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Covestro LLC

U.S. Country Council

Dr. Haakan Jonsson

Chairman and President, Covestro LLC

As president and chairman of the Board of Directors at Covestro LLC, Dr. Haakan Jonsson serves as the senior leader of Covestro’s U.S. organization.

Haakan brings more than 25 years of various business expertise to the position. He began his career with Bayer in 1992 as a scientist in Pittsburgh. Since then, Haakan has held various positions in the U.S. and Germany, including director of manufacturing for Bayer Corporation, vice president of Innovation Americas for Bayer Polymers, vice president and head of business development for the Polycarbonate (PCS) business unit, senior vice president and head of the North American and EMLA (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America) Supply Chain Centers and senior vice president and head of global innovation for PCS.

Over the years, Haakan has served as a member of several industry boards, including the Institute of Polymer Processing in Germany, Plastics Europe Germany and Paltough Industries Ltd. in Israel. Currently, Haakan serves on the Board of Directors for the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Society of Chemical Industry America (SCI America).

In the Pittsburgh region, Haakan serves on the Board of Directors for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and Variety – The Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh.

He holds a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in polymer technology – both from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Christine Bryant

Global Head, Tailored Urethanes

Christine Bryant is the global head of Tailored Urethanes at Covestro. In this role, she is responsible for the performance of the Tailored Urethane business, which develops leading-edge, customized solutions and specialties to meet its customers’ need for innovation- and sustainability-driven materials. She is a member of Covestro’s U.S. Country Council.

With more than 30 years at Covestro, Christine has spent her career developing strategic external partnerships while expanding the customer portfolio and ensuring increased market penetration. Christine joined Bayer (predecessor to Covestro) in 1989 and has held increasing regional and global responsibilities in business management, sales, marketing and technical/applications development.

A leader in the chemical industry, Christine served as a board member for the Adhesives & Sealants Council. She is currently vice-chair for the Plastics Operating Committee of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and represents Covestro on the ACC Senior Sustainability Strategy Team.

Christine is actively engaged in the local community, serving on the Board of Directors for the United Way and co-chair for the United Way Impact Cabinet. She is a trustee for Robert Morris University and is on its Board of Visitors for the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. She serves on the Board of Directors for UPMC Health Plan and is vice chair for the Senator John Heinz History Center. Christine is also an executive sponsor for the Carnegie Mellon University TALI Advanced Leadership Program. Within Covestro, she has been an active sponsor for the Covestro United Way Campaign and has chaired the company’s premiere United Way fundraiser since 2001.

Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics from Duquesne University and a master’s degree in chemical engineering with an emphasis in colloids, polymers and surfaces from Carnegie Mellon University.

Julia Rubino

Head of Sales, Performance Materials – North America, Covestro LLC

Julia Rubino is head of sales for Performance Materials in North America. She is responsible for planning and executing the go-to-market strategy and ensuring the margin-optimized sell-out strategy for the best possible asset utilization. She is a member of Covestro’s U.S. Country Council.

Julia joined Bayer (predecessor of Covestro) in 1999 as a Plastics commercial trainee before moving to Polyurethanes in 2003. She assumed positions of increasing responsibility within sales and marketing, most recently as vice president of raw materials sales for Polyurethanes in North America.

She chairs the American Chemistry Council’s Center for Polyurethanes Industry Steering Committee and serves as Covestro’s representative on the Women’s Leadership Council for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Beaver County YMCA and is a past board member of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.

Julia holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Geneva College and master’s degree in macromolecular science from Case Western Reserve University.

Take Five

1. What’s your favorite band or musical artist?

Prince.

2. What’s something that you always have in your refrigerator?

Hot banana peppers. I love spicy food.

3. What’s your favorite movie?

That’s difficult, because I like a lot of movies. Let’s try the top three – “The Godfather,” “Sense and Sensibility” and “Stranger than Fiction.” There are many more, though.

4. With what person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner?

My dad, who passed away in 2011. He was a wonderful person and great father, and I miss him every day.

5. What drew you to Covestro?

The people in the Plastics division! I started as an intern and felt completely welcomed by everyone I worked with for two summers.

George Paleos

Global Head, Healthcare, Engineering Plastics, Covestro LLC

George Paleos is responsible for the global Healthcare business within Engineering Plastics (EP) and also serves as the business’ senior regional representative for the Americas. He is a member of Covestro’s U.S. Country Council.

