Pittsburgh Chemical Day 2020 Schedule

Pittsburgh Chemical Day 2020 Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Eric R. Byer

President & CEO, NACD

Eric Byer joined NACD in January 2014 as president. He came to NACD with nearly twenty years of experience in government and public affairs as well as organizational operations.

Prior to NACD, Eric was senior vice president at Obadal, Filler, MacLeod & Klein, PLC,  (OFMK) where he led strategic communications, marketing, programs, and government affairs as well as policy initiatives for the firm’s largest clients.

Before his tenure at OFMK, Eric was the chief operating officer and vice president of government and industry affairs at the National Air Transportation Association, where he led external affairs and internal operations for the $6.1 million organization.

Earlier in his career, Eric served as senior government relations coordinator for Smith, Bucklin, and Associates.  He was also a legislative assistant to the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Rep. William F. Clinger, Jr. (R-Pa.).  He also served as an intern for the late Rep. Dean Gallo (R-N.J.).

Eric holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in Government from Johns Hopkins University.

Topic: How 3PL is Being Used to Improve the Bottom Line —

Von Eric Fisher, P.G. L.R.S.

Vice President, Value Properties, Inc.

Owing to his diverse and extensive background in geology, engineering, industrial development, marketing, real estate, and strategic planning, Von Fisher was recruited to help grow Value Properties, Inc. a Manhattan-based developer known for providing manufacturing, warehouse, office, and laboratory space for over 30 years to local, national and international companies. Value Properties historically had a portfolio that spanned between the Mississippi and the Atlantic and is now preparing for substantial growth focusing around the Pittsburgh region, which it anticipates being the Polymer Capital of the United States within the decade. With that thought in mind, Von is spearheading a marketing effort on a national basis to woo manufacturers and distributors to the Ohio Valley.

Value Properties owns and operates the Ambridge Regional Distribution and Manufacturing Center, one of the largest industrial parks in the region with tenants including Allegheny Petroleum, Sherwin Williams Shore Corporation and Tenaris (formerly TMK-IPSCO). Value Properties also owns ConAm3PL, a third-party logistics resource for companies including Mitsubishi Electric, Herr Voss and Shell. ConAm3PL is now a primary focus of Value Properties’ Marketing campaigns and is fully situated to take advantage of the National trend for utilization of 3PL services.


Topic: Sandler Sales Training

Sean Coyle

CEO, Sandler Training

Sean Coyle enjoys world-wide recognition as a C-Level executive who embodies the essence of the Sandler™ methodology. Sean is a David H. Sandler Award winner and channels his energy into bringing out the best in top industry leaders from large corporations like Oracle and Mass Mutual and PNC Bank.

He knows all too well that success for Sandler Training and their clients requires getting to the boardroom for a decision because senior executives know the bottom-line value of a top-performing sales team. To this end, he leads in prospecting, business-development, and account-acquisition.

“The most valuable lesson my clients can take from our relationship,” he says, “is to reach decision makers and get to a decision efficiently, whether it be a ‘no’ or a ‘yes’.”

He consults with clients from helping to boost their new-account acquisition and overall sales process, strategizing for effective sales-management, to recruiting take-charge salespeople who deploy their talents in these areas and win. The strategies he offers creates measurable growth and increases clients’ market shares in their industries.

Sean is a highly sought after and real-world presenter who uses unlimited energy and humor to bring to life the messages he hopes his clients take and consistently use for the entirety of their career.

The Sandler organization has recognized Sean’s far-reaching expertise in sales and sales management by admitting him into its prestigious Key Opinion Leaders group. He participates in this body of Sandler’s top executives by bringing his expertise to bear on the direction of the worldwide Sandler organization.

On a related note, Sean remains committed to coaching and training new Sandler associates and franchisees in the United States and worldwide. In the last 16 years, he has trained thousands of sales and sales management professionals as well as hundreds of Sandler principles and associates in the art and practice of Sandler™ selling.

Never one to take second place, Sean rounds out his prowess by delivering keynote addresses to business associations, industry groups and corporations here and abroad.

Sean is a Pittsburgh native residing in Upper St. Clair with his wife and three children and is regularly involved in their various scholastic and athletic endeavors. Sean is also been active as member of EO (The Entrepreneur’s Organization) and Vistage and has served in various volunteer and leadership positions for the United Way, the National Kidney Foundation, The Magee Women’s Hospital 25 Club and the American Heart Association.


Topic: Managing Regulatory, Investment and Litigation Risk Through Understanding Toxicological Impacts and Effective Strategic Communication —

Oliver S. Schmidt

President & CEO, C4CS, LLC

Oliver S. Schmidt has been Managing Partner and President and CEO of C4CS®, an international management consultancy headquartered in Pittsburgh, for over two decades. He has more than 25 years of consulting, training, and executive coaching experience in the areas of strategic communication, crisis management, and organizational leadership.

