40-Under-40: Class of 2017

Chicago’s Amanda Beach leads the 2017 Products Finishing list recognizing tomorrow’s leaders in the finishing industry.
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It was the shoes. Who knew?

It was the footwear that made the difference for Amanda Beach when she first started out in the surface finishing industry, first as a researcher for a major liquid and powder coating manufacturer and then as a sales rep for a chemical company.

She would make the trek into dozens of plating shops throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana, and the bright-eyed 26-year-old would often have a hard time forging a relationship because of perceived inexperience.

Then one day, a Chicago shop owner she was visiting—one of several times she had tried to win his business—happened to glance down at her feet, and saw her gnarly steel-toed footwear, well-worn and discolored by the stains of pretreatments and baths.

“He looked down and saw what I was wearing, which were disgusting and caked up with plating goop,” says Beach, now the lab manager for South Holland Metal Finishing in Illinois. “He just stared, and said ‘I wish I would have noticed your boots earlier, because if you didn’t know what you were doing, then they wouldn’t look like that.’”

Beach—who completed her coursework to become a Certified Electroplater Finisher—leads the 2017 Products Finishing list of 40-Under-40 in the finishing industry.

Chicago Midwest Chapter NASF President

At 33, she has expanded her career not only professionally in such a short time, but is also giving back as president of the Chicago Midwest Chapter of the National Association for Surface Finishing, one of the most active affiliates of the NASF.

“There is a bigger purpose than just working in the finishing industry,” Beach says. “The things we do as a group of people are very important, and it’s not just the networking. It’s the chance to meet others who have similar interests and share ideas and concerns. It really is the lifeblood of the surface finishing industry.”

Precision Plating’s Rebecca Bennett met Beach four years ago at a Chicago NASF meeting.

“I had no idea where she had come from, but I started to see her at every event,” says Bennett, who is on the NASF national board and on the Chicago board. “She was rapidly becoming very active.”

The duo quickly became friends and helped run many of the Chicago events, including the golf outing and the new Chicago Midwest Chapter Sustainability Summit held last year in Wisconsin, including two Milwaukee and Rockford chapters.

“Amanda was instrumental to get those associations to join in the preparation of the Sustainability Summit,” Bennett says. 

“She is not one to sit on the sidelines; she participates in planning and organizing the beneficial programs and activities for the members of the chapter, and she follows through with all of her commitments.”

Beach graduated from Cleveland State University with a physics degree, and parlayed that into a research position with Sherwin-Williams, a position she held until joining Columbia Chemical in 2011 and eventually moved to Chicago to service that region.

It was in the Windy City that she got involved with the NASF chapter, and credits Bennett and Rick Delawder of SWD Inc. with mentoring her and pointing her in the right direction.

“I didn’t know anything about finishing until I got out of college,” she says. “But I really grew to like this industry because of the challenges of the day-to-day work and the people in it.”

From Supplier to Job Shop

Beach joined South Holland Metal Finishing in Monee, Illinois, in late 2016 as their lab manager, overseeing a team that insures the finisher is meeting its numerous accreditation standards. SHMF specializes in zinc plating and heat-treatment, primarily serving the fastener and metal stamping industries since its founding in 1981.

Starting her career on the supplier side, Beach says she now enjoys seeing the industry from a job shop perspective.
“I get the entire picture, where I may not have seen it before when I was representing a supplier,” she says. “The everyday challenges are enormous, but I have a greater respect now than I had before of what shops go through, and why they make the decisions they do. I truly enjoy what I do.”

When she isn’t in the plating lab, Beach often finds herself enjoying friends in Chicago and being a member of the city’s astronomy club, which isn’t surprising since her parents met at NASA. Beach mockingly describes the clubs’ get-togethers as a nerd convention.

“To me, it’s just a cool thing to look up and see what is out there,” she says.

Thankfully, the Chicago plater from years ago looked down at Beach’s shoes, and gave her the chance to blossom in the finishing industry.  



We surveyed job shops and suppliers to find 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are making a difference in the finishing industry, both in their businesses and in the finishing community. 

The recipients were chosen based on leadership and potential leadership—whether it is in the company they work for, or in their industry involvement. 