After beginning his career with Monsanto in sales and market development roles, George joined the Plastics group of Bayer Corporation (predecessor to Covestro) in 1996. He held various positions in new business development, industry and product management, eventually serving as regional business segment head for Consumer and Industrial Solutions, North America, at Bayer MaterialScience. Prior to his current position, he was vice president and global head of industrial marketing for consumer, medical and construction markets in Covestro Polycarbonates.

George holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Patras, a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University and an MBA from Emory University.

Take Five

1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’ve been making small batches of wine (300 to 500 bottles per year) for the last 15 years.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Medical doctor.

3. What was your first job?

I was a waiter at a restaurant on a Greek island.

4. What’s something that you always have in your refrigerator?

A good pilsner (beer).

5. What professional sports team do you cheer for the most and why?

Panathinaikos Football Club (soccer). I’ve been a fan of this club since growing up and am still sentimentally connected despite its not-so-stellar performance over the last several years.

Martin Vlak

Head, Coatings and Adhesives – North America, Covestro LLC

In his role as head of Coatings and Adhesives for the North America region, Martin Vlak is responsible for regional strategy development and execution as well as the joint development of Covestro’s global Coatings and Adhesives strategy. He is also a member of the company’s U.S. Country Council.

Martin joined Covestro in 2021 following the company’s acquisition of the Resins & Functional Materials business from the Dutch company Royal DSM. He started his professional career in 1992 with ICI Rozenburg as an R&D chemist for polyurethanes. He also worked for ICI Resins, Zeneca Resins and Avecia in several positions in applications, sales and business management before joining DSM as industry manager for coatings when DSM acquired NeoResins (part of Avecia) in 2005. He progressed through various positions that included director of global sales and global business director. Prior to his current position, he served as chairman of the board for the DSM-Niaga Joint Venture and managing director of specialty resins for DSM Coating Resins.

Martin holds a bachelor’s degree in analytical chemistry from Larenstein University of Applied Sciences Wageningen and a bachelor’s degree in business management from West Brabant University of Applied Sciences. He also completed the Executive Leadership Program at the IMD Business School Lausanne.

Outside of work, Martin enjoys squash, skiing, running and sailing as well as reading, dining, and general and art history.

Take Five

1. What’s something that you always have in your refrigerator?

Being Dutch … cheese!

2. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy that you live by?

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

3. What professional sports team do you cheer for the most and why?

I’m a big fan of soccer and am a ticket holder of Ajax Amsterdam. I enjoy going to the stadium with my son and daughter on a Sunday afternoon to see the team play.

4. What’s your perfect vacation?

Skiing with family and friends. The combination of sport and leisure is fantastic.

5. With what person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner?

My father, who passed away in 2017. I have missed our talks and his advice ever since.

Glenn McEvoy

Head, Elastomers – North America, Covestro LLC

As head of Elastomers for North America, Glenn McEvoy is responsible for developing regional business strategies, achieving the globally aligned goals within the region and overseeing budgets, all major project activities, personnel decisions and the allocation of resources. He is also a member of Covestro’s U.S. Country Council.

After starting his career with General Electric, Glenn joined Bayer (predecessor of Covestro) in 1989 as an account manager in the Plastics business. He held a succession of commercial and functional roles with increasing responsibility, including director positions in sales, marketing and procurement. He was named to his current position in 2015 and has developed and executed a strategy that has delivered double-digit sales growth.

Glenn received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

Take Five

1. What’s your favorite band or musical artist?

Billy Joel.

2. What’s your favorite movie?

Tin Cup.

3. What’s something that you always have in your refrigerator?

Wine.

4. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy that you live by?

Don’t worry about things you cannot change or influence.

5. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Smoking a cigar with a nice glass of bourbon.

Fernando d’ Andréa

Head, Specialty Films – North America, Covestro LLC

As head of Specialty Films for North America, Fernando d’ Andréa is responsible for maximizing the organization’s talent and securing new business opportunities based on innovation and long-term customer partnerships. He is a member of Covestro’s U.S. Country Council.

Fernando joined Bayer (predecessor to Covestro) in 2000 as a technology leader in Polyurethanes after working for both ARCO Chemical and Dow Chemical in Brazil. He progressed through various positions within Bayer and Covestro, including segment manager, head of BAySystems coordination, general manager for the U.S. and Canada for the BayOne Urethane Systems joint venture and head of Thermoplastics Polyurethane. In his most recent position, he headed marketing and sales for Polyurethanes in Latin America in conjunction with managing director responsibilities for Covestro in the region.

