Atlas Leadership Academy

The Atlas Leadership Academy is a year-long leadership development initiative aimed at identifying, rewarding and developing Atlas’ high potential managers. Each class represents a cross-section of Atlas companies and members are selected by their CEOs for their passion, performance, potential and personal commitment to deliver breakthrough results.

The ALA program develops specific skills needed to transform and strengthen businesses, improves the Atlas leadership pipeline and exposes Atlas’ high potential managers to industry leaders from across the Atlas family.


Lynn Utter was appointed Director of the Atlas Leadership Academy in late 2016. From 2016 to 2018, she served as Chief Executive Officer of First Source LLC, a leading distributor and packager of specialty candies, nuts and snacks. She also served as Chairwoman of the Board of Managers of Merchants Metals LLC, formerly an Atlas portfolio company. Lynn has previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Knoll Office as well as the Chief Strategy Officer at Coors Brewing Company. She is a dynamic, engaged and passionate teacher of leadership skills and is a valued mentor and instructor to ALA participants.


The Atlas Leadership Academy was established in 2015 with a simple but important mission: to create a new pathway to win the ‘War for Talent’ by recognizing and developing our high potential managers and assisting them in becoming tomorrow’s leaders. The ALA is a signature program for Atlas; it presents a unique opportunity to retain our very best talent and augment our leadership pipeline through a targeted, substantive learning experience.


The ALA experience offers a curriculum centered around four pillars:

(1) Getting Results;
(2) Communication/Connecting with Others and Values;
(3) Critical Thinking; and
(4) Leadership Capacity.

Sessions are designed to focus on these critical areas and feature guest mentors such as Atlas CEOs and Board Members. In addition, each class member undertakes a year-long Individual Development Project (IDP). The IDP challenges the class member to address an area in need of operational improvement that, when solved, will lead to significant value creation. This project, executed in collaboration with his or her CEO, is assessed for its ability to produce measurable and meaningful impact to the company’s bottom line.

Selection Process

Each fall, Atlas company CEOs nominate worthy candidates for participation in the Atlas Leadership Academy. Criteria for nomination include the candidate’s current roles and responsibilities, technical skills, notable leadership qualities, initiatives spearheaded and particular attributes that confirm the individual is a high-potential manager within the business. Nominations are reviewed by a committee of Atlas partners to select the following year’s Class.


"The Atlas Leadership Academy is effective and I am grateful for the investment being made in my future. I’m learning and eager to implement these important leadership ‘best practices,’ as are the others in the class."
John Cole | Chief Operating Officer, Veritas Steel (Class of 2017)
( since graduating from ALA John has risen from General Manager to COO)

Class Members

Name Company Title
Jon Ocerin Aldecoa Aludium Metal Supply Chain Leader – Cast House
Jeremiah Blankinship Finch Pape Electrical and Instrumentation Manager
John Lovett Granite Shore Power Operations & Maintenance Technician (A) – Control Room Operator
Stephen Trail Iconex Supply Chain Director, POS Business
Heather Hanlon Iconex Director Business Process Optimization
Tony Torzon IWG Plant Manager
Sharon Lavender Lakeside Book Company Finance Director, Pricing & Billing
Rose James LSC Communications Vice President of Selling
Sarah Hoxie LSC Communications Vice President Corporate Finance
Pat Galvin LSC – MCL SVP Operations
Timothy Roach LSC – MCL Bindery Supervisor
Timothy Bassett Marcal Director, Converting
Morena Gallina Permasteelisa Group Manufacturing & Procurement Specialist
Bas Holtus Permasteelisa Head of Tender Department
Matthew Kubbinga Saxco Director, S&OP
Vishrut Patel Tecumseh Global Manager – Program Management Office
Marcelo Duarte Tecumseh Director, Global Systems
Danielle Thibodeau Twin Rivers Paper Manufacturing Manager
Jordan Smith Winston Plywood Staff Accountant
Mike Beckman Motus Commercial Sales Manager
Jason Jaworowicz Motus Sr. Manager, Advanced & Process Engineering
Todd Treybal Stryten Director of Operations, Transportation

