Speakers

These are the experts you'll be learning from! We've curated an exceptional A-list of experts in the electroless nickel industry. Their valuable insights will increase your process knowledge and help drive your business' efficiency, quality, and growth.

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Brad Durkin
Consultant & Technical Director, 2022 EN Conference

Bachelor of Science- Chemistry, anchored with 40 years of Surface Finishing Industry experience, 5 years applicator side, 34 years supplier side including Coventya, MacDermid, and Allied Kelite.  Scope of experience includes technology, technical service, marketing, global product management, research/development, and business executive management. Knowledgeable of chemical manufacturing processes for surface finishing technology. 
Over career, active participation in many industry associations including NACE, SAE, ASTM & NASF, authored numerous publications including patents, industry presentations, Internal/external training modules, technology webinars, established marketing materials supporting industry including NASF Surface Technology Environmental Resource Center, Plating & Surface Finishing, Metal Finishing & Products Finishing, including many other international publications, China, India, Mexico & SE Asia.
•    National Association Surface Finishers: NASF Fellow, CEF, Member Technology Advisory Committee SUR/FIN Technical Conference 9 years, including past 6 as Chairman of TAC. 
•    For 25 years, active member ASTM committees ASTM B08, Metallic and Inorganic Coatings, ASTM F07, Aerospace and Aircraft & ASTM G01, Corrosion of Metals.
•    Memberships:  Society of Automotive Engineering International (SAE), National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), ASM International & has been a member of the Electroless Nickel (EN) Steering Committee since 1993, additionally serving as Technical Director for the 2007 and 2010 EN Conference Symposiums

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Charles Johnson
President and Co-Owner | Palm Technology, Inc.

Charles Johnson is the President and Co-Owner of Palm Technology, Inc and is responsible for the daily operations, as well as assisting in product design.  Prior to working full-time at Palm, Charles attended Georgia Institute of Technology pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.  In 1992, he began his career in Metal Finishing at Palm overseeing and developing instrumentation for electroless as well as heading up Information Technology at Palm.  In 1995, he developed the technology behind SurfaceFinishing.com which emerged as the most successful and largest portal for the Surface Finishing industry, which Palm sold in 2000 to a publicly traded B2B internet company, VerticalNet.  In 2002, he became the President of Palm Technology when Palm Instruments and Palm Fabrication was combined into one company with a focus of design and manufacturing processing lines and equipment, along with instrumentation and control for electroless nickel systems.  He now has over 30 years of industry experience with a specific focus of equipment for the industry.  

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Todd Luciano
Publisher/VP Finishing & Valve Media | Gardner Business Media

Todd Luciano is Publisher of Products Finishing magazine, overseeing advertising sales and collaborating with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief on topics and content for multiple media platforms, including a vibrant and innovative monthly print magazine for the industrial surface finishing sector and an online industry news and technical reference website. Todd supervises Products Finishing’s professional staff of editors, columnists and contributors, and is responsible for the day-to-day business operation of the publication. He also works extensively with industry trade organizations to articulate Products Finishing’s values and vision and is responsible for developing and carrying out the magazine’s long-term strategic plan.

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Boules Morcos
Plating Engineer | Continental Diamond Tool Corporation

Boules Morcos has a bachelor’s in engineering from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He has 34 years of plating experience, primarily in electroless nickel plating. He worked at MacDermid from 1988 to 2017 in various positions. He currently works at Continental Diamond Tool in Indiana, where electrolytic and electroless nickel are utilized to manufacture Abrasive Tools.

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Matt Sisti
Technical Advisor | MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions

Over the past 25 years Matt has held a variety of technical, sales, marketing and executive positions in the metal finishing industry with specialization in the field of electroless plating. He founded Sirius Technology in 1991 which merged with Taskem in 2008 to form Coventya, Inc.

 

Matt has authored and published a number of technical papers on electroless nickel

plating and related subjects and holds a BS in chemistry from Syracuse University.

He is currently a technical advisor to MEIS.

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Marc Aleksinas

Business Manager | Metal Chem, Inc. 

Marc Aleksinas is a business manager at Metal Chem, Inc. in Greenville, South Carolina.  He holds a B.A. in economics from Vanderbilt University.  He has been actively involved in the metal finishing industry for 15 years, working to develop Metal Chem’s electroless nickel sales through distribution and direct sales in the Northeastern United States.  Since moving back to South Carolina in 2013, Marc has been responsible for the ISO:9001 certified quality program at Metal Chem. As part of the program, Marc has worked to multi-source critical raw materials and has improved inventory tracking.  Supply chain management has been critical to Metal Chem’s growth over the past 10 years. Marc is a past president of the Master’s Association of Metal Finishers for New York and New Jersey. And, he is a current board member of the NASF and serves on the NASF Government Advisory Committee.

