Ferro Corporation today announced the appointment to its Board of Directors of two individuals with extensive experience growing specialty chemical and materials businesses, as well as the appointment of new leaders for its Corporate Development and Investor Relations functions.
Andrew M. Ross, 55, and Allen A. Spizzo, age 59, have been appointed to the Board of Directors, effective as of October 20, 2016.
Mr. Ross is the former President of the Pigments and Additives business of Rockwood Holdings, Inc., a performance additives and titanium dioxide business with annual sales of $1.7 billion, which was sold to Huntsman Pigments in October 2014. Mr. Ross led a number of initiatives at Rockwood that significantly increased sales and profitability of its color pigments business, including several multi-national acquisitions, acquisition integrations, and operational efficiency optimization projects. Mr. Ross’ career has included senior leadership roles in family-owned, private equity-sponsored, and publicly owned companies. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tufts University and a Master of Management degree in Accounting and Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Mr. Spizzo was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2004 to 2008 of Hercules Incorporated, an S&P 500 specialty chemical company that was sold to Ashland, Incorporated in November 2008. Under his financial leadership, the company’s balance sheet and cost structure were optimized, and Hercules recorded significant improvements in cash flow, earnings per share, book value and return on invested capital. He was also instrumental in the execution of several bolt-on acquisitions, along with strategic dispositions.
Since 2008, Mr. Spizzo has been a business consultant focused on the chemicals, materials, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He also serves as an investment advisor and asset management trustee. Mr. Spizzo earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of Akron. He has 35 years of experience in the global chemicals and materials industry.
With the addition of Mr. Ross and Mr. Spizzo, Ferro’s Board now consists of eight directors.
Joseph Vitale, who was Ferro’s Director, Corporate Development from 2011 until August 2015, has rejoined the Company as Vice President, Corporate Development. He succeeds Benjamin Schlater, who was named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in September.
Prior to re-joining Ferro, Mr. Vitale was Vice President, Strategic Planning & Business Development, with Ranpak Corporation in Concord, Ohio, a private equity-backed packaging company. From 2007 to 2010, he led corporate finance, strategic planning and M&A for Excel Polymers, a private equity-backed chemicals company that was successfully exited in December 2010. Between 2001 and 2007, he served in various finance and treasury roles at Delphi Corporation. He began his career as a financial analyst with ABN AMRO Bank in Chicago. Mr. Vitale earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University and an MBA in Finance from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA.
Kevin Cornelius Grant has been appointed Manager, Investor Relations. Mr. Grant joined Ferro’s Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) group in July 2015. He directed the FP&A group and also worked with Corporate Development on financial analysis of acquisitions. Mr. Grant has diverse FP&A experience in the energy, mining, and chemical sectors, with strong knowledge of global manufacturing. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Grant replaces John Bingle, who for the past four years served in the dual roles of Treasurer and Director of Investor Relations. Mr. Bingle is continuing as Ferro’s Treasurer.
Peter T. Thomas, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ferro, commented, “I am delighted to welcome Andrew Ross and Allen Spizzo to Ferro’s Board. Their deep industry knowledge and experience growing global companies will directly benefit Ferro as we execute on our growth strategy. We look forward to their contributions to the achievement of our strategic objectives.
“I’m also very happy to welcome Joe Vitale back to the Company. Joe was instrumental in re-positioning our portfolio of businesses, having led six divestitures and five acquisitions from 2013 to 2015. His knowledge of our strategy and the Company’s acquisition pipeline will help us maintain momentum with our M&A initiatives.”
Mr. Thomas added, “Kevin Grant is an astute financial professional who has been working closely with our leadership team providing financial analyses to support our growth activities. I’m confident that he will provide valuable assistance to our investors and the financial community in his new role.”
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