Multiple Personalities with One Thing in Common: Integrity

mig_shoreby mtg 2 photo_webIt takes myriad types of characters, if you will, to keep a company balanced, forward-thinking and motivated. Magnus leaders are some of the most respected and accomplished performers in the industry. But that’s not all it takes to create a positive environment of innovation, loyalty and prosperity.

Whether it’s the long-term partnerships we’ve formed within the Magnus companies or the close affiliations we’ve developed in the field, we’re family business-minded when it comes to culture and big-business visionaries when it comes to creating natural, renewable products that we make in the USA. Above all, we’re all driven by integrity. That’s a Magnus expectation, not exception. We’re not afraid to have fun and a sense of humor either. All in all, these principles help us do good for people and the planet.

Eric Lofquist
Co-owner, President & CEO

mig_eric new bio pic_webSince 1988, Eric has been an accomplished entrepreneur with significant experience in natural products manufacturing and alternative fuels.

Prior to forming Magnus in 2007 with co-owner Scott Forster, Eric held various leadership and consulting positions in strategic planning, business development, product development and marketing.

The company’s innovations and growth have lead to a host of noteworthy awards, including Eric’s wins as Ernst & Young’s 2012 National and Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Of The Year for manufacturing and distribution.

Eric was selected as a judge for the 2013 Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur Of The Year competition and will be judging national EOY events from 2014 to 2016. In addition, he was a judge and panelist for the 2013 Smart Business Evolution in Manufacturing Conference. Eric was acting president of the Maingate Business Development Corporation in Cleveland and was also a member of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County Blue Ribbon Taskforce.

He graduated from Clarion State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business.

Scott Forster
Co-owner, Vice President & COO

mig_new bio photo webAn entrepreneur since his early 30s, Scott started in 1993 as a lab chemist for Northeast Chemical. He held a variety of positions at NEC, including logistics, processing and outside sales. Scott led the company’s drive for record revenue, profitability and customer retention, and at his peak, was directly responsible for more than 75 percent of total sales.

In 1997, he took a leadership role at Chemtron Corporation, where he managed the broker business and customer service group. He led the company to its first million-dollar month and expanded their capabilities to better serve a growing customer base. Following Chemtron, Scott co-owned an environmental services business for six years, then launched Magnus with Eric Lofquist in 2007.

Throughout his career, Scott has excelled at operations, client, product and staff development, and P&L management. He is also highly experienced with process flow, plant/product quality and safety, banking relationships and regulatory compliance.

At Magnus, Scott focuses on operations, new business ventures, marketing, human resources and finances. The company’s revenue growth and accomplishments in natural products development have resulted in numerous awards, including a No. 1 position on the Weatherhead 100 list of Northeast Ohio’s fastest growing organizations.

Scott received both his business degree and MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College.

Sharon Stefan
Corporate Controller

IMG_5516-sharon-edit_web bioSharon is an accounting professional whose career has spanned both public accounting and closely held companies. She has significant experience in GAAP, corporate taxes, management reporting and company financial statements. Sharon brings to Magnus her exceptional analytical skills, attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of numbers.

She manages the company’s financial system and helped to create standard accounting procedures for Magnus and all of its subsidiaries. Sharon works with the leadership team on special financial projects and analysis. She also coordinates all work with Magnus’ outside accounting firm.

Sharon prepares monthly, quarterly and annual financial statements and analyses, manages cash flow, handles financial forecasting and budgeting, and takes on other accounting and tax functions. She is also in charge of payroll and benefits administration.

Sharon has an MBA in accounting and a Bachelor of Science in business accounting. 

David Weiss
Vice President of Commercial Development

David brings 35 years of fats and oils management, manufacturing, accounting, formulation, and marketing and sales experience to Magnus International Group, which was initially one of his customers.

There is great synergy between Magnus’ expertise in naturally derived co-product utilization and David’s unique focus on oleochemical, vegetable oil refining and animal fat-rendering co-product applications for the industrial and animal nutrition markets.

Together, Magnus and David have built a platform unlike any other business with similar capabilities. This has propelled the company to a highly regarded, financially strong position among its suppliers and customers, and within the global fats and oils market.

He has a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

Gregg Rechner
Vice President of Technical Affairs

Gregg has spent 18 years in environmental recycling and manufacturing, where he also gained 14 years of laboratory management and analytical experience.

At Magnus, Gregg is responsible for meeting customer specifications, maintaining compliance standards and ensuring product quality.

