The Monty’s 30 Most Influential People in The North American Heat Treating Industry 2021

For 20 years “The Monty” has published on a biennial basis a list of the “25 Most Influential People in the North American Heat Treating industry”. The basic criteria to make the list is that the individuals named are in positions to influence the heat treating industry in North America either in terms of presenting new technologies, influencing purchasing decisions, deciding what type of heat treating to do or effecting current heat treatment practices. Examples could include pioneers in new forms of heat treatment, the fellow at a major captive heat treater who decides which furnaces to buy, CEO’s of major furnace builders, large commercial heat treaters or consultants who advise on what equipment should be used. In addition, to make the list individuals must currently be active in the industry.

Over the course of the past few weeks we received literally hundreds of votes covering approximately 80 individuals, at the end of the day we elected to change our list to the 30 Most Influential People in The North American Heat Treating Industry 2021” because of the excellent suggestions. We found it interesting the diversity of the list; 3 influencers at captive heat treats are included, 2 consultants, several commercial heat treaters are mentioned and a number of engineers. At this point we are going to single out two individuals for a special mention, Shlok Sundaresh, Engineering Manager – TS USA and Aymeric Goldsteinas of furnace builder Ipsen. Both received many, many glowing recommendations from customers and colleagues alike literally from around the world.

So here are the “30 Most Influential People in The North American Heat Treating Industry 2021”, starting with the most influential for the second time running, Mr. Stephen Harris, CEO of the largest commercial heat treater in the world Bodycote.

#1 Stephen Harris / Bodycote

Mr. Stephen Harris, CEO, Bodycote Plc. It is no surprise to us that the individual voted as the “Most Influential in the North American Heat Treating Industry” is Mr. Stephen Harris, the CEO of commercial heat treating giant Bodycote. Based in the UK (where Stephen is located), Bodycote has over 180 facilities in 23 countries with 67 locations in North America. With global sales approaching $1 Billion USD Bodycote is the only truly global commercial heat treater and the company dwarfs all others in their industry The leading provider of heat treatment and specialist thermal processing services worldwide – Bodycote plc Stephen has now very successfully lead the company for the past 12 years, 12 years during which the company has invested in new technologies,  entered new markets and exited old ones. In short his decisions have had a profound effect on the heat treatment industry.

#2 Jeff Hemmer / Bluewater

Jeff Hemmer, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer at Bluewater Thermal Solutions. We were overwhelmed with votes for Mr. Jeff Hemmer, for the past number of years CEO, President and COO of commercial heat treater Bluewater Thermal. Bluewater is one of the largest commercial heat treaters in North America with a total of 12 locations around the USA. Metal & Steel Heat Treating :: Bluewater Thermal Solutions One individual who works at Bluewater summed up his importance to the industry in these words;  “I’m placing my vote for our CEO, Jeff Hemmer, as the most influential person in heat treat for 2020. Jeff’s steady leadership has transformed our company from a collection of individual plants/operations into a major player in the US heat treating market.”

#3 Shlok Sundaresh / HEF

We were truly astounded at the number of votes we received for Shlok from areas all around the US and Canada (an interview with Shlok can be found at Mr. Shlok Sundaresh , Engineering Manager-TS USA (HEF Group-North America) | The Monty) This suggestion is fairly typical of what we received about this interesting individual; I wanted to share my recommendation for Shlok Sundaresh for his influence in the heat treating industry. I’ve personally worked with Shlok on a variety of projects where his wealth of knowledge helped engineers from several sectors including automotive, hydraulics, firearms, and specialized industrial (carpet and textiles for example). He has become the go to guy for multiple companies.

#4 Mario Ciampini / Bodycote

We would have been very surprised if Mario Ciampini of Bodycote didn’t make our list and he is the third member of the “Bodycote Team” to do so. As a past President of furnace builder Ipsen and now in charge of acquisitions for Bodycote, Mario has had a very definite impact on our industry. Because of his current role in acquisitions his knowledge of commercial heat treat firms around the world is unmatched and in turn we would doubt that there are many commercial heat treaters who don’t know him. Mario is a true gentlemen and we are proud to count him as a friend.

