Austin Simundza is the Sales Manager in Marseilles, IL.
Austin Simundza, a graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Marketing and Communications, found Infra-Metals through a career fair hosted at the university prior to his graduation in May 2017. He started in the sales department in June of 2017 as an Account Representative. Austin went through a comprehensive training program consisting of primarily 3 phases. Initially he’d spend several weeks in the Marseilles warehouse learning the products, processing capabilities and operations of the business.
“I learned how long these processes take start to finish to have a good idea of what I was selling and how long it took and our limitations.”
After completing that he learned our software system followed by time in the Wallingford facility learning how to merchandise and sell steel.
“I learned the nomenclature and daily sales office communications between the sales staff during my time there. The lingo was one of the most valuable things I learned.”
Once his training completed he was destined for the sales desk. It’s noteworthy that Austin was, at that time, the youngest and newest member of the Marseilles facility for some time. He came to us with some managerial experience as he did manage a pizza restaurant during his time at ISU. Infra-Metals, being his first major career job, created an drive to prove himself amongst the veterans.
Austin became Sales Manager for Marseilles in April of 2022. Having spent the last five years at the sales desk he saw an opportunity and went after it. Austin is not only responsible for managing his sales team but also manages the product purchasing for tubing and pipe products. His daily activity consists of assisting with pricing material, helping his team reach personal and collective goals as well as developing strong relationships with his customer base.
“I want to be one of the sales managers that can assist , guide, and be a resource to others.”
Looking forward Austin sees himself evolving and growing into his current role. Over the last several years Austin notes a positive change in the way everyone at the division collaborates, communicates and goes out their way to respect each other.
“One of the most rewarding feelings is watching everyone succeed together.”
Austin enjoys freshwater fishing with his dad in Wisconsin, Live music (Umphrey’s McGee), Shark Tank and spending time with his wife, 2 dogs and 4 month old daughter.
“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it from you. – Mark Cuban
Congratulations Austin on your journey with Infra-Metals! We’re looking forward to many years to come!
Greg Borchardt is Vice President of Operations for Infra-Metals / Delta Steel.
Greg, a graduate of Texas A&I University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and a BBA in Business Management, began his steel career for a steel mill in Houston, Texas in 1989 as a Production Scheduler. In 1993, he took a job with Chaparral Steel in Midlothian Texas and they employed Greg as a distribution manager for the first part of his career. In 1999 Greg moved to Virginia to help build and operate the Virginia Mill. He then transitioned into the production side of the business when he became the General Manager of Steel Production. Fast-forward to 2009 after the historic purchase of the mill by Gerdau North America and 20 years working in steel mills, Greg looked to expand his career into other areas of the steel business.
After a lunch meeting with current leadership at Infra-Metals – Petersburg, Greg was offered a position as project manager in 2009.
“At the time I was in need of job and it was a blessing to have been given the opportunity to work for such a great company. What a great find!”
During this time, all of the Infra-Metals locations were migrating to a centralized software system that could enable greater visibility in product availability and production. Greg requested that he be allowed to train in all areas of the software, kind of a pseudo introduction to the service center business. This approach afforded Greg the education he needed to understand how Infra-Metals operated inter-departmentally.
Greg became the sales manager for Petersburg, VA in 2011. At the time, the group had many product managers and he served as central point of communication for the entire group of sales representatives, both inside and outside. After a short while as sales manager, Greg was promoted to general manager of Petersburg.
Over the years Greg notes “I’ve seen a change in mindset. We’ve graduated from just filling the trucks everyday to a more aligned mentality where employees truly care about each other. It’s a one for all and all for one way of thinking. The level of collaboration and cooperation is night and day from where we began.”
In 2019, Greg became the Vice President of Operations for Infra-Metals and Delta Steel. He is responsible for all of the staffing, safety, capital investments, maintenance, trucks and operations for all of the locations. He has witnessed significant growth over the past 14 years with us and we aren’t stopping. Since Greg began working with us we have added new locations, expanded existing warehouses and not only invested in tech and machinery but also made significant investments in our employees.
