Retirements push Ash Grove to reorganize manufacturing department

Source: Ash Grove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan.

With the impending retirement of two key leaders in Ash Grove’s manufacturing organization during the first half of 2012, the company is beginning the transition to its new reporting structure, explained Michael J. Hrizuk, senior vice president–manufacturing. The changes became effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Ron Vidergar, assistant vice president of manufacturing services will report to Hrizuk. Vidergar’s direct reports will include: Bruce Newell, assistant vice president of manufacturing; Bob Ralls, corporate geologist; Greg Barger, Technical Center director; and Aaron Bufmack, corporate project engineer. Their respective duties are unchanged.

Mike Ralls, plant systems administrator, will report directly to Newell. Ralls had previously reported to Bill Hicks, director of information technology. Ralls had primary responsibility for Avantis, while working closely with the plants on Manufacturing Excellence Program (MEP) issues, including assisting in MEP audits as well as MEP coaching and mentoring. While Ralls’ responsibilities will change little, the reporting change will align his job duties more directly with the support efforts he has been providing to the MEP processes.

Steve Minshall, corporate health & safety director, will report directly to Curtis Lesslie, vice president of environmental affairs. Minshall’s duties are unchanged.

“Fran Streitman, vice president of manufacturing services, plans to retire on or around May 1, 2012,” said Hrizuk. Streitman will continue to report directly to Hrizuk until his retirement and also will mentor and support Vidergar and Newell through the transitional period. Hrizuk added that Ralph Jones, senior corporate project engineer, plans to retire on or around April 1, and will continue to report directly to Streitman until his retirement and will continue to support all ongoing engineering projects.

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