Braidy Industries makes executive hires and promotions

Former Arconic plant manager named general manager of production facility.

January 19, 2018
Edited by Brian Taylor
Nonferrous Personnel

Ashland, Kentucky-based aluminum producer Braidy Industries Inc. has announced executive hires and promotions pertaining to the 300,000-ton-capacity aluminum rolling mill it is building in eastern Kentucky.

On the operations side, Gregg Whigham has joined Braidy Industries as general manager of the Braidy plant. He previously served as operations manager for Arconic’s Global Rolled Automotive and Aerospace Aluminum Products Division’s Davenport facility in Iowa. At the Davenport facility, Whigham managed all aspects of operations for 2,600 employees, serving 1,100 customers involving some 8,000 different product specifications, according to a Braidy news release.

David Durci is joining Braidy Industries as the operational readiness manager. He previously was employed as light metals engineering manager at Arconic’s Davenport facility.

Among promotions announced by Braidy, Retired United States Air Force Brigadier General Blaine Holt is assuming the role of chief operations officer after his previous role as executive vice president of operations. He will continue to report to Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard and will manage operations and logistics, including the company’s “war room,” and general oversight of the $1.3 billion rolling mill.

Jaunique Sealey is the new executive vice president of business development and will continue to report to Bouchard. Sealey will hold responsibility for business development and strategy, investor relations, community and government relations, corporate communications and marketing.

Eric Dahlgren has joined Braidy Industries as a vice president of research and development, focusing on mill process improvement, recycling optimization and cost reduction. Dahlgren was the co-founder and chief scientific officer of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology- (MIT-) incubated spin-off company focusing on new processes to manipulate solidification of metallic melts for newly deveveloped materials. He received his doctorate degree from Columbia University and was a visiting scientist at MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Retired U.S. Navy Captain David Shealy is joining Braidy Industries as managing director of the war room, Braidy Industries’ operational center, which the company describes as being “dedicated to efficient lean Six Sigma enterprise management and strategy deployment.” Shealy joins following four tours at sea with the U.S. Navy, including support for Operation Desert Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Joint Task Force Liberia. He also served as commander of the Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Center in San Diego and was selected to join the U.S. Military Delegation to the Military Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Matt Rakes and Cassandra Flocker, both lifelong eastern Kentucky residents, have assumed the roles of information and technology operations engineer and administrative assistant, respectively. Flocker’s hire resulted from her submission to the Braidy Industries website job portal, according to the company.

“Braidy Industries is making progress at an unprecedented pace,” says CEO Bouchard. “We’re currently over 160 percent pre-sold for our mill capacity, and have closed our initial land parcel acquisition. We expect to break ground roughly one year from the date of our [April 2017] announcement in Greenup County [Kentucky]. I am proud to welcome our new hires, congratulate Blaine and Jaunique on expansion of their roles and look forward to several more exciting announcements in the very near future.”

Braidy Industries has stated its plans include the construction of a 2.5-million-square-foot aluminum mill on more than 300 acres near South Shore in Greenup County. The company says it expects construction to be completed in 2020.

Initially, the facility will produce some 300,000 tons of aluminum per year for the automotive and aerospace industries, with opportunities to expand over time. On its website, Braidy indicates it will use “minimill scrap-driven technology” and will offer “closed-loop scrap recycling for automotive companies.”