“I like seeing progress and having ideas that will make the company better and turning them into reality. Most of the good ideas aren’t mine, but I’m in a position to talk to many different people at many different locations and I like being the voice for the many people and ideas around the company.
“This is the place I retire from. I want the next guy to be really bored because everything is in great shape.”
When Greg isn’t traveling around the country, visiting our facilities, he enjoys golfing with colleagues, friends, and his wife Shelly. He also enjoys spending time with his now grown daughters Macy and Brittany.
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite time in the future.” – George S. Patten
Congratulations Greg on your journey with Infra-Metals! We’re glad we have you on our team!
Matt Haun is a Sales Representative for Marseilles, IL.
Matt had graduated from St. Ambrose University in 2014 and began working for a government organization that operated a landfill in Iowa. He was an excavator operator in charge of sorting recyclable materials and waste around the work site.
“One of the cool things about the site was that there was a gas filtration system underground that would suck the methane out of the decomposing trash. This would go through a super chiller that turned the gas into a solid that we would sell to other facilities.”
After a few years playing Tonka Trucks, Matt was looking to get back home to his family in Illinois. His cousin was already working for Infra-Metals Marseilles and told him he should come in for a job interview and in 2016 Matt began working as a crane operator on second shift. Training was fast paced and soon he was on his own working in Bay 1. Barely a year in, Matt transitioned into the plate processing department and worked a hybrid shift to cover second and third. This role lasted until around 2019 when he was promoted to second shift supervisor.
As a shift supervisor, you become the leader of the group and help your team reach daily, monthly and even annual goals. Matt’s group was part of that team that helped mark the Central Division’s first group accomplishment of 365 days safe and had a record shipping day of 18 loads filled in a single 8 hour shift. All of the hard work paid off when Matt went after an open sales representative role in September of 2021.
“I like serving our customers with the steel they need. We are the steel experts and can offer a better understanding of the market and help advise them with their purchases.”
Matt notes several things he really enjoys about his role on the commercial side of the business that is different from operations.
“I like when I get something outside the box. Something that isn’t simple that I can figure out how to help the customer. It’s fun finding unique ways to service the accounts’ needs like collaborated solutions with specialized equipment and vendor relationships to deliver customized solutions.”
Looking forward Matt is concentrating on being focused on his new role. He aims to be the best he can and continue to grow commercially.
“As long as your eyes are open there is opportunity here at Infra.”
Matt enjoys freshwater fishing in Minnesota, specifically the Nisswa area. He also likes nature hiking.
“Work hard. Go big or go home.”
Congratulations Matt on your journey with Infra-Metals! We’re glad we have you on our team!
Jessie Wiley is the Processing Coordinator for New Boston, OH.
Jessie worked in steel prior to arriving at Infra-Metals New Boston. He came to us with experience in operating overhead cranes, loading and unloading trucks and some production skills. In 2016 Jessie acted on a referral from a fellow friend and current employee of New Boston. His prior experience allowed him to hit the ground running, as a 3rd shift crane operator, with little training required other than learning the different steel shapes and how to load the jigsaw puzzle loads we ship.
“When I started loading trucks it was totally different that what I was used to and had to start from scratch.”
He never dealt with plate and beams before, let alone putting both of them on trucks for delivery. In the Spring of 2018 he was promoted to 3rd shift supervisor and almost every year after that he would move up shifts, finally landing on as 1st shift supervisor in August of 2020.
“I don’t want to be stagnant in any position. I look forward to working my way into an operations manager position at some point in my career.”
With this drive in mind, an opportunity opened up for processing coordinator in August of 2021. Jessie was reluctant at first because he’d never had an office position before.
“I asked for a couple of weeks to mull it over and came back and said I’d take on the role.”
This new job allowed Jessie to take on more responsibility both in managing the t-split line, camber and saws as well as getting the work orders out to the shop and queuing up the programs to run the saws.
“I really enjoy this role because I can still be part of the warehouse team.”
In his free time, Jessie enjoys playing golf, movies and spending time with his family.
“Every champion was once a contender that didn’t give up.”
Congratulations Jessie and thank you for your contribution to our team!
Ralph Conte is the Credit Manager for Wallingford, CT.
