Category Archive: Career Climbers

Kevin Perez – Quality Assurance Administrator

Kevin Perez

Kevin Perez

Kevin Perez is the Quality Assurance Administrator for Wallingford, CT.

Kevin arrived at Infra-Metals in 1996 after an honorable discharge from the United States Army and leaving his job at a convalescent home. His 26 year journey began as a 3rd shift crane operator in Wallingford, CT. From 1998-2006 Kevin worked in the warehouse as a 3rd shift supervisor. During this time, the country experienced the worst terrorist attack on American soil and Kevin jumped at the chance to re-enlist and serve his country. While enlisted, he found himself working security for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah.

Career Growth

In 2015 Kevin became the receiving clerk for Wallingford. His responsibilities became very inventory focused. Kevin would schedule and receive all inbound mill deliveries, as well as attend to any mill claims and RMAs. This role would be a stepping stone for his next move.

In 2020, Kevin became the Quality Assurance Administrator. A culmination of work experiences made this move an easy one. He has a vast amount of operations knowledge that helps Kevin to successfully manage the QA program at Infra-Metals. From finalizing load checks, to processing quality checks and finalizing customer documentation for accuracy, Kevin’s is most often times the final person to oversee many task before a delivery is made to our customers.

“I like working with the guys in the warehouse and helping the new guys.”

Kevin works closely with all of the departments and that is something that he really enjoys. Kevin also enjoys his contributions to the toolbox talks. He wants to continue to grow with the company and is always eager to take on more responsibility. “Infra-Metals has provided me with a career and it’s the place I want to retire from.”

Quotation

“Stay Safe”

Hobbies

When Kevin isn’t working he can be found enjoying his motorcycle and practicing at the shooting range.

Congratulations Kevin! We look forward to your many more years with Infra-Metals!

Cheryl Bryant – Credit Manager

Cheryl Bryant is the Credit Manager for Petersburg, VA.

Cheryl was originally hired in 2015 as an Assistant Credit Manager based in our Home Office of Langhorne, PA. She is a well versed in the credit department and holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Management. Her primary role was to assist the daily tasks of the current credit manager. Cheryl would spend her time opening accounts, setting up terms and releasing orders. Additionally Cheryl enjoyed traveling to other locations such as Tampa to assist the local credit manager at the time.

Cheryl grew into her position, learning new skills from the veteran credit managers and becoming more versed in the system and it’s reporting capabilities. As Cheryl continued to cover other locations when a credit manager was out of the office, she began taking more ownership of the orders and making credit decisions.

“I take personal ownership when I release an order because I also have to ensure we get paid for it and collect it.”

As she assisted her fellow credit managers in Atlanta, Langhorne, Petersburg and Tampa, her knowledge of the business grew and she was prepared for the next step in her career.

Career Growth

In May 2021, Cheryl became the credit manager for Petersburg, VA. Transitioning into the credit manager role was rather seamless she explains.

“Now that I am onsite and in the office, I have more interaction with Sales on a daily basis.”

Many of her daily routine remained the same but she now has full ownership of her customer base and collections. Over the past seven years Cheryl has been part of company that has grown in many areas. She takes great personal pride in the Petersburg facility and her competitive spirit rises up at every month end review to see which division did the best in the group.

” I want to continue in a leadership role to positively affect change and make my facility the most competitive and fun environment.”

Quotation

“Don’t worry, no order gets left behind.”

Hobbies

Cheryl enjoys reading John Grisham and Robin Cook novels and outdoor hiking.

 

Thank you Cheryl for your hard work and dedication to Team Infra!

 

Brian Marshall – General Manager

Brian Marshall is the General Manager for New Boston, OH.

Formerly a realtor from New Boston, OH, Brian was always plugged in to things happening in his home town. He came across an article in the local newspaper that ultimately changed his career path and it’s trajectory from day one. Brian leveraged LinkedIn at the time and tracked down the current General Manager of New Boston, Oak Williams, to land an interview for a new sales position. Brian left behind his dream of opening up his own real estate company and started with Infra-Metals New Boston in June of 2013 and never looked back.