 

#5 Gary Sharp / Advanced Heat Treat Corp

When Gary started Advanced Heat Treat Corp., in Waterloo, Iowa he had a dream, a dream that he Plasma Nitriding had a substantial place in the north American heat treating industry. He was proven correct in that Advanced is one of the largest commercial heat treats in North America as rated by “The Monty” Largest North American Commercial Heat Treats 2020 | The Monty This is what one individual had to say about Gary; I would like to nominate Gary Sharp. Not only has he been very influential in the North American Heat Treat Industry (since 1981) when it comes to Ion and Gas Nitriding, he is very influential in his approach to servant leadership of his employees.  Gary will try anything if it results in a win/win for AHT and the customer.  In one instance we cut a hole in the roof of our Michigan location and rented a crane to get a shaft down into a nitrider! Talk about customer service.”

#6 Mike Klauck / Can-Eng​

It brings joy to our hearts to see a fellow Canadian make this list. Mike Klauck has spent his life in the industry and as President of furnace builder Can-Eng he has had a very decided influence in the industry, especially when it comes to the use of mesh belt lines. It is now over 25 years since Can Eng introduced mesh belt furnace lines into North America, a technology which was imported from Japan. Since that time mesh belt furnaces have taken over the fastener industry replacing older technologies such as cast link belt lines, rotary retort furnaces and shaker hearths. Can Eng is also known for their expertise when it comes to processing aluminum components. https://www.can-eng.com/

#7 Bill Jones / Solar​

Bill Jones, Solar Atmospheres/Solar Manufacturing. We would have been shocked if Mr. Bill Jones a true pioneer in the vacuum heat treating industry did not receive a number of nominations. Bill has a passion for heat treating and in particular vacuum heat treating and his innovations over the years have shaped the course of vacuum technology. His love of heat treating and “pushing the boundaries” have lead to Solar Manufacturing offering some of the most advanced vacuum furnaces in the world and Solar Atmospheres being the largest privately owned commercial vacuum heat treater in North America. We confidently predict that for many years to come Bill will continue to lead the industry in vacuum technology. Commercial Heat Treating Company | Solar AtmospheresSolar Manufacturing – Our vacuum heat treating and brazing furnaces are designed to be the most energy efficient, cost effective, highest performing and most technically advanced furnaces on the market. (solarmfg.com)

#8 Aymeric Goldsteinas / Ipsen

Aymeric Goldsteinas, Product Development Manager, Ipsen, Rockford, Illinois. Prior to this nomination process we had never heard of Aymeric, we received vote after vote for him each more glowing than the one before-we have to say it will be a joy to mention him. Originally from France he has enormous knowledge of vacuum carburizing and was instrumental in introducing acetylene to the process. This was a typical vote for Aymeric; I’d like to nominate Aymeric Goldsteinas of Ipsen for your Top 25 Influencers this year.  A career heat treating industry expert, few people have more technical knowledge of the vacuum carburizing process and predictive maintenance technology.”  Vacuum Furnaces for Industrial Heat Treating | Ipsen (ipsenusa.com)

#9 Dennis Beauchesne / ECM​

Dennis has been a part of the North American Heat Treat industry for over 20 years. Currently the General Manager of ECM USA, Inc., Dennis has worked with many companies within the heat treat industry. Not only has he been a pioneer for the Low Pressure Vacuum Carburizing sector – Dennis is a true collaborator within this community on many facets. Amongst his many accomplishments are these; Instrumental in building the LPC market here in North America: ECM USA, Inc was incorporated in 1998 and Dennis Beauchesne was instrumental in assisting ECM Technologies located in France with building a presence within North America. Beginning as a Sales Representative, Dennis quickly became a trusted employee and leader thus helping to grow the business in Wisconsin as it is today. The first to focus on LPC as a primary product: Dennis Beauchesne quickly realized that the future of heat treating would be lead by Low Pressure Carburizing and worked with the parent corporation to make connections in the following industries to grow their already impressive reference list: Automotive, Captive Heat Treaters, Aerospace, Consumer tools along with tool and die.