Ralph has worked in credit across several industries since 1995, the majority of which has been business-to-business. Previously coming from the lumber industry, he began working in Wallingford, CT as an assistant credit manager in January of 2013. Working alongside the credit manager gave Ralph the know how it takes to be in the steel business. There are some tools that he didn’t have at his disposal before which afforded him better information when making decisions with accounts. Eventually in June of 2020 he would split duties with the existing credit manager and divide and conquer the territories Wallingford served.
Ralph also has an alternative personality… radio personality that is. Some may not now know this but Ralph was for some time a radio disc jockey for several broadcast stations throughout New England. While his Bruce Wayne personality collects the cash; the Batman shows up on radio stations with music and news. He continued this dynamic duo role for some time until he took over the entire credit department.
In February of 2022, Ralph assumed all of the responsibilities of the credit department. His ten years with Infra-Metals has allowed him to develop personal relationships with his customers.
“I want to make customers feel good and make it easy to do business with us. It’s important to have good bedside manners and salesmanship when dealing in credit and customer relations.”
As Ralph enters his 11th year in his credit role he eyes the future with unrelenting optimism. Infra-Metals has continued to grow and Ralph has grown with us. He notes that “the steel business is a lot more fun than the other industries I’ve served.” When Ralph ventures home or on the road to see customers, he feels a sense of pride when he sees projects we’ve worked on with our customers.
“Infra-Metals is a savvy business and one that I am going to stick with until I retire.”
To occupy his free time, Ralph enjoys golf and water color painting, both of which are relatively new outlets for him. He also loves family time, enjoying their recently acquired new home.
“The third thing is the truth.”
Congratulations Ralph and thank you for your contribution to our team!
Eric Gray is the Traffic Coordinator in Marseilles, IL.
Eric, formerly a bartender from Ottawa, IL., decided to look into job opportunities and found out about Infra-Metals through a family friend. An interview was scheduled with the operations manager and he was hired to work as a crane operator on 2nd shift in 2006. Eric notes that his training was kind of touch and go in those days, yet he learned how to master the cranes and keep up with the fast paced environment of loading trucks and getting them out the door. Fast-forward to 2015 where Eric applied to be 2nd shift supervisor. There we several applicants at the time but Eric ended up landing the spot.
“I liked the challenge. I have good relationships with the shift guys and feel like there was a strong camaraderie that was formed with a lot of them.”
Eric worked closely with operations, traffic and even sales to ensure loads were completed and ready for delivery. He would find himself filling in for the processing supervisor which allowed him to learn the software system better. Many of these skills would ultimately help prepare him for his next role.
In January of 2018, Eric became the 2nd shift traffic coordinator. Working in the traffic department interacts with almost every department and is often times the busiest office during the work day. “I was at that point that I wanted a new challenge.”
In the traffic department, the workload changes daily from scheduling picks in the shop, to working with sales, to routing and delivery logistics. “Every day is different. When I walk through the door, the day always has something new to offer. I review the board and piece the puzzle together for that day’s deliveries.” He also handles the driver staff and ensures their routes are optimized for on-time delivery. Since his early days in the shop, Eric has seen a lot of growth at the Central Division, most notably the emphasis on safety.
“Everyone works together towards the same goals. We’re all moving together in the same direction.”
Eric enjoys running. He has competed in 3 full marathons, 8 half marathons and a spartan race. He is also a season ticket holder for the Chicago Bears. When not competing in marathons, running or rooting for the Monsters of the Midway, he cheers on his kids at their sporting events and band concerts.
Eric continues to keep his sights on the future and one day aspires to fulfill a management role at Infra-Metals. Congratulations Eric on a long career with us! You have been an integral part of the team and continue to add to the success of the Central Division and Infra-Metals as a whole!
Ken Crespi Jr. is the Traffic Manager in Atlanta, GA.
Ken’s career with Infra-Metals spans several decades and locations. He began working for Infra-Metals Wallingford in 1994 as the traffic manager. He was referred by his father, whom had been the long time credit manager at that facility. As the 90’s rolled on, business began adopting more network computer systems and the company was in need of someone to handle this new growth. In 1999 Ken was offered the position of IT Manager. At the time it was a brand new position for the company and he was left in charge to develop the roadmap for the solutions throughout the office and warehouse. He taught himself networking and implemented a peer-to-peer workgroup and email.