2017 Products Finishing 40-Under-40

Laura Abad Surface Solutions Group
Shannon Arima-Petersen Associated Plating Co.
Stacey Bales Bales Metal Surface Solution
Jamie Barrus Alpha Metal Finishing
Amanda Beach South Holland Metal Finishing
Jordan Beavers Metal Chem Inc.
Kristen Boyd Axalta Coating Systems
Phil Brockman Techmetals Inc. 
Nicholas Capalbo New Method Plating Inc. 
Riley Cole Parker Ionics
Eric Davis KVF-Quad Corp. 
Kathleen Deady Westside Finishing Co. Inc. 
Joseph Dudenhoeffer Klein Plating Works Inc. 
Jake Fisher Asterion LLC
Mariann Fuller Columbia Chemical Corp. Inc. 
Meagan Gaillard Georgia Powder Coating Inc. 
James Galvan Valley Chrome Plating Inc. 
Jason Gatton Pneu-Mech Systems Mfg. LLC
Jennifer Geesey Pavco Inc.
Rick Gehman Keystone Koating LLC
Joshua Gilmore IntelliFinishing
Fernando Carminholi SurTec
Brian Gove Colonial Processing Inc.
Ben Hill Brose Tuscaloosa
Charles Howard Jr.  Colorado Plating
Christy Kavanaugh Dynapower
Ben Lambers Hohman Plating and Mfg. 
Chase Lightner TCI Powder Coatings
Ryan McBath Atotech USA
Britanny Morgan Triple Cities Metal Finishing
John Mulder Master Finish Co.
Chrissy Pullara MacDermid Enthone
Ana Ramos Coating Technologies Inc.
Adam Riese Honeywell Aerospace
David Shade General Metal Finishing
Joseph Starc Coventya
Ben Stratton Corrotec Inc.
Tony Van Wyk Co-Line Welding
Chris Wolkerstorfer Wolkerstorfer Co.
Denny Young General Metal Finishing


Laura Abad, Quality Manager CQE  |  Surface Solutions Group

Laura started as an inspector in 2006 and became the quality manager in 2009. She maintained QMS in compliance to ISO 9001:2008 standard for Orion and Dimension Bond for six years and in 2015 led the team to successfully achieve AS9100 certification.


Shannon Arima-Petersen, Vice President  |  Associated Plating Company

Shannon’s career in the plating industry spans over two decades. At 18 she was hired as a part-time clerical position at a plating shop, and has gained valuable knowledge and experiences in estimating, planning, production, quality and financials. CEO Mike Evans says her leadership is invaluable to the the company. He says Shannon's commitment to continuous improvement has kept her climbing the ladder all the way to the top.

Over the past 20 years, she has been promoted from her original position of planner to office manager, controller, and currently the vice president. Shannon, her husband, and two daughters reside in Long Beach, California, along with their two dogs, fish and desert tortoise.


Stacey Bales, President  |  Bales Metal Surface Solutions

Stacey has worked in almost every department at Bales Metal Surface Solutions for the last 20 years, and became president in 2010. She drives long-term strategic vision, is responsible for financial management and legal matters, and is the company spokesperson. Stacey—along with her sister Sara—were both just in their 20s when they came to be in charge of Bales following their father’s sudden passing. Their abiding goal since has been to carry on his vision, dream and passion for the company.

Stacey serves on the board of the Chicago Midwest Chapter of NASF and the Chicago Surface Finishing Foundation. She also places a priority on staying engaged in the industry and mentoring other manufacturing leaders. Her efforts were recognized by the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA), which honored her with the first award recognizing enterprising young leaders who blaze new trails in the manufacturing industry. They even named the award for her: the Stacey Bales Young Leader Award.


Jamie Barrus, Quality Assurance Manager  |  Alpha Metal Finishing

Jamie began at Alpha Metal Finishing 18 years ago. In 2011, Jamie was promoted to production manager due to her exceptional leadership and team building skills. Now, as Alpha’s quality manager, she demonstrates a passion to improve systems and processes. Jamie is dedicated to Alpha’s culture and values and strives to give each customer a remarkable experience with her smile and positive energy. Jamie earned her associate degree in business and wants to pursue her bachelor's.

