President of Operations
Thomas Ziegler has over 40 years of experience in the aluminum extrusion and fabrication industry and has been with Gateway Extrusions since 2006. In 2017, Ziegler was named President of Operations. He has directed progressive company expansions, added experienced managers and employees, and he has been instrumental in developing new markets for the company’s extrusion and finishing services. Since 2014, the company’s workforce has doubled to 130 employees, the factory’s production has doubled to over 12.8 million pounds of aluminum processed in 2017, and production for 2018 is expected to be over 16 million pounds.
Under Ziegler’s leadership, Gateway has expanded from exclusively serving its parent company to serving many companies in a broad array of industries such as automotive, shelving and storage, office furniture, displays, marine transportation, fencing and railing, lighting, and other window and window accessory manufacturers. Gateway has customers in nearly 30 states across the country.
Starting in 2015, Ziegler has been responsible for leading another significant multiyear phased expansion of the company. Gateway acquired its existing building which it had been leasing and bought the adjacent property for future expansion. The company invested in significant building renovations, purchased and installed new 7-inch and 9-inch aluminum extrusion presses. A major addition to the factory was built to accommodate a new vertical powder coat paint line that was installed in 2017. Further property improvements are underway.
Prior to joining Gateway Extrusions, Mr. Ziegler held positions of progressively greater responsibility at Alcoa; most recently he was Operations Manager for Alcoa’s 500,000 square foot extrusion manufacturing facility in Georgia. There he directed the production of 50 million pounds of aluminum building and construction products annually, increasing employee involvement and improving safety. Also while with Alcoa, he led the conversion of an existing Mississippi aluminum extrusion plant into an architectural storefront systems manufacturing facility.
Ziegler is an active member of The Aluminum Extruders Council, a national industry trade organization, where he previously held leadership positions. He is also active with local business and community organizations in the City of Union and Franklin County, MO.
Manager, Sales & Business Development
Jamie Winscher is responsible for directing all sales activities for Gateway Extrusions through a team of staff and independent sales representatives across the country. He develops product and fabrication pricing structures, sales budgets and goals. He also manages new business development and key account relations.
Winscher joined Gateway in July 2017, bringing nearly 30 years of experience with sales management in metal industries throughout the entire Midwest region, with prior sales positions for numerous manufacturers and distributors. Before coming to Gateway, Winscher worked at Hydro Aluminum North America as a Territory Manager, and at aluminum extruder MI Metals as a Sales Manager. He served customers in a variety of industries, including building products, transportation, and marine applications. Winscher previously worked in sales at EMJ Company, distributors of steel and aluminum bar, tubing, and plate.
Winscher earned his Bachelor of Business degree from Concordia University at its St. Louis campus, and has completed numerous sales, technical, and management continuing education courses and seminars.
Inside Sales Account Manager
Mike Ziegler is responsible for incoming sales for Gateway, from quotations and pricing through order processing and completion. He handles new business inquiries and works closely with production to ensure customer requests can be fulfilled efficiently and effectively.
Ziegler brings significant industry experience in the aluminum and metal industry to Gateway. He joined the company in 2008 after working with international aluminum manufacturer Alcoa in a variety of positions. At Alcoa, Ziegler served in quality control, environmental health and safety, aluminum casting, warehousing, and sales at two plant locations in the Southeast.
Ziegler holds an Associates Degree from Northwest Mississippi Community College
Joe Nobile has been an operations management professional for well over 30 years, 19 in the steel processing industry and 17 in the aluminum extrusion and fabrication industry. He has held management positions in operations, Director of quality, facilitator of ISO quality systems, director of safety, workers compensation administration, engineering, etc. The experiences gained in managing and implementing solutions to objectives in these diverse fields allows Nobile to have a broad thought process to decision making.
During Nobile’s 10 years as Chief Operations Officer in the aluminum industry he is known as a proactive procedural change agent with the ability to identify key objectives and facilitate tactics to achieve organizational growth. His successful leadership experience in management along with the team that was built, led his previous company, Northern States Metals, to grow from 17mil to over 60 mil and increase the employee team from 45 to 330.
Nobile is a member of the American Extruders Council, a national industry trade organization, and is a member of the American Society of Quality. He is also a member of the Association of Strategic Planning Professionals and has served on the Board of Directors of Second Harvest Foodbank.
Manager, Environmental Health & Safety
John Florian directs all Gateway environmental health, compliance, and safety programs. In this role, he is responsible for permitting and regulatory reporting, plant inspections, equipment hazards identification and remediation, employee personal protective equipment, and safety training at all staff levels. Joining Gateway in 2016, Florian has developed and implemented operating policies and procedures, and conducts periodic reviews to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.
In addition to serving as the lead safety manager for Gateway, Florian consults with executives and managers at Gateway’s parent company locations, providing expertise acquired through nearly 30 years of safety related experience. Prior to Gateway, Florian served as Safety Manager and Process Engineer for Graphic Packaging International at its Pacific, MO location, where he directed safety and operating programs for this manufacturer. Before entering the civilian workforce, Florian served for 23 years in the United States Air Force (USAF), most recently as Senior Test Director and Resource Advisor, and previously leading safety and environmental programs implementation and compliance.
Among many courses, Florian has completed US Department of Transportation (DOT) Safety and Hazardous Materials certification courses, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Electrical Safety Training certification. Florian is a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals.
Sean Kelleher, CPA
Sean Kelleher is the Controller for Gateway Extrusions and is responsible for all accounting transactions, financial statements, bank relations, accounts receivable and accounts payable. He coordinates with Gateway’s parent company for consolidated reporting. In addition to accounting, Kelleher is responsible for Gateway’s purchasing and information technology (IT) functions.
