May 27, 2021

MSCI Annual Meeting: Broadening the Industrial Metals Community & Building a Trade Association of the Future

Newly-Elected Board Will Continue Focus on Delivering Virtual Content, Infrastructure Investment, Encouraging Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Sector

Contact MSCI:
Kerrie Rushton
202-365-6338 or 847-485-3000

Rolling Meadows, Ill., May 27, 2021 – The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) concluded its Virtual Annual Meeting of Members today, electing a new board that will continue to focus on how to expand the industry, attract a more diverse workforce, and build a modern trade association that responds to the changing demands of doing business in a post-pandemic world.

“Despite the existential threat from the pandemic and economic volatility, the industrial metals sector is strong,” said MSCI President and CEO M. Robert Weidner, III. “Our members are eager to get back to in-person networking and educational events. However, MSCI transitioned seamlessly to a ‘content on demand’ model, keeping our community connected, informed, and on the cutting edge in 2020 and into 2021. We remain committed to a new, multi-faceted system of delivering value to members. We must continue to embrace virtual  as well as return to in-person delivery of content, as we broaden our reach within member companies to include all levels of responsibilities, from entry level to C-suite. This approach will maximize member companies’ return on investment.”

MSCI’s primary task during the pandemic was to help member companies survive, hold the industrial metals community together, and help members prepare for an unknown future.

To achieve that goal, MSCI transitioned almost all of its educational offerings online and hosted more than 50 free topical webinars and conversations with industry CEOs that were open to all member company employees. The webinars attracted nearly 7,000 participants. MSCI also continued to provide its dynamic data offerings, which include the Metals Activity Report. The organization recently launched a Recovery Tracker, which uses high-frequency and alternative indicators to predict future economic activity.

Outgoing MSCI Board Chair Eddie Lehner, president and CEO of Ryerson in Chicago, spearheaded the launch of the organization’s “Let’s Build Now” initiative earlier this year. The program works to build momentum, awareness and support for infrastructure investment.

“I want to thank Bob and the MSCI team, the MSCI Board, and most importantly, our chapters and members for their enthusiasm, engagement, and resiliency over the past two years. I congratulate my friend and peer Rick Marabito on his election as MSCI Board chair. It was my good fortune to succeed Holman Head in this position, it is the MSCI’s better fortune to have Rick take the torch as chair as we emerge from the pandemic with shared strength and purpose,” said Lehner. “The ‘Build Now’ campaign is really the ‘Build Forever’ campaign since investment in the many dimensions of our infrastructure is the enabler for the quality of life and broadly shared prosperity we seek. We can no longer accept excuses and rationalizations for not making these investments.  The time is now and the time to build is always. These past two years have been all about creating a better member experience. It has been my true honor and joy to work with MSCI in furthering that mission.”

The “Let’s Build Now” campaign can be found at and by using #LetsBuildNow on social media.

Incoming Board Chair Richard T. Marabito, CEO of Olympic Steel in Cleveland, will continue to rally support for local, state, and federal investments in infrastructure. Marabito also emphasized the need to build a more diverse and inclusive industrial metals workforce.

“It is my honor to serve as the next Chair of the MSCI Board of Directors. I wish to thank Eddie Lehner for his vision, leadership, and drive to initiate our “Build Now” campaign. Investing in our infrastructure and advocating for a robust metals and manufacturing base at home has strong membership support,” said Marabito. “Together with my fellow directors and the MSCI team, we look forward to delivering member value through the momentum around ‘Build Now,’ our unique educational and data offerings, and the important industry relationships built through our live and virtual events.  I am most excited to help our members realize the many benefits of greater diversity and safety in our workforces.”

MSCI launched a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) task force nearly 12 months ago. Find out more about the Task Force and its work here.

In addition to Marabito, these individuals were elected to serve on MSCI’s Board of Directors:

  • John Ganem, CEO of Kloeckner Metals, headquartered in Roswell, Ga.;
  • Brian Hickey, president of Lapham-Hickey Steel Corp., headquartered in Chicago;
  • Karla Lewis, president of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., headquartered in Los Angeles;
  • Barbara Smith, chair of the board, president and CEO of Commercial Metals Company, headquartered in Irving, Texas; and
  • Theresa Wagler, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Steel Dynamics, Inc., headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind.

MSCI also presented awards to three outstanding members of the organization:

  • John C. Walmsley, sales manager at Mazzella FHS in Bartow, Fla. Walmsley received MSCI’s Jack Malec Chapter Leadership Award, which honors the tireless efforts of MSCI’s volunteer chapter leaders whose dedication, knowledge, time, and leadership make MSCI strong.
  • Gregg J. Mollins, former president and CEO of Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. in Los Angeles. Mollins received MSCI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization’s highest honor.
  • Maurice S. “Sandy” Nelson, Jr., former CEO of EMJ in Lynwood, Calif., PNA Group in Los Angeles, former president and CEO of Inland Steel Company in Chicago, and former senior executive with Alcoa. Nelson also received MSCI’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

About MSCI

Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute is a nonprofit association based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., serving the industrial metals supply chain. It serves more than 265 members in more than 2,200 locations in North America. For more information, visit, MSCI’s online resource, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and connect with us on LinkedIn.


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