Owner Greg Wood says Jamie demonstrates exceptional leadership for the company on a daily basis in multiple ways. “She manages our quality system and schedule with excellence,” he says.

Her creative side shows itself in her love for photography and scrapbooking. Jamie is married to Chad, Alpha’s process manager, and they have a daughter, BrieAnna.


Jordan Beavers, Technical Director  |  Metal Chem

Jordan oversees the formulation and implementation of electroless nickel technologies, and specializes in new customer installations and North America technical support. As R&D manager, he and the team have successfully launched new and industry-leading low, mid, high, boron and black EN processes. He is the second vice president of the NASF Palmetto chapter.

Says Twin City Plating President Ben Minger: “We lean heavily on our vendor’s support in troubling times, and some suppliers are slow to answer phone calls, emails and requests for aid. That has not been the case with Jordan. He’s been consistently right there for us, even though he’s hundreds of miles away.”


Kristen Boyd, Marketing Manager  |  Axalta Coating Systems

Kristen is the marketing manager for Axalta Coating Systems, Industrial Coatings North America. She began her career in Houston serving in a series of leadership roles in various industries. 

Currently, Kristen manages the industrial marketing team that supports Axalta’s industrial liquid and powder businesses of North America. 

Her coworkers say that in the past three years, Kristen has totally reshaped Axalta’s marketing efforts for North American industrial coatings. They say she has been critical in driving continued value, support and continuous improvement for the sector. She has more than 16 years of marketing communications, strategic planning, branding, public relations, graphic design, layout and advertising experience and has been responsible for spearheading many programs that have brought value and innovation.


Phillip Brockman, President  |  Techmetals

Phillip runs one of the larger finishing shops in the U.S. after holding positions in R&D, operations and business development. He is on the NASF national board and a member of Nadcap Chemical Processing and Coatings groups. Phillip has earned two engineering degrees and an MBA.


Nick Capalbo, Vice President  |  New Method Plating

Nick is only 37 years old, but has been a part of the metal finishing industry since he was old enough to walk. His curiosity and understanding of all technical aspects of electroplating goes back for decades.

As the vice president of facilities at New Method Plating and part of the third-generation management team, Nick is responsible for not only keeping all the current process lines running smoothly, but also making the necessary innovative process and equipment changes to keep up with the dynamic aerospace and defense industry requirements, a large and critical part of the daily routine in the finishing industry.

His father, Ralph, says Nick works tirelessly with his older brother Chris toward the goal of product realization through creative and innovative thinking. Nick and his wife, Angela, have two daughters, Isabella and Sabrina. His hobbies include antique tool collection and classic car restoration.


Fernando Goncalves Carminholi, Regional Sales Manager  |  SurTec

Born in Brazil, Fernando earned chemical engineering and post-graduate business degrees before starting in the finishing industry in 2000. In Brazil, he started in the technical laboratory and applications for plating.

By 2013, he took on the challenge to join SurTec North America as a new branch in North Carolina to develop and provide support for international customers in industrial parts cleaning metal pretreatment, functional and decorative electroplating, and U.S. automotive light car makers. Today, Fernando is part of the international specialist SurTec team for electroplating functional and decorative plating.


Riley Cole, Regional Sales Manager  |  Parker Ionics

Riley developed a keen interest in working in the lab and moved into sales in 2014. He has been involved with several high-tech projects, and has an understanding of the demands of automation-based projects. Riley participates as an active leader in the lab portion of the PCI's Advanced Powder Coating seminars.


Eric Davis, General Manager  |  KVF Quad Corp.

Eric began in high school job as a powder coater at KVF Quad and says he is humbled to work for such a great company with amazing people. He has brought leadership to the sales and operations system, and developed audit plans for KVF’s ISO system.


Kathleen Deady, Office Manager/ISO Manager  |  Westside Finishing

Kathleen started at Westside as HR and safety manager, then took on her new role, where for the last four months, she has worked on changing the structure of the company’s Quality Management System to certify to ISO 9001:2015 standard.