“It was clear early on that I made the right decision and found myself very blessed to be part of the Infra Family.”

The newly hired staff for New Boston spent the next 4-6 months training in Wallingford, CT. Everyone started by learning the business from an operations viewpoint moving forward and they participated in warehouse training by learning products and first stage processing.

We learned all of the components of what goes in to making a sale and the inputs that go in to delivering material to a customer.”

At Infra-Metals, our commercial training encompasses the entire picture from learning about the various products and processing equipment to ride-a-longs with drivers, crane and forklift operators and all the software that keeps production humming along. Learning the software system is extensive and training for it is very comprehensive. Account Representatives spend weeks using tools such as Command Center and Multing for practice entering pre-existing orders. Additionally they are also given prospecting tools to help them build their own book of business.

“Infra-Metals has a very entrepreneurial spirit to it’s culture.”

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

In 2018 the existing Sales Manager was promoted to General Manager and Brian saw yet another opportunity for growth and was promoted to Sales Manager. The New Boston plant found out they were in a very heavy processing area and their customers needed it. Brian and his staff, along with upper management, looked at re-tooling their processes to position the New Boston facility to capitalize on the markets demand for value-added first stage processing. They added two new automatic saws to boost capacity, two plasma machines for plate, and a press brake to name a few. Growing the business at New Boston continued for the next 4 years until yet another opportunity presented itself.

Current Day-to-day as General Manager

In June of 2022, Brian was named the General Manager of New Boston, OH. The role is new for Brian but for him it has really been all about the people and overseeing the business. Maintaining the legacy and culture left behind by the prior two GM’s and consistently reinforcing that message is Brian’s main focus. As the responsibilities have changed from Sales Manager to General Manager the goal remains the same , which is to promote a safety first and commercially successful business through positive and effective leadership across all levels.

“To achieve this everyone must align with our safety policies and procedures.”

This role affords Brian the ability to affect positive change on the people and business. He looks forward to nurturing new leaders in all positions within the facility and lend his experience wherever he can.

Hobbies

Brian’s daughter is active in travel volleyball and softball and that’s how they spend their vacations.

“I’m a father and that comes first. We have enjoyed traveling the country together and I cherish the memories that we have made through competitive sports.”

Quote

“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to pass“ – Paul J. Meyer

Anthony Forino – Processing Supervisor

Anthony Forino is the Processing Supervisor for Marseilles, IL.

Anthony “Tony” Forino has been a veteran of the Marseilles, IL facility for over 18 years. He came to Infra-Metals in 2004, already experienced in CNC machine and fork truck operation from his previous employer. His parents lived near a barge terminal and heard about the company and decided to reach out to the operations manager at the time. For the next few years Tony operated the burning oxy, plasma, camber and saw machines. Training in those early days was peer-to-peer and thus he worked closely with other shift supervisors to learn the ropes. It is of notable mention that Tony holds the record in Marseilles for the most beams cambered in one evening at 76. Anyone is up for taking on that challenge!

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

In 2006 Tony moved on to First Shift Crane Operator, where most of the inbound and offloading occurs. Shortly after Tony was then promoted to second shift supervisor in 2007 where he would remain for the next 7 years. Working as shift supervisor, you are the go-to expert for all of the personnel working that particular shift. It is a fast pace environment because 2nd shift is preparing picks and processing to be completed and loaded for that evening and next day deliveries.

“The role can be challenging as customer needs or requirements change daily so you never know what you’re going to run into each day.”  

In 2014, Tony made another career move and was promoted to Processing Supervisor.