After spending four years in IT, he took on the opportunity as Credit Manager in 2003, taking after his father whom had retired several years prior. Ken was looking for more responsibility and was eager to learn something new. After six years as credit manager he looked again to what the company’s needs were and decided to that he enjoyed working in operations more and took another role as Processing Manager in 2009. Ken was in charge of scheduling work for much of the processing machinery in the warehouse, a role that brought him back to the production side of the business.
“I liked collaborating with the traffic department to fulfill orders. It was something I already had experience in.”
Eventually another opportunity opened up and this time it would take him and his family to a warmer climate. No more Nor’easters! He accepted the position as Traffic Manager at the Atlanta, GA. facility. Since the early days when the company was more decentralized, Ken has seen the Infra-Metals group come together and work towards more common goals.
“Because of the centralization and collaboration between the locations we have become a much stronger company.”
In his current evolution as traffic manager, Ken conducts daily discussion with drivers, many times covering safety concerns and best practices. The company has grown in his eyes and it now employs a positive environment for open communication.
“Infra-Metals is a place you can retire from.”
Ken has always enjoyed sports and in his spare time he likes playing softball, handball and soccer.
Thank you Ken for your many years with Infra-Metals!
Josh Kozlowski is the Traffic Manager in Wallingford, CT.
Josh, originally a Milwaukee native, moved to Connecticut when he turned 21. He began his career in the steel industry by working for a metal processor specializing in stamping. Josh gained valuable shop experience running one of the presses and eventually made his way into quality control. Eager to continue moving up within the organization, he quickly realized that there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for growth and decided to part ways and found his way to Infra-Metals through a referral. After interviewing, he began training with a class of 15 warehouse trainees in 2002. At the conclusion of his roughly three week training period, Josh began working as a 3rd shift crane operator. After a year in that role he became the 3rd shift loader. One year, in 2004, he moved up to shift supervisor where he’d spend the next 5 years.
In 2009 Josh took an opportunity to work in the traffic department as First Shift Traffic Coordinator. This ultimately would end up closely mirroring many of his current tasks and was an excellent preparatory position for what was to come. On the daily he would coordinate deliveries between sales and operations, building and scheduling loads all while paying attention to weight, trailer length and delivery geography. Traffic is the one department that has its hands in everything and every day poses its own unique challenges.
“Working as a team across all functional departments is key. We’re only successful together.”
Twenty one years later, Josh is now the Traffic Manager for Wallingford, CT. Josh enjoys the challenge everyday and not knowing what is going to pop up. He is responsible for the driver staff, managing carrier rates, scheduling truck and trailer maintenance and many other tasks.
“You never know what opportunities could be coming down the road. This company provides outside of the box opportunities.”
Over the last two decades Josh notes all of the growth that both the Wallingford facility and Infra-Metals overall has enjoyed. There have been many expansions, investments in new equipment and the implementation of key safety measures and personnel.
“The emphasis on Safety has been astounding compared to when I first started.”
Being from Wisconsin automatically makes Josh a Greenbay Packers fan. He really enjoys watching sports and supporting his team.
“Always put your best effort in everything you do.”
Congratulations Josh! You have been an integral part of the team and the success of the Wallingford, CT facility!
Marcial Villalobos is the Safety Coordinator for Infra-Metals Marseilles.
Marcial decided that he wanted something more stationary as opposed to his prior job. He would travel out of state every week working as a foreman for a railroad company. Marcial had friends that worked in the warehouse and was referred for an interview which ultimately landed him a crane operator position on 2nd shift in late summer of 2004. Eighteen years later he has never looked back.
Two years later, Marcial moved to first shift crane operator and spent the majority of his time working in bay 1 of the facility. Fast-forward to 2015 and Marcial earned his spot as 3rd shift supervisor.
To say that Marcial is a veteran of the Central Division would be an understatement. He is an asset and a critical component to the success of the facility. He is known for his ability to unload barges in record time, operating forklifts in a pinch, and has a very intimate knowledge on how to pick and handle difficult material. He shares all this accumulated knowledge and experience to help make the rest of the shop team efficient, safe and successful.