Joseph Dudenhoeffer, President  |  Klein Plating Works

A fourth-generation owner, Joe became president in 2006 and turned around a struggling company. He received his MBA from Penn State and implemented a culture of efficiency, continual improvement, accountability and excellence. The company has flourished, which he attributes to his employees.


Jake Fisher, Technical Sales Representative  |  Asterion

Jake has been with Asterion for just over three years, and in that time, has risen from a technician to field service to a technical salesperson managing a territory. Asterion president Blair Vandivier says Jake is committed to the company, his customers and the industry. 

His chemistry degree has enabled him to quickly grasp issues in metal finishing and electroplating, and he is a quick learner who works with customers to provide long term solutions rather than quick fixes. Jake is an accomplished technical author, and has presented papers to industry gatherings on electroplating and pretreatment. 


Mariann Fuller, Vice President  |  Columbia Chemical

Mariann is responsible for overseeing the accounting, customer service and purchasing departments. She is also in charge of administering employee benefit programs, and was instrumental in taking the company to 100-percent employee owned in 2011. 

Throughout her career, she has had the responsibility of leading different departments at Columbia Chemical and has approached this responsibility with a focus on developing the members of these teams so that they can reach their professional goals. Mariann is involved in the strategic planning, financial statements, budgeting, leadership of the company and also serves on the Board of Directors.

She has been with Columbia Chemical for 11 years in various accounting positions. Mariann is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Management Accountant and holds a master’s in business administration from Cleveland State University.


Meagan Gaillard, Director of Operations  |  Georgia Powder Coating

Meagan has grown with George Powder Coating over the last 10 years, starting in accounting and now overseeing scheduling, purchasing, human resources and many aspects of office administration. Vice President of Sales Dallas Cooley says, “She is a caring leader to the staff that directly report to her. Her work ethic is machine-like; if anything, we try to idle her down.”

Her contribution to the company is felt and appreciated far and wide. Says Cooley: “To replace her would take more than one person, I’m sure. Her spirit of ‘can do’ is contagious. She is making a difference in the industry.”


James Galvan, Plating Supervisor  |  Valley Chrome Plating

James has been with the shop for 22 years, and has mastered the company’s zero discharge systems, including ion exchange, and has added his own touches such as developing waste treatment alternatives for trivalent chrome instead of hex chrome. He also oversees compliance with ISO 9001 specifications.


Jason Gatton, Special Projects Manager  |  Pneu-Mech Systems

Jason began at Pneu-Mech in 1996 with the installation teams in the field, learning how finishing systems are installed and operated.“He was a nuts and bolts guy,” says Jim Andrews, Pneu-Mech president. After proving his capabilities, Jason was moved into manufacturing, gaining additional experience assembling system components. In 2002, he transitioned to design/estimating, working even closer with engineering and sales. Because of his extensive experience, it was recognized that he would be a great addition to the sales team.

In 2005, Jason moved to system sales for 10 years, learning how to develop relationships and how the finishing industry worked. Jason was then promoted to special projects manager, where he is responsible for managing the design, sales and final acceptance of special projects related to automotive, electrocoat and global accounts. 

“Jason is extremely organized and is very knowledgeable in his field,” says Peter Dority with Coral Chemical. “It is really amazing that he has been with the same organization for 20 years and has been in every role. With this much experience, you would expect him to have gray hair.” 

John Cole from Parker Ionics says Gatton is a seasoned veteran. “I know Jason truly enjoys working in the industry and has worked on some pretty elaborate projects, and has been mentored by some of the best,” says Cole. “I have always enjoyed his exuberance when discussing industry issues and opportunities. It is quite refreshing.”

Frank Knoth is president of the Crown Group, a large component finisher to OEMs in the U.S., and he also enjoys working with Gatton on projects.“Jason is a terrific family man, a true professional and very much a team player within his organization as well as working with his clients in the industry,” says Knoth. 

“We truly appreciate his focus and contributions as a supplier and his support to our company.”


Jennifer Geesey, Analytical and Corrosion Lab Manager  |  Pavco

Jennifer started working for Pavco after graduating from Penn State, and in the past 10 years has shown a deep interest and aptitude for the metal finishing industry. Starting as a service lab technician, she quickly rose through the ranks and accepted leadership roles and management responsibilities. Along with attaining her CEF certification, Jennifer manages the service and corrosion lab within Pavco, allowing her to become a trusted source in the understanding of corrosion testing and in the install and maintenance of metal finishing technologies. President Craig Pavlish says Jennifer has put herself in an excellent position to rise into further management roles.