Current Day-to-day as Processing Supervisor

The role of processing supervisor poses it’s own set of challenges. Customers still have new daily requirements and the processing department has to be agile enough to compensate for these demands. He works to schedule all of the work for the 3 shifts that goes through the blaster, cambering, saw, and t-splitter machines as well as all of the consumables needed to keep them running. Additionally, Tony works closely with the Sales department and coordinates with the Traffic department to ensure on-time delivery of quality work for our customers.

Tony notes that working at Infra-Metals has been a journey and a rewarding one with a positive culture and an emphasis on safety.

“The company treats it employees great and I plan on being here another 20 years.” 

Tony even has family working with us with a cousin and his cousin’s father. Having been with us for so many years, Tony has seen a lot and laughed a lot with his fellow co-workers. One story he remembers well was when he was on second shift and a raccoon got its head stuck in a peanut butter jar. He watched as Dean Fox (Maintenance) was whacking it with a board trying to get the vermin out of the warehouse, laughing hysterically at Dean. Eventually the raccoon jumped into the barge slip to escape Dean’s “Hacksaw Jim Duggan” rant.

Hobbies

Tony is a family oriented man and enjoys spending time with them boating, waterskiing and fishing.

Quote

“Theres no stupid question. If you’re unsure just ask!”

Kyle Ratliff – General Manager

Kyle Ratliff, General Manager for Infra-Metals Virginia, has been with the company since May of 2000, where he began his career as a Sales Representative in, what was the first Mid-West location for Infra-Metals, a former facility in East Chicago, IN. After a few short years in Indiana, Infra-Metals opened a brand new green field facility in the summer of 2002 in Marseilles, IL where a portion of the team migrated to operate. Kyle soon became the product manager for the division’s plate products in 2004. In addition to his sales duties, he was also responsible for purchasing and forecasting of the plate inventory and keeping the sales team informed on the product line. “It enlightened me and afforded me a sense of stewardship of inventory which gave me a broader view of the business beyond sales.” 

Kyle remained in these roles for the next 10+ years when the opportunity for growth came knocking. A position for Sales Manager in the Petersburg, VA location became available and Kyle jumped at the opportunity for his next career move.

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

In July of 2013, Kyle, along with his wife and two kids, made the move to Virginia. This was his first experience with managing people. “Managing people gave me experience with the most important component of any company, the human capital.” Kyle was tasked with managing 9 direct reports which set the stage for where he would end up years later. He continued his role as a product manager but took on the additional responsibility of buying plate for the Baltimore, MD location as well. This allowed Kyle to leverage some additional buying power and gave him opportunities to collaborate on more projects. Buying for Baltimore also trained him in space allocation for the products due to the limited availability in that warehouse.

Current Day-to-Day of General Manager

In January of 2019, Kyle was promoted to General Manager of the Petersburg operation.  The division set a safety goal for one year and ended up far exceeding their expectations. Kyle remarks that keeping safety at the forefront has become a daily task and it takes the entire management to set the tone and reinforce the message. He worked closely with his leadership team to create a trusting environment that promotes an open conversation where employees can report unsafe situations without fearing any scrutiny or discipline.

The Virginia Division recently celebrated 1000 days of safety without an OSHA recordable incident which is no small feat.  In past years, 3 or more recordables per year was the norm.  To realize such a milestone took a change in mindset and countless hours of encouragement, pre-shift toolbox talks and engagement. “We encourage our employees to self-report on safety issues. It gives them a sense of ownership. The longer the incident free streak remains the more vigilant employees become because nobody wants to be the person responsible for resetting the clock.”

From his early days in sales training, Kyle learned how business flows through the shop and now he oversees the wellbeing of all the personnel that make it possible to run that business.

Kyle mentioned he enjoys trusting and allowing his staff to have the freedom to make the right decisions and celebrate their victories together.

A little know fact about Kyle is that before he made his way to Infra-Metals he worked as a mentor for underprivileged children while trying to decide what he wanted to do for a career. Fitting in as much as he looks to inspire those he works with…

Hobbies

Clemson Superfan, Golf and Bird Hunting

Quotation

“No job is so important and no service is so urgent that we cannot take time to perform our work safely” – Bell System.

