actively involved in many charitable organizations. He has served on the boards of Family Services of Western PA, American Cancer Society’s Greater Pittsburgh Area, Lending Hearts, CareFirst Community Health Services, Strip District Neighbors, Chuck Sanders Charities and The Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation.

TOPIC: Challenges associated with commercializing in a technology/app-driven ecosystem


Greg Kozera

Director of Marketing, Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera is Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA, a regional non-profit research and economic development marketing organization. He is a professional engineer and an environmentalist with a masters in environmental engineering and more than 40 years of experience in the natural gas and oil industry. Kozera is the author of the books Just the Fracks Ma’am and Learned Leadership.

Greg is a leadership expert, professional speaker and a writer with numerous published articles including a weekly newspaper column. Kozera is a boys high school soccer coach whose teams have won 16 regional and five state championships. He understands the importance of teamwork and leadership.

The mission of Shale Crescent USA is to generate a global awareness of The Shale Crescent USA Region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and bring back industry to create high wage career-oriented jobs and raise the standard of living for people in the Region.

Jerry James

President, Artex Oil Company

Jerry is from Zanesville, Ohio, and currently resides in Marietta, Ohio.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College in 1980 where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.  Jerry has served as President of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) and previously served as chairman of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP).  He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Jerry is also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers as well as the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers.

Jerry has served as President of Artex Oil Company since 1995.  Prior to assuming his current role, he held positions with various major oil companies in Texas, Louisiana, and Wyoming. Jerry is also a founder and an active volunteer of Shale Crescent USA.

Joseph C. Eddy

President/CEO, Enhanced Technologies LLC

Joe Eddy recently retired as President/CEO, Eagle Manufacturing Company, Wellsburg, WV and Executive VP, Justrite Safety Group, Chicago, IL, after 23 years of service.  He currently manages his energy development company, Enhanced Technologies LLC, and real estate development trust, Heritage Holdings LLC. He is past Chairman-West Virginia Manufacturers Association and the WVMA Education Foundation, President-West Virginia Northern Community College Foundation, WVNCC Petroleum Technology Advisory, McDonough Leadership Advisory at Marietta College, VP-Regional Economic Development Partnership, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond-Industry Advisory Board, National Association of Manufacturers Board, National Institute of Standards & Technology-MEP Advisory, West Virginia Economic Development Authority Board, WVU Global Supply Chain Advisory, Shale Crescent USA Board/Ex Comm, The Oglebay Foundation Board, The Joseph and Debra Eddy Foundation, and has endowed the Joseph Eddy Technology Scholarship at WVNCC.

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Joe was Executive Producer of the TV show “Shale Valley”, serves on the speaker’s bureau for Energy Speaks Education and Explore the New Manufacturing, is a regular guest on the TV show “On Money” and radio show “Inside Shale”, a guest writer and speaker for the 2014, 2015 and 2017 WV Economic Outlook Conferences, and won the 2013 WV State Journal-Who’s Who in WV Business and 2017 WV Executive Sharp Shooter awards.  In 2012, with Joe as CEO, Eagle ranked #5 nationally in Chief Executive’s-Best Private Companies for Leaders, and in 2015 Eagle won the National Association of Manufacturers-Sandy Trowbridge Award for Excellence in Community Service, and in 2016 the President’s E-Award for Excellence in Export Growth, and the “Top Manufacturing Brand” in West Virginia (one of Top 50 Brands in the U.S.), and in 2018 The Governor’s Award for Smart Advanced Manufacturing.

Joe has a BS in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College and has completed advanced studies at the University of Wyoming and University of Chicago.  Prior to joining Eagle in 1996, he held engineering and management positions at Amoco Production Company in Andrews, TX, Gulf Oil Corp in Bakersfield, CA, Spectrum Resources in Marietta, OH, Tazwell Corporation in Jackson Hole, WY and manages his own shale energy ventures, Enhanced Technologies LLC and Pinnacle Holdings LLC.   Joe and his wife Debbie have been married for 33 years and reside in Wheeling, WV.

Nathan Lord

President, Shale Crescent USA

Shale Crescent USA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage business growth in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania where manufacturers can operate more efficiently and produce products more economically.  Shale Crescent USA has a unique manufacturing opportunity because of abundant and low priced natural gas, natural gas liquids, access to water, and proximity to half the population of the United States and Canada.

Nathan leads in the process of developing strategic industry research and delivering targeted messaging to high energy intensive industries. He works closely with Shale Crescent USA’s Board of directors and petrochemical industry executives to identify and further develop opportunities in the region for the downstream chemical industry.  Nathan joined Shale Crescent USA in 2016. He is a graduate of Marietta College and earned his MBA from Liberty University.

PANEL TOPIC: An Industry Dream: Rebuilding Our Economy with Energy & Manufacturing while Improving the Environment

Student Session

Lawrence M. Lebowitz

Shareholder,  Dentons Cohen & Grigsby

Larry is a Shareholder and a member of the Immigration group. He serves as Dentons Cohen & Grigsby’s Director of Partner Development and was previously Vice President of Marketing from 2000 to 2007.

As the Founder and Chair of the Immigration group at Cohen & Grigsby (now Dentons Cohen & Grigsby), Larry represents public and private employers in securing temporary and permanent visas for foreign national employees. He also helps individual clients pursue family-based permanent residence, as well as U.S. citizenship.

Larry has also helped to establish and continues to oversee the outbound/global immigration practice, which secures work-authorized visas for people in countries throughout the world.

Larry was recently named a “Professor of Practice” at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he has taught the Immigration Law Course for nearly 25 years. He previously served as a professor of law at the Duquesne University School of Law.

For 25 years, he has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Immigration Law. He was also selected to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list and Who’s Who in Law Education.

TOPIC: Immigration Strategies for F1 International Students

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