Rick Gehman, President  |  Keystone Koating

Rick has served as president of Keystone Koating for the past five years. The job shop coating plant has two locations in central Pennsylvania, operating three production lines as well as three batch systems. Rick started in the powder coating production line 10 years ago, and advanced until he was managing the production lines, batch systems and a blast room.

He transitioned to an executive leadership position four years ago with a goal to influence the culture at Keystone to reflect the corporation’s mission statement “to use our God-given talents and ingenuity to benefit our customers, employees, the church and community.”

GM Ernest Satuffer says that Rick has fostered an environment that has allowed the employees to flourish. “His willingness to allow the team to maintain autonomy in the workflow has produced excellent results. He promotes a healthy work culture as being the most important focus for the leadership team and the overall team,” Satuffer says.

Rick is a believer in keeping it simple, and says each Keystone person is expected to believe the best in each other, go the extra mile, choose to trust and put others first.


Josh Gilmore, System Design/Sales |  IntelliFinishing

Josh has spent the last several years as a system designer after arriving at IntelliFinishing with a degree in architecture and graduate studies in business from Kansas State. 

He has excelled in developing systems with an acute awareness of spatial recognition and design rules. As an active member of PCI and CCAI, Josh is fully immersing himself in the finishing industry and hopes to shape the industry in the future.

He is also a renowned country swing dancer, and is well-known in the Oklahoma City area for his skills on the dance floor. His varied interests also include haunted house design, and he participates yearly as a volunteer with a local church youth group in the design and operation of their annual Haunted Trail fundraising event. 


Brian Gove, Vice President  |  Colonial Processing

Brian has over 20 years’ experience in the steel processing industry. His grandfather, Jack, established the company in 1971, and Brian joined his father, Steve, in 2009 to manage the business, which specializes in preparing ferrous and non-ferrous metals for painting and high performance coatings. It is a SSPC-QP3 certified paint shop; an internationally recognized program that evaluates the practices of shop painting facilities. 

In 2015, Brian became solely responsible for all business operations. He graduated from Rutgers University in 2003 with a bachelor's in business management. 


Benjamin Hill, Maintenance Manager  |  Brose Tuscaloosa Inc.

Benjamin is an electrocoating specialist whose skill has brought awards and recognition to a facility whose captive shop was a new technology five years ago. His philosophy is: "achievement lies in the development of the people."


Charles Howard Jr., President  |  Colorado Plating

Charles began his career with Aero Propeller and Accessories in 1996 as an airframe and powerplant mechanic, and two years later was given the task of building the company’s cadmium plating operations. After 18 years, he purchased the plating shop.

Since then, sales have increased over 75 percent with his strong aviation relationships that have been built over the years, and has focused the shop on supplying high-quality cadmium plating tailored to the aerospace, automotive, motorcycle and defense industries.

In his role as president of Colorado Plating, Charles works closely with production, quality and shipping to ensure that customers receive quality plating at the shop, which is now an FAA Repair Station.


Christy Kavanaugh, Sales/Application Engineer  |  Dynapower

Christy grew up in Vermont, where her family consisted of hard working farmers, carpenters, teachers and artists. After getting her biochemistry degree, she began a five-year career in the semiconductor industry before joining Dynapower in 2016 on the industrial team. Her hobbies include coed soccer, live music, enjoying local crafted microbrews, volunteering and spoiling her nephews.


Ben Lambers, Director of Engineering  |  Hohman Plating

Ben joined Hohman two years ago with an extensive background in carbon composite friction materials and manufacturing process development. He manages 10 process engineers and technicians, providing inventive metal finishing solutions for an extensive customer base on an array of applications. Ben has overseen the launch of a new facility installation for aerospace primer applications and several new plating processes.

A licensed engineer, he has a passion for engineering mentorship and wants to cultivate young engineering talent through Hohman’s engineering co-op program. Ben serves on the Board of Governors at the Engineers Club of Dayton and the Strategic Planning Committee for the School of Engineering at the University of Dayton.


