John Packard - Master of Ceremonies

President and CEO, Steel Market Update

John Packard is the President and CEO of Steel Market Update. John spent 31 years actively selling steel in the service center, trading company and steel mill segments of the industry. He started Steel Market Update in 2004 as a way of communicating with his customers and in 2008, Steel Market Update was incorporated as a provider of market intelligence to the steel industry. He also founded the SMU Steel Summit Conference, which has become the leading steel conference in North America, as well as a group of successful steel training workshops. Earlier this year the CRU Group, a global leader in steel analysis, price assessments, consulting and events acquired Steel Market Update.

Lisa Reisman

Co-founder and Executive Editor, MetalMiner

MetalMiner is one of the largest metals websites dedicated to global metal market intelligence. As one of the nation's foremost metals experts. Lisa and her team have developed innovations in metal price forecasting, pricing and benchmarking. In addition to past roles at Arthur Anderson and Deloitte Consulting, she has also owned and operaterd her own aluminum trading company. Lisa earned her MPA from New York University along wtih a BA in political science and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Philip Bell

President, Steel Manufacturers Association

Philip K. Bell is President of the Washington, D.C. based Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA). The SMA represents 25 North American EAF steel producers and over 100 associate member companies across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. SMA members account for over 75% of domestic steelmaking capacity, and employ over 60,000 people. Approximately two-thirds of all steel made in North America is made via the EAF process. The SMA serves as the voice of the North American EAF steel industry.

Prior to joining the SMA in 2013, Mr. Bell served as Director of External Communications and Public Affairs for Gerdau Long Steel North America. He is a 25 year industry veteran, who has held executive level positions in operations, human resources and public affairs with Gerdau, the SGL Carbon Group, Qualitech Steel Corporation and Elementis Chromium.

Mr. Bell currently serves on the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Advisory Committee on Steel (ITAC 12), advising the Secretary of Commerce and United States Trade Representative on trade policy, trade agreements, and other trade related matters that benefit U.S. businesses, workers, and the economy.

Mr. Bell is a member of the U.S. industry delegation to the OECD Steel Committee and the Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST). He is also on the board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA). He holds a master’s degree, with distinction, in Global Strategic Communications from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

Jean Kemp

Senior V.P. for Government Affairs and Trade Policy for the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA)

Jean Kemp is a trade policy expert with over 30 years’ experience.  Prior to joining SMA, she served at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she combatted foreign unfair practices through negotiations and enforcement actions, including successful U.S. WTO disputes against China.  Jean led U.S. delegations to the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity, and the Energy Working Group of the U.S.-EU T-TIP free trade negotiations.  Jean also worked at the U.S. Department of Commerce for 16 years, administering AD/CVD laws.    

Richard Chriss

President and International Trade Counsel, American Institute for International Steel

Richard Chriss is an accomplished attorney with a broad background in international trade law and policy both on Capitol Hill and in the Executive branch of the United States Government. He received graduate training in public policy and economics at Harvard University and studied international law at the University of London.

Mr. Chriss served as Senator Chuck Grassley’s international trade counsel, on both his personal and Senate Finance Committee staffs. In that role, Richard was involved in drafting bills and helping develop legislative strategy for a number of key trade initiatives, including Trade Promotion Authority, the Africa Trade Bill, FTA implementing legislation, and other similar legislation.

While working with the Finance Committee, Mr. Chriss managed nine Committee trade hearings, coordinated Committee oversight of federal departments and agencies, and aided in preparation for WTO meetings, including Ministerial Conference meetings.

Mr. Chriss later served for two years as Senior Counsel to the Under Secretary for International Trade in the Department of Commerce, where he was involved in a broad range of trade and economic policy matters.

Then-Ambassador Rob Portman asked Mr. Chriss to work with him at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, a job he held for about six years. In this position, he worked on a wide array of high-level trade matters.

