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Braidy Industries announces Bouchard to step down; president Tom Modrowski named interim CEO

By Mark Maynard
Kentucky Today

Braidy Industries Chairman and CEO Craig Bouchard will step down from his position, the company announced Thursday.

Bouchard, the company founder, will remain a member of the Braidy Industries Board of Directors. The company is named after one of Bouchard’s daughters. The company still plans on building the $1.7 billion rolling aluminum mill near Ashland.

President Tom Modrowski, who has been on the management team since the beginning in 2017, has been named interim CEO of Braidy Industries and current board member Charles Price is the new chairman of the board of the company.

Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard smiles as he talks to potential future Braidy employees last year. Bouchard is stepping down his leadership posts with the company, it was announced Thursday. (Photo by Mark Maynard, Kentucky Today)

As a native of Kentucky and successful entrepreneur, Price is well-positioned to focus the company on the completion of the aluminum mill initiative in Ashland, according to a release on Business Wire.

“The board is grateful to Craig for his vision, energy and dedication to the Kentucky operation,” said Price. “Tom and the board will continue to focus our efforts on completing fundraising and planning for construction of the Ashland mill.”

Modrowski has been with Braidy since its inception and has more than 30 years’ experience in the metals business including senior leadership roles at various metal and metal processing businesses.

Site planning work and fundraising continues unabated for the first greenfield aluminum rolling mill in the U.S. in more than 37 years. The 1.5 million square foot complex will use state-of-the-art technology to serve the rapidly growing needs of the transportation industry.

Bouchard, 66 and a resident of Naples, Florida, will continue his charitable work through the Braidy Hope Foundation established to support youth causes and combat opioid abuse in Ashland and northeast Kentucky.

The release said Braidy Industries was entering the final phase of its fundraising stage.

Kentucky’s state government contributed $15 million to the company in 2017. The company has said previously it needed $500 million in equity and more than $1 billion in debt financing.

The biggest investor announced is United Co. Rusal, a Russian firm that agreed last year to invest $200 million in the project. Rusal is a major aluminum company with operations in several countries.

Braidy broke ground on the mill in June 2018 but it has not started construction on the plant. The company has said it will be operational by 2022.

The company’s first project is the construction of Braidy Atlas aluminum rolling mill, a state-of-the-art low-emissions greenfield manufacturing facility at EastPark Industrial Center to become the low-cost provider for aluminum sheet for the automotive and beverage can industries.

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