Chase Lightner, Sales Representative  |  TCI Powder Coatings

Chase joined TCI Powder Coatings in 2010 immediately after college, following his father, Todd, who has been with the company for 25 years. He earned his stripes in the laboratory and quality control before becoming a technical services representative first in Illinois, then in the Carolinas. Chase has been active on the board of the Northern Illinois chapter of CCAI, serving as vice president in 2016.

In his free time, he enjoys water skiing, hunting and golf. Those who know Chase say he is the consummate southern gentleman, and that he is intelligent, hard working and successful, yet humble and honest.


Ryan McBath, Product Marketing Manager  |  Atotech USA

Ryan joined Atotech USA after graduating with a bachelor of science and master of science in chemical engineering from Clarkson University, and was soon introduced to the world of electroplating as a technical service/sales trainee. He soon relocated to Kentucky for two years as a product support specialist, and his work focused on helping customers troubleshoot plating issues, and investigate new opportunities for process improvement.

During that time, Ryan also became heavily involved with Atotech’s auxiliary equipment group. In 2015, he accepted his current position and relocated back to South Carolina where, in his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, landscaping, and days with friends on Lake Hartwell.


Brittany Morgan, Vice President  |  CH Thompson Finishing

Brittany is a CPA with a different outlook on the finishing industry. Those at CH Thompson Finishing (CHT) say she continues to flourish on new strategies with a positive ‘gung ho’ attitude. Brittany worked in the factory at Triple Cities Metal Finishing during high school, and graduated magna cum laude from Kings College in 2010 with majors in accounting and marketing and a minor in business administration.

She worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Australia and New York, as well as several investment firms before joining Triple Cities Metal Finishing in 2015, where she facilitated the acquisition of CHT Finishing that year.


John Mulder, Chief Operating Officer  |  Master Finish Co.

John spent the first decade of his career in plastics engineering, but in 2010 took a position with Master Finish Co., founded by his grandfather in 1959. John has CEF-3 certification and is transitioning to the role of president of the company in 2018 when his father, Dale Mulder, retires. John is president of the Michigan chapter of the NASF. John has three daughters, Kelsey, Paige and Madelyn, and is active in his church.


Chrissy Pullara, Decorative Business,  Development and Product Manager  |  MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions

Chrissy has over 15 years of industry experience, including research and development, technical service and marketing. She has been involved with the development of new technologies and works closely with automotive, motorcycle, plumbing and consumer goods OEMs to ensure that these technologies meet the highest standards of aesthetics and performance.

She joined MacDermid after getting her chemistry degree from Bucknell University. During the following five years, she accepted increasing responsibility in applications while achieving her masters in chemistry. Chrissy expanded her expertise to the industrial business, where she quickly learned the decorative technology for which MacDermid is famous.

She grew to take on management of the entire decorative product line, and also assumed responsibility for business development for the decorative portfolio of technology. She is now recognized as an industry expert in decorative finishes throughout the automotive supply chain.


Ana Ramos, Production Coordinator  |  Coating Technologies

Ana joined the Coating Technologies (CT) team in 2013, and her desire for excellence and eye for detail meant she moved up very quickly to final inspection. 

As the company grew, it developed a need for a new position of production coordinator, and Ana's outgoing personality, willingness to learn and potential for professional growth made her a natural fit for this dynamic opportunity. 

In her role, she updates and schedules daily production with an emphasis on customer satisfaction. She interfaces with management, floor personnel, customers and administrators—not a role for the faint hearted. Her supervisors say the company’s reputation is directly related to Ana’s communication within CT and with customers, plus her ability to coordinate large volumes of orders. She is the mother to three children, Sebastian, Michael and Naomi.


Adam Riese, Product Design Engineer II  |  Honeywell Aerospace

Adam’s role includes engineering support for plating of high-reliability satellite hardware, and is responsible for plating processes including silver, copper, gold, nickel, chromating and paint. Recently, Adam led the qualification of a new electroless nickel chemistry for space-rated production to improve finish quality and on-time delivery at lower cost.