Kelleher joined Gateway in June 2013, with a broad background in auditing and business. Prior to Gateway, Kelleher was the senior auditor for Sailor Khan & Company, handling numerous and complex client audits across the Midwest. Before moving into auditing, he gained business experience in retail management for Walgreens, managing several stores around the St. Louis area.
Kelleher is a Certified Public Accountant, and earned his undergraduate degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO.
Manager, Production Planning
As Production Planning Manager, Tony Block is responsible for scheduling all customer orders from extrusion through delivery. He coordinates with every production department to ensure regular and special orders are scheduled efficiently to meet customer deadlines without delay or backlog. Block manages purchasing of aluminum billet and powder paint, including custom orders, for large batches.
With Gateway since 2013, Block has been in the aluminum and metal fabrication industries over 25 years. He brings extensive experience in all aspects of production and logistics operations, having served as Plant Manager for Sapa Extrusions in Miami, FL and General Extrusion in Youngstown, OH prior to Gateway. Block also has experience in metal fabrication and finishing of all types, through his work in office furniture and equipment manufacturing.
Block has participated in numerous industry-related continuing education courses and is member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Manager, Maintenance & Engineering
Simon Bradley is responsible for all maintenance programs for the entire Gateway facility. In this role, she is responsible for all machine and building repairs, establishes periodic maintenance schedules for all equipment, oversees building maintenance projects including tool and materials coordination, and works with all OEM and vendor firms. Bradley is working with the Plant Engineer to establish a key spare parts inventory for equipment. She is also working on refining the current PM program to reduce equipment downtime. Bradley is working with the Safety Manager to improve fire prevention and safety programs.
Joining Gateway in 2015, Bradley previously worked for AT&T as a network maintenance technician, where she was responsible for connectivity and server network operation. She earned a new Associates Degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from East Central College in Union, MO..
Mark Brewner oversees all plant engineering and maintenance projects for Gateway’s building and property facilities. He works with in-house maintenance staff and outside contractors to design, evaluate and develop projects and direct construction.
Prior to joining Gateway in 2018, Brewner worked for Western Extrusions in Carolton, TX in plant maintenance. He also worked for steel cord and wire manufacturer Bekaert Corporation at its Shelbyville, KY facility in maintenance, handling plant and equipment modifications, and at Bekaert Engineering in Chicago.
Brewner earned a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Technology at Bradley University in Peoria, IL
Manager, Powder Coat Paint Line
Kevin Donica directs the daily operation of Gateway’s powder coat paint line for all customer orders. He is responsible for powder inventory, coordinating with all vendors on standard and special colors to ensure customer orders are completed on schedule. Since he joined Gateway in 2016 and operation of the new powder paint line started, he has increased throughput from 1,800 pieces/12,000 pounds per shift to 3,400 pieces/20,000 pounds per shift.
Donica has extensive experience in manufacturing, including product paint finishing. Before coming to Gateway, he worked with Berco Furniture Solutions (now Berco Designs) in St. Louis, MO in positions of increasing responsibility to Plant Manager, overseeing all product manufacturing. Following this, Donica was instrumental in starting up Cedar Creek Building Supplies (now part of BlueLinx) new siding paint line, directing new equipment installation and organizing all processes.
Donica holds a BS in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University.
Manager, Extrusion & Die Shop
John Laffoon oversees all daily extrusion operations for Gateway, through a team of 30 employees. He is responsible for ensuring Gateway’s 7-inch and 9-inch presses are operating efficiently and assessing quality of extruded components. He also manages Gateway’s die and tooling shop with over 3,000 pieces, monitoring and correcting dies to ensure accurate extrusions. Laffoon directs employee training and development through on-the-job mentoring and experienced supervision as well as formal programs.
Prior to joining Gateway in 2013, Laffoon worked for Bonnell Aluminum Extrusion in Kentland, IN in positions of increasing responsibility, from extrusion technician to Operations Manager. With 30 years of experience in all aspects of aluminum extrusion and finishing, Laffoon brings significant expertise to Gateway, which has enabled the company to expand effectively and efficiently. He has participated in numerous industry-related continuing education courses.
John Zhao is responsible for analysis and improvement of Gateway’s production processes and quality, as part of the Quality and Engineering Department. He coordinates with production departments to review manufacturing statistics, identify opportunities for enhancing and streamlining processes, and anticipate problems to avoid production interruptions.
Zhao has been with Gateway since 2008, initially coordinating with Gateway’s parent company for shipping before overseeing logistics at the Union facility. Prior to Gateway, Zhao worked for an international shipping and logistics firm in Qingdao, China, serving Southeast Asia markets. Zhao earned an MBA from Salem International University in Salem, WV and holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification.
Elizabeth Saltzman is responsible for compensation and benefits, payroll administration, personnel policies and procedures, employee development and incentive programs. Elizabeth Saltzman is an HR professional with demonstrated strengths that include assessing organizational needs, setting strategic direction and implementing initiatives that enhance corporate performance with expanding companies. She is a polished communicator and highly-likable team builder who leads by example.
Prior to joining Gateway in 2018, Saltzman previously worked for the State of MO at the Department of Social Services for 5 years as an Eligibility Specialist. In this role, Saltzman would determine initial and continuing eligibility of medical coverage for low-income families utilizing the federal poverty income guidelines and standards. Also, Saltzman formerly worked in the HR department at a neighboring company where the turnover rate was reduced from 80% to 35% by developing a harmonious cultural environment. She tripled company headcount from 60 to 180 through strategic recruiting and staffing logistics including job fairs.
Elizabeth earned the Gold level NCRC (National Career Readiness Certificate) and scored Platinum in Applied Mathematics.