“Since 2008 we had been in costcutting mode with limited focus on growth,” he says. “Now we’re in an expansion mode, and people are very excited about it. We’ve been adding several resources over the past year to prepare for growth.”
Pinson spent a couple of summers working at the Huntingdon plant while he was in college pursuing a degree in electrical engineering. He started with the company full-time in 1995 at the plant in New Madrid, Missouri. In 2001 he returned to Huntingdon to assist in the startup of the $240 million Quantum Leap expansion and then held a variety of roles for the next several years, eventually joining the corporate side as vice president productivity, running the organisation’s continuous improvement programme.
Besides overseeing the Huntingdon expansion, Pinson is also involved in Gränges’s recently announced potential joint venture with Japan’s Mitsubishi Aluminum Co. He’s responsible for the capital requirements for a planned new facility to be built in the United States. “One of the biggest challenges is scheduling conference calls with Japan, the United States and Sweden, given the time differences,” he says.
When he’s not busy at work, Pinson spends time training for a 10K run to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee – an annual event that draws thousands of participants. He also has two teenage sons. One of them is away at college in Nashville, Tennessee, and he enjoys playing basketball with the other one, who plays on his high school team.
The Huntingdon plant had a celebration in October to mark its 50th anniversary. The event featured a big barbecue, games for the kids, giveaways for employees and plant tours for families and retirees. How did Chad Pinson like it? “I missed it because I was traveling back from China,” he says.