BRADFORD, Pa. – American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) announced Monday that John Malone joined its Leadership Team as vice president – sales and marketing.

ARG President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Giberson said, “We are thrilled to add John to our Leadership Team. His broad sales and marketing expertise is particularly valuable to ARG at this time because we are poised to grow our specialty refining business.”

Most recently, Malone served as director of strategic marketing and sales with API Heat Transfer in Buffalo, N.Y. He brings to ARG more than 20 years of experience in technical sales, marketing, business development and executive leadership in the base oils, lubricants and industrial markets. He spent nine years with Exxon Mobil Corp. in multiple roles focused on the sales and marketing of lubricants and fuels. He worked close to a decade with Chevron Corp. in global business development and marketing.

Some of Malone’s key responsibilities will include helping ARG achieve its vision to be the trusted partner for specialty refining solutions. He will consider the company’s sales activities along with additional revenue-generating opportunities in formulating strategic sales and marketing plans. He will have an important role in opening and closing new deals and in building strategic partnerships.

Malone, a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from SUNY Buffalo, and went on to complete a Master of Business Administration in finance and marketing from Northeastern University in Boston. He was honored as a Kellogg Executive Scholar in marketing at Northwestern University.

His professional memberships include the National Fluid Power Association, Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals and the Association of National Advertisers. He is a Certified Lubrication Specialist through the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE).

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.”

For more information about ARG, visit www.amref.com or follow the refinery on Facebook and LinkedIn.

BRADFORD, Pa. – American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) announced Monday that its President and Chief Operating Officer Jeannine T. Schoenecker will resign in early 2019.

“Two weeks ago, my husband Brett and I learned of his diagnosis with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease,” Ms. Schoenecker said. “While everyone is different, upon diagnosis an individual can typically expect 1 to 2 years of high functionality.”

The Schoeneckers celebrated 22 years of marriage in September.

“ARG has been an amazing extended family for me for the past 20 years. ARG has supported me and together we have accomplished some amazing things. I now must focus my time on my immediate family. Brett has to be my top priority,” Ms. Schoenecker continued. “Brett and I will make this journey together, starting with doing many of the things we have always hoped and planned to do together.”

Ms. Schoenecker will continue in her role until the end of March unless a successor can be identified sooner. Having the full support of ARG’s Board of Directors as well as owner Harry Halloran Jr. and his four sons, she will be a core member of the committee tasked with searching for her replacement.

Harry Halloran said, “Jeannine’s departure after 33 years will be a significant loss to us all. ARG is an extended family; we fully understand and support Jeannine’s need to step away and make the most of her time with Brett.

“Jeannine and I, and the Halloran Family, have always been highly aligned about the right way to conduct business,” Halloran said. “Her successor will be carefully selected and will most certainly share these principles and ARG’s values and vision. We are grateful to Jeannine for her extended notice and commitment for a smooth transition.”

Ms. Schoenecker will transition her responsibilities with the many local organizations she is involved with to other leaders at ARG who will maintain the commitment and passion for our community that she has demonstrated.

Ms. Schoenecker will be named to the ARG Board of Directors and will work on special projects for the refinery when possible.

“This has been the hardest decision of my life,” Schoenecker said. “It has come with many tears because I have such deep personal connections with the Halloran family, this company, our employees and the Bradford area.”

Ms. Schoenecker, a certified public accountant, joined ARG as Assistant Controller in 1985. Later that year, she assumed the position of controller and in 1991 earned promotion to vice president of accounting. In this role, she was instrumental in ARG’s purchase of the Bradford refinery in 1997.

Ms. Schoenecker advanced to chief financial officer in 2008. She succeeded Harvey Golubock as president and chief operating officer in 2011, when she and Brett established residence in Bradford.

“There is a sadness that I will not be able to personally finish what we began when I became president in 2011,” she said. “The ARG employees are an amazing, capable group of hard-working people and I have every confidence in them all and their ability to carry out what we have started, what we have planned for the future. I thank each and every ARG employee, and the Halloran family, for their support of my career these many years.”

BRADFORD, Pa. – American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) announced lubricants industry veteran Anju Singla has joined its sales team as railroad sales specialist.