Fernando received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Escola de Engenharia da Universidade Mackenzie and an MBA from the Faculdade de Econômia e Admistração da Universidade de São Paulo.

Take Five

1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Although I’m from Brazil, I’m a terrible soccer player.

2. What was your first job?

Field traffic control, where I monitored traffic jams in São Paulo on top of buildings.

3. What’s something that you always have in your refrigerator?

Fresh limes.

4. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy that you live by?

Do not miss an opportunity! Life is short! Be optimistic.

5. What’s your perfect vacation?

Close to the water. Better if on a boat.

Brian Long

Head, Thermoplastic Polyurethanes Sales & Market Development – North America, Covestro LLC

Brian Long is head of Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (TPU) Sales and Market Development, holding responsibility for all non-manufacturing aspects of TPU in the North America region. He is also a member of the Covestro U.S. Country Council.

After joining one of Covestro’s predecessors in 1998 as a coatings chemist in Leverkusen, Germany, Brian served in various capacities in the research and development and commercial areas. These included working on leading-edge initiatives like the renewable energy platform within Corporate Development in Germany and managing the Coatings, Adhesives and Specialties pilot plant in New Martinsville, W. Va. Prior to his current position, he was head of Industrial Marketing for Polyurethanes in North America.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and German from Carnegie Mellon University.

Take Five

1. What drew you to Covestro?

The connection that Miles/Bayer had to Germany.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Forensic scientist or spy.

3. What was your first job?

Gas station attendant.

4. Where can you be found on a Saturday night?

At home watching a movie with my family.

5. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I moved my young family to Germany.

John Lemmex

Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Covestro LLC

John joined Bayer (predecessor of Covestro) in 1987 as a process chemist at a rubber operations plant in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. After transitioning into a business analyst role in 1991, John embarked on a diverse career in financial management, taking on positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of finance, controlling and accounting.

Throughout his career, John gained extensive experience in driving business strategy, business restructuring, planning and reporting. He spent five years at the Bayer headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany, where he led the restructuring of the Bayer Polymers and MaterialScience controlling functions.

In addition to his daily responsibilities, John plays a role in the CFO Management Committee, Covestro LLC Corporate Compliance & Risk Management Committee and Covestro LLC Trust Investment Committee. He also serves on the boards of directors for the Civic Light Opera and Blind Vision and Rehabilitation Services in Pittsburgh.

A native of Canada, John earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from McMaster University and his master’s in business administration from Syracuse University. He also holds a CPA from The Chartered Public Accountants Association of Ontario and a CPA from the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Take Five

1. What was your first job?

Maintenance man at a summer camp. I am a bit of a DIY guy.

2. What’s your favorite movie?

“Blade Runner” – a sci-fi movie ahead of its time.

3. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy that you live by?

“No matter how hard you get hit, keep moving forward.” Rocky Balboa

4. What professional sports team do you cheer for the most and why?

The Pittsburgh Penguins. Since I’m Canadian, ice hockey is my most favorite professional sport. I still play.

5. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Deep sea diving on WW I wrecks in the North Sea. I have a plate from one of the ships – the HMS Hampshire.

Katherine McEvilly

Head, Human Resources – United States, Covestro LLC

Katherine McEvilly is the U.S. head of Human Resources at Covestro LLC. In her role, she serves as a member of the U.S. Country Council and on the Global HR Leadership team.

Katherine has more than 17 years of human resources management experience in a wide range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer environments. She came to Covestro in 2020 from Kerry, which is a global food and nutrition company with U.S. headquarters in Beloit, Wisconsin, where she held a number of leadership roles across Human Resources. Prior to Kerry, Katherine spent time in HR with both General Electric and Cummins.

While born and raised in the United Kingdom, she has lived in the U.S. since 2000. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Katherine enjoys hiking, biking and traveling to new places with her husband and their two sons.

Take Five

1. What’s your favorite movie?

I have multiple favorite movies depending on the genre and my mood. The film I quote the most is “The American President” and a line by Michael J. Fox about communication and leadership, but I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite film. Nobody should or will credit me as a movie aficionado with this list, but some of the ones I would watch anytime they come on are: “Jaws,” “Sliding Doors,” “Shawshank Redemption,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Pretty Woman,” “Bridget Jones’ Diary,” “The Strangers” and “Silence of the Lambs.” I also insist on “Love Actually” every Christmas.

2. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy that you live by?

