D. Robbins, newly elected president of the Association of Steel
Distributors (ASD), is looking to promote the relevance of a
close-knit trade group in an increasingly technology-oriented
world and increase membership during his tenure.
An active member of
the ASD board of directors since 2004, Robbins will take the
helm during the organizations annual convention in March.
He will succeed Lisa Goldenberg, president of Fort Washington,
Pa.-based Delaware Steel Co., who was the third generation of
her family to serve in the role.
"I am honored to be
chosen to lead an organization with such a rich history," said
Robbins, chief executive officer of Midwest Materials Inc.,
Perry, Ohio. "It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of my
grandfather, Joseph Koppelman, founder of Midwest Materials ...
who served as (ASD) president 45 years ago."
ASD comprises "a very
proud, industrious and committed group" whose members have
forged strong, long-term business and personal relationships
built on trust, Robbins told AMM, noting that his
grandfather and Goldenbergs grandfather, Bernard
Brownstein, were best friends.
ASD members "easily
transact thousands of tons daily" and are knowledgeable about
steel products, vendors and customers and serve as valued
resources through the supply chain, he said.
As president, Robbins
will focus on drawing in new members by touting the advantages
of networking and promoting the steel industry. "Its an
amazing network that fosters transactions that affect the
bottom line and offers guidance in a nonthreatening,
This is important when
people can send one e-mail that reaches dozens of people who
are looking for coil. "Day-to-day transactions are overshadowed
by technology sometimes," Robbins said. His grandfather used to
drive from Cleveland to Pittsburgh every month to look at a
mills stock list, then call his salesman to discuss the
list and place orders in the rolling schedule.
"So one of my guiding
principles is to redefine how to continue the relevance we
provide. Relationships go beyond just a transaction. We want to
make connections, find commonality and revive the spark of
passion for the industry," he said.
Joining Robbins on the
executive committee will be Tim Loeffel, vice president of
Loeffel Steel Products Inc., Barrington, Ill., as executive
vice president; Andrew Gross, president of Alliance Steel LLC,
Bedford Park, Ill., as vice president; and Mike Sawyer, vice
president of Universal Metals LLC, Toledo, Ohio, as