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Wire Journal News

Retirements, hiring/promotions and an obituary


Kimberly Korbel, the long-time executive director of the American Wire Producers Association (AWPA), has retired after 37 years of service to the rod, wire and wire products industries. She joined AWPA staff in 1984, and in 1991 was promoted to executive director. After years of working at other association management firms, in 1999 she opened Amber Association Partners, LLC, with AWPA as one of its inaugural clients. She was lauded by AWPA President Brian Burr for her steady demeanor, including during trying industry periods, and her understanding of the industry. She served on the board of directors of the Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). She spoke on behalf of the industry to the International Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce, the Office of the US Trade Representative, and other agencies, and led members on lobbying visits of Congress. She is succeeded by Emily Bardach, who worked at AWPA with Korbel as the director of membership and meetings from 1998 to 2011. She has 25 years of association management experience. She works for AMPED Association Management, where since 2000 she has been the executive director for Women in Government Relations (WGR). She is well known as a relationship builder in Washington, DC, and is a certified association executive through ASAE. She holds a degree in psychology from Wittenberg University. Continuing as director of meetings and membership is Heather Outhuse, who has been with the AWPA since 2007. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, AWPA members include North American wire producers, manufacturers and distributors of wire rod, and suppliers of machinery, dies and equipment to the wire industry.

Proton Products Inc. has named Iain Heddle as technical support manager, responsible for leading technical support initiatives for customers and employees in the U.S. A key role will be providing customers with the support they need to build out Industry 4.0 Solutions. The California office, which also takes on the role of the service center, has been kitted out to provide all repair and calibration services for our range of products. With offices in the U.K. and USA, Proton Products is a leading manufacturer of instrumentation and control equipment for use in industrial production.

Xia Chafel has joined American Wire Group as vice president of procurement, responsible for developing, overseeing, and implementing strategic sourcing strategy, managing material and services in the U.S. and internationally. She has a strong record of supply chain experience. Most recently, she was a supplier relationship manager in global procurement, where she developed two-way, mutually beneficial relationships between National Grid and its strategic supply partners to deliver greater levels of innovation that offer a competitive advantage. She previously worked for PerkinElmer, Rolls Royce and EMC. She holds a B.S. degree in economics from the Guangdong Foreign Trade Institute and an MBA from McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley University. Based in Aventura, Florida, American Wire Group specializes in wire and cable products for renewable energy and electrical utilities.

Service Wire Co. has promoted Trish Weisberg to strategic sales manager, a new position. A third-generation Service Wire employee, she started out as a management trainee in 2019, and since 2020 had served as a strategic account sales manager and a materials manager. She holds a B.B.A. degree in real estate finance from Southern Methodist University, and an MBA from Rice University. Andy Martin has joined the company as a regional sales manager in the Phoenix sales office. He will be serving commercial and industrial distributors, contractors and engineers while working with manufacturers’ representatives in eight states. Past employers include Rexel USA, Main Electrical Supply Co. and Crescent Electric Supply Company. Based in Culloden, West Virginia, Service Wire Co. is a family-owned wire and cable manufacturer with a nation-wide network of distributors.


Ali Shehab, the founder and president of U.K.-based Cimteq, died from cancer on Sept. 1, 2021, at the far-too early age of 51. 
In the 90s, Shehab worked for BIC Cables’ technology arm, where he developed the company’s manufacturing execution systems and production control systems. In 1998, he and his brother started Electronic Magic, which developed innovative products to aid consumers. He saw the need to help cable design engineers by removing tedious work, and from that he created CableBuilder, which was implemented in Draka Norsk Kabel in 2000. In 2005, the company name was changed to Cimteq, and the business continued to develop innovative solutions for the cable industry. In 2014, Cimteq released CableMES in cooperation with Wonderware, and in its first year the innovation won two awards from prestigious industrial bodies. In 2015, he was awarded Best Presentation of the 63rd IWCS International Cable & Connectivity Symposium.

Shehab’s passion for advanced cable manufacturing technology drove him to be a regular contributor to industry periodicals (including Wire Journal International) and blogs. He was also a frequent presenter at conferences, and had been a scheduled speaker for the Industry 4.0 program at Interwire 2021. He held a degree in electronics engineering from the University of Liverpool.

He is survived by his wife, Amanda, the company director, who herself is an industry veteran and former colleague, having worked as a manufacturing systems engineer for a decade for BIC Cables/Pirelli from 1991 to 2001, and is a past president of the International Wire Manufacturers Association.

Read 2651 times Last modified on October 1, 2021