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.
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?