Management Team

Joel Hawthorne

Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining SSWI, Mr. Hawthorne served as President and CEO and a member of the Board of GrafTech International.During his 18+ years with GrafTech, Mr. Hawthorne served in multiple executive roles contributing to a doubling of GrafTech’s sales to over $1 billion. Prior to joining GrafTech, Mr. Hawthorne spent over ten years in the steel industry (LTV Corporation and ACME Metals, now part of ArcelorMittal) with extensive financial and strategic planning experience including as Director of Strategic Planning. Mr. Hawthorne currently serves on the Board of Directors of CE National, Inc, a non-profit organization. Mr. Hawthorne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master of Science in Business Education from the University of Akron.

Michael Salamon

President & Chief Operating Officer

Michael Salamon joined Niagara LaSalle Corporation in 2004 and became Executive Vice President of Commercial in 2010. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Company in May 2012, and  President of Specialty Steel Works Incorporated and Niagara in March 2013. Prior to joining Niagara, Mr. Salamon held various commercial positions at Cargill (North Star Steel) for over 18 years. He is a member of the Cold Finished Steel Bar Institute, and was previously a member of their board of directors, as well as chairman. He has been a member of the U.S. Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Steel (ITAC-12) since 2010. Mr. Salamon holds a B.A. in Economics from John Carroll University and attended the Advanced Management Program at the University of Chicago in 2011.

Anthony Verkruyse

Chief Financial Officer

Anthony Verkruyse was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Specialty Steel Works Incorporated, in March 2013. He has been the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Niagara LaSalle Corporation since 2003. Prior to that position, he was Vice President of Finance. From 1991 to 2001, Mr. Verkruyse was Chief Financial Officer, Secretary and Treasurer of Huntco Inc. and Huntco Steel, Inc., a processor of flat-rolled steel. From 1980 to 1991, Mr. Verkruyse practiced public accounting in the audit and tax departments of Price Waterhouse LLP. He received a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri and attended the Advanced Management Program at Washington University in St. Louis in 2011.

David Ascher

Vice President – General Counsel and Secretary

Prior to joining SSWI, David Ascher was General Counsel of several manufacturing companies—DuraFiber Technologies, Inc. (polyester fiber), The Newark Group, Inc. (paperboard), and Vickers America Holdings, Inc. (medical devices and marine equipment).  He started his career in private practice at the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs.  Mr. Ascher earned a Juris Doctorate from the University at Buffalo School of Law, a Masters of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.A. in Economics and Urban Systems Studies from the University at Buffalo.