#10 Chris Otten / Schaeffler

Chris Otten, Schaeffler. A few people suggested Mr. Chris Otten, a suggestion which we are rather embarrassed to say did not occur to us immediately as we have known Chris for over 25 years. Chris’s official title is “Development of Production Methods – Region Americas” and as such he is responsible for making heat treat decisions for a number of Schaeffler facilities in Canada, the US, Mexico and Brazil.  Schaeffler’s captive heat treating departments contain almost every type of heat treat machine and process for hardening, but also heating and annealing for forging, and as part of brazing, joining, plating, molding and casting operations. Schaeffler delivers high-precision components and systems in engine, transmission, and chassis applications, as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for industrial and aerospace applications.

#11 Geoffrey Somary / Ipsen

Geoffrey Somary, CEO Ipsen Group. Geoffrey has now spent almost 16 years with furnace builder Ipsen, one of the largest furnace builders in the world. Based in the USA Geoffrey has been CEO of the Ipsen Group for the past two years which means he oversees the company’s operations around the world. In this position Geoffrey has ultimate authority over product development, marketing and new technologies. Vacuum Furnaces for Industrial Heat Treating | Ipsen (ipsenusa.com)

#12 John Hubbard​ / Thermal Process Holdings

John Hubbard is a founding partner of Thermal Process Holdings, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board. Mr. Hubbard has over 40 years of industry leadership experience, most recently serving as CEO of Bodycote, a publicly traded (LSE: BOY) international thermal processing group that specializes in sub-contract heat treatment, thermal coatings, hot isostatic pressing, and testing services. During his time as CEO, he led the organization’s revenue growth from $579m to over $882m and expanded their operations globally. Prior to that, Mr. Hubbard served as President & Owner of Hinderliter Heat Treating Inc., a North American heat treating group that specializes in sub-contract heat treatment, where he led the firm’s growth from a $1m firm into one of the three largest heat treating groups in North America. In addition to Thermal Process Holdings, Mr. Hubbard also serves as Non-Executive Board Member for Cronite Innovative Group, the leading provider of high temperature resistant castings for the heat treating industry. Active across the heat treating industry, Hubbard has served as president & board member at ASM International, and has held leadership positions at the Metal Treating Institute and the Center for Heat Treatment Excellence. He holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering degree from Cleveland State University. Thermal Process Holdings | A Unique Partnership for the Future You Want

#13 Dan Herring / The Heat Treat Doctor

Dan Herring “The Heat Treat Doctor”. Dan is one of two industry consultants who makes our list this year. Dan Herring, who is most well known as The Heat Treat Doctor®, has been in the industry for over 45 years. He spent the first 25 years in heat treating prior to launching The HERRING GROUP in 1995. His vast experience in the field includes materials science, engineering, metallurgy, equipment design, process and application specialist, and new product research. Dan holds a patent (as a co-inventor), and a broad range of industries are made better for his consulting services in heat treating and sintering, metallurgy, operations, business management, sales and marketing, and technology. In particular, The Heat Treat Doctor strongly believes open sharing of knowledge and discoveries in the field will improve the industry: he holds a position as an associate research professor with the Thermal Processing Technology Center (Illinois Institute of Technology), has written four books and nearly 500 technical articles, and lectures frequently at conferences and workshops worldwide.

#14 Karl-Michael Winter / Nitrex 

Karl-Michael Winter, V.P. R&D Nitrex Metal. Even though Karl-Michael is based in Germany he has had a definite impact on the North American heat treating industry due to the fact that he is head of R & D for Nitrex Metal. His research and knowledge of furnace control systems, especially when it comes to nitriding make him one of the leading experts in the world. Karl-Michael’s knowledge of heat treating and his friendly manners have long made him a favored speaker at heat treating events around the world. He is one of only two individuals on our list based outside of North America.

