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Matthew Bedell has been promoted to vice president of the Industrial Specialties business unit for North America for the Prysmian Group, responsible for directing all commercial activities. He has more than 20 years of process engineering, operations management, supply chain, and commercial experience. He began his career with Prysmian Group as part of General Cable in 2002. He was part of the integration of the aluminum building wire business and led the aluminum rod and strip business following the acquisition of Alcan Cable in 2012. After the acquisition of General Cable by the Prysmian Group in 2018, Bedell held leadership responsibilities for all of U.S. inside sales. He most recently was responsible for commercial operations in the Trade & Installers business unit. He replaces Richard Parvesse, who was recently appointed president of Prysmian’s Elevator and Escalator business unit, Draka EHC. The Prysmian Group which operates in more than 50 countries and has 108 plants and approximately 29,000 employees, is a leader in many wire and cable fields.

Chris Blakeman has been promoted to vice president/general manager of Davis Wire. He joined the company in 2018 as director of operations, and has extensive international leadership experience. Prior to that, he was general manager at Insteel Industries and plant manager for Chatsworth Products, with his longest tenure at Bekaert, where he worked for nearly 19 years, mostly in managerial positions, in locations in the U.K., Belgium, Czech Republic, U.S. and Costa Rica. He is certified in Six Sigma and can also speak French, Spanish and Dutch. He holds a B.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wolverhampton, and a M.Sc. degree in advanced materials from Cranfield University. Part of the Heico Group and based in Irwindale, California, Davis Wire specializes in galvanized, brite and reinforcing wire.

LS Cable & System USA reports that Adnan Skopljak is a new regional sales manager. He has more than 15 years of professional experience, most recently serving as a regional sales manager for Southwire Company, where he worked for six years in utility wire and cable. He has a degree in business management from the University of West Georgia. Based in Georgia, LS Cable & System USA manufactures energy wire and cable products serving the commercial, industrial, renewable energy and utility markets.

 Robert Auger was named plant director for the Lincoln, Rhode Island site of the Prysmian Group. He most recently was vice president of operations for Champlain Cable Corporation, which he joined in 2017. Prior to that, he was vice president of operations for Comtran Cable, where he worked for 14 years, and before that he had worked for two years at Alpha Wire and 18 years for C&M Corporation. The Prysmian Group, which operates in more than 50 countries and has 108 plants and approximately 29,000 employees, is a leader in many wire and cable fields.

Luvata Senior Vice President and CFO Pekka Kleemola has been promoted to president. He has worked for the company and its predecessors for nearly 20 years. He replaces Jussi Helavirta, who joined Luvata in 2000 and was the president of Luvata Special Products division when it was acquired by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation in 2017. Kleemola said that Helavirta was a highly valued and respected leader, and under his leadership the company had moved toward a more modern and open corporate culture, developing processes, operations and global presence. Based in Finland, Luvata has a diversified product portfolio that includes wire. It has operations in seven countries, which includes Accurate Wire in Branford, Connecticut.


It’s time for members of the New England and Southeast chapters to pencil in dates for their upcoming golf tournaments, when they are held in September.

Up first is the New England Chapter, which will stage its 28th Annual Golf Tournament & Dinner on Monday, Sept. 12, at the Tunxis Country Club in Farmington, Connecticut. Contact: John Markowski, 203-458-4044, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On Thursday, Sept. 22, the Southeast Chapter will hold its annual golf tournament & dinner at the Rock Barn Country Club in Conover, North Carolina. Contact: John Markowski, 203-458-4044, 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The June issue will have more details.


The Midwest Chapter will be the WAI’s first to stage its annual golf tournament, as players will tee off on Wednesday, June 1, at the St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago, Illinois. It has been sorely missed as the last two events were not able to be held, “courtesy” of Covid-19, the ultimate scourge and spoilsport.

A look back at who has had de facto extended bragging rights shows that the 2019 winning foursome was Nick Zehr (King Steel), Erik Timpt (King Steel), Mike Shell (King Steel) and Joe Micklin (Jam Industrial), who shot a very respectable 62, 10 under par, to take top honors. It is past time for new winners to emerge.

“Finally, a return to some normalcy is on the horizon!” declared Kevin Sopczak, who once again heads the chapter’s golf planning efforts. “I see it as a triumphant return after two long years due to Covid restrictions. Most players’ skills will be showing rust, and this is the best outing to get back to swinging the sticks. Low pressure, and lots of fun, is what makes this outing enjoyable. Sign up today!”

The good news is that registration for the 19th Annual Midwest Chapter Golf Tournament & Dinner is open, available through WAI’s online registration system at wai.configio.com. A player can register a team of two to four golfers, or sign up individually for the best ball-scramble format event. The $175 registration fee covers the full day including greens fees, cart, breakfast sandwich, and the reception and awards dinner. The day begins with check-in at 8 am, play at 9 am and the reception, dinner and awards presentations at 5 pm.