“Anju brings 8 years of lubricants sales experience and more than a decade on the research and development, technical side,” said ARG Railroad Business Manager David Tuttle, “so she is particularly prepared to help our customers with the expert solutions they need and have come to expect from ARG.”

Most recently, Singla served as sales representative for Soltex Inc. of Houston for its customers in the Midwest, East Coast and Canada. She also built significant sales and marketing experience with MidContinental Chemical in Kansas and International Petroleum Products & Additives Co. of California.

Singla began her 13-year career in research and development with Afton Chemical Corp. as an analytical chemist. Upon promotion to specialist, she began troubleshooting customer-specific challenges with gear oils, working closely with the sales team to understand the problem and communicate findings. She would ultimately achieve promotion to senior customer technical service representative at Afton.

ARG President and Chief Operating Officer Jeannine Schoenecker said, “We are excited to have Anju with us at ARG. Hers is a rare combination of sales, marketing and technical skills that will benefit ARG and our customers for years to come.

“David’s eventual retirement has been on our minds as the relationships he has cultivated within the railroad oils industry are virtually irreplaceable,” Schoenecker stated. “We are fortunate to have added Anju to our team at a time when David is ready to hand off his knowledge and experience. Preserving David’s progress and industry intelligence will be important to our customers and to maintaining our own longtime leadership in railroad engine oils.”

Singla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from St. Louis University and an MBA from Averett University of Virginia.

ARG is a major purchaser of crude oil in the Appalachian Basin, striving to provide second-to-none service, consistent and quality products, and flexible collaboration toward the success of customers, suppliers and partners. For more information about ARG, visit www.amref.com or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

BRADFORD, Pa. – American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) presented the recently established McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) with a charitable gift of $1,000 this holiday season.

Every year during the Christmas season instead of purchasing thousands of traditional, paper greeting cards, ARG shares an e-card and donates the money saved to a local non-profit.

ARG donates thousands of dollars annually, but this seasonal contribution is extra special, according to ARG President and Chief Operating Officer Jeannine Schoenecker.

“We appreciate how nice it is to receive holiday tidings in the mail; everyone loves that,” Schoenecker said of traditional cards, “but we also value the impact that the contributions we make instead can have on the organizations critical to our community’s wellbeing.
“We enjoy these Christmastime donations more than a typical contribution because they are generally unsolicited and so unexpected by the recipient,” Schoenecker continued. “It’s become a festive tradition and a nice reminder of the reason for this season.”

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McKean County benefited in 2016.

ARG donates thousands of dollars throughout the year, and thousands more are contributed by its employee-donation-matching program to other local non-profit organizations and relief efforts. With a philanthropic spirit that is cultivated corporately and encouraged in its employees, ARG focuses its charitable giving on education, economic development, human services and health care.

Schoenecker said the foundation was chosen to receive the donation in 2017 because several individuals within ARG were instrumental in its establishment, none more than MCCF board chairman (and recently retired ARG Vice President – External Affairs) Bob Esch.

Like the Elk County Community Foundation, the MCCF is an affiliate of the 501 (c) 3 Community Foundation of North Central Pennsylvania.
“We were thrilled to see the MCCF finally, officially established this year,” Schoenecker explained. “ARG has long shared the belief that McKean County needed and deserved a community foundation, so we are happy to make this contribution toward its long-term success.”

Community foundations are unique, grant-making public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined geographic area. A community-led approach, they create locally controlled assets by bringing together the financial resources of individuals, families and businesses to strengthen rural areas like McKean County. These assets build a community’s ability to shape a better future and promote the well-being of everyone who lives there.

Esch said, “We are thankful for ARG’s continued support of and commitment to the foundation’s success.”

For more information about ARG, visit www.amref.com. For more information about the community foundation, e-mail mccf@zitomedia.net, call 844-238-2289 or follow them on Facebook.

American Refining Group Inc.’s Jeannine Schoenecker (right) presents a check for $1,000 to McKean County Community Foundation (MCCF) Board Chairman Bob Esch. Every year instead of purchasing thousands of traditional, paper holiday cards, ARG shares a digital card and donates the money saved to a local non-profit organization. Established earlier this year, the MCCF was chosen as ARG’s 2017 recipient. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McKean County benefited in 2016. For more information about the community foundation, e-mail mccf@zitomedia.net, call 844-238-2289 or follow them on Facebook.