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Mike Aleksinas

Owner & President | Metal Chem, Inc. 

Michael J Aleksinas is the owner and President of Metal Chem, Inc., located in Greenville, South Carolina. He holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and a M.S. degree in Environmental Science from the University of New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut.  For the past 45 years, Michael has been actively involved in virtually every aspect of the electroless nickel industry, including research and development, sales and marketing, and the manufacture of electroless nickel chemistry.  
During this time, he has authored many papers on the subject of EN which include: "Factors Affecting Quality Electroless Nickel Plating of Thin Film Memory Disks," "Plating Thick EN Deposits without Pitting," "How Duplex EN Coatings Can Be Advantageous," "Plating on Magnesium with EN, Fact or Fiction?," and "Waste Treatment of Electroless Nickel." Michael is a member of the American Chemical Society and the NASF. 

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Jordan Beavers

Technical Director | Metal Chem, Inc. 

Jordan Beavers is the Technical Director of Metal Chem, Inc, a specialty chemical company with a focus on Electroless Nickel. During his twelve year tenure with the company he has performed a number of roles including: leading the company R&D team, overseeing new customer installations, and supporting sales efforts with key distributors. Formative experiences include a three week trip to China for a new project start-up and an aluminum plating troubleshooting effort that led to a new customer and over 500% reject rate reduction. Hard work, extensive air travel, working on the plating line, and a cold beverage afterwards sum up Jordan. Having the privilege to learn from industry veterans, both customers and colleagues alike, and sharing the passion for electroless nickel has contributed to Jordan’s early success in metal finishing. Jordan holds a very optimistic view of the electroless nickel market in North America and is very excited about his future in the industry.   

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Phillip Brockman

President, Techmetals

Phillip Brockman President and owner of Techmetals, a Nadcap, ITAR, ISO-13485, FFL, and FAA Repair Station that specializes in: anodize, metal finishing, PVD physical vapor deposition, NDT non-destructive testing, and grinding of: large parts, difficult parts, engineered coatings, and plating in Dayton, OH.  Techmetals focus is on Aerospace, Defense, Power Generation, Medical, and Automotive.
Board, advisor, and steering committee experience.

  • Served a few years as STEMM Board at local High School.

  • President & VP in the past for Dayton / Cincinnati & Tri-State Local Branch of NASF

  • Served on the national board for NASF (Nation Association of Surface Finishing)

  • Served as a Board of Advisors for a chemical manufacturer.

  • Past Board member for the Edison Materials Technology Center

  • Past Committee member Ohio Aerospace Hub.

  • Served on a Committee for the Dayton Region Manufacturing Association

  • Past member Electroless Nickel Steering Committee.

  • Board Member 2020-2022 Dayton Regional Manufacturing Association

  • Currently serving as a Board member & Executive Committee at the Engineers Club of Dayton.


Professional accomplishments or recognition.

  • Class of 2017 of 40 under 40 by peers and Products Finishing Magazine

  • Co-Inventor of Patent Number 9937472 issued April 10th, 2018.


Phillip has been a past member of SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) , SPE (Society of Plastic Engineers), and IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers). Work Experience: Techmetals as plating technical, R&D, Engineering, and management. Self-employed, PE&B an engineering consulting company working with Clients Akzo-Nobel, as a Rotating equipment specialist. FCX Performance Company PPI, Office and Repair Shop Manager, Outside Sales, & Application Engineer. ITW-Hobart Manufacturing Engineer and Procurement, Dolly Inc. Industrial Engineer. 

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Mike Burnson

Technical Director | CEF/NADCAP

Mr. Burnson has over 40 years’ experience in the metal finishing industry. He is an AESF Certified Electroplater-Finisher, as well as a certified instructor for the AESF/NASF Introduction to Surface Finishing and Certified Electroplater-Finisher (CEF) courses.  He has founded and operated a NADCAP-certified, independent laboratory, and currently provides technical consulting services to metal finishing companies and suppliers across the country. He is also an Aerospace Critical Process Auditor, Operating as an Independent Contractor for PRI/Nadcap. His expertise extends to designing, developing, and trouble-shooting metal finishing processes; creating training programs for process control and production; and developing new products and processes for both metal finishing companies and their suppliers. 