Marcial eventually made his way to first shift as a supervisor in 2018.
In the summer of 2022, Marcial became the Safety Coordinator for the Central Division. His nearly two decades of experience are rolled into this very important position; to ensure the safety training for all at this division is done thoroughly and correctly. His responsibilities include OSHA documentation, equipment training, employee safety record keeping, develop training procedures, toolbox talks and safety committee meetings. Marcial has a lot of experience handling a crane and enjoys showing tips and tricks for picking and unloading material.
“I’m happy I came to Infra-Metals. I knew after my initial training that I wanted to stay here until I retire.”
Marcial strives to always help others and really enjoys being a resource for all of the guys in the shop.
“I like being a teacher and training people.”
Reflecting back on his training almost two decades ago, Marcial feels a sense of pride and ownership in his role and takes it very seriously. “Everyone needs to leave the job the same way they came in.”
Safety at Infra-Metals is the highest priority and having Marcial in the seat, along with the team at the Central Division, is a recipe for success.
Marcial enjoys playing his favorite sport soccer and spending time with his family.
“If you see something, say something.”
Congratulations Marcial! Team Infra can’t wait to see what you do next!
Ivan Lopez is Inventory Control in Tampa. Fifteen years and still going strong.
Ivan, young and working in Puerto Rico as a cabinet installer, was looking for a better opportunity for him and his girlfriend and to start a life in the states. He was referred by a friend when he began working at his first job stateside in Tampa as a 3rd shift crane operator in 2007. Shortly after he began working he got married and set his sights on a career in steel with us. Typically third shift loads material that was picked by previous shifts. However there are always situations when an operator must pick and load their own material, especially when there are 25+ trucks to load for the day; and if that material wasn’t under a crane way Ivan would hop in a forklift and go get it.
Moving on within Infra-Metals is very common with our employees and Ivan is no exception. In 2011 he moved onto first shift as a crane operator. Although the qualifications and skillset are essentially the same, first shift deals mostly with inbound material and inventory organization, which is a change of mindset and focus. Safety is always on our minds and being in the warehouse requires you to be on your toes. Sorting material with the proper equipment and safety protocols are all part of the job.
“I learned the proper way to stack and organize material, benefiting the next person who interacts with it, making everyone’s job safer and easier.”
Ivan also had to identify the different grades of inventory products and color code it by painting the ends, making it easier to identify when picking. Eventually, in 2012, opportunities opened up in the processing department and Ivan began working as a burn operator working on the plasma and oxy fuel machines. He quickly learned how to program CNC using Pronest and Autocad by working closely with the processing lead man at the time. Ivan would ensure he optimized the material usage by nesting it using these software tools and passing on those savings to the customers.
In 2021, Ivan became head of Inventory Control, a natural fit for someone that possess intimate knowledge of the inventory and warehouse operations. Inventory accuracy is of utmost importance because Infra-Metals uses a tag based tracking system. Almost every piece of material, with the exception of bundled stock, gets an individual tag and Ivan is the person responsible for all of it. When inventory can’t be found, he will conduct a small cycle count of a particular size in an effort to reconcile any variances.
“We operate in a harsh environment and often times tags go missing due to the extreme variations in temperature and humidity.”
His efforts are a critical part of our quality control procedures.
“My personal goal is to have the inventory as accurate as possible and make things run smoother for the shop to ensure quality for our customers.”
Fun Fact: Ivan learned what he calls “Infra English” because he didn’t know the English language when he first arrived. He took a class for 3 months and learned the rest on the job! Because of this it’s no surprise that Ivan enjoys a good challenge. That is his passion in his current role.
“Everyday is different and brings new challenges.”
“Work safe, think safe and be the best you can be every single day.”
Ivan’ s kids are his hobbies. His 11 year old son plays little league and travel ball. Additionally his 7 year old daughter is in gymnastics with a 4 year old waiting for her turn. Additionally, Ivan likes to play basketball with all of his children.
Congratulations Ivan on a successful career! We look forward to the next 15 years and beyond!