Giberson succeeds Schoenecker as president, chief operating officer

BRADFORD, Pa. – American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) announced Friday that longtime industry executive Jon Giberson will succeed Jeannine Schoenecker as the refinery’s president and chief operating officer.

Harry Halloran Jr., chairman of the ARG Board of Directors and chief executive officer, said, “Success demands the often difficult task of looking for the opportunity – for the positives – in every situation, regardless of its circumstances.

“We have kept this idea firmly in mind since Jeannine shared with us in October her need to resign, after her husband Brett’s life-altering diagnosis with ALS. It was this thought we held close as we undertook the charge of identifying the right person to succeed Jeannine.”

Halloran continued, “We are pleased to announce, after months of thoughtful discussion, conversation and evaluation, that Jon will succeed Jeannine at the helm of ARG and its Bradford refinery.”

Giberson comes to ARG from Sonneborn Inc., where he most recently served as vice president/general manager – Americas, running the company’s North American business. He led a team of 180 employees, overseeing the manufacturing, commercialization and technological development of its specialty petroleum products business.

Giberson started at Sonneborn in 2005 as its vice president – purchasing and logistics. In 2013, he took on additional responsibility for the company’s information technology projects and systems, worldwide. He was named commercial vice president – North America in 2015, a role in which he was further responsible for the company’s sales and marketing, leading development of strategies and tactics for new products and processes, increasing margins and building customer relationships.

While the bulk of his three-plus decades in the industry was with Sonneborn, he also spent time with Honeywell, AlliedSignal, Astor Corp. and Petrowax in Smethport. He worked several years at this refinery, from 1986 to 1993 under Witco, as process/environmental engineer, then manager of total quality management and statistical process control before his promotion to director of technical sales and marketing systems. He began his professional career as development engineer with Mobil Oil Corp. in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Giberson resides in Portville, N.Y., with his wife Amy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Rochester, and went on to complete a Master of Business Administration in marketing and finance from St. Bonaventure. He completed executive education at Harvard University Graduate School of Business and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

He has represented Honeywell and Sonneborn with industry associations such as the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association (ILMA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API). He is a past president and member of the Portville Central School Board of Education, past president, board member and coach with the Enchanted Mountains Soccer Club; past vice president and board member with the Southern Tier Travel Soccer League; and former member of the Bethel Lutheran Church Council.

Halloran said, “Effective Monday, Feb. 18, Jon will assume the role of president and chief operating officer and Jeannine will remain for several weeks into March as transition officer.

“We want to reiterate our gratitude for Jeannine’s commitment to a smooth transition and appreciation for her work as a core member of the committee tasked with identifying her successor.”

Schoenecker has agreed to stay on as Pitt-Bradford’s Advisory Board chair and in several other vital community posts. She will be appointed to ARG’s board and will help with special projects when possible, indefinitely.

Giberson said, “Having spent so much of my life in this area, I fully understand how important Jeannine has been and ARG is to this community. I am humbled to have been chosen for this critical position and will maintain her momentum.

“The legacy of leadership and positive progress in safety, reliability, operational excellence and product quality that Jeannine leaves us with is one I receive with great care.”

Schoenecker said, “My confidence in all of you, and now Jon, to carry out our plans for the future is stronger than ever. This certainty allows me to know without a doubt that this decision was the right thing for Brett and our family, and for ARG, our community and partners.

“I said this in October, but it certainly bears repeating: I thank each and every amazing, hard-working ARG employee and the Halloran family for their support of my career throughout these many years.”

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