Name Company Title
Julien Saurat Aludium Plant Director
Brian DeVasConCellos EQI Director of Operations
Stacy Hine Finch Assistant Controller
Maria Brooks Flagstone Foods Manager – Procurement
Kristy Hackel Flagstone Foods Principal Scientist
Jeffrey Johnston GSP Station Engineer
Jonathan Meissner GSP Operations and Maintenance Manager
Yann Kersulec Iconex Leader, Finance and Accounting
Kari Greason Iconex US Solutions Manager
Yulia Leskovets IWG Sr. Business Development Manager
Emily Royer Marcal Director, Sales and Marketing
Claudia Cervantes Motus Director of Fiber Ops – Mexico
Angela Rapattoni Saxco Director of Commercial Finance
Regis Marques Tecumseh VP of Product Development
John Bates Twin Rivers Director of Labor and ER
Chad Thomas Veritas Steel Operations Manager
Matt Lallemont Veritas Steel Planning Manager

Name Company Title
David Baskin International Wire Group VP, Continuous Improvement
Lance Blizzard ASG EU Group Technical Director
David Byrd Merchants Metals Senior Business Intelligence Developer
Melissa Cole Granite Shore Power Environmental Engineer
Tanya Dinning Winston Plywood & Veneer Controller
Simon Gaston Greenidge Generation IC & E Team Leader
Kurt Goldsby Motus Assistant Corporate Controller
Carlos Gonzalez Motus Plant Manager
Johan Gouws Tecumseh Managing Director –
Middle East
Josh Hoopingarner Merchants Metals Director of Distribution, Southeast
Mike Koch EQI Business Unit Manager
Iris Kwan Millar Western Financial Controller
William Pooley Tecumseh Global Director –
Sales, Inventory and Operations Planning
Stephanie Ramczyk Saxco Director of Customer Service and Customer Care
Joe Ramos Finch Paper Director, Pulp and Paper Manufacturing
Cara Rogers Novipax Corporate Controller
Karen Samuel Iconex Corporate Finance Manager
Ben Scott RedBuilt Director of Information Systems

Name Company Title
Esther Alvarez
Cienfuegos Rivera
Aludium Business and Market Analyst
Derek Cooper Motus Commercial Sales Manager
Brian Cowan RedBuilt Stayton Plant Manager
Chris Downing Banker Steel Director of Financial Planning & Analysis
Bill Elton Novipax Senior Customer Service Manager
Rich Faro Granite Shore Power Maintenance Manager
Oscar Garcia Merchants Metals Plant Manager – Mexicali
Mike Hein Veritas Steel EHS Site Lead
Michael Hill Aludium Director of Corporate Finance
Anne Kocian Tecumseh Corporate Controller
James Morrison Merchants Metals Regional Operations Manager, West
Tim Rainey Greenidge Generation Accounting & Finance Manager
Jeremy Rice Veritas Steel Director of Quality Systems and Compliance
Darrin Robinson Iconex Sales Operations Manager
Jason Taylor Banker Steel Senior Project Manager

Name Company Title
Scott Aldas Novipax Sr. Director, FP&A
Tim Barger Iconex CFO, RiteMaid, an Iconex Company
Ross Becnel Merchants Metals Service Center Manager –
Slidell, LA
Bryan Beikman Erickson Construction Systems Manager
James Cinglie Motus Interim Director of Purchasing
John DeMarco Finch Paper Sales Director, Technical Papers
Jennifer Doyle Motus Director of Business Development
Jeremy Duckett Veritas Steel Project Manager
Mark Frankson Erickson Construction General Superintendent
Kit Fransen Tecumseh Director, Product Management North America
Mike Garrow Soundview Paper Director of Converting
Andrzej Klopotowski ASG Operations Manager
Mili Mladenovic Iconex Business Optimization Manager
Damien Muller Tecumseh FP&A Manager
Jonathan Pelletier Twin Rivers Line Superintendent
Daniel Spagnuolo Motus Product Engineering Manager
Jay Stendahl Veritas Steel Project Manager
Brad Stewart Winston Plywood Log Procurement Manager

