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Wire Journal News

New hires, promotions and obituaries

George Muthalaly has joined MIKROTEK as Director of Products and Markets – Americas. He has diverse international experience in Europe, the Middle East & Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, and the Americas. Before joining Mikrotek, he worked for more than a decade as general manager/director in various roles in sales and marketing at AT&T, where he was recognized as a “Top talent GM.” He holds a B.E. degree in engineering from the University of Bangalore and an MBA from Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. Based in Bangalore, India, and serving more than 30 countries, MIKROTEK supplies a wide range of dies, related equipment and reconditioning and repolishing services.

Andy Lewis has been named commercial manager – wire & tube, for Metalube. He is well known to the wire and cable industry as for the last 11 years he has been executive manager of the U.K.-based the International Wire and Machinery Association, which is the industry’s largest and most influential association for the wire, cable and wire products industries. Prior to that, he worked for 10 years for Hydratight Limited. Based in the U.K., Metalube is part of the Metalube Group, which includes the industrial lubricant brands of Metalube, Molyslip and Vapor-Tek. Metalube exports 95% of its production to over a hundred countries worldwide.

Steve Coker has joined National Standard Co. as a district sales manager for Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana. He will manage distributors and end users for the company’s welding wire portfolio. He has a strong background with experience in welding wire and welding product sales. Most recently, he was a territory manager for Lampton Welding Supply, and has held sales positions with Fastenal Company, Cone Solvent and Praxair. Part of The Heico Companies and based in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the product lines of National Standard include welding wire, tire bead wire and industrial wire.

Chroma Color Corporation has named Gretchen Dragich as vice president of supply chain management & strategic sourcing. She has more than 30 years of experience in the plastics and chemical industry, with past employers including GEON, A. Schulman, LyondellBasell, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Gates Corporation and Akzo Nobel. She has broad experience in strategic & global sourcing, ERP implementation management, sales, procurement and the supply chain. She holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Akron. Based in McHenry, Illinois, Chroma Color Corporation is a leading specialty color and additive concentrate supplier.

Times Microwave Systems (TMS) has promoted Global Operations Director Adrian Milne to be the company’s new general manager. He joined the company in 2020, and prior to that held several senior management positions at W.L. Gore & Associates. At TMS, he oversaw the establishment of the company’s India operation and the expansion across all facilities. He succeeds Ben Reed, who has been promoted to the role of group general manager of the Amphenol High Technology Industrial Group (AHTI). He joined TMS in 2016 as deputy general manager and was promoted to general manager in 2017. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, and B.S. and a Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from UC San Diego. Based in Wallingford, Connecticut, Times Microwave Systems makes high-performance coaxial cables and more.

Optimas Solutions has named Phil Battaglia as its CFO. He has more than 25 years of financial management and reporting expertise, most recently at Caterpillar Inc. He holds a BA degree in economics from Northwestern University. Based in Wood Dale, Illinois, Optimas is a leading global industrial distributor and service provider specializing in fastening and supply chain solutions.

Mike Ritterling has joined Enercon Industries Corporation in the newly created position of technical support & field service manager. The position centralizes leadership and coordination of the company’s field service engineers and technical support departments. He has industry experience that includes globally produced plastics and additive manufacturing machinery. He has led international support teams and also assisted customers with hands-on troubleshooting, repair and field support. He holds a B.B.A. degree in business administration, management and operations from Marian University. Based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Enercon Industries Corporation supplies custom built corona and atmospheric plasma treating systems as well as induction cap sealing systems.

Leibinger has named Christophe Lopez as its chief commercial officer, responsible for the company’s overall commercial development, from strategy to implementation, leading the sales and marketing teams. He has more than 15 years of experience in the coding and marking industry, including 12 years at Markem-Imaje, where he held multiple key positions, including overall responsibility for global sales, global marketing. He most recently was president of the main location in France with over 600 employees. He holds an engineering degree from INSA Rennes and an executive MBA with the highest honors from HEC Paris. Based in Germany, Leibinger serves multiple market industries, including inkjet printers for wire and cable manufacturing.


U.K. wire industry veteran who twice served as Clockwinder passed on April 13
Peter Rigby, whose U.K. family ran a venerable wire company for decades and has played a special role with the Association over three generations, died from heart failure on April 13, while visiting family in Nashville, Tennessee.

Born in Leeds in 1940, Rigby grew up in West Yorkshire, the son of John Rigby, principal of John Rigby & Sons., Ltd. In 1948, his father served as the first-ever Clockwinder, traveling to the U.S. on behalf of the British wire industry to wind the stately Grandfather’s Clock that had been sent in appreciation for help provided by U.S. wire manufacturers during World War II.

Peter Rigby followed his father’s lead, both in the family wire business as well as the Clockwinding tradition, serving in that role in 1979, as chairman of Rigby Maryland, and again in 1998, as part of Handy & Harman (Europe), Ltd. Further, his son, Jonathan Rigby, served as the Clockwinder in 2013, then employed in the U.S. by Fox Wire Limited. Other Rigby family members who shared those duties were C.P. Rigby, in 1954 and 1988; and Harold Rigby, in 1958, both as directors of John Rigby & Sons.

The 1998 Clockwinding was a special celebration as Rigby noted during his speech at what marked the 50th anniversary of the tradition. “Fighting for liberty had cost a lot of money and a lot of lives. It still does. It is with this background that I think we can safely say why these men gave this clock: in our darkest hour, fighting for our liberty, the United States of America came to our aid, and that is also why it gives the clockwinders so much pleasure to come here every year to wind it.”

John Rigby enjoyed a successful 40-year career building and managing the U.K.’s leading stainless steel wire company. He attained the position of Master Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers of the City of London, working hard to grow the organization and deepen its relevancy to industry. He was known for his close ties to his friends and family, his strong sense of civic duty, and boundless enthusiasm.

“It’s an amazing legacy,” said WAI Executive Director Steve Fetteroll. “The Rigby name has meant a lot to the industry over the years. Peter Rigby was dedicated to the wire industry, and he was both a gentleman and genuinely passionate about the wire and cable business. He was also instrumental in continuing the Clockwinding tradition as well as supporting the Wire Link Scholarship program.”

Rigby is survived by his wife, Sue; daughter Clare; son Jonathan; and four granddaughters, Emily, Freya, Boo and Cecily.

Daniel D. Masakowski,
a retired technical director for the Marmon Group, died March 25, 2023 at his home in Stonington, Connecticut, at age 77, following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Masakowski was a long-time employee of Rockbestos Suprenant, part of the Marmon Group, where he retired as technical director. He was widely recognized in the wire and cable industry as an innovative, pioneering engineer who received accolades and awards for his accomplishments and contributions. He was a member of the Insulated Cable Engineers Association (ICEA) and the president of the ICEA Control and Instrumentation Division. He held numerous industry patents and presented numerous papers at national and international technical conferences and symposia. He was especially proud of developing and leading an engineering internship program at Ferris College, Michigan and at the University of Connecticut, Storrs in the Material Science and Engineering Department for the development of future engineers.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Yvonne R. (Centak); a son, Daniel Masakowski; a daughter, Jennifer Coley; sisters Ladislava Kowalski, Sabina Pietraszko and Joan Jackson; three grandsons and one great-granddaughter; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Read 120 times Last modified on May 4, 2023