#15 Fred Hamizadeh / American Axle & Manufacturing

Fred Hamizadeh, Director – Global Manufacturing Services – AAM Heat Treat & Facilities Process. Fred is one of 3 individuals on our list this year involved in the in house heat treating industry (the other two are Chris Otten of Schaeffler Bearings and Rich Ott of Linamar). American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) is one of the largest captive heat treaters in North American and Fred is the individual who ultimately makes the heat treat decisions for the entire company. This includes the company’s facilities outside of North America also which means Fred is also responsible for AAM in Mexico and Poland. To see the company’s heat treat department in their Guanajuato, Mexico facility is to see what all heat treat departments should aspire to. American Axle & Manufacturing | Delivering Power (aam.com)

#16 Terry Woodworth / Woodworth Inc.

Terry Woodworth, CEO, Woodworth Inc. Terry Woodworth took a relatively small commercial heat treat in Michigan- Woodworth Inc., and turned it into one of the 5 largest commercial heat treats in North America with 4 locations in 2 countries. Along the way he revolutionized the way brake rotors for the auto industry are processed, namely through Ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC) in very large tip up style furnaces. The end result is that virtually all brake rotors in the world are processed in a similar manner, Terry Woodworth and his team are the people responsible. Woodworth is a family owned business and Terry’s sons are taking over more and more of the day to day operations. His son Robert was also nominated for this list. FNC brake rotors rust free brakes nanotechnology oil and gas industry corrosion resistance woodworth inc heat treatment (woodworthheattreating.com)

#17 Rich Ott / Linamar​

Rich Ott, Linamar, Guelph, Canada. Over the years auto parts supplier Linamar has grown into a multi billion dollar company with in house heat treating departments in many of their facilities around the world. And the man in charge of these heat treats? Mr. Rich Ott. Rich is a long time heat treater working with both commercial and captive heat treaters and incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of heat treating. His experience includes companies such as Hinderliter Heat Treat and Bodycote. Rich’s responsibilities include sourcing new equipment, evaluating different heat treat technologies and trouble shooting-in other words if there is a heat treating issue at any Linamar facility around the world, Rich is where the buck stops.  Home | Linamar

#18 Bill Andreski / MetConsult LLC

William “Bill” Andreski, President – MetConsult LLC. Located in the US Midwest Bill is one of two consultants on our list this year. A metallurgist by background  Bill works both as a consultant and also as a independent manufacturers rep for several industry suppliers. Over the years Bill has travelled the world advising on heat treat related issues and gained a very loyal following. Certainly we at “The Monty” would agree that Bill deserves to be on this list.

#19 Jim Oakes / Super Systems Inc.

Mr. Jim Oakes, SSi. Jim is President of controls company SSi of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA which is probably reason enough for him to be on our list. However in addition he is also President of MTI (Metal Treating Institute) and serving his second term. Jim has been in the industry for over 15 years and has made a real name for himself, especially when it comes to CQI-9 and Nadcap. Super Systems Inc. based in Cincinnati, OH. develops and manufactures products for the metal treating industry.

 

#20 Jim Demarest / North American Cronite

Jim Demarest has had a long and distinguished career in the heat treating industry working with companies such as AFC-Holcroft, Pyromaitre Inc., and for the past number of years at alloy supplier North American Cronite. North American Cronite is one of the largest suppliers of heat resistant components in the world and Jim’s official title is VP Sales & Marketing, North American Cronite. He is known as a very hard worker and a real innovator when it comes to high temperature components for heat treatment processes. Because of his long history in the industry and extensive travelling Jim is known to heat treaters around the world. Welcome to Cronite – Cronite Group Better by design (cronite-group.com)

#21 Paul Oleszkiewicz / Nitrex 

Paul Oleszkiewicz has been with Nitriding technologies company Nitrex in Montreal, Quebec almost since the beginning and has very significantly contributed to Nitrex becoming a worldwide name in the heat treating industry. He has also been very active in helping to grow United Process Controls into one of the largest furnace controls companies in the world. Up until COVID, Paul could be found travelling the world on behalf of Nitrex and UPC and was always found at every single heat exhibition around the world.  

