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Our Team

David Mielke, President and CEO

David Mielke

A 25-year veteran of the chemical industry, David Mielke serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of ChemDesign. David’s leadership has been instrumental in strategically expanding their services in the agricultural, specialty chemical and fine chemical sectors. Prior to becoming President in 2006, he held positions as Director of Commercial Development and Vice President of Technology. He began his career as a development chemist with Aldrich Chemical and quickly took on more responsibilities in the areas of product development and management.

Under his leadership, ChemDesign has received national improvement and educational outreach honors from the Specialty Chemical Manufacturing Association (SOCMA), ChemStewards® environmental compliance, and safety awards from the Wisconsin Safety Council. In 2014, ChemDesign was named Business of the Year by the Marinette/Menominee Chamber.

David serves on the Board of Governors for SOCMA and the Board of Directors for the Marinette/Menominee Area Chamber. He is a member of the Optima Quality Consortium and the TEC Executive Committee (TEC XIII). He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a Master of Science in Management & Organizational Behavior from Silver Lake College.

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Rae Johnson, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Rae JohnsonRae has led the sales efforts of ChemDesign since 2004. He has over 10 years of experience in the business development arena of the chemical industry, working for Hickson-DanChem, Brenntag and Ruetgers before joining ChemDesign. Rae is focused on developing chemical toll manufacturing relationships and is an active member of SOCMA and the Global Chemicals Executives.

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Joel Salzman, Vice President of Operations

Joel SalzmanJoel oversees the operations management, engineering, materials management, and employee development functions at ChemDesign.  His key objectives are improving customer value, implementing lean manufacturing initiatives, and effectively coordinating plant activities across multi-functional departments.  With 18 years of experience in custom chemical manufacturing at ChemDesign, Joel has also held the positions of Director of Technology, Manager of Commercial Development, Building Manager, Process Chemist, and Senior Quality Analyst. Joel received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Master’s of Science degree in Management & Organizational Behavior from Silver Lake College.

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Randy Christl, CFO and Controller

Randy ChristlRandy brings extensive experience in corporate accounting to ChemDesign. Prior to joining ChemDesign as their CFO, he worked for Kimberly-Clark and the U.S. Government. Randy holds a Bachelors of Science degree in managerial accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. He maintains both the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) accreditations.

Under his leadership, ChemDesign has a real-time understanding of the finances driven by their dynamic, constantly changing production schedules. This understanding and the ability to perform predictive “what-if” analyses has been instrumental in the stabilization and subsequent growth of ChemDesign. In addition to his CFO responsibilities, Randy is responsible for accounting, purchasing, human resources and information systems.

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Bryon Leggett, Vice President of Business Development

BryonLeggettChemDesignBryon is responsible for expanding ChemDesign’s customer base in their vertical markets. He has experience as a consultant for fine and specialty chemical companies in areas related to pricing strategy, product portfolios, market analysis, import/export environments, product costing, financial analysis and outsourcing. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s of science degree in chemical engineering from Clemson University. He served six years in the United States Army Reserve.

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Paul Zizelman, Director of Technology

Paul oversees process development and analytical services. A primary objective of importance to Paul and his team is helping clients design safe, efficient and scalable commercial processes. Prior to joining ChemDesign, he held positions of senior chemist, and supervisor of process development in the custom and fine chemical arena (10 years) and director of scientific operations (15 years) in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing. His more than 25 years of experience in chemical manufacturing is leveraged to efficiently improve and optimize processes with well-developed technical packages, as well as for cases in which little is known about commercial protocols such as lost suppliers or custom synthesis projects.

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Brian Bourgeois, Human Resources and Employee Development Manager

Brian BourgeoisBrian Bourgeois leads the professional development, recruiting, community relations and training initiatives with ChemDesign. With over 25 years of business experience in the chemical and gas industries, Brian has held key positions in managing chemical manufacture, purchasing, human resources, safety and training. In 2003, as the purchasing manager with ChemDesign, he implemented computerized inventory control and tracking of key materials and equipment. Two years later, he took on the responsibilities of human resources management, training managers in employee relations and authoring a legally qualified employee handbook. He has advanced knowledge of regulatory compliance, ISO-9002, and SOCMA ChemStewards®.

Brian is a member of the Twin County Human Resource Association and on the Fundraising Committee for the Tri-County United Way. He serves as President of the Benevolent and Protective order of Elks, Marinette Lodge. His previous community involvement includes service as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, as well as leadership with the Tri-County Safety Council and Emergency Planning committees of Michigan and Wisconsin

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Tom Willis CIH, CSP,  Manager of Health, Environmental and Safety

Tom WillisTom Willis is responsible for training, documentation and auditing compliance for their safety and risk management programs.

He has 27 years of experience in industrial hygiene program management, occupational health and safety compliance and train-the-trainer employee education. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified and professionally qualified in Rapid Action Team Six Sigma.

Tom holds a Master of Science degree in industrial hygiene from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial and environmental health management from Ferris State University.

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Bob Romuald, Director of Commercial Development

Bob RomualdBob is responsible for new process development, continuous improvements, quality control and quality assurance. He has twenty-five years of experience in chemical process development and production with Aldrich Chemical and ChemDesign.  He has held positions as a Building Manager, Manager of Commercial Development, Manager of Research and Development and Director of Operations with ChemDesign.  Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from UW-Stevens Point, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from LakelandCollege.

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Bela T. Lanczy, Manager of Commercial Development

bela-lanczyBela joined ChemDesign Products in 2013 with over 14 years of experience in management and specialty chemical manufacturing.  Prior to taking his current role with ChemDesign, Bela served as a U.S. Army Captain and held various engineering and quality management positions at Dow Corning Corporation. Bela’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a Master’s in Operations Management from the University of Colorado. Additionally, Bela has been an ASQ certified quality engineer since 2005 and he is a Six Sigma Black Belt. In his role at ChemDesign, Bela is responsible for evaluating new business prospects and he is the primary liaison with the customer for technology transfer, engineering and start-up activities.

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