By Jennifer Erb
2016-10-072016-10-07https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Russ Craig came to WVU thinking that he would be a Chemistry or Mathematics major. It was his roommate who convinced him to become an Industrial Engineer. However it was a field trip to Sterling Faucet that convinced him he had made the right choice. “I just loved the manufacturing environment,” Russ says.
When Russ graduated in 1975, he had 12 job offers and decided to join Union Carbide at its Metals Division in Marietta, Ohio. Russ progressed through a number of positions, with a new assignment about every year.
In 1981, Union Carbide sold its Metals operations to Elkem Metals, a Norwegian Company based in Oslo. Over the next 18 years, Russ continued to see promotions and additional responsibility. By 1999, Russ had total profit and loss responsibility for the Marietta operations (600 employees/$275 million sales).
In 1999, Elkem was sold to a French company, Eramet SA and Russ was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Eramet Marietta Inc. In 2006, Eramet asked the labor union at its Marietta, OH smelter to make major concessions in its labor contract. What followed was a prolonged strike and one of the toughest experiences in Russ’ career. “My HR manager resigned, and I needed to take the lead in the bargaining process. That put me in conflict with some of my longtime friends,” Russ says. Russ felt that he had to lead the company to a labor agreement settlement, but it was not something he felt comfortable doing. When the strike was settled after 5.5 months, he retired from Eramet.
Russ’ retirement lasted for one weekend. He was asked to join Fibrox Technology LP, a Canadian Company that produces mineral fibers for industrial and commercial markets. Russ was asked to assist in the design, construction and commissioning of a new state-of-the-art facility in Millwood, WV. This was a joint venture with Armstrong World Industries. Russ continues to serve as President and Limited Partner of Fibrox Technology LP while based in Vienna, WV.
What is interesting about Russ’ employment history is that he has worked close to his hometown for his entire career, but at the same time has had an international business career, while working for companies headquartered in four different countries.
Over forty years experience in the Manganese Alloys and Special Metals industries, including twenty-five years in key management positions. Functional experience includes management, operations, marketing, sales, product development, strategic planning, budget development, trade litigation, government relations and technical consulting.
2007 (April) – Present Fibrox Technology LP – Thetford Mines, Quebec, Canada
President & Limited Partner
Fibrox is a privately owned, advanced materials manufacturer specializing in synthetic fibers for a wide variety of industrial and commercial markets.
1999 (July) – 2007 (March) Eramet Marietta Incorporated – Marietta, OH
President and Chief Executive Officer
Eramet Marietta Inc. (EMI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eramet Manganese which is a core division of Eramet … an international group with annual turnover in excess of 3 Billion Euros that conducts activities ranging from mining to super alloy manufacturing across five continents in three primary areas of business – nickel, manganese and specialty steels.
1981 – 1999 Elkem Metals Company – Marietta, OH
Elkem Metals Company, Pittsburgh, PA, a Norwegian-based company manufacturing ferroalloys and specialty metals for the Steel, Aluminum, Chemical, Electronics, and Foundry Industries. Sales of $500MM with operations in the U.S. and Canada; 1600 employees.
General Manager – Ferroalloys and Special Metals 1996 – 1999 (June)
Superintendent of Manganese Alloys 1987 – 1989
Plant Metallurgist 1986 – 1987
Project Manager (Manganese Chemicals) 1985 – 1986
Sr. Production Engineer (MOR – MCFeMn) 1984 – 1985
Sr. Production Engineer (Silicomanganese) 1981 – 1984
Sr. Production Engineer (HCFeMn) 1981
West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)
B.S. Industrial Engineering (Cum Laude) 1975
12 Credit Hours towards Masters in Business Administration, 1983-1984