#22 Tom Gibbons / Bodycote​

Tom is one of three individuals from commercial heat treating giant Bodycote, the other being Mr. Stephen Harris CEO of the company who landed in the #1 position. Tom is based in Texas and is President, Aerospace, Defense & Energy, Heat Treat and Surface Technology at Bodycote which is one of two Bodycote divisions, the other being the AGI division (Automotive & General Industry). Tom comes from an aerospace background and has had his present position for over 7 years. Overall he has responsibility for 65 operational sites making him a very influential individual in the industry indeed.

#23 Jason Orosz / Nitrex

Together with the new Nitrex executive team, he is part of the next-generation leadership that will support the next phase of the company’s growth and development. A third-generation member of the Orosz-Dennis family, Jason has spent more than 15 years in the heat-treating sector working from the ground up – starting in his family’s business (where he was instrumental in doubling the size of the company’s facility, driving new business growth, and implementing new business practices to reduce downtime and increase equipment efficiency) to his current position as President of Nitrex Heat Treating Services.

#24 Ben Rassieur / Paulo Products Company

Ben Rassieur, President at Paulo Products Company. Mr. Ben Rassieur has made our list of the “Most Influential in the North American Heat Treating Industry” every single year without fail and deservedly so. Paulo is a family owned business and the second largest commercial heat treater in North America as ranked by “The Monty” https://themonty.com/project/largest-north-american-commercial-heat-treats-august-2020/ Ben has been with the company for 44 years and served as President for many of those years. https://www.paulo.com/

#25 B.J. Bernard / Surface Combustion​

Surface Combustion is one of the oldest and most established furnace builders in North America. For the past 9 years he has been President of the company after having spend some time at heat treating giant Bodycote.

#26 Carlos Torres / MATTSA

Carlos Torres, President, MATTSA. Carlos Torres has been with MATTSA, the largest furnace builder in Mexico for 12 years, the last two as President. Carlos is relatively young for this position (in years gone past he has made our lists of the “Top 30 Under 30” heat treaters) and his enthusiasm and energy are starting to take the company in new directions. Our prediction is that under his leadership the company will continue to grow and expand into new markets both geographically and product wise.

#27 Andrew Bassett / Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry, Inc.

Andrew Bassett, President, Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry, Inc. Andrew has more than 25 years of experience in the field of calibrations, temperature uniformity surveys, system accuracy testing, as well an expertise in pressure, humidity, and vacuum measurement calibration. Prior to founding Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry, Andrew previously held positions as Vice President of Pyrometry Services and Director of Pyrometry Services for a large commercial heat treater and Vice President and Quality Control Manager for a small family owned business. His company, Aerospace Testing & Pyrometry has grown from a small single person location to a multi location, multi person entity over the past 14 years.

#28 Bill Gasbarre / Gasbarre Products, Inc.

Bill Gasbarre, Sales/Marketing Director at Gasbarre Products, Inc. Although Bill has the rather modest title of “Sales & Marketing Director” at furnace builder Gasbarre a number of people pointed to Bill as the real driving force behind the company (please note that furnace manufacturing is only a part of Gasbarre’s business, the company also offers other products such as presses https://www.gasbarre.com/ ). Bill has been with the company for 48 years and during his time with Gasbarre it has grown into one of the larger furnace builders in North America.​

#29 Rob Goldstein / Fluxtrol

Rob Goldstein, has been working at Fluxtrol since graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998, currently serving as Executive Director of Product Development and Strategic Planning.  His focus is on helping to develop and promote new technologies and markets that will expand the field of induction heat treating and was recently awarded the title of Fellow of ASM International for his contributions to the field. He has been a co-author of over 100 papers and presentations on the induction heating technique, co-authored a chapter in the “Handbook of Metallurgical Process Design”, and two articles in the recently released ASM Handbook Volume 4C.  Rob works extensively with the ASM Heat Treating Society, especially in the area of technical programming for the bi-annual Heat Treat Conference.  His current research is in the areas of computer simulation, methods for magnetic flux control, development of new induction heating processes and optimization of current induction heat treating applications.

#30 Ron Waligora / AFC-Holcroft

Ron has spent 32 years with AFC-Holcroft, one of the largest furnace builders in North America. We have had the privilege of working with Ron for quite some time and can say he is a good man who knows his stuff.