He conducts research for new product development and oversees the day-to-day production schedule. Gregg also provides support for plant upgrade designs and new plant process designs.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Ohio University.

Jon Green
Production Manager

mig_jon new bio photo_webJon has spent eight years of his manufacturing career at our Hardy Road production facility in Ohio, the first three of which he worked for Twin Rivers Technologies. Magnus bought the 25-acre Painesville Township plant from Twin Rivers in 2007.

When the company formed Hardy Industrial Technologies and Hardy Animal Nutrition on that site, Jon gained five years of notable experience in high-temperature and flow-capacity distillation, high-pressure, flow-capacity reactor towers and hydrogenation reactors. He also has extensive knowledge of high-temperature, bulk liquid handling and shipping.

Today, Jon oversees our entire manufacturing operation, including product volume and quality, equipment and process maintenance, employee hiring, training and communication, and health and safety compliance.

Before Magnus, Jon was a foreman at a dry powder chemical plant (a division of Bayer) for four years, where he managed the top-producing crew and only team with no recordable safety incidents during his tenure. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a military police officer and was deployed to Iraq for a year.

Mubetcel Moorefield
Lab Manager

mig_mubetcel photo editedFor more than 20 years, Mubetcel has worked as a chemist and lab manager for noteworthy manufacturers such as STERIS Corporation. In these key product development roles, she gained significant scientific experience in the healthcare, rubber, plastics and asphalt industries.

Mubetcel’s areas of strength include product research, raw materials testing, experimentation and formulation, quality control, regulatory compliance, chemical hygiene and lab safety. She also has a strong background in customer support and marketing strategy.

For Magnus’ Hardy brands, Mubetcel manages the lab’s staff and employs instrumental analysis and wet chemical laboratory techniques to rigorously test inbound raw materials from the food industry. Co-products such as fats, oils and greases are refined and converted into natural liquid and solid animal feed ingredients, natural industrial and consumer waxes, and alternative fuels.

She has her master’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Florida.

Tom Szucs
Plant Engineer

mig_tom new bio photo_webTom has held key chemical engineering positions at Hardy Animal Nutrition since 2009. Before joining the company full time as product specialist, Tom interned for HAN for three consecutive summers while pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University in Ohio.

He was instrumental in the design and implementation of the company’s original prill tower, which in 2010 made Hardy the first full-service U.S. manufacturer, packager and distributor of natural animal feed ingredients for the cattle, poultry, swine and equine industries.

Tom was also integral in the research, development and construction management phases of HAN’s new, $20-million-dollar prill facility, which is our largest and most significant undertaking to date. There are only two similar operations nationwide, neither of which features all of HAN’s capabilities in natural products formulation.

Tom employs cost savings analysis, system optimization, project management and R&D skills to help advance HAN’s leadership role as producer of natural animal nutrition for some of the world’s largest food companies.

Brett Ayers
Product Manager

mig_brett photo editedBrett began with Hardy Industrial Technologies in utility operations in August 2013, shortly after earning a 4.0 GPA and master’s of international affairs from Texas A&M University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Denison University, where he graduated magna cum laude. In addition, Brett is a National Merit® scholar who has received a host of impressive academic awards and scholarships, including membership in the exclusive Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

Quickly becoming proficient in Hardy’s production of innovative oleochemicals from food industry co-products, Brett was promoted to shift supervisor in March 2014. He advanced to Magnus’ product manager, a corporate office position in Chagrin Falls, in November 2014.

In this role, he will apply his plant experience and exceptional problem-solving ability, communication skills and service attitude to source and procure raw materials such as vegetable oils and cooking greases used in our award-winning natural products manufacturing.

Chris Knight
Shift Supervisor

mig_chris knight bio photo webChris began his career with Hardy Industrial Technologies in March 2014 as a utility technician. He was promoted to shift supervisor in September of the same year, after quickly demonstrating a firm grasp on our one-of-a-kind natural products processing and manufacturing facility.

Chris came to Hardy with extensive leadership, training and security experience gained from his five-year enlistment with the U.S. Marine Corps’ fleet anti-terrorism security team. Achieving corporal rank, Chris was a squad leader with a reputation for meeting the most challenging operational goals. He was also in charge of more than $6M in equipment and weapons. One of his three deployments was to Guantanamo Bay, where he served as sergeant of the guard.

As shift supervisor for HIT, Chris brings his notable accomplishments in staff management and training, strategic planning, policy implementation, and inventory and budget control to our groundbreaking production of natural animal feed ingredients and innovative oleochemicals from food industry raw materials.