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Brad Durkin

Consultant & Technical Director, 2022 EN Conference

Bachelor of Science- Chemistry, anchored with 40 years of Surface Finishing Industry experience, 5 years applicator side, 34 years supplier side including Coventya, MacDermid, and Allied Kelite.  Scope of experience includes technology, technical service, marketing, global product management, research/development, and business executive management. Knowledgeable of chemical manufacturing processes for surface finishing technology. 
Over career, active participation in many industry associations including NACE, SAE, ASTM & NASF, authored numerous publications including patents, industry presentations, Internal/external training modules, technology webinars, established marketing materials supporting industry including NASF Surface Technology Environmental Resource Center, Plating & Surface Finishing, Metal Finishing & Products Finishing, including many other international publications, China, India, Mexico & SE Asia.

  • National Association Surface Finishers: NASF Fellow, CEF, Member Technology Advisory Committee SUR/FIN Technical Conference 9 years, including past 6 as Chairman of TAC. 

  • For 25 years, active member ASTM committees ASTM B08, Metallic and Inorganic Coatings, ASTM F07, Aerospace and Aircraft & ASTM G01, Corrosion of Metals.

  • Memberships:  Society of Automotive Engineering International (SAE), National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), ASM International & has been a member of the Electroless Nickel (EN) Steering Committee since 1993, additionally serving as Technical Director for the 2007 and 2010 EN Conference Symposiums

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Dan Englebert

Vice President Technical Services 

Imagineering Finishing Technologies

Dan has over 41 years of experience in the metal finishing industry and has been with Imagineering since 1993. As Imagineering’s senior technical advisor, he has authored numerous technical articles and has been published in a number of industry trade publications serving the metal finishing, engineering and academic community, and professional associations. Dan was the featured guest speaker on the topic of Chemical Passivation at the 1999 Annual Aerospace/Airline Metal Finishing Forum and Exposition in Jacksonville, FL .and was a featured guest speaker at the 1999 and 2002 International Electroless Nickel Conferences. Additionally, Dan has made numerous presentations and provides technical consulting and application support on a variety of metal finishing topics to Imagineering’s Fortune 500 manufacturing as well as government/miliary clients. He currently holds or has held memberships in the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), the National Association of Surface Finishing (NASF), American Electroplaters & Surface Finisher’s Society (AESF), The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). 

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Paul Feagins

President | LeKem

Paul Feagins is the President and owner of LeKem of Indiana Inc. He has devoted his entire 30-year career to the development, manufacturing, and plating applications of Electroless Nickel and is the second-generation owner-operator of LeKem of Indiana. He has focused his efforts and attention on the high-corrosion applications and functionality of EN in the industry sectors of aerospace, oil, heavy machinery, and healthcare/medical applications. These focus areas have generated prioritization of the EN equipment plating line standards as a catalyst for improved safety, quality deposition, and satisfaction of customer ISO compliance. Through years of R & D efforts, he has developed a premier antimicrobial EN application called MicroKoat™. In addition to excellent corrosion protection, wear, and aesthetic properties, MicroKoat™ has demonstrated proven efficacy against pathogens, mold, and fungi on treated articles.

Paul has been published in multiple industry articles regarding EN equipment optimization and the antimicrobial suppression and inhibition properties of EN coatings. Paul is a graduate of the State University of New York at Brockport with a degree of Bachelor of Science. 

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Michael Feldstein

President & Director of Technology | Surface Technologies

Michael Feldstein is the President and Director of Innovation of Surface Technology, Inc.  Michael manages this high technology, world leading company specializing in advanced coatings and metal finishing treatments that operates in a state-of-the-art solar powered, zero discharge facility in Ewing, NJ.  STI is the creator of One-Plate single component electroless nickel, Composite Diamond Coating, NiSlip EN-PTFE composites and other breakthrough electroless nickel technologies.  He routinely shares his expertise on electroless nickel innovations through presentations at conferences worldwide, industry publications, and numerous patents.  Michael has a MA from Tulane University in economics and a BA in international economics from George Washington University.  

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Helmut Horsthemke

Global Product Line Director, Wear Resistant Coatings 

MacDermid Enthone Industrial Systems

Helmut Horsthemke is the Global Product Line Director of Wear Resistant Coatings for MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions which includes both Hard Chromium and Electroless Nickel. Helmut has a degree in Chemical Engineering and began his career at LPW in the R&D department working on various projects until he transitioned to product management of hard chromium in 1992. Shortly after LPW became Enthone in 1998 he became responsible for both the hard chromium and electroless nickel product lines as product manager and in 2003 was made responsible for both product lines globally remaining as such until the 2015 acquisition of Enthone by MacDermid. At that time he was given responsibility as the Product Line Director for Hard Chrome until 2017 when he was tasked with product line management of Electroless Nickel as well. He currently works out of the Langenfeld, Germany office of MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions.  

