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Wire Journal News

WAI News

1/7/2022 – Below are the individuals who will lead the Wire Association in 2022, and details about them.

James R. York will serve as the Association’s president in 2022, succeeding Thomas Heberling, Southwire Co. The other officers are 1st Vice President Daniel Blais, Prysmian; 2nd Vice President Kurt Breischaft, SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS; WAI Executive Director/Secretary Steve Fetteroll; and WAI Treasurer Sheila Kuever. The WAI officers are key to the direction and planning for events, products and services to serve the WAI’s 2,000 members.

President: James R. York
James R. York is senior vice president of Insteel Industries Inc., where his focus is sourcing, logistics and business development. He joined the company in 2018, and prior to that had worked for Leggett & Platt for 15 years in key management positions, the last one being vice president, president rod & wire products. Prior to that, he had worked for Bekaert for nearly 20 years. He joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and the Executive Committee in 2018. He is the co-chair of the 2022 Conference Programming Committee, and he previously was a member of the Interwire Industry 4.0 Task Force and the Finance Committee. He has been a WAI member since 2012. He is active in the American Wire Producers Association. He holds a B.S. degree in marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s College of Business.

1st Vice President: Daniel Blais
Daniel Blais is the North American manufacturing area utilities vice president for Prysmian, where he has worked since 1987. He is based at the company’s in Highland Heights, Kentucky. A WAI member since 2011, he is responsible for nine manufacturing facilities serving the utility and rod and strip customer base. He has held several operational leadership positions of growing responsibilities across the Prysmian North American footprint. He joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and the Executive Committee in 2019. He is the co-chair of the 2022 Conference Programming Committee, and he previously was a member of the Interwire Industry 4.0 Task Force and the Finance Committee. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Sherbrooke University.

2nd Vice President: Kurt Breischaft
Kurt Breischaft is the president of SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS, a position he has held since 2013. He has held progressively responsible positions within the industry during his 30-year career, working for companies that include Cerrowire, Belden and Superior Essex. He serves on the WAI Board of Directors and is a member of the Executive Committee. He was the chairman of the Membership Committee from 2018 to 2021. He holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from Indiana Western University. Of note, he also was the recipient of the 2006 Wire Link Traveling Scholarship Award.

Last modified on January 7, 2022

1/3/2022 – Voting is currently underway for the 2022 New England Chapter Board of Directors. Chapter members in good standing were contacted via email at the beginning of December with voting instructions and can submit their online ballot up until the Jan. 18, 2022 deadline.

The incoming 2022 New England Chapter Board of Directors will be announced and introduced at the Chapter’s Annual Dinner on Feb. 24 at the Mohegan Sun. Registration for the event is open and can be found on WAI’s website.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/3/2022 – The New England Chapter is ready for the Feb. 24 return to the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, where more than a hundred people are expected to attend its annual meeting.

The annual dinner will be held for the first time at the casino’s Cabaret Theater. The event format will be the same, starting with a reception at 5:30 pm, where chapter members and others can mingle, an opportunity that has been all too rare the last two years. The new officers for 2022 will be introduced, as well as an update on the chapter’s college scholarship program.

“It will be great seeing everyone again at Mohegan Sun,” said 2021 WAI Chapter President John Accorsi, M. Holland, whose term will have ended. “It is always a fun venue for the meeting.” He said that it was unfortunate it could not be held in 2021, but the chapter was still able to remain active, holding its annual golf tournament as well as a successful on-line webinar.

The chapter meeting will also include the traditional raffle, which along with the annual golf tournament are the key sources for funding the scholarship program. The chapter hopes to see the same level of prior year company donations for the raffle as well as sponsorships, of which there are three levels: gold, $500; silver, $250; and bronze, $150.

The cost for the event is $120 for New England Chapter members, $130 for WAI members and $140 for non-WAI members. There also is a new WAI member package of $145 for dues and the dinner, and for $15, an existing WAI member can become a New England Chapter member.

For more details on this, contact WAI’s John Markowski at 203-453-2777, ext. 121, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Markowski, who began working as an intern for WAI in 2018 and became a full-employee last May, is the main contact for all of the Association’s chapters.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

12/6/21 Madison, Connecticut, USA. – Robert “Bob” Xeller announced his retirement as a full-time employee as of the end of December, completing a career that traces back to his IBM days when he came to learn about the Association. He plans to continue on a limited basis that will end after the staging of Wire Expo 2022 next June in Dallas, Texas.