Nick Grieco – Operations Manager

Nick Grieco is the Operations Manager in Wallingford, CT. Originally from Connecticut, Nick spent time in Florida working for a low voltage security company where he installed entry, emergency and security systems. Nick arrived back home in Connecticut where he took a warehouse position in January of 2011. He went through peer training for crane operation and quickly became a loader. Several Nor’easters later, in June of 2013, Nick became the Lead Operator of the Wheelabrator. This machine, for those not aware, is basically a building unto itself. He managed all of the workloads for the three shifts that operated it, handled the maintenance and consumables as well as scheduled the personnel.

“Infra-Metals is the land of opportunity.”

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

Further applying his skills learned over the previous six years, Nick took on yet another role. In 2017 he became the Processing Supervisor for second shift and several years later moved to first shift. The opportunity afforded him to manage more of his peers while still focusing on processing. Now, he was responsible for all of the machines in the Wallingford facility. “I had a closer relationship with traffic and maintenance than ever before.”  Nick continues for the next several years in this role and ultimately landed on first shift and operating in a more managerial aspect.

Current Day-to-day as Operations Manager

In April of 2021, Nick was named Operations Manager for Wallingford. Nick’s daily responsibility now encompasses all of the operations within the New England facility. “I like working with people and I get to do that everyday with the best.” He relates well to other employees regarding the decision to work at Infra. We have all sorts of people here that come from different backgrounds, but they all have the same opportunity.  He feels that its important to stay at eye level with all employees.

“Times are changing and the workforce is changing.”

Additionally Nick work’s closely with the general manager to protect the company’s most valuable investment…The employees that work at Infra-Metals. When asked how he continues to keep the safety message front and center his response was to keep the supervisors involved in the mission and believing the vision. They have to be lifted up and encouraged to keep the future of the safety program moving forward and firmly implemented. Building a trusting relationship with his guys remains a top priority in the success Wallingford and he continues to foster an environment that promotes open communications when problems and safety issues arise.

Hobbies and Interests

When not overseeing the warehouse operations and employees, Nick can be found enjoying family time, golf and bowling.

Quotation

“If you have something to say, say it in truth.”

 

 

Craig Crispens – Account Representative

Craig Crispens is a Account Representative in Wallingford, CT. Craig’s 19 year journey with Infra-Metals began in 2003 where he started as the IT Manager in Wallingford. He came from a network consulting career with a focus on infrastructure and scalable email systems. Craig saw an opportunity to build his own IT department from the ground up.

There was an entrepreneurial spirit to Infra-Metals which drew me to the company.”

At that time, the computer networks at Infra-Metals were being built out, migrating from a workgroup to domain based infrastructure. His primary responsibility and focus was to build out and support the new network infrastructure and enable the various departments to function properly on a daily basis. Craig was also tasked with supporting the Unix based ERP software that Wallingford was running at that time which gave him the experience necessary for future roles within the company.

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

Several years later a position became available in the traffic department for Traffic Manager. Traffic at Infra-Metals is one of the busiest departments in the company due to it’s interactivity with both sales and operations. Craig started this new role on his birthday in November of 2005, by learning how to build loads and coordinate with the warehouse.  One of the most significant changes was the safety culture which led to a shift in company culture. Infra-Metals has always paid attention to safety but now there was a spotlight on it where the conversation was upfront and center on a daily basis. Craig developed his own approach to managing the traffic department by successfully coordinating the inbound and outbound deliveries as well as freight rates, office staff and company drivers.

In July 2021, Craig decided that he wanted to work on the commercial side of the business and took on the role of Account Representative.

Current Day-to-day as Sales Representative

“It was time for a change and I wanted to take on new challenges.” Craig functions mostly in a purchasing capacity, buying many of the products the company sells, but does handle some accounts on a daily basis. Each member of sales effectively runs their own small business, further enforcing the entrepreneurial spirit that defines Infra-Metals company  culture. He enjoys analyzing the data to find opportunities for business decisions and actionable ways of putting that information to use.