Helmut is inventor of more than 20 patents related to improvements in Chromium and Electroless Nickel deposition. Regular international publications make him well known to the Hard Chrome and Electroless Nickel plating industry.

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Douglas Hughes

Regional Product Line Manager, Wear Resistant Coatings 

MacDermid Enthone Industrial Systems

Doug Hughes brings over 22 years of metal finishing experience to his role as North American Product Manager for Wear Resistant Coatings (Electroless Nickel, Sulfamate Nickel, & Hard Chrome) for MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions. Over the course of his career with MacDermid, Doug has held many roles including Research Chemist, Technical Service/ Sales, Corporate Specialist, and his current role of Product Manager.  Doug was a founding member and key contributor for MacDermid’s Aerospace Connector Group specializing in aluminum pretreatment, electroless nickel, cadmium and Cd-replacement technologies. He holds an Associate Degree in Math/ Science from Naugatuck Valley Community Technical College and is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Post University. Doug currently resides in Southington, CT with his wife Chelsey. 

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Charles Johnson

President and Co-Owner | Palm Technology, Inc.

Charles Johnson is the President and Co-Owner of Palm Technology, Inc and is responsible for the daily operations, as well as assisting in product design.  Prior to working full-time at Palm, Charles attended Georgia Institute of Technology pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.  In 1992, he began his career in Metal Finishing at Palm overseeing and developing instrumentation for electroless as well as heading up Information Technology at Palm.  In 1995, he developed the technology behind SurfaceFinishing.com which emerged as the most successful and largest portal for the Surface Finishing industry, which Palm sold in 2000 to a publicly traded B2B internet company, VerticalNet.  In 2002, he became the President of Palm Technology when Palm Instruments and Palm Fabrication was combined into one company with a focus of design and manufacturing processing lines and equipment, along with instrumentation and control for electroless nickel systems.  He now has over 30 years of industry experience with a specific focus of equipment for the industry.  

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Travis Johnson

Lab Manager | Avtec Finishing Systems

Travis Johnson is the Lab Manager of Avtec Finishing. He is responsible for the chemical maintenance department which includes analysis, chemical additions, waste treatment, purchasing, and scheduling of all things related to chemistry at Avtec. Travis has been with Avtec for 5 years and has previous experience with D&B plating and Pioneer Metal Finishing. As an alumnus of the University of Minnesota in the Chemistry department, Travis has familiarized himself with the metal finishing network in the Midwest. Working at one of the biggest job shops for electroless nickel has given Travis a crash course in troubleshooting and problem solving in this difficult industry.

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Skip Griffin

Vice President of Operations | Metal Finishing Technologies

William “Skip” Griffin is currently Vice President of Operations at Metal Finishing Technologies (MFT), located in Bristol Connecticut. Skip is a 34 year veteran in the metal finishing industry with a wide range of technical expertise across a variety of plating processes, including electroless nickel, zinc, copper, nickel and chrome. Skip spent most of his career on the supply side of the industry as a Senior Process Specialist and a Product Manager for MacDermid Inc. In addition, he holds a process patent for plating tin/cobalt on aluminum, which was adopted by Ford Motor Company in the early 2000’s. He is a 30 year member of the NASF and served on the board of directors for the New York/New Jersey Masters’ Association of Metal Finishers. Skip is actively involved in youth athletics and was formally the President of his towns Little League. Skip can be reached at sgriffin@mftech.com or via LinkedIn.

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Matt Lindstedt

President & Director of Technology | Advanced Plating Technologies

Matt Lindstedt is the President of Advanced Plating Technologies and has 20-years of experience in surface engineering and technical metal finishing sales.  He specializes in proper design, specification, and application of coatings across a range of industries as well as engineering coating solutions to common surface engineering challenges including corrosion, wear resistance, soldering, wire bonding, ultrasonic welding, or brazing.  Matt is passionate about continually growing and improving his family’s fourth-generation metal finishing business while equally improving the lives and livelihood of the company’s employees.  Matt graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and earned his Professional Engineering license during his four years of service in the United States Air Force.  When not working (his wife laughs), he can be found bow hunting or spending time with his family water skiing or surfing.

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Boules Morcos

Plating Engineer | Continental Diamond Tool Corporation

Boules Morcos has a bachelor’s in engineering from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He has 34 years of plating experience, primarily in electroless nickel plating. He worked at MacDermid from 1988 to 2017 in various positions. He currently works at Continental Diamond Tool in Indiana, where electrolytic and electroless nickel are utilized to manufacture Abrasive Tools.