BRADFORD, Pa. – Just more than a year after breaking ground, American Refining Group Inc. (ARG) has completed construction of the new multimillion-dollar quality lab at its historic refinery.

Formerly housed just inside the facility’s main gates, the lab now adjoins the research and development building roughly one-quarter of a mile away from the original location. The massive project required considerable collaboration and planning to ensure the lab’s services to the refinery and its customers continued without interruption throughout the move.

Shifting the lab’s operations was accomplished in phases as instrumentation had to be carefully disassembled, moved and reassembled before being calibrated for use. The facility includes a general test lab, a gas chromatography and distillation lab, a water/environmental lab and a thermal-test lab.

The building also comprises offices, storage, utility rooms, restrooms and a lunchroom that will also be used as a training area.

ARG communicated diligently with customers and truck drivers to ensure everyone was aware of the new route needed to drop off samples prior to departing the facility.

“Although the transition was difficult, we had planned for months,” explained ARG Director of Quality Charlotte Layton. “The relocation was well executed.”

ARG’s quality lab has a staff of 16 employees who, between them, support refinery operations around the clock, ensuring top-quality fuels, base oils, resins, solvents, waxes and blended lubes. These in-house chemists and technicians process 5,500 to 6,500 samples per month (totaling approximately 30,000 tests) in addition to managing equipment, performing verifications, calibrations and troubleshooting or repairing instruments.

All lab instruments are verified and/or calibrated to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) traceable standards; the majority of these services are done on site by a lab chemist. A powerful Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) application is used to schedule, manage and report results for all samples processed.

ARG Chief Executive Officer Tim Brown said, “We’ve been investing a lot of money in the things that are very important and this is an extension of that because quality is one of our pillars. Our lab personnel are essential to all aspects of ARG; they’re supporting not just operations, but our customers, our suppliers, our sales team, our logistics, the environmental side; they are absolutely key to what we do and how we do our jobs.”

The lab provides myriad services, including approximately 70 different oil, wax and fuels tests; water, wastewater and process cooling tower water testing as well as tests to support the facility’s desulfurization process. Additional lab activities include in-process inspection of charge material, products and byproducts from each process unit at the refinery, certification of finished-product tanks, blend recommendations of gasoline and specialty products, incoming inspection of raw materials used in branded lubricant blending, branded lubricant blend analysis, packaged lubricant product analysis, final inspection of all bulk shipments, providing certificates of analysis to customers for both bulk and packaged products, long-term sample storage and complete product recycling.

In service to its blending and packaging operations, basic testing the lab conducts includes viscosity, x-ray analysis for additive metals, pour points, moisture analysis and cold-cranking simulation testing. More-specialized testing includes particle counts, demulsibility tests, foaming characteristics and dielectric testing, while technicians there also monitor labeling and date coding of packaged products.

At 6,400 square feet, the new building was designed by LCS Constructors Inc. of Irvine, Calif. The general contractor was Poole Anderson Construction of State College.

Brown said of the project, “It was a group commitment, not only to our past or our heritage and celebrating that, but also to what we’re looking forward to in the future.”

Layton added, “Having a state-of-the-art facility provides us with a great opportunity to effectively serve our customers and expand our operation, and we are very excited about that.”

ARG’s unique, privately owned refinery is situated on approximately 131 acres in Bradford, Pa., the heart of McKean County and the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry more than 100 years ago. The refinery has a rated capacity of 11,000 barrels per day and processes light, sweet, paraffinic crude. This type of crude is available domestically, and ARG purchases the majority of its crude from sources in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and West Virginia. It is also the oldest continuously operated lube oil refinery in North America. We strive to supply our customers with consistent, quality products and flexibility in working together to succeed with service that is second to none. For more information, visit www.amref.com.

Kinematic viscosity baths can be seen in the foreground of American Refining Group’s (ARG) recently opened quality lab. Having broken ground on the facility just more than a year ago, ARG invested millions to upgrade its now state-of-the-art lab at the Bradford, Pa., refinery.

Instruments used to test the boiling range of distillates are seen at left within American Refining Group’s (ARG) recently opened quality lab. At right is a gas chromatograph, used to test the boiling range and volatility of certain