There are two adages that I like, but they are a mixture of the same philosophy. The first is “always assume positive intent,” and the second is “assume you are 60% of the problem.” It’s easy to get caught up in frustrations, but I really aim to go into situations or issues with a positive outlook and with a solutions orientation. I find that it leads to a quicker and more successful outcome and paves the path for better future interactions.

3. What’s your perfect vacation?

Our family likes to alternate our vacations between ones that are very active, where we travel and see new places and try new things, and ones that are more low key, where we stay in one place by the beach and/or pool and relax, read books, play games, and bike or walk everywhere rather than using the car.

4. Where can you be found on a Saturday night?

Our kids are still young, so it’s usually an activity for them. Depending on the season, it could be hockey, soccer, baseball, karate or swimming and sometimes a combination of running between multiple of those! If we do have a “night off,” then we enjoy playing games or cards (so you would think that my skill at the latter would improve…but it doesn’t!).

5. With what person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner?

Other than my family and friends, with whom I very much enjoy having dinner, I think I would pick the Queen of England….as long as she would talk candidly. I am amazed by the amount of change she has seen in her lifetime and in her role and by the number of world leaders with whom she has interacted. She has had to respond and adapt a lot during her reign (albeit often not reacted/adapted quickly enough).

David Rzepecki

Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary and Compliance Officer, Covestro LLC

Dave Rzepecki is head of Law, Intellectual Property & Compliance for Covestro LLC and a member of the U.S. Country Council. His department provides corporate, litigation, compliance and intellectual property counsel to all Covestro business and service units.

Dave joined Bayer MaterialScience LLC (predecessor to Covestro) in 2007. During his tenure with Covestro, he has provided comprehensive legal support to various departments within the company. In 2010, Dave assumed the role of counsel to the Polyurethanes business unit. He also managed a team providing legal services to the procurement, government affairs, finance, accounting, controlling and tax functions.

Prior to joining the company, Dave served as assistant general counsel at Rent-Way, Inc. in Erie, Pennsylvania, and worked in private practice. He has also served on several non-profit boards and been active in various community organizations. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Gannon University in 1989 and earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1992. He graduated Magna Cum Laude at both institutions.

Take Five

1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I ran four marathons.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A firefighter.

3. What’s your favorite band or musical artist?

Brian Fallon (formerly of The Gaslight Anthem).

4. What professional sports team do you cheer for the most and why?

The Cincinnati Reds – America’s first professional baseball team.

5. If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be?

Probably something in the banking industry since I have a degree in finance.

Alice Sox

Head, Corporate Communications - Americas, Covestro LLC

As head of Corporate Communications for the Americas region, Alice Sox is responsible for steering the communication activities that shape the company’s reputation in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil. She also serves as a member of the U.S. Country Council and the Global Communications Leadership Team at Covestro.

Since joining the company as an intern in 2006, Alice has led a diverse career in corporate communications. She has held a variety of roles in both internal and external communications, gaining experience across a range of disciplines, including media relations, advertising, speechwriting, public affairs, executive communications and branding. Prior to her current role, Alice served as director of U.S. Corporate Communications.

Alice represents Covestro on the Community Development and Revitalization Committee, which is part of the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh.

Alice holds a bachelor’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Point Park University and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

Take Five

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be something different depending on which day you asked, but F.B.I. agent and animated film singer were on the list for quite some time. I can still recite the Miranda warning and the lyrics to almost any Disney song from the 90s.

2. What was your first job?

I was the neighborhood babysitter from about the age of 12 onward. At 15, I started my first steady job working the coat check at a local restaurant.

3. What’s your favorite movie?

“Wizard of Oz” was my favorite movie as a child. I have to say, it still holds up.

4. What’s your guilty pleasure?

I have a real weakness for French fries. If they’re on the menu, I will order them. If they’re on my plate, they are the first to go.

5. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I once went skydiving in Hawaii, which was an AMAZING experience, but one that I’m not sure I would have the courage to repeat.

Dr. Jim Mason

Vice President, Group Innovation – North America, Covestro LLC

In his role as vice president of Group Innovation for North America, Dr. Jim Mason leads a team of researchers, scientists and technicians to execute Covestro’s global innovation strategy for the region while leveraging global competencies. A member of Covestro’s U.S. Country Council, he is also responsible for identifying circular economy opportunities and aligning his team toward that goal.

Jim joined Bayer (predecessor of Covestro) in 1989 as a technical marketing scientist for Plastics. Since then, he has held numerous research and technology positions at Covestro and its predecessors in the U.S. and Germany, including laboratory manager and director of product technology. He most recently served as Covestro’s vice president of Polycarbonate Blends R&D, where he was accountable for the R&D strategy, product development, intellectual property and more.