He is also on track to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in business finance in 2016.

Nick Pudder
Shift Supervisor

mig_nick pudder bio photo edited_webNick launched his career at Magnus’ Hardy Industrial Technologies in the summer of 2014 as a utility floater, primarily for our hydrogenation system. Gaining diverse experience plant-wide, he quickly established himself as a leader and critical thinker with complex problem-solving ability and great communication skills. Three months later, Nick was promoted to shift supervisor.

In his current role, he helps oversee total plant operations and is responsible for production, employee training and development, quality control, safety and compliance. Nick is enthusiastic about the record-setting pounds of material that Hardy is producing and about fine-tuning our processes to maximize the capabilities of our facility.

Outside his full-time position at the plant, he is a paid volunteer EMT-firefighter for the Northwest Ambulance District. Nick also worked in the ER at TriPoint Medical Center in Concord Township and as an EMT-firefighter for the City of Geneva, Ohio. Before these positions, he was a professional plumber in Virginia.

Nick holds an OSHA Safety Training certification. In addition to his Firefighter-EMS certification, he completed his National Incident Management System (NIMS) training through FEMA. Nick’s had nuclear radiation training, too, and is certified in CPR and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).

Ken Wheeler
Shift Supervisor

mig_ken wheeler bio photoKen came to Hardy Industrial Technologies with a decade of supervisory experience, the last five years of which were at Buckeye Aluminum Foundry in PA. There he was responsible for the production, work quality and safety of as many as 30 employees. Known for being motivated, adaptable, quick to learn and a great communicator, Ken has risen to management roles throughout his career at an impressive pace.

As a tool and die maker who also has extensive experience loading and unloading semi-trucks with a forklift, he is a supervisor who has always learned by doing. Additionally, Ken was in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft director in the hanger bay and on the flight deck of the USS Roosevelt.

At HIT, he employs his leadership expertise and troubleshooting capabilities to inspire his team to reach their daily manufacturing, product quality, training and safety goals. Bringing a strong sense of order and standardization to his work, Ken continues to be an instrumental part of our plant’s management staff and our drive for award-winning innovations in natural products refining and production.

Tom Burlinksi
Purchasing Manager

Tom comes to Magnus with more than 25 years of notable experience in purchasing, quality assurance, customer service, safety, transportation and production management for Northeast Ohio manufacturers, including Anchor Manufacturing Group and Slabe Machine.

He is highly proficient in materials procurement and delivery logistics, and has saved his employers hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchasing, shipping and labor costs by utilizing cycle counting, vendor auditing, workflow streamlining and other efficiency techniques.

Tom has an extensive background in continuous improvement and quality control, and has developed and implemented quality procedures and programs. He has also trained many quality and inventory employees during his career.

Through the years, Tom has taken training and certification courses from APICS (The Association for Operations Management) and the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC).

Shelli Riley
Client Support & Logistics Manager

IMG_5529-shelli-edit_web bioShelli comes to Magnus with a decade of experience in purchasing, inventory and quality control, supplier relationship management, and financial analysis and reporting. We benefit greatly from her background with chemical, plastics and metals companies, at which she was recognized as a consistent top-performer.

Here, Shelli specializes in sales support, invoicing, accounts receivable, project quoting, internal and client reporting, load scheduling and transportation. She is a key part of the team that manages the financial interrelationship between multiple Magnus companies that produce sustainable global products such as natural animal feed ingredients, and industrial and consumer waxes.

Shelli was a business administration major at Franklin University in Columbus and Hudson Valley Community College in New York.

Tiffany Fibich
Staff Accountant & HR Manager

IMG_5470-tiffany-edit_web bioTiffany brings to her corporate position at Magnus more than 15 years of experience in accounts receivable and payable, payroll management, benefits administration, client service, and staff scheduling and supervision. Before joining our leadership team in September 2013, she was billing coordinator at The B’laster Corporation in Valley View, Ohio.

Highly proficient in accounting and business software, Tiffany provides critical administrative support to our corporate controller, and vice president and chief operating officer. She also works directly with our plant employees on new-hire orientation, policy communication and benefits.

Tiffany’s technical savvy and experience in finance and HR management are key to helping Magnus keep pace with its high sales and employment growth, and award-winning innovations in natural products development.

She holds an associate degree in general studies from Franklin Pierce University in Manchester, NH.