He continues to develop improvements in silver plating for RF applications and new techniques for plating complex hardware including 3D printed parts. Adam has a degree in nanotechnology engineering and a master’s in materials engineering.


David Shade, Metal Finisher  |  General Metal Finishing

David has been working in the plating industry for 15 years, starting as a part handler at 18 and quickly moving up to metal finisher at General Metal Finishing to become a highly competent plater. Over the 10 years Dave has spent with GMF, he has stood out with his lead-by-example attitude that not only raised the quality of his work, but the quality of work of the people around him.

David earned his CEF this year and is working toward his CAF. For the past decade, he has taken on a leadership role at GMF while also taking on a notoriously tricky platinum plating line, where he not only extended the life of the baths, but expanded output and kept costs to a minimum, all while keeping the exceptional quality GMF is known for.


Joe Starc, Technical Service Manager  |  Coventya

Joe graduated from the College of Wooster in 2009 and began working at Coventya the next year. After working in the quality control department as a technician and quality control supervisor, he moved to his current role, where he oversees the technical service lab.

Coventya Vice President Mike Kelly says, “Joe demonstrates the characteristics that management looks for in a potential manager and leader. He has the respect of all management department heads and is a constant contributor/leader in interdepartmental meeting groups.”

Joe completed his CEF certification and is enrolled in the MBA program at Cleveland State University. Outside of work, Joe is an active member of the community, serving on the board of the Copley/Fairlawn Kiwanis, and is involved in volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cleveland, the Refugee Response, and the Akron/Canton Regional Food Bank.


Benjamin Stratton, Vice President  |  Corrotec

Ben joined Corrotec in 2013 as the 3rd generation of his family operating the company. Corrotec has seen tremendous year-over-year growth since then, due in part to Ben's involvement in all aspects of the organization. Ben has also taken an active role in the industry.

An attorney by trade, he educates the industry as a speaker at conferences, updating attendees on environmental regulations affecting surface finishing. He is a member of the 2017 Sur/Fin Steering Committee. As an advocate for small businesses and the surface finishing industry, Ben is an observing member of the Ohio Compliance Advisory and Pollution Prevention panel, advising regulators on the impact of new rules on Ohio’s businesses. He is a past chair of the Columbus Bar Association’s International Law Committee and is currently taking the NASF CEF course.


Tony Van Wyk, Finishing Supervisor  |  Co-Line Manufacturing 

Tony was asked several years ago to transition to supervising the paint department at Co-Line from his role as night shift supervisor. He accepted this challenge under the premise that it was an interim role (as it wasn't necessarily his first choice) and that it was the right thing to do for the company. 

The interim role is now permanent, and he oversees the entire finishing, assembly and packaging operations along with a specialized production welding team. 

Tony serves an important role in his community volunteering as a firefighter/EMT, EMS captain and Assistant Fire Chief. 


Chris Wolkerstorfer, Vice President  |  Wolkerstorfer Co.

Chris and his sister are 4th generation owners of a 120-year old company. He started working at Wolkerstorfer Co. part time when he was 16. He joined the company full time after obtaining his business management degree from the University of St. Thomas.

During that time, Chris worked in customer service, shipping and all production departments, a diverse background that has been beneficial in operations management. He has been instrumental in Wolkerstorfer's transition from being primarily an architectural and industrial finishing company to an aerospace and defense finishing company.


Denny Young, President  |  DJ Powder Coating

Denny started powder coating at 14, when he was racing ATVs nationally, and would coat his own ATV and those of his friends. As a high school senior, he forged a beautiful powder coated iron mailbox stand for his senior project.

Denny established DJ Ironworks and continued making his patent pending mailbox stands, and DJ Powder Coating was formed in his dad's backyard. In 2011, he was asked to do a major three-year contract with a large company, so he hired employees and rented space.

Since then they have increased space three times, purchased another large oven and booth, a new blasting room and now have 12 employees. At the age of 29, Denny now has 10 years of experience servicing numerous industries with a great team of employees making sure all their clients are completely satisfied. His company is closing in on $1 million in sales in 2017.


For more information on the Products Finishing 40-Under-40 program, visit www.pfonline.com/zones/40-under-40.


Originally published in the July 2017 issue.