Xeller started with “Big Blue” after completing his degree in business administration at Wittenberg University in 1970. His career went in a different direction, but he moonlighted evenings with several prior IBM accounts supporting software changes of new installations. One client was the Association. Prior to this, all member/subscribers were handled through a service bureau and 80 column card maintenance. In 1987, then Executive Director Monk Munger asked him to help service the trade shows organized on the new computer systems.
Xeller became part of the Association’s trade events, helping organize the Interwire and Wire Expo trade shows. He became director of sales in 2001, and was a fixture at the event on the show floor.

Michael Webb, who as an account executive at Shepard Exposition Services worked with Xeller on Interwire events the past 20 years, said that it had been a privilege to do so. “I can honestly say he was one of my closest and most trusted friends. I will miss talking to him several times a week. Sometimes it was strictly work, but other times it was about family, household projects, vacations and whatever else what was going on. I wish him the best.”

Dane Armendariz, the WAI president in 2010, recalled that he first met Xeller attending his first Interwire long, long ago. “After sitting in on a committee meeting, I was wandering the streets of Atlanta and ran into Bob Xeller. He invited me to join him and the staff for dinner and a very long friendship began. He saved me that day from a dinner alone at McDonald’s.”
Armendariz said that he never saw Bob rattled. When a problem or issue came up, his reply was “We will take care of it,” and he would. “While we all know life and business move on, Bob’s knowledge, experience, and people skills will be hard if not impossible to replace. The good thing is he will always just be a phone call away. All the best, my friend.”

Xeller said that he treasures his years with the Association but looks forward to spending more time with family, which includes his wife of 50 years, Kathleen, their seven children and their spouses, and 15 grandchildren.


Last modified on December 6, 2021

12/6/21 Madison, Connecticut, USA. – Sales Manager Shannon Timme will replace departing Sales Director Xeller, who at year’s end will assume a reduced role and retire after Wire Expo 2022 next June.

Timme will be taking on new duties that will see her ensuring that the Association’s Interwire and Wire Expo trade shows continue to be quality events. She joined WAI as sales manager in October 2017, and during her time with the Association has been a very energetic presence, and not just in direct sales of ad space. She has crusaded for greater use of social media, cross-marketing, further improvements to wirenet.org, starting a WAI newsletter, supporting sponsorships, broadening the scope of the rate card, and more. She has also been very active as the WAI liaison to the WAI’s New England Chapter.

Prior to joining WAI, Timme worked for five years for Shore Publishing in Madison, Connecticut, where she was a senior multimedia specialist and a strategic advertising account manager. She has a daughter, Blair, who is in college, and a son, Nolan, who is in high school.

Last modified on December 6, 2021

11/8/21 Madison, Connecticut, USA. – Looking back, John Accorsi—whose term as WAI Chapter president ends this month—believes that the year nearly completed has been successful. Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19 that prevented its annual dinner from being held at the beginning of the year, he observed that much was accomplished.

The chapter continued its educational mission by hosting a webinar on post-pandemic legal liabilities for employers. The scholarship program remained on track, providing a total of five scholarships to deserving students, with the possibility of adding a sixth next year. The 2021 golf tournament, held in early September, had larger attendance and more company sponsors than in 2020. The chapter also updated its bylaws to make governance clearer for future board members.

“It has been an honor to lead the New England Chapter in 2021, following in the footsteps of many other dedicated volunteers before me,” Accorsi said. He added that hopefully the news and conditions will continue to get better. “With the vaccine rollout now well underway, most members appear comfortable and eager to attend events on a regional level. Our Board of Directors continues to work on enhancing its member benefits and programs and is looking forward to the year ahead.”

The focus is now on the 2022 annual meeting, which is scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Mohegan Sun Casino, where the chapter’s new officers will be announced. The January 2022 issue will have more details.

Last modified on December 6, 2021

11/4/21 – This iconic WAI program will be offered on Wednesday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. Registration for the event is $145 for WAI members, $175 for the new member special offer and $245 for non-members. For a full description of the presenters, and any updates, go to funwiremfg.heysummit.com.

Last modified on November 4, 2021

11/4/21 – WAI will stage the booth selection process for Wire Expo 2022 on Dec. 2 at WAI’s headquarters in Madison, Connecticut.