Name Company Title
Jon Belausteguigoitia Beobide Aludium Controller –
Jose Ignacio Juan Pianelles Aludium Alicante Plant Production Manager
Brett Slater Amaray Production Manager
Neil Pentecost Amaray Europe Marketing Manager
Randall Wenger Banker Steel Change Order Manager
Mark Maulding Bridgewell VP Strategy and Administration
Ben Povak Finch Paper Wood Procurement Manager
Mark Swinnerton Greenridge VP, PM, HR, AP
Dahn Nilsen Iconex Vice President, Strategy
Collin Lilley Merchant Metals Area Manager
Jay Sloan Merchant Metals Service Center Manager
Alejandro Gonzalez Motus Director of Operations
Christopher Cunin Motus Quality Manager
Dave Thompson RedBuilt Manager National Accounts
Brian Gauthier Soundview Paper General Manager –
Soundview VT
Dave Meaker SPARK! VP Software Development
Jennifer McIntosh Tecumseh Director Global SIOP
Bruce Wellman Twin Rivers Paper Paper Manufacturing Manager
Roland Leger Twin Rivers Paper Manager, Pulp Operations
John Cole Veritas Steel General Manager Palatka Facility
AJ Webb Winston Plywood & Veneer Sales Representative

Name Company Title
Alberto Ruiz Guillot Aludium Alicante Plant Director
Herman Nassette ASG General Manager – Holland Facility
Selda Tastan ASG Safety and Human Resources in UK and Holland
Erick Peterson Banker Steel Sales and Marketing Manager –
Mid Atlantic Region
Robert Cullen Detroit Renewable Energy Senior Accountant
Larry Butts Erickson Construction General Manager –
Arizona Frame Division
Joseph Hall Finch Paper Director of Strategic Sourcing
Russ Lamm Merchants Metals Service Center/District Manager
Anthony Nolan Merchants Metals Branch Manager –
Lawrenceville, GA
David Garrett Motus Integrated Technologies Director of Business Development
Sarah Thuo Novipax Director of Supply Chain & Operations Analytics
Paul Drace RedBuilt Director of Marketing
Brian Pasmore Soundview Paper Market Analyst
Bambi Gorman Soundview Paper VP of Commercial Operations
Phillip Dubois Twin Rivers Paper Business Analyst
Ray Iesalnieks Veritas Steel Quality Manager

Name Company Title
John Ballaro Amaray Engineering Manager
Kate Wood Amaray Global Head of Human Resources
Agnieszka Klimkowska ASG Customer Service Manager –
David Roberts Banker Steel VP, Projects
Jena Coon Detroit Renewable Energy Project Planner/Scheduler
Matt Keyser Bridgewell VP, Utility & Construction Division
Lane Fitzmorris Erickson Construction General Manager –
Reno, NV
Greg Barnett Finch Paper Director of Business Improvement
Tracey Riley Finch Paper VP, Human Resources
Bob Albright Strathcona Paper Mill Operations Manager
Craig Lorraine Motus VP, Commercial Operations
Mel Matson New Wood Resources –
Olympic Panel
Operations Manager
Brandon Choplin Pangborn Project and Applications Engineer
Polo Rivera Pangborn Mexico & Latin America Manager
Heather Strong RedBuilt Senior Engineer
Jason Weber RedBuilt Regional Sales Manager
Ben Wenberg Soundview Paper VP, Operations
Scott Steinmetz Veritas Steel Purchasing Manager