“I don’t let anything sit idle on my desk!”

Hobbies and Interests

Craig and his wife now find themselves as empty nesters and really enjoy getting out to watch their two girls play college lacrosse. Many of you may also know that Craig is a huge UCONN men’s and women’s basketball aficionado and he annually organizes the NCAA tournament brackets for us all to compete in. Additional interests are finance and sports in general.

“Any thing is possible. It’s just a matter of cost and effort.”

Carlton Williams – Processing Coordinator

Carlton Williams is the Processing Coordinator for Atlanta, GA. Carlton found his way into the steel industry after working as a commercial driver for a transportation company.

He has seen many different business entity transitions throughout his career, all while being employed at the same location. Carlton’s journey began in the summer of 96′ when he was hired on as a parts cleaner for a steel fabrication, erection and distribution company. Eventually he began working in the field erecting buildings for the likes of CVS and Walgreens. In the early 2000’s the company was purchased by another local steel distributor where they focused only on steel processing and distribution. His role changed from fabrication and erection to material handling.

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

In 2003 Carlton (A.K.A. “Josh Jr.”) moved to the processing department where he worked as a saw operator. Several years later he began working as a welder/fitter where he processed plate parts for TUG, which manufactures aviation ground support equipment. As the company continued to grow so did Carlton’s experience when in 2012 he was promoted to Machine Operator Leadman for the burning department. He found this role to be very rewarding. “A lot of the work we did was visible all over the city such as signs and ornamental designs.”

In 2021, after almost 10 years running the processing machines, Carlton was promoted again; this time to Processing Supervisor.

Current Day-to-day as Processing Supervisor

Carlton is now responsible for all of the processing and machinery at the Atlanta facility. He manages all the personnel and scheduling maintenance for the machines as well. He enjoys the challenges that come figuring out how to shift work around between processing centers, especially when machines are down for maintenance. “The fast paced environment keeps you on your toes and the guys respect someone that’s willing to get in the trenches with them.”

His role is more dynamic as well since he is a liaison between the processing department and the commercial team. Carlton has to ensure that everything keeps flowing smoothly through the shop to the trucks waiting to be loaded. Additionally he works with operations to continuously improve the safety and awareness for everyone in his department. “The emphasis on safety has made the warehouse and the equipment the operators use a much safer place to work and that goes a long way to promoting a good working environment.” He notes that the training on equipment and software was much more comprehensive than he ever had working with previous employers.

Carlton’s career has spanned more than 25 years and he continues to look towards the future with interest in managerial opportunities with Infra-Metals.

Oak Williams – Vice President, Commercial

Oak Williams is currently the Vice President, Commercial for Infra-Metals. Oak began working at our company in 1998 after graduating from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He began his career journey in an entry-level sales position, perhaps never expecting that he would still be here almost 24 years later. Optimism is the word that Oak most enjoys being associated with and hopes to share in each of his daily interactions. His wife Michelle, his daughter Adriana(9) and his son Theo(6) are priority number one in his life, after that it’s sunshine, physical activity, and whatever challenge that particular day brings which matters most.

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

Oak was hired to work in the sales department for the Wallingford, CT branch but in a rather unconventional way. At that time, our first CNC plate processing machine was being installed and there wasn’t a resource on hand that had any experience with CNC programming. Coupled with his knowledge of AutoCAD and basic G & M coding, Oak found himself as the subject matter expert by default. After about six months of working in the warehouse, he returned to the office to begin what would eventually be a long and fulfilling career in the commercial and leadership side of the business. Oak quickly found that the entrepreneurial culture at Infra-Metals is designed to cultivate the individual by identifying and supporting their strengths. As an inside sales representative, Oak was afforded the opportunity to learn about multiple aspects of the business, such as operations, finance, credit, procurement, marketing, and other key business functions.

