ARG announces next operations director

BRADFORD, Pa. – American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) announced recently a successor has been named for one of its refinery’s most critical roles.

As current ARG Operations Director Mike Speaker intends to retire in early 2020, he has begun to transition the role and responsibilities to Jeff Brewer, a chemical engineering professional with more than 30 years of industry experience.

Brewer comes to ARG from a Delek US refinery in Arkansas, where he oversaw process engineering, process controls, planning and economics and laboratory teams. At Delek, he was responsible for developing process engineers through training and unit assignments, facilitating operational issues and solutions, coordinating planning and operations and developing projects to improve refinery margin via yield optimization.

ARG’s operations director has a core leadership role in the development and execution of the refinery’s operations systems, processes and procedures, and providing oversight and direction to our operations team of approximately 100 members. The operations director ensures systems and processes are in place to drive safety, environmental and quality operational performance and compliance with all applicable rules and regulations. The role requires collaboration across all other departments at ARG (crude supply, logistics, customer service, human resources, sales, purchasing, research and development, quality, finance, maintenance, reliability, engineering and technology) to ensure the refinery’s overall safe, reliable and quality operation.

ARG Senior Vice President – Operations Robin Augustine said, “Mike has served the Bradford refinery extremely well throughout his career and should be very proud of the footprints he leaves in its operations today.

“His retirement has been on our minds for some time, as we knew that replacing Mike would be a tough task requiring the right mix of process expertise, business acumen and leadership skills,” Augustine said. “We are pleased to welcome such a seasoned industry executive in Jeff Brewer to our ARG team. Having Jeff on board ahead of Mike’s retirement and Mike’s commitment to a smooth transition will be a tremendous benefit to our refinery.”

Speaker began his career at the Bradford refinery June 3, 1985, as an extra shiftbreaker at the dewaxing and deresining (D&D) unit, which is now ARG’s R.O.S.E. Unit. He worked his way through the ranks there during the next four years, advancing to first assistant operator in June 1987 before transferring to the MEK Unit in March 1989. He learned that unit’s operation as he moved up from shiftbreaker to assistant operator in 1992.

After ARG bought the refinery, Speaker moved to process supervisor overseeing the MEK Unit and Boiler House. In April 2007, he advanced to operations superintendent, the role in which he served until his promotion to operations director March 1, 2018.

“The contributions Mike has made and the knowledge he has amassed during his 34-plus years of service here are invaluable,” Augustine said. “We congratulate Mike for his achievements and reaching this next chapter in life. We wish him and his wife Julie all the best in retirement.”

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