A multi-lingual business leader who has lived and worked in North America, Europe, and Asia, Oliver routinely advises executives including the CEOs and members of the board of directors of publicly listed and privately held corporations regarding high stakes business issues. On the consulting side, his focus is on working with domestic and international client partners in the areas of issues and stakeholder management, reputation and crisis management, and crisis and risk communication.

Oliver has addressed professional audiences in several dozen countries. While he often speaks at conferences that focus on corporate communication or crisis management, he is also regularly invited to present to corporate boards and senior management teams. Additionally, he conducts recurring Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes on such topics as crisis communication and crisis management and teaches an online course on Harnessing the Power of Social Media in a Crisis.

The author of numerous peer-reviewed articles about a range of crisis management, strategic communication, and leadership topics, Oliver has conducted interviews with various domestic and international industry and mainstream media and taught as a guest professor at leading universities in multiple countries. He can be reached at schmidt@c4cs.com.

Dr. Frank Mink

Senior Health Science Advisor, C4CS

Dr. Mink is a former USEPA Director who wrote the original human health risk assessment guidance and has served as a causation expert in over 100 toxic tort/product liability matters (including ndma, nicotine salts, opioids, PFAS, asbestos, diacetyl, dicamba, glyphosate, etc…) and historical environmental practices. Awarded by DOJ and DEA in 2019/20 for excellence in expert litigation support and a consultant to over 100 Fortune 500 companies in product liability, disease causation, hazard exposure, regulatory practices, warnings, and risk assessment. He is a distinguished alumnus in both engineering and science from UC.

Topic: What’s Best in Class for Contractor Management —

Brooke Hysell 

Project Management Specialist , ISN

 Brooke Hysell, PMP has 7 years of experience supporting global organizations in improving safety performance, reducing risks and increasing efficiencies when managing third-party contractors on site. As a certified Project Management Professional, Brooke guides organizations through change management when implementing cross-functional process improvements. Currently, she oversees ISN’s client relationships in the Chemicals Industry which consists of 50+ Chemical Manufacturers globally.

Jerrod Temple

Certified Safety Professional, ISN

Jerrod Temple, CSP, REP has over 10 years of experience in Health & Safety, consisting of emergency response operations, high-angle fall protection training & rescue, manufacturing and contractor management. He holds both a Bachelor’s and Masters of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Jerrod began his HSE career as a first responder to the Deepwater Horizon incident and enjoys sharing his passion with both peers and ISN’s customers on a day-to-day basis. 

Topic: Effective Cultural Change & Accelerating Performance post Covid-19 —

Robert Wasson, Ph.D

Director, Business Development, North America. Spitfire

 Robert Wasson is currently Director, Business Development for North America for Spitfire Consultancy, a management consulting firm based in the UK with offices in 7 different countries including the USA.  Bob previously led strategic consulting assignments for A.T. Kearney, Strategic Decisions Group, Toffler Associates, and nu-Angle Consulting. In addition to these consulting assignments, Bob held management positions at Alcoa, Chevron, and the Continental Group, Inc. Bob’s educational background includes a Ph.D. in Materials Sciences and Engineering from MIT and an SM (MBA) in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management.  

Topic: Shell Pennsylvania Chemical – COVID-19 Response —

Christopher T. Howell

Project Director, Pennsylvania Chemicals

Chris joined Shell in 1992 and worked for 17 years in Deepwater related projects, covering multiple roles including R&D for facility design, Installation Manager for the Brutus Tension Leg Platform and Project Manager for the BC-10 FPSO offshore Brazil. In 2009 Chris became the General Manager- Project Delivery Unconventionals, managing delivery of Shell’s Heavy Oil and Unconventional shale projects across North America. In 2014 Chris relocated to the Middle East as the Technical Director for Basra Gas Company in Iraq, a Joint Venture between Shell, Mitsubishi and the Government of Iraq to capture and process associated gas from oil field developments. Chris is currently the Project Director for the Pennsylvania Chemicals Project with accountability for delivery of the 1.5million ton/annum polyethylene facility and supporting infrastructure.

Chris holds Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Texas A&M University, a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Doctorate in Engineering from MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.


Topic: One Company’s Waste is another Company’s Raw Materials —

Lauren Stein

President, PVS Technologies

Lauren began her career in 2004 as a plant engineer for Kemiron (now Kemira) in East Chicago, Indiana assisting a cross-functional team in the design, build, and start-up of an iron salts chemical production plant. After start-up, Lauren was named the Plant Manager and was responsible for the day to day operation, production, and raw material supply for the facility. She later went on to Baltimore, MD as part of a small chemical start-up company later acquired by Kemira, to design, build, and manage the largest iron salts production plant in North America. In 2011, Lauren went to work for PVS Technologies as the Technical Sales Representative for the Northeastern US. In 2013, she was named Vice President of PVS Technologies and in 2015 became its President. Lauren graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Utah and lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband Jeff and her two sons Roland and Colin. 