Paul Nathanson

Senior Principal, Bracewell LLP

Paul Nathanson is a partner at PRG with more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications. Paul has extensive experience designing and implementing public affairs campaigns on trade issues, including forming domestic coalitions ranging from farmers to automakers to furniture retailers to fight against proposed dumping and countervailing duties on a range of products including shrimp, corrosion-resistant steel, Chinese wooden bedroom furniture, Canadian pork, solar components and the Section 201 steel tariffs, as well as the repeal of the Byrd Amendment. He currently is managing strategic communications activities for the Coalition of American Metal Manufacturers and Users, a group representing U.S. manufacturers opposed to the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs. Paul also provides public affairs support and ongoing strategic communications counsel to corporations, trade associations and non-profit organizations. His focus is on message development and implementation, public policy analysis, social media engagement, media relations, reputation management, and strategic counseling services.

Thorsten Schier

North American Editor, Steel and Ferrous Scrap, Fastmarkets AMM

Thorsten Schier is Fastmarkets AMM’s North American steel and ferrous scrap editor. He started with Fastmarkets as a reporter in 2010 after completing a graduate degree in Journalism at New York’s Columbia University, and has knowledge of or written about almost every type of metal in the industrial supply chain.

 He previously completed an undergraduate degree in Journalism at Rhodes University in South Africa and worked as a business news reporter for a national daily newspaper in his home country of Namibia

Paul Lowrey

President and Founder, Steel Research Associates

Paul Lowrey has been in the steel industry for 25 years and has conducted over 200 customized market studies for steel producers and processors.  Paul previously worked at SteelBase Partners, Metal Strategies, and Beddows & Company.  Prior to steel, Paul worked in the energy industry for 10 years.  In addition to his consulting work, Paul is a guest speaker at industry conferences and writes articles for industry trade publications.  Paul holds a BA from Grove City College near Pittsburgh and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.

Todd Leebow

Todd Leebow, President and CEO, Majestic Steel

Todd Leebow is the President and CEO of Majestic Steel USA, a leading steel distribution and processing company.  Majestic Steel USA has a unique culture that focuses on delivering prime product with an unparalleled customer experience.  In 2007, Todd Leebow joined the family business to oversee the company's supply chain.

As an entrepreneur and visionary, Todd Leebow saw an opportunity for data and technology to maximize efficiency through Majestic Steel USA's business and innovate the way customers buy steel.

Under Todd Leebow's leadership, Majestic Steel USA has been recognized as a top company to work for in Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland area with special recognition for Leadership and Innovation.  The culture that Todd Leebow has built at Majestic Steel USA allows the company to attract top talent to the steel industry and join the Majestic Family.

Todd Leebow is a philanthropist, owner and operator of other business ventures, and a vocal advocate for the steel industry.

Alice E. Acona

Director, International Strategy & Policy, International Trade and Investment Office, Florida Chamber of Commerce

Ms. Ancona heads the Chamber’s international efforts and is primary advocate for international trade and investment policies which focus on reducing barriers to trade, promoting efforts to expand market access, export facilitation, trade agreements and expand development of Florida’s trade infrastructure. She is responsible for increasing global trade opportunities for Florida to include implementing programs that foster trade and investment as well as serving as a vital facilitator to international stakeholders, foreign agencies and representatives, member companies and state and federal agencies.

Ms. Ancona also is lead staff to the Chambers Infrastructure Coalition which serves as the unified voice of business preparing for Florida’s future growth – committed to creating long-term investments in Florida’s energy, water, transportation, freight, telecommunications, and rural infrastructure.  She additionally leads the Chamber’s Trade and Logistics Institute which focuses on expanding Florida’s role as a hub for trade. 

Prior to joining the Florida Chamber, Ms. Ancona led the governmental affairs division of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce where she directed the policy agenda on a wide range of issues, including trade, infrastructure investment, transportation, and workforce development.  She has been part of successful campaigns to win congressional passage of trade agreements with key Florida trading partners to include: Colombia FTA, DR-CAFTA, Panama FTA, Chile FTA, KORUS and worked on efforts to secure the Free Trade Areas of the Americas. 

