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A Conversation with Stephen Leonetti, IMC MetalsAmerica

Steve Leonetti, CEF, MBA, has spent the past 30+ years in the electroplating and surface finishing industry, and joined IMC MetalsAmerica, a leading copper rod and copper anode supplier, as executive vice president in 2016.
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Stephen Leonetti

Stephen Leonetti

Steve Leonetti, CEF, MBA, has spent the past 30+ years in the electroplating and surface finishing industry, including stints at Enthone and MacDermid. He even financed his college degrees by working in chrome plating. He also served a number of years as chairman of the Marketing Committee for the Metal Finishing Suppliers Association. He joined IMC MetalsAmerica, a leading copper rod and copper anode supplier, as executive vice president in 2016.


PF: What has kept you in the finishing industry for more than 30 years?
SL: A passion for surface prep and surface finishing. In addition, it has been my true pleasure meeting countless wonderful people, while being welcomed into finishing operations worldwide.

Q: How did you get your start in the industry?
SL: Hard Chrome plating financed my college degrees. I began working at Superior Tibon Plating in Southport, Connecticut, at the age of 18.

Q: You’ve been on the chemical side and now on the anode side. Any difference?
SL: No difference whatsoever regarding interacting/understanding people and their needs.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you were given, either personally or professionally, and who gave it to you?
SL: Both Mom and Dad taught us to “shut up and listen,” reminding their four children “you have two ears and one mouth, so listen twice as much as you speak.”

Q: What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?
SL: While I worked constantly growing up, my first official job was at Superior Tibon Plating of Connecticut, where I received training from Bob Ersham and Chuck Szaley (for which I will always be grateful), regarding homebrew electroless nickel, high-speed hard chrome and composite plating processes.

Q: If you had $100,000 to give to a charity, which one would it be?
SL: Wounded warriors.

Q: What was your first car?
SL: Plymouth Duster.

Q: What is your dream car?
SL: Maserati GranCabrio.

Q: What leadership traits have helped you along the way?
SL: Integrity, goal-oriented, driven.

Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
SL: NBA superstar.

Q: Night owl or early bird?
SL: Early bird.

Q: Favorite place you’ve ever lived?
SL: My present home on the Connecticut shore.

Q: If you could trade jobs with anyone for a day, who would it be?
SL: The POTUS.

Q: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday?
SL: Visiting my parents, who are rapidly approaching their 70th wedding anniversary!

Q: Best way to keep competitive edge?
SL: Daily workouts.

Q: Personal heroes?
SL: My wife Carol, for her passion to help others, and my parents Constance and Steve, for their commitment to each other and their family.

Q: How do you motivate people?
SL: Leading by example (never asking anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself), passion, maintaining a positive additive and a history of treating/rewarding people fairly.

Q: How do you motivate yourself?
SL: Setting goals.

Q: Three greatest passions?
SL: Family, faith and work.

Q: Most unique office décor?
SL: A hand-painted classic — a frog choking a heron as it is being swallowed, with the caption “never give up.”

Q: Best business decision?
SL: Joining IMC MetalsAmerica.

Q: What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?
SL: “Stop to smell the roses.”

Q: Word that best describes you?
SL: Resolute.

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