Our speakers are recognized, respected professional leaders and innovators within the business community, their industry, or in their area of expertise who are willing to impart their knowledge, insights, and personal stories to inspire and educate our audiences.


David Gzesh

Blachford Corporation

David Gzesh has been involved with ferrous and non-ferrous metalworking lubricants for 45 years, with the last 35 in the wire industry. He is currently with Blachford Corporation as an Application Specialist dealing with technical issues. Past responsibilities included product development, quality, and product management. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Life Member of the Wire Association International and the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, and over 45-year as a member of the American Chemical Society. In addition, he has co-authored several papers for WAI and other trade magazines and given numerous presentations on wiredrawing lubrication.

Horace Pops

Horace Pops Consulting

Horace Pops is president of Horace Pops Consulting, Inc., Ft. Wayne, Indiana, USA. He previously was director, metals laboratory at Superior Essex in Ft. Wayne. He holds an Sc.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.Met.E. degree from Lehigh University, and a B.Met.E. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was president of the Wire Association International from 1992 to 1993. He has received numerous honors from WAI, including its Mordica and Donnellan Memorial Awards as well as 17 paper awards spanning 1976 to 2011. He is the sole or co-holder of 10 patents.

Anand Bhagwat

Minova USA Inc.

Anand Bhagwat is Technology & Quality Manager at Minova USA Inc., a ground support company for the mining industry. He was previously plant manager at FENIX, LLC, a subsidiary of Seneca Wire Group. He was managing director of WAI Wire and Cable Services, Pvt. Ltd., Pune, India from 2006 to 2009. He has experience in wire manufacturing processes, quality, product development and failure analysis, and development of steel rod suppliers. He holds an M.B.A. degree and an M.S. degree in Materials Science, both from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and a B.S. degree in metallurgy from the College of Engineering, Pune, India. He also holds seven patents in wire and tire reinforcement technology.

Erik A. Macs

Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp.

Erik A. Macs is director of sales for Wire & Plastic Machinery Corp. He has previously served as Vice President Sales and Marketing for Progressive Machinery Inc., Fine International Corp., and Thermoplastics Engineering Corporation. He also held a number of positions that include production planner at the Entwistle Company, extrusion foreman with Dennison Manufacturing; technical specialist with Union Camp Corporation; materials research associate engineer with Judd Wire; and director of research and development for American Durafilm Company.

He has a degree in mechanical engineering from Central New England College. Macs, who joined WAI in 1991, was the recipient of WAI’s 2013 Donnellan Memorial Award, which honors an individual’s contributions to the Association, as well as WAI’s 2004 President’s Award for extraordinary volunteer service. He served two terms on the WAI board of directors. He is a member of the Education Committee and Paper Awards Committee, of which he previously was chairman. In the past he served on the Electrical Management Committee, Website Advisory Board, and WAI’s Technical Council. A director of the New England Chapter of WAI, he also served as that chapter’s president in 2000. He developed the seminar “Introduction to Insulated Wire Manufacturing” which was presented by the New England chapter in 2001 and 2002. He has chaired the Fundamentals of Wire Manufacturing program since 2007, frequently serving as a course moderator.

Mark Spencer

W. Gillies Technologies LLC

W. Gillies Technologies, LLC - Member RSD Group - is a company specializing in the manufacture of printing machines, engraved printing rollers and laser systems for printing and marking on insulated wire, cable, hose, tubing and extruded profiles. In addition to his administrative and operational responsibilities, Mark Spencer has designed many of the printing systems currently in use worldwide.

Matt Reinoehl


Matt Reinoehl is the Process Metallurgist for SDI LaFarga in New Haven Indiana. He joined the company in 2011 during the construction phase and has been involved in all technical and quality aspects of the plant. Matt has spent his career in the wire industry since 1996 and has worked for companies that include Fort Wayne Metals and Rea Magnet Wire. During his career he has had process engineering responsibility for Copper products ranging from Rod all the way down to 56 AWG insulated copper magnet wire. He is a graduate of Tri-State University (now Trine University) in Angola, Indiana.

Kevin Dancy

Roteq Machinery Inc.

Kevin Dancy is currently Sales Manager at Roteq Machinery Inc., Concord, Ontario, Canada. Over his 20+ years in the wire and cable industry he has held management positions in production and engineering for companies including Nortel, BICC Cables, General Cable and Tyco. Prior to joining Roteq he was Plant Manger of Southwire's Canadian factory. Kevin holds a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University, Professional Engineering License (P.Eng.), and is certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) by APICS.

Zach McAfee

Chemetall North America

Zach McAfee is a Cold Forming Segment Key Account Manager with Chemetall North America. He has spent his career focusing on the balance between engineering and chemistry as a system. He has professional experience with industrial processes and machinery, metal working, chemical blending and formulation, and practical experience with lubricant technology including engine oils, gear oils, metal working fluids, and metal forming lubricants. His diverse 20 years’ experience includes hands on welding, fabrication, and machinery as well as industrial process engineering, and Research and Development.

With a current focus on cold forming technology, he works with clients to ensure trouble-free operation of wire mills, tube mills, and extrusion plants. As a subject matter expert, he provides focus that will assist clients with cold forming operations to ultimately increase quality, yield, and throughput while decreasing energy use, total cost, downtime, and cycle time. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.