Sponsorships are available, including Long Drive: $200; Closest to the Pin: $200; Accurate Drive: $200; and Corporate Hole Sponsor: $150. Sponsors are recognized at the tournament, in Wire Journal International and on signage at the course. These can be added during registration, and returning sponsors receive right of first refusal to renew their previous sponsorship.

Items for raffle prize drawings are also encouraged. Please remember to attach your business card so that your contribution can be recognized during the drawing. For more details, contact: WAI’s John Markowski, tel. 203-458-4044, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Participation in the tournament helps the WAI Midwest Chapter Scholarship Fund provide financial assistance to graduating high school seniors and enrolled college students who are children or dependents of WAI Midwest Chapter members in good standing. The program, which is operated in conjunction with The Wire Foundation Inc., was started in 2008.

3/4/2022  On many levels, the New England Chapter had much to rejoice over at its Feb. 24th annual meeting: it was again able to be held in-person, it was at an even better location in the Mohegan Sun Casino, attendance was very respectable, and there was a lot to look forward to.

The event, held at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theater, provided lots of comfortable elbow space for the 97 attendees, a very respectable number that does not include WAI staff. The new officers for the chapter are President Michael Sarni, Insulated Wire; Vice President Jessica Foss, Electric Cable Compounds, Inc.; Treasurer Ryan Carbray, AlphaGary; and Secretary Sean Dezalia, EIS Wire, Inc. Other 2022 board members include Joel Cacopardo, Radio Frequency Systems; Jim Evans, Web Industries, Inc.; Michael Mathiasen, Mathiasen Machinery, Inc.; Harish Panchal, HP Technologies LLC; Lori Parent, Delta Technic; Jason Ponce, Harbour Industries LLC; Jonathan Rufe, Rainbow Rubber and Plastics, Inc.; Michael Roussel, Celanese Corp.; Jason Sterndale, Quabbin Wire & Cable; and Robert Swanson, Jr., United Wire & Cable.

Speaking remotely, Champlain Cable Group President William Reichert welcomed fellow chapter members, and spoke about the challenges of the supply chain, a topic that all could relate to. There was also discussion about two events, the golf tournament on Sept. 12th and an Oct. 25 educational program. Below are thoughts from the officers about the meeting, which featured much camaraderie as well as discussions on activity to come.

“Everyone in attendance was happy to be out ‘beyond the Zoom’,” said Sarni, who made it a point to meet with each attendee. He said that one of the main chapter focuses this year will be coming up with unique ways to increase membership, making it beneficial for companies to allow their employees to join and hopefully be active.

Dezalia observed that a lot of the chapter focus is rightfully on educational events and scholarship programs, but being together again for the annual meeting was special. “Wire and cable is an old and close-knit group, and being able to get everyone together at the annual meeting provided an amazing opportunity for old friends to catch up, discuss industry trends, and impart their love for this field to the next generation.”

The chapter’s annual meeting provides a feel for the pulse of the industry, but more than just that, Carbray said. “Beyond connecting with peers, customers, suppliers and other auxiliary companies, members see the value of networking, collaborating on solutions, and cherish the value in giving back through the scholarship program.”

Despite not being able to be at the meeting, Foss said that she always enjoys the opportunity to hear and talk to cable manufacturers and material suppliers in person, “It’s not often I have the opportunity to network with such a diverse group of industry colleagues at one time.”

More event news will be presented in future issues.

3/4/2022  The event prequel in the WJI March issue outlines all the elements that will be part of the WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo 2022 when it is held June 7-8 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Below is a bullet list of some of what will be included.

• Education. WAI will present its popular one-day Fundamentals course that provides a solid grounding in the essentials of wire and cable manufacturing.
• Featured speakers. These include Brian Schulties, chief procurement officer, Prysmian Group, North America, “The new normal in raw material procurement for the wire and cable industry”; Ty Garrison, senior vice president of operations, Commercial Metals Co. “Rising to the challenges”; and Kevin Heffernan, vice president sales, Encore Wire Co., “Encore’s Success Story”
• Exhibits. At press time, 107 slots on the show floor had been taken.
• Presentations. A full program has been scheduled that supports the theme, “Rising to the Challenges.”
• Industry recognition. WAI will honor the winners of the Mordica, Donnellan and President’s awards.
• Plant tour. Attendees will tour Encore Wire’s McKinney campus, which has seen an amazing pace of continuous expansion.
• Reception. The WAI will hold this at Monduel’s Atrium, conveniently located inside the host hotel.
• Networking. It’s not on the official schedule, but the entire event offers endless possibilities.

Please visit WAI's official WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo 2022 site here: https://www.wireexpo22.com/

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