The process, known as the Points Meeting, will see the booths assigned based on the WAI’s established priority point program. Representatives from companies with the highest accumulation of points from past participation will be assigned their exhibit space first.

To take part in the meeting, companies would have had to provide a signed and completed application with 100% payment by Nov. 30. The day after the Points Meeting, space assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We’re expecting a lot of interest,” said WAI Sales Director Bob Xeller. “It’s been a long time since the industry has been able to get together, but we’re moving in that direction now, and I’m sure there are a lot of manufacturers that would like to be able to sit down and talk to suppliers again.”

Last modified on November 4, 2021

11/4/21 – Martin Thacker, who was the British representative for WAI’s 2020 Clockwinding ceremony, will repeat that remote service at the WAI’s board of directors meeting on Nov. 17. It will be posted later in the month.

Thacker’s grandfather was a wiredrawer in Sheffield, and his father worked for Markham and Company Limited, as did his uncle. He is a Liveryman of the Court of the Worshipful Company of Tinplate Workers Alias Wireworkers in the city of London.

The tradition stems from the grandfather clock that was presented to the Association on behalf of the U.K. wire industry for help during World War II. Each year, a U.K. representative comes to wind the clock.

Last modified on November 4, 2021

10/1/21  The story of the New England Chapter’s golf tournament was about the event, but more importantly for the 130 players, it was the ability to once again share an experience with their peers.

Kudos go to the winning team of Craig Watterson, FENN; Ryan Cutter, FENN; Harry Lindroth, CT Spring & Stamping; and Kevin Campion, FENN. They shot a blazing 59, 13 under par, to claim bragging rights. The year before, the team had come in second. “We had the drive to win. With everyone’s determination and positive attitude, we were able to go out there, have a good time and ultimately come out on top,” said FENN President Ryan Cutter. “We love coming to support WAI. The excellent weather, course conditions and company made for a great day of golf!”

The event also had the full complement of challenges, from the longest drive and closest-to-the-pin to the putting contest and the elusive $10,000 hole that, sadly, went unclaimed. The reception dinner was not the traditional sit-down affair, but it didn’t matter. Golfers agreed that the ability to return to the Tumble Brook Country Club in Bloomfield, and enjoy the experience had made it a special day. Chapter President John Accorsi thanked the sponsors for their support, which also made it possible to add to the scholarship fund.

Tee-Off Breakfast: Chase Wire & Cable Materials, Insulated Wire, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp, Lloyd & Bouvier; Snacks & Beverages: Carris Reels Inc, Electric Cable Compounds; Lunch: Gem Gravure Co, Inc, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp, Teknikor; Beer Glasses: James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp; Thomas Hooker Brewery Draft Trailer: Rainbow Rubber and Plastics; 19th Hole Reception: Amacoil Inc, Amaral Automation, Carris Reels Inc, Elkem Inc, Fenn LLC, Insulated Wire, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp, Mossberg Associates Inc, Zumbach Electronics Corp; Corporate Hole: Accel International, American-Kuhne/Graham Engineering Corp, AVIENT Corporation, Carris Reels Inc, DeWal Industries (x2), EIS Wire & Cable, Elkem Inc, Fenn LLC, Fenton Group, Fluoropolymer Resources Inc, Gem Gravure Co Inc, GEON Performance Solutions, James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp (x4), Joe Snee Associates Inc, Lloyd & Bouvier, M. Holland Company, Mantec, Quabbin Wire & Cable Co Inc, RichardsApex Inc, Specialty Cable Corp, Teknikor, United Wire Company, Wire & Cable Consulting LLC, Wire & Cable Manufacturers Alliance, Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp; Raffle Tickets: Lloyd & Bouvier; Golf Carts: James Monroe Wire & Cable Corp; Driving Range: Fluorogistx; $10,000 Hole-in-One: Commission Brokers Inc; Putting Contest: Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp; Chipping Contest: AGC Chemicals Americas Inc; Long Putt: Amaral Automation, Delta Tecnic; Scoreboard: RichardsApex Inc; Scorecard: DeWal Industries; Long Drive: Carris Reels Inc, Central Wire Industries, Sikora International Corp; Accurate Drive: Electronic Drives & Controls, Gem Gravure Co Inc; Closest to the Pin: Central Wire Industries, The MGS Group; M. Holland Company, W Gillies Technologies LLC.

