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Bouchard back at Esmark Steel helm

Aug 27, 2013 | 07:19 PM |

Tags  Esmark, Esmark Steel Group, James Bouchard, Yorkville, executive changes, mill operations, Thomas Modrowski, John Krupinski Brian Bergmann

NEW YORK — Esmark Inc. has realigned management at its Esmark Steel Group LLC subsidiary to streamline its service center and mill operations in Chicago and Ohio.

The changes are a "strategic" response to the changing needs of its original equipment manufacturing customer base and dynamics of the market, according to chairman James P. Bouchard, who will also resume his role as chief executive officer of Esmark Steel.

Effective immediately, Thomas Modrowski, formerly chief executive officer of Esmark Steel, has been named chief operating officer of its Ohio mill operations. This includes Ohio Cold Rolling Co., Yorkville, Ohio, the company said Aug. 27. John Krupinski, chief financial officer of Esmark Steel, assumes the same title at the Ohio mill operations.

Brian Bergmann, vice president of Esmark, is now vice president and chief operating officer of Esmark Steel, and Daniel Martin, Esmark Steel’s controller, becomes its vice president of finance.

Thomas Mihelcic, vice president of purchasing for Esmark’s recently divested CSI Bars division, is now general manager of commercial sales for the Ohio mill operations. Michael Ogrizovich and Scott Sternheimer will retain their current roles as Esmark Steel’s president and vice president of commercial, respectively.

"On the service center side, it’s continued to be very competitive. The market hasn’t returned as rapidly as we’ve all expected, and clearly with the tight margins in the market, we’re focusing on reducing costs and streamlining operations," Bouchard told AMM, adding that Esmark Steel is targeting "aggressive cost-reduction efforts" aimed at saving $2 million to $3 million by next year.

No decision has been made on the restart of its Yorkville, Ohio, mill operations due to "a number of inquiries and offers made for the assets," the company said.

"We’ve been approached by multiple parties over the course of the past year and there have been some expressions of interest to purchase those assets," Bouchard said. "We need to review those offers to see if it’s a good opportunity for a good return. Obviously, it has delayed some things, but we’re looking at all of our options."

In June, Bouchard said the bar unit was sold as a means to refocus on flat-rolled markets, particularly in restarting the Yorkville mill in line for the tin season (, June 7).

The Pittsburgh-based company will likely make a decision on Yorkville by the end of September, meaning it can still meet the December delivery time frame for the tin season, Bouchard said. If Yorkville is sold, management members on the mill side will "go with that new company."

Bouchard also confirmed that the company has been installing a new information technology tracking system over the past 60 days.

Editor's note: This story was update Aug. 29  An earlier version of the story misidentified the amount of savings that Esmark Steel Group LLC would save as a result of streamlining its service center and mill operation. The company  is aiming to save some $2 million to $3 million by next year, a spokesman clarified.

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