C. Richard Gordon

C Richard Gordon Consulting LLC

Rick currently serves as Technical Director for the Spring Manufacturers Institute and is managing director of C. Richard Gordon Consulting LLC. He retired in 2016 as a technical service metallurgist at Gerdau Long Steel North America–Beaumont Steel Mill. He has over 45 years’ experience in the steel and wire industries. He previously worked with the National Standard Company managing groups working in the areas of R&D, quality, and process technology for carbon steel and stainless steel wire products. He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology with a master’s and Bachelor of Science degrees in metallurgical and materials engineering. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors for the ASM International’s Notre Dame Chapter and District 13 Chapter Council Representative for ASMI. Rick is also a member of ASTM, TMS, and WAI.

Stacy Martin

Prysmian Group

Stacy Martin is the maintenance manager at a manufacturing facility with Prysmian Group. Beginning her career with General Motors in 1996, she completed an electrical apprenticeship and spent five years as an electrician. After years of simultaneously working and attending school, she became an electrical engineer in 2005. During her tenure at General Motors, she received the Society of Automotive Engineers Young Industry Leadership Award. She joined Prysmian in 2012 as a process engineer, soon working her way to her current role of maintenance manager.

Jan Sorige

Enkotec Inc.

Jan Sørige is president of Enkotec Co., Inc., the U.S. business of Denmark’s Enkotec A/S, a global supplier of machinery for manufacturing wire nails. He joined the parent company in 1987, and was promoted to his current position in 1995. A WAI member since 1992, Sørige served from 2009 to 2014 as chairman of the Association’s Exhibition Planning Committee, which is responsible for planning the Interwire and Wire Expo events. He is also a member of the Board of Directors. In addition to WAI, Sørige is a member of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) and the American Wire Producers Association (AWPA).

Tom Heberling

Southwire Company

Thomas Heberling is senior vice president of manufacturing power systems and solutions at Southwire Co., where he has worked for nearly 33 years.

A WAI member since 2010, Heberling has served the Association in multiple roles, one of the most crucial being when he served as co-chair of the WAI Member Relations Committee from 2012–2014. In this role, he carried out a Board initiative that reshaped the educational products serving the industry, and served to further strengthen the value of membership in the Association. In May 2017, he received the President’s Award for his lasting contribution to the Association and the industry for his work on the Member Relations Committee.

Heberling became a WAI Director in 2017 and has served as an Executive Committee Liaison to multiple committees. He now serves in that role for the Nominating and Exhibition Planning committees.

Jim York

Insteel Industries, Inc

James R. York is vice president of Insteel Industries Inc., where his focus is sourcing, logistics and business development. He joined the company in 2018, and prior to that had worked for Leggett & Platt for 15 years in key management positions, the last one being vice president, president rod & wire products. Prior to that, he had worked for Bekaert for nearly 20 years.

York joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and the Executive Committee in 2018. He has served as an Executive Committee Liaison for several committees and will be the liaison to the Finance, Education and Memorial Awards Committees in 2020. He has been a WAI member since 2012. He is active in the American Wire Producers Association. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he earned a degree in marketing from the school’s College of Business.

Casey Spradlin

Southwire Company, LLC

Mr. Spradlin joined Southwire as an applications engineer in the high voltage underground transmission group in 2003. In that role he was responsible for designing and developing 69 to 500 kV cables and transmission systems. Adding responsivities he was promoted to Senior Product Engineer HV in 2010. In 2016 he moved into the role of Senior Product Engineer for medium and low voltage cables with voltage ranges of 600V to 46 kV.

He initiates and coordinates the interface between the engineering group, the standard/specification group, and the factory for the manufacturing of new orders. This includes interaction with customer’s concerning quality issues or specification deviation. Casey provides engineering assistance with cable manufacturing. He is responsible for identifying customer technical needs and requirements relative to product design, application, and performance which include design and implementation of special tests for product development, industry standards, or customer specifications. His duties also include raw material design and selection including vendor evaluation and selection. He is the technical contact and engineering support for key alliance customers. Casey is an active participate in technical and trade associations and serves as a chairman of multiple working groups within the Insulated Cable Engineers Association. Co-inventor on one US patent.

Erika Akins

Southwire Company, LLC

Erika Akins is a Chief Applications Engineer at Southwire who has been with the company for 9 years. She joined Southwire in 2011 as a product engineer for medium and high voltages cables at the Heflin Plant. In her current role, she focuses primarily on OEM and Utility products and applications providing technical support to end-users.  She holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University.

Tom Maxwell Jr.


Tom Maxwell, Jr. is President of Die Quip Corp., Bethel Park, PA, USA. He is a member of the Wire Association International’s (WAI’s) exhibition planning committee and President of WAI’s Ohio Valley Chapter. He has served on WAI’s executive committee, the board of directors, and membership committee and is a past chairman of the exhibition planning committee.

In 2016 he was awarded WAI’s President’s Award for contributions to the wire and cable industry.

He authored “Die Design for Large Diameter Wire,” a paper that was presented at the WAI’s 74th annual convention, in Cleveland, Ohio in June 2004.

He served two terms on the District Export Council which contributes leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service’s export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade education and community outreach.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology-management from California University of Pennsylvania and an associate’s degree in tool and die design from Alliance College

Chris Porada

Chemetall North America

Chris Porada has worked in the wire and cable industry for more than 21 years. He began his career as a pickler (chemical analyst) and learned all aspects of cleaning lines and wire drawing. His subsequent roles included Production Supervisor; Assistant Manager for wire drawing, bundling and cleaning lines; and Manager of cleaning lines and their laboratories. 

In 2019 he accepted a role as Industry Manager with the Chemetall Cold Forming segment to assist customers with issues and start-up needs. 

He is has been a member of the Wire Association International since 2014.