The return to the golf course was wonderful
In the time we live in today, it was wonderful for the WAI to be able to put on such an awesome event. We all know today that we have to adapt to change very quickly. This was one of those events that had to adapt quickly to changes. It was wonderful how all the golfers that came to the event were so willing to adapt. This event is one of my favorite I go to, as the networking that goes on is outstanding. I am so much looking forward to the next one. I would say that next year we have to have the 27 holes, as I can see this event getting even bigger next year. Jim Evans, Web Industries.

Remember when “pre-Covid” golf outing comments were “It was a beautiful day for golfing, networking and socializing,” or “the course was in superb condition and the greens were fast and true” or “that grilled chicken at the oasis was perfectly cooked, tender and delicious”? Well ... it was a beautiful day, the course was in great shape and that chicken was damn good. The only Covid reminder was the lite fare dinner buffet stationed outside. There was a perfect atmosphere for continuing conversations from the cocktail hour through dinner and the awards ceremony. I am already looking forward to next year when we have more players, a full dinner buffet, and obviously that oasis chicken. Mark Mathiasen, Mathiasen Machinery. 

Last modified on October 1, 2021

9/10/21 - The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. is the host of the biennial Interwire trade exposition and conference that historically draws visitors from 50 countries which include exhibitors, attendees, speakers, and sponsors.

The climbing Covid-19 counts and corresponding employee health and safety measures have led WAI’s Board of Directors to vote to cancel this year’s staging of Interwire, which was set to mark the 40th year since the show was introduced in Atlanta, Georgia.

Commenting on the difficult decision, 2021 WAI President Tom Heberling said, “It is our responsibility as the Interwire host to deliver a safe, fair, viable, and valuable event to all of our constituents. Unfortunately, having reviewed the data and the evolving factors that must affect the Interwire 2021 trade exposition and conference, the Board’s decision reflects the challenging operating environment facing all businesses.”

The Interwire event was well positioned to serve the wire and cable industry, which is experiencing significant capital investments and overall strong economic conditions. The exhibition, which included key machinery manufacturers and more than 200 suppliers, was anticipated by key buying groups to provide the essential face-to-face forum that has not been available due to the pandemic.

WAI’s Executive Director Steve Fetteroll commented “The Board of Directors devoted their expertise and considerable time to developing the first-ever Industry 4.0 Program that was set to stage at Interwire. The Industry 4.0 Program combined with the expansive exhibit was just what the industry needed. I regret that their key contributions along with the tremendous staff efforts will not be fully realized on the Interwire stage.”

In an effort to continue WAI’s educational mission and support the industry during this unprecedented period, the Association will host the Industry 4.0 conference virtually to serve its members and supporters. The conference will be held on October 26-27 along with WAI’s 91st Annual Convention.

For expediency, news of the new conference will be detailed at www. Interwire21.com.

The WAI leadership regrets that these international events have combined to force a change of direction at this late date. The Association remains grateful to its supporters. It is committed to the 2023 Interwire that will provide value to exhibitors, sponsors, speakers, attendees, and partners alike.

The Wire Association International is a not-for-profit association with 1,800 individual members in 50 countries. The association serves the educational needs of the wire and cable manufacturing industry through a variety of products and services. WAI manages the Interwire Trade Exposition and the WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo and publishes the Wire Journal International and the Wire Journal International Reference Guide.

Media Contacts: Janice E. Swindells, Director Marketing & Corporate Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-2777
x. 117; Steven J. Fetteroll, Executive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-1777.



Last modified on September 10, 2021

9/8/21 – The Association’s New England Chapter has chosen the five below students to each receive a 2021 scholarship of $2,500.

Ana Aguilar, the daughter of Alberto Aguilar, president of Carris Reels, will be attending Clemson. She plans to study business marketing.

Connor Hartline, the son of Christopher Hartline, vice president of operations at RichardsApex, will be attending Pennsylvania State University. He plans to study engineering.

Robert Mancinelli, the son of John Mancinelli, national sales manager at Conneaut Industries, Inc., will be attending Lehigh University IBE Honors Program. He plans to study mechanical engineering and finance.

Erik Person, the son of Kimberly Person, corporate accountant at Insulated Wire, Inc., will be attending SUNY Genesco. He plans to study adolescent education.

Indigo Zachow, the daughter of John Zachow, vice president of Davis-Standard, will be attending Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She plans to study graphic design.

Last modified on September 8, 2021


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