Company behind planned eastern Kentucky aluminum plant announces board members
Braidy Industries Inc., the company planning to build a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill employing about 550 people in eastern Kentucky, announced its six-person board of directors Monday. Management of the company is of special interest to Kentucky taxpayers.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Braidy Industries Inc., the company planning to build a $1.3 billion aluminum rolling mill employing about 550 people in eastern Kentucky, announced its six-person board of directors Monday.
Management of the company is of special interest to Kentucky taxpayers, as the state owns at least 20 percent of Braidy Industries following Gov. Matt Bevin’s decision to invest $15 million of public funds in the company earlier this year.
As WDRB reported last month, the $15 million investment was an unusual way to land a big factory and approach that some conservatives oppose on principle.
Commonwealth Seed Capital, the state-owned venture fund through which the $15 million was channeled, redacted the names of Braidy Industries’ expected board members in documents released to WDRB last month under Kentucky’s open records law.
But Braidy Industries disclosed the board members in a press release Monday.
In addition to the company’s chairman and CEO, Craig Bouchard, the list includes two people connected to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Harvard Business School professor, a retired Air Force general and a Louisville executive.
Here are the directors, with biographies provided by Braidy Industries:
- Dr. Michael E. Porter is a world-renowned economist, and is the most cited scholar today in economics and business. He leads Harvard University’s Institute for Strategy & Competitiveness and is a long-serving professor at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Porter is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his contributions to global economic theory, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce for his contributions to economic development and is the author of nineteen books, including the business classic Competitive Advantage. He has served on several Fortune 500 public boards and has played an active role in U.S. economic policy at the federal and state levels.
- Ret. General Norton "Norty" Schwartz served as the 19th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, serving as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, leading Air, Space and Cyber for the Department of Defense. As Commander of the United States Transportation Command, General Schwartz led the Defense Transportation System, with strategic oversight of all logistics operations including Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. General Schwartz is currently the President and CEO of Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and serves as an independent director for CAE, USA and Wesco Aircraft Holdings.
- Dr. Christopher Schuh is the head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Dr. Schuh’s research is focused on the optimization of mechanical properties in metals, forming the basis of numerous metallurgical companies, including Xtalic Corporation, which produces coatings on over 10 billion components used in both enterprise and mobile electronics. Dr. Schuh is also involved in Desktop Metal, which provides a lower-cost option for metal additive manufacturing via its proprietary 3D metal printers.
- Charles Price is an entrepreneur, industrialist, and President and CEO of Louisville, Kentucky based Charah. Charles has over 35 years of experience in the construction and industrial industries within the State of Kentucky and beyond. Mr. Price also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Coal Ash Association.
- John Preston is the former Director of Technology Development (and Licensing) at MIT where he was responsible for the commercialization of MIT-developed technologies. Of the companies started during his tenure, those that went public have reached an estimated $150 billion cumulative market capitalization. Mr. Preston was awarded the rank of “Knight of the Order of National Merit of France” by French President Mitterrand and the “Hammer Award for Reinventing Government” by Vice President Gore. He chaired President George H. W. Bush’s conference announcing the President’s technology initiative and has previously served as a Board Advisor to Mars Incorporated.
- Craig Bouchard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer is a strategist and industrialist who built three billion-dollar revenue companies within the past decade. Bouchard is a noted expert on Lean/Six-Sigma, and capital allocation, and is a New York Times bestselling author of “The Caterpillar Way.”