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Collin Peters

Business Manager - Functional Chrome and Electroless Nickel

ATOTECH

Collin Peters has been in the plating business since 2005 when he joined Atotech after graduating from Carleton University.  Early in his career he developed a preference and specialty to Functional Chrome and Electroless Nickel technologies and applications and now holds the positon of North American Business Manager for Wear Resistant Coatings for Atotech.  In this role Collin is responsible for delivering Atotech’s new Wear Resistant technologies to the local North American market by collaborating with applicators and OEM’s and connecting them with the products that are right for them.  Collin is also an active participant in the NASF and is a member of the Government Advisory Committee working on advocacy and outreach for the long-term sustainability of the industry.

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Ambrose Schaffer

Global Product Line Manager | MacDermid Enthone Industrial Systems

15 yrs of experience primarily in Research and Development of EN technologies but also technical troubleshooting of EN processes and material science. Published several articles on various topic related to EN technology and presented on EN topics at multiple industry events throughout the years. Holds 3 patents on EN technology. Hobbies include distance running, hiking and camping. 

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Matt Sisti

Technical Advisor | MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions

Over the past 25 years Matt has held a variety of technical, sales, marketing and executive positions in the metal finishing industry with specialization in the field of electroless plating. He founded Sirius Technology in 1991 which merged with Taskem in 2008 to form Coventya, Inc. Matt has authored and published a number of technical papers on electroless nickel plating and related subjects and holds a BS in chemistry from Syracuse University. He is currently a technical advisor to MEIS.

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Scott Schewe

President | EP BioTech LLC

Scott Schewe is the President of EP BioTech LLC based in Minneapolis since 2012. EP BioTech LLC is consulting firm dedicated to advancing material and processing solutions. Prior to founding EP BioTech, he was principal R&D engineer at Boston Scientific from 1992 to 2012, where his team developed and launched the TAXUS®  drug eluting stent platform. Approaching 35 years experience as an engineer, primarily in the medical device and electronic manufacturing fields. Scott served in a wide variety of roles ranging from operations, quality, process development, product development, R&D and applied research. Named inventor on 49 patents and 71 pending patents, generally related to polymers, polymer processing and material science. Currently consulting in the medical device area with medical device startups and contract manufacturers with a focus on polymers, polymer processing and functional materials. His organization provides clients with technology strategy development, project management, process and material development, prototyping laboratory, intellectual property development, regulatory strategy, technology and M&A due diligence.

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Brad Staples

Product Marketing Manager | ATOTECH

Brad Staples is the Product Manager for the Wear Resistant Coatings group and has been with Atotech USA, LLC for almost 20 years. My specialty has been Electroless Nickel and Functional Chrome, but I have also been involved with other applications in my career as well, such as Paint Pretreatment, Zinc Plating, and Decorative Plating. I have been in the plating and surface finishing industry for around 23 years overall; I graduated in 1999 from NC State University with a BS in chemistry. My hobbies and interests outside of work include reading, building scale models, and spending time with my wife and two kids.

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Kathyrn Wells

Managing Director | Nickelman

Kathryn Wells, Chief Operating Officer for Nickelman, a privately held commodity trading company servicing the foundry, stainless steel and metal finishing industries based in Nashville, TN.  Ms. Wells joined the Company in June 2014. Ms. Wells started her career at Aleris International Inc., a global downstream aluminum producer where she was responsible for hedging and trading base metals and currencies over various business units on a global scale. In 2010 she created and later sold Black Hawk Risk, a consulting firm providing price risk management solutions for physical and financial trading for base metals and energy. Because of her diverse background she was retained as a consultant for Icahn Enterprises to restructure and oversee their trading desk responsible for hedging precious metals, aluminum, and copper within the Icahn portfolio at PSC Metals. 
Her knowledge of commodity trading, derivative pricing risk and market analysis enhances the value-added solutions Nickelman can provide its customers. Ms. Wells studied Economics and received her degree from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. 

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Todd Luciano

Publisher/VP Finishing & Valve Media | Gardner Business Media

Todd Luciano is Publisher of Products Finishing magazine, overseeing advertising sales and collaborating with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief on topics and content for multiple media platforms, including a vibrant and innovative monthly print magazine for the industrial surface finishing sector and an online industry news and technical reference website. Todd supervises Products Finishing’s professional staff of editors, columnists and contributors, and is responsible for the day-to-day business operation of the publication. He also works extensively with industry trade organizations to articulate Products Finishing’s values and vision and is responsible for developing and carrying out the magazine’s long-term strategic plan.