In 2013, after more than a decade of success in sales, Oak was offered the opportunity to take on the position of general manager for the yet to built and newest large scale service center in New Boston, Ohio. In this role, he was entrusted to develop the business and the Ohio team from the ground up. This allowed for the creation of a culture that would soon be the benchmark of his approach in future roles. After a successful and educational five years as leader of the New Boston team, Oak was promoted to vice president, commercial in 2018.

Current Day-to-Day as Vice President, Commercial

In his current role, Oak has become a leader, a servant, and a problem-solver. On a daily basis, he helps to solve multipart issues with vendors, customers and most importantly his teammates. As an advocate for all of the hard working and fun loving people within the Infra-Metals family, Oak focuses much of his time on just that, the people. This prioritizes acting as a resource for all employees to turn, to discuss complex issues and to seek advice and guidance. “Creating a fulfilling, safe, and optimistic work environment not only allows us all to achieve the best possible results for the company, more importantly it allows us all to be the best we can be in our lives outside walls of work. This is the future of a work life balance and one that will allow us all to continue to build and improve upon the previous successes of the company.“

A Career In Steel 

“We buy and sell steel, however this is what we do, it is not who we are. The “what” does not have to define us, it’s the “who” that I really love to develop and focus on. I want to create an environment where you feel safe to speak your truth, you feel as though you belong, and your ideas and opinions are valued, appreciated, and acted upon, i.e. you want to come to work every day”

Oak came to Infra-Metals at age 21 with a goal of being a leader, so far that goal has been achieved by working hard and believing in the company and his teammates as much as the company and his teammates have believed in him.

 

 

Randall Puente – Plate Processing Coordinator

Randall Puente

Randall Puente is currently the Plate Processing Coordinator at Infra-Metals in Petersburg, VA. Originally from Houston, TX, Randall entered the steel industry with no prior experience working with steel. His father-in-law knew about a company that was looking for people in Atlanta where he spent the next four years welding and fitting. Eventually he was transferred to Virginia to work as a machine operator on a beam line for a local competitor before coming to Infra-Metals.

Randall’s career with us has spanned almost two decades. He started as a Crane Operator in 2003 and eventually moved into the processing department as a Saw Operator in 2005. Randall was determined to learn more and decided to further his career in processing steel by taking on new challenges in the department.

Career Growth at Infra-Metals

In 2007, Randall learned the skills necessary to become a plate burner utilizing the various machines Infra-Metals operates. The oxy fuel and plasma machines tested his knowledge and soon he became the Lead Burner at the facility in 2011. Lead Burners bear the responsibility of being subject matter experts and so it requires him to also mentor his peers to ensure we produce the quality processed plates that meet the Infra-Metals standard. In early 2021, Randall was named the Plate Processing Coordinator for Petersburg.

“I enjoy the diverse work environment and the opportunity to engage with Sales and Production and contributing to the commercial team.”

Current Day-to-Day as Plate Processing Coordinator

Randall is responsible for programming, scheduling and sending the CNC files to the machines in our plate processing department. His knowledge and expertise give us the advantage where we utilize plates available to produce the least amount of scrap per the customer’s requirements. Randall assists the Sales Department read drawings, validate them for accuracy and offers help quoting the project. “Often times the dimensions and/or radius doesn’t work or the drawings are missing information so I have to evaluate the situation and work with Sales to get project files corrected.” Additionally he reviews the drawings to ensure everything works between processing centers as well such as oxy/plasma work before press brake work. Randall enjoys learning and working with the new machinery Infra-Metals has invested in and looks to expand his education and knowledge as we continue to grow.

In his spare time, Randall can be found working on his cars. He has a passion for car customization and has been active in the low rider scene for many years. “I look forward to weekends with my family and friends cruising the car around.”

Randall has been an integral component to the success of the processing department in Petersburg, VA. and we look forward to his future with Infra-Metals!