In addition to holding a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Allegheny College, Jim received his Ph.D. in organic polymer chemistry from the University of Southern California. He holds more than 50 patents and has received multiple innovation, science and technology awards.

Take Five

1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I lived and worked in Germany for a total of six years. My son was born in Germany and attended high school there.

2. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy that you live by?

“Every day and in every way, it is getting better and better.” Requote by John Lennon.

3. What’s your perfect vacation?

Skiing in the Rockies with family.

4. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I rode a dirt bike along the edge of the Grand Canyon.

5. What was the best advice you were ever given?

Swing out of your shoes.

Richard Skorpenske

Head, Sustainability and Public Affairs, Covestro LLC

As head of Covestro’s Sustainability and Public Affairs (S&PA) in North America, Richard Skorpenske leads the company’s sustainability, circular economy, government affairs and advocacy efforts at the regional level. He is also responsible for proactively addressing social topics and driving engagement, donations and reporting in line with the overarching sustainability and circularity strategy. He is a member of Covestro’s U.S. Country Council.

Richard joined Bayer MaterialScience (predecessor to Covestro) in 2000 as director of Flexible Foam Raw Material business development and most recently served as head of Polyurethane advocacy and sustainability. He had previously worked for Lyondell Chemical Company and The Dow Chemical Company.

During his more than 30-year industrial career, Richard has focused on product research and development, new business development, global technology management, business team strategy and employee growth. He has led the development of technologies that eliminated ozone-depleting blowing agents, enhanced combustion-resistant foams and improved indoor air quality. In addition, he helped implement a more sustainable polyol process.

Richard serves on the Board of Directors for Cribs for Kids, which provides cribs and services to underserved families.

He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in chemistry from the University of Texas and a Master of Science degree in environmental science and policy from Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of numerous publications and patents.

Take Five

1. What drew you to Covestro?

Divestiture from Bayer MaterialScience (kidding). Seriously, I joined the chemical industry with a curiosity for the unknown – that next cool polymer or application. I’ve stayed because of the people, the diverse knowledge and abilities of our employees, and the many industry relationships I’ve developed over the years.

2. What’s the oddest thing on your desk?

When working from home, the oddest thing IS my desk. It’s an old air hockey table covered in a large sheet of cardboard so I don’t plug the holes with dirt. Pretty spacious and ergonomic, too!

3. Where can you be found on a Saturday night?

Typically having dinner with my wife (empty nesters) at a place that we can walk to following her day job.

4. Where in the world would you like to visit that you haven’t been to yet and why?

The African Continent. It must be a whole different world from what I’m used to. I would love to see the culture and people

5. What was the most fun thing that you’ve ever done?

Maybe not the MOST fun thing, but a very fun time combining a guilty pleasure movie (“Talladega Nights”) with a few laps around Lernerville Speedway near Pittsburgh. “What were those things? Were those the other cars?!”

Roderick A. Herrick

Senior Vice President and Venture Manager, Covestro LLC

Roderick A. Herrick is senior vice president and venture manager of North American Investments for Performance Materials. He is also a member of the Covestro U.S. Country Council.

As venture manager, Rod oversees the scope, funding and timeline of major projects and the integration of the various project elements (engineering, construction, commissioning, start-up, finance, administration, etc.) into the company’s global investment strategy.

Prior to assuming his current role in early 2019, Rod served more than eight years as the Baytown Industrial Park’s site manager. He chaired the Site Leadership Team and was responsible for all activities associated with the continued success of the Baytown Industrial Park site, including Covestro operations, guest facilities, site services, employee leadership and community outreach. While in this role, Rod successfully led a site-wide initiative to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the Baytown plant.

Rod joined Bayer in 1985 at the New Martinsville, West Virginia, site after starting his career as a plant engineer at PPG Industries. He has extensive manufacturing experience and has held various positions of increasing responsibility, including plant and process engineer, reliability lead; ABS production lead in Dormagen, Germany; site manager at the Polycarbonates Compounding Facility in Newark, Ohio; and Polyurethanes production lead in Baytown.

Rod also brings a wealth of management experience in such areas as strategic planning, reliability, inventory, production scheduling, budgeting, human resources, safety and environmental requirements, and capital improvement. He is a goal-oriented leader with a strong desire to develop and mentor future leaders.