Ms. Ancona has served on various steering committees for the Florida’s transportation planning efforts, is member of the International Policy Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, member of the Florida International Trade Partnership, member of the South Florida District Export Council, recipient of the 2014 International Women’s Day Award from World Trade Center Miami, named 2015 Person of the Year by the Florida Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association, Inc., and recipient of the 2016 Women of Distinction Award by the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Chris Casey, PhD

Executive Director of the Independent Steel Alliance

Chris Casey, Ph.D., is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Independent Steel Alliance (“ISA”). ISA is a first-of-its-kind purchasing alliance formed among independently owned and operated rebar fabricators in the U.S. and Canada. ISA was launched in 2012 and has steadily grown its membership and supplier base, with the members collectively representing over 10% of the total rebar market consumption in the U.S. and Canada. The goal of ISA is to assemble and leverage the group’s volume purchasing potential for financial benefit. ISA

Fabricator members represent the “best and the brightest” among independent rebar fabricators in the U.S. and Canada. Since forming ISA, Casey has become a recognized expert, speaker and advisor representing the unique needs and interests of this particular niche within the steel industry.

Prior to forming ISA, Casey was the President and second-generation owner of Bec-Don Ringgold, Inc., an independent supplier of fabricated reinforcing steel to the construction industry. 

Before joining the family business in 1996, Casey was a consultant in the field of information systems management, and worked with manufacturing and banking companies to prepare their core information systems for the transition into the Year 2000.

For over a decade, Casey served on the national Board of Directors for the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (a trade association for reinforcing steel); was a past Board Chairman for the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce; and served for two years on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. At the age of 39, Casey was recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of Georgia’s “40 Under 40” rising professionals.

Raised in Atlanta, Casey earned a Bachelor’s degree in Management and an MBA in Information Systems, both degrees from Georgia State University. In 2013 he earned a Ph.D. in Leadership from Capella University. For his dissertation, Casey produced a quantitative study of how family businesses can define and measure success [ProQuest Publication No. 3588059].

Jeff Vinik - Lunch Keynote Speaker

Chairman and Governor, Tampa Bay Lightning and Partner, Strategic Property Partners, LLC

Jeff Vinik purchased the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 3, 2010, promising a comprehensive transformation of the franchise while pledging to make a significant positive impact in the Tampa Bay community, and he has delivered.  Upon acquiring the Lightning, Vinik vowed to make the organization “world-class,” creating an unrivaled fan experience while putting together a team of which Tampa Bay sports fans would be proud, on and off the ice.

Fast forward eight years and the Lightning are now recognized nationally as one of the top organizations in North American sports, having appeared in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference Final four times (2011, 2015, 2016, 2018), advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 2015.  Off the ice, the Lightning brand has been completely revitalized and transformed, having been lauded by both ESPN as the No. 1 team in professional sports in the media giant’s Ultimate Standings (also ranking in the Top 10 in six of seven years), as well as by the Sports Business Journal as one of the five finalists for Sports Team of the Year in 2016.  Entering into the 2018-2019 season, the Lightning have enjoyed 158 consecutive sellout crowds at AMALIE Arena.  Vinik now sits as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors.

The Lightning’s success under Vinik has coincided with the emergence of a development company, Strategic Property Partners (SPP), LLC and its plan to develop approximately 60 acres in downtown Tampa’s south core into a new district entitled “Water Street Tampa.”  SPP, a partnership between Vinik and Cascade Investment, LLC of Kirkland, Washington, is expecting to deliver approximately $3 billion in investment to bring Water Street Tampa to life and reinvent the blocks surrounding AMALIE Arena into a walkable, 24-7 live, work, play and stay wellness district.  With construction of phase one already underway, the district will eventually include a School of Medicine for the University of South Florida, corporate office buildings, three Marriott hotel properties, residences, retail, restaurants, entertainment and improved infrastructure.

After growing up in New Jersey and attending high school at Riverdale Country School in New York City, Vinik graduated from Duke University (1981) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering and Economics.   He went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, graduating in 1985.