Pittsburgh Chemical Day 2020 Panel Speakers

— Topic: Back to Basics, Rebuilding the Region’s Economy with Energy, Petrochemicals and Manufacturing —

Wally Kandel

Sr. VP, Solvay

Senior Vice President and Specialty Polymer Marietta, Ohio Site Manager for Solvay. Wally worked for Chevron / Chevron Phillips for 20 years before joining Solvay in 2007. He is a co-founder and volunteer Director for Shale Crescent USA, an organization dedicated to Branding and Marketing the Ohio Valley region also known as the Shale Crescent USA for economic development.  Wally is a petroleum engineer by degree and has worked in the industry for over 30 years with experience working on 4 continents.  


Jerry James

President, Artex Oil

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.

Greg Kozera

Director Of Marketing, Shale Crescent

Greg Kozera, is the Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA and the President of Learned Leadership LLC (www.shalecrescentusa.com)

He is a professional engineer, environmentalist, marketing and leadership expert. Greg is a professional speaker with more than 40 years of experience in the natural gas and oil industry.

A regular magazine and newspaper columnist Greg is author of the books Just the Fracks Ma’am and Learned Leadership.

A high school boys’ soccer coach. His teams have won 15 Regional and 5 West Virginia State Championships. Greg understands the importance of Leadership and Teamwork.

He is a former President of the Virginia Oil & Gas Association and immediate Past-President of the Ohio Chapter of the National Speakers Association.


Dr. Leon Perez

President, Pressure Chemical Co.

 Leon originates from Brooklyn, NY where he attended high school and subsequently graduated from Wagner College in Staten Island with a B.S. degree in Chemistry. He then attended Rutgers University where he performed doctoral research in the areas of carbene chemistry and reactive intermediates, earning a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry.

His professional career began at PPG Industries Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA as a synthetic polymer chemist in the R&D group of the Coatings Division. Leon subsequently held management positions of increasing responsibility in coatings development, production lab support, and strategic R&D cross-group innovations.

Leon spent three years in Japan managing technology transfer and business development for a joint venture with PPG and Nippon Steel Chemical Company. He returned to Pittsburgh and was appointed Director of Asia Pacific Industrial Coatings where he pioneered the development of PPG Industrial Coatings business in the Asia Pacific region.

After leaving PPG, Leon took on a position as Director with Goldschmidt Industrial Chemical Corporation (a subsidiary of Degussa) in 2001 to develop infrastructure and capabilities for an R&D program to support new product development in specialty chemicals for catalysis, surface finishing, oil and gas chemistries, water treatment, and peroxide stabilization. He assumed the role of Vice President and became a co-owner of Reaxis Inc., which was formed through a management buyout of Goldschmidt from Degussa (now Evonik). He was appointed Executive Vice President in 2017.

Leon joined Pressure Chemical Co. in 2018 as President. He is a member of Vistage and maintains affiliations with universities in the Pittsburgh area, Pittsburgh Technology Council, American Chemical Society, SOCMA, CSMC, and a variety of other trade associations and international organizations in the chemical sciences. He is authored on several patents and chemical research publications. 

Pittsburgh Chemical Day 2020 Student Session Speakers

Topic: Master the Art of Interviewing —

John C. Suber

President, Suber Technical Search & Placement Assoc.

35 years of high technology search, recruiting, and placement experience in the engineering, manufacturing, information technology, biotech, pharmaceutical, and technical sales & marketing industries. Send your resume today to smts@aol.com or call John C. Suber directly at 412-401-4600 mobile 24/7. Suber Technical Search is a regional & national search and placement firm with experience matching intelligence with technology for many diverse technology technical manufacturing clients. Suber Technical Search & Placement has placed as many as 68 PhD’s, engineers, and scientists with the same fortune company.

Specialties include: Search, recruiting & placement experience of technical candidates from President to Sr. design engineers with salaries from $70,000 to $250,000 base within the high technology community!

Topic: To Be Determined —

Annie Livingston

Director of Global Talent Acquisition, PPG Industries

Annie Livingston has over 20 years leading global talent acquisition organizations in multiple industries, such as financial services, life sciences, manufacturing and chemicals.  Annie joined PPG as the Global Director, Talent Acquisition for PPG industries.  She has an undergraduate in Criminal Justice and graduate degree in Human Resources from St. Francis University in Loretto, PA, and completed an executive MBA at Notre Dame.   

Tracy Lunt

Global Technical Director of Industrial Coatings, PPG Industries

Global Director with a proven record of strategic planning, leadership, change management and obtaining excellent results from working with people. Analyzes and integrates business needs with technology capability to realize new product development and commercial launches through portfolio management. Sits on the Business’ Global Leadership Team and integrates well with all other functions for best business outcome.

Topic: Immigration Strategies for F-1 International Students —

Larry Lebowitz

Shareholder and Director of Partner Development: Immigration Group, 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.

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Pittsburgh Chemical Day

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Pittsburgh, PA 15233

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