Rod is a member of various community organizations. He serves as an executive board member of the Texas Chemical Council (TCC) and chair of the East Harris County Manufacturers Association (EHCMA).

A native of West Virginia, Rod holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University.

Take Five

1. What is your vision for your North American Investments?

We will ensure that all North American major projects are designed and implemented with best-in-class capital expenditures and cash-cost efficiency while ensuring a safe, cost-effective and sustainable operation that reliably supplies our customers for years into the future.

2. What’s your favorite band or musical artist?

AC/DC.

3. What’s something that you always have in your refrigerator?

Beer and wine.

4. Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy that you live by?

Break it down into component parts that you can manage!

5. What was the best advice you were ever given?

Never forget to speak to the folks on the floor, as they have the experience and insight to solve your issues.

Demetri Nicholas Zervoudis

Senior Vice President, Performance Materials; Head of Operations, North America; General Site Manager, Baytown Site, Covestro LLC

Demetri Zervoudis is senior vice president and head of Performance Materials Operations in North America. In his current role, he is responsible for the operations of Covestro sites in Baytown and Channelview, Texas; South Charleston, W. Va.; and Fos Sur Mer, France. He is also president of the global Propylene Oxide Joint Venture with LyondellBasell.

Demetri chairs the Baytown Management Committee and is responsible for all activities associated with the continued success of the Baytown Industrial Park site, including Covestro operations, guest facilities, site services, employee leadership and community outreach. He also serves as a Covestro LLC board member and is a member of the U.S. Country Council.

Demetri joined Bayer (predecessor of Covestro) in 1983 as a process research engineer. He held various positions of increasing responsibility within research and development before moving to Bayer’s Central Engineering group in 1987.

In 1992, he oversaw strategic expansion planning for the company’s North American Polyurethanes business. From this experience, Demetri went on to design, construct and start up several chemical units as part of the company’s expansion program in Baytown. He was named vice president of manufacturing in 1999, assuming responsibility for polyurethanes and coatings manufacturing at the New Martinsville, West Virginia, industrial park.

Following the Bayer reorganization in 2002, Demetri gained responsibility for global toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) production. Beginning in 2010, he chaired the Health, Safety, Environment, Quality (HSEQ) Community Council for Bayer Americas and served as the safety and sustainability officer for Bayer Corporation. Before his current role, Demetri was the senior vice president of global Polyurethane joint ventures and Propylene Oxide/Polyether (PET) sites at Covestro LLC. He was also responsible for Procurement for the Americas region.

Demetri holds a bachelor's degree in chemical and petroleum engineering and a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.

He enjoys sailing, jogging, cooking, reading books and spending time with his family.

Take Five

1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

My summer job during college was a painter of bridges and high-voltage electrical towers.

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Oceanographer.

3. What’s your perfect vacation?

Beach vacation with the family with good food and good books.

4. If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be?

A farmer.

5. Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?

My father. He lived through the wars (World War II followed by civil war in Greece), lost everything, stuck to his principles, worked hard and never complained.

Head, Supply Chain & Logistics – North America, Covestro LLC

As head of Supply Chain & Logistics for North America, Tom Balzer is responsible for digital solutions; customer order management; integrated logistics; end-to-end center of excellence and digital, international trade and compliance; and credit management. He is also a member of the company’s U.S. Country Council.

Tom joined Bayer (predecessor to Covestro) in 1986 as a programmer analyst in the Information Technology (IT) group. Since then, he has held positions of increasing responsibility in supply chain. Tom led the U.S. Supply Chain Transformation initiative, successfully implementing a new supply chain model that emphasized simplification, standardization and automation leveraging SAP capabilities and 3PL/4PL partners.

In addition to his daily job responsibilities, Tom represents Covestro on ACHIEVA’s Board of Directors as a trustee. ACHIEVA is a voluntary, non-profit association that provides innovation in support of people with disabilities. Tom is also on the Advisory Board for the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration Center for Supply Chain Management.

Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in business education and systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also earned his MBA from Duquesne University, with an emphasis on corporate information systems and international business.

Take Five

1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I went gorilla trekking in Rwanda.

2. What drew you to Covestro?

Bayer purchased a new system and had no experience with the programming language or operating system. The company asked if I would work there because I had a background in both.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Mailman. There is a sense of accomplishment every day. You start with a full truck of mail and end the day with an empty truck!

4. What was your first job?

Programmer for a steel company, where I was programming in COBOL.

5. What’s your favorite band or musical artist?

Andrea Bocelli.

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