Josh Pelletier joins URC!

Effective 9/18/23, Josh Pelletier has joined URC to fill the newly created role of VP of sales enablement and customer service.

From numerous customer surveys, including our most recent 4th-quarter 2023 survey process, we know that the delivering value and service is a major priority for our customers.

URC’s 4USERVICE culture is based on customer service, and as we increase our share and presence in industries ranging from foundry, steel, aluminum, contractors, cement and petro- chem, we want to ensure our 4USERVICE model continues to improve at delivering increased value to our customers.

Josh’s background and experience will enable him to support the sales team in various ways, including project management, process improvement, strategic development, and specific technical details that make a real impact on our customers.

He will also manage our customer service team. Aside from being involved in every day aspects of service improvement, Josh will be looking long-term at ways to improve our process and programs.

Since 2010, Josh has been serving the refractory producing industry in various technical support and sales roles at Kerneos and then Imerys ( by way of acquisition). His most recent role at Imerys was Sales Director – Refractory Producers, where he lead an international sales team representing a broad portfolio of refractory raw materials. Prior to that, Josh worked as a project manager for Zampell for four years. All of these positions have given Josh a unique view of both refractory customers and producers.

Josh graduated from Clemson University in 2006 with a degree in ceramics and material engineering, and later earned his MBA from Regent university.

In summary, URC’s model of 4USERVICE Is important to our customers… And we know that Josh will improve and strengthen our service culture in both the short and long-term. Josh will report to Brad Dickerman, our COO responsible for sales, production, and product development. Please join me in welcoming Josh!!!

Jim Caprio
Senior V.P. Sales & Marketing

Welcome, Shaun Hale!

Effective 4/24/23, Shaun Hale joins URC as the Vice President of Technical Sales.

In this position, Shaun will support URC’s 4U Service model by further supporting our ability to deliver valuable, trustworthy technical data and customized technical solutions to our sales team and their customers. Shaun’s initial focus will be the Aluminum industry along with serving as the conduit between product development and the sales group.

Shaun has been the National Sales Manager for Capital Refractories since 2006. In that role he started and developed Capital’s U.S. business by increasing sales, building his sales team, setting up manufacturing and distribution, and working with R&D to develop new products. He started in the refractories industry in 1997 in the UK, working for Hepworth Refractories, which became Vesuvius where he had roles in marketing and sales engineering.

Overall, Shaun’s contribution of skills and sales/marketing experience makes him a valuable resource to support our customers, our sales force, and the 4U Service model.

Shaun lives in the Cincinnati area and will have an office at the Brookville plant, reporting to Brad Dickerman.

Jim Caprio
Senior V.P. Sales & Marketing

Thank you, Rick Volk!

Effective April 1, Rick Volk retired from URC , leaving a legacy in the area of monolithic product development.

Rick started in December 2002, with a proven history in the area of foundry products. This was a perfect fit for URC, as the foundry application made up a majority of the customers. As Rick quickly grew close to our foundry customers and developed an impressive URC foundry arsenal, including a line of dry rams and cupola products, the growth goals of the company quickly took him in a new direction.

About 10 years ago, Rick started to develop a platform of URC products for aluminum… an effort that drastically grew sales and customer relationships. Similarly, URC focused on the contractor segment, which required user-friendly shotcrete, pumpables and gun mixes. Rick’s new product formulations help grow this segment as well, as did his efforts to develop value added products for the cement industry.

Aside from meeting the needs of the customer, Rick developed a number of very unique products that still stand alone in the refractory industry. Examples include our line of cement free CF shotcretes and the UNI – BRADE line of abrasion resistant products.

Behind the scenes, Rick constantly worked with the production group to juggle the enormous challenge with refractory raw materials, availability, and pricing. His work in this area was key to our success over the last four years of supply chain issues.

Lastly, Rick was… and is… a great teammate. There wasn’t a customer that couldn’t relate to Rick , and the sales team constantly leaned on him for technical and practical advice. He is the original refractory pro!

Congratulations to Rick Volk…luckily, Rick will be available for special projects and transitions on a limited basis, as he needs a rest from an unrivaled career in refractory product and customer development.

Jim Caprio
Senior V.P. Sales & Marketing

Thank you, John Gallo!

Although John Gallo’s URC career was a quick three years, he was the perfect champion to improve and grow United’s aluminum product line and customer base.

After spending over 40 years in the industry, John joined URC in May 2020 to expand the aluminum platform started by Tom Robich and Rick Volk.
John’s combined experience with sales and sales management, technical products, and fieldwork was exactly what we needed, as both sales and product offerings have flourished during his tenure.

Specifically, John grew the sales of our base products by reaching new accounts. Under his watch, we established new products such as UNI-2TUFF high fiber products, large aggregate compositions, and ultralow offerings for specific aluminum areas.

In an effort to enhance our GP gunned plastic mixes, John helped to promote and sell the OPTIMIZER system to improve installation results while reducing excess packaging. As some customers turned from gunned plastics to colloidal silica compositions, John worked with product development to customize improved colloidal silica products currently in trials.

As both our offerings and customer base grew, John continued visiting customers… often presenting our expanded aluminum platform, and specifically discussing prescriptive solutions for each individual account. With almost every aluminum customer discussion, an order or inquiry would follow!

In summary, John was a great example of an application champion that made a real impact in a market segment. Although his term was short, we are grateful for all of the work and contributions during this very fruitful time for our aluminum customers, and we wish John good health and prosperity as he begins his retirement.

Jim Caprio
Senior V.P. Sales & Marketing

Congratulations Brian Rhoads!!

On behalf of the entire URC Team, please join me in congratulating Brian Rhoads on his 6/30/22 retirement.

Brian’s 40 years in the refractory industry…including 17 years at URC…have made a lasting impact on his teammates, his customers and an industry that is better because of his dedicated service.

Originally from Wyomissing, PA, Brian earned a BS in Ceramic Science and Engineering from Penn State University in 1982. From there, Brian spent 18 years at 3 different refractory companies focusing on the manufacturing and quality side of the business. In 2002, he landed at URC, where he quickly made an impact at the Sharonville facility. Brian soon became famous for his relentless work ethic, which included a 4 AM start time and a “whatever it takes to make it right for the customer” attitude.

On a daily basis, Brian made sure the production and quality process was on track for our customers. Specifically, his overall knowledge of the products and process enabled him to make substantial contributions to the roll out of a new ERP system in 2008. This same knowledge and his incredible work ethic made the move from Sharonville to Brookville, IN seamless to our customers. Most recently, Brian worked his magic to successfully startup the new production facility in Birmingham… while simultaneously working with a major new licensee across the world.

Much could be said about Brian’s technical prowess and his accomplishments in production and quality. To his teammates and his customers, Brian is simply the genuine article…the no nonsense guy who earned everyone’s trust through hard work, competence, great follow through, excellent people skills and a sincere desire to do it right…and make it right for the customer. Perhaps his real legacy at URC is the transfer of his approach to the process and other teammates, thereby making our 4U Service model better.

Thank you, Brian…get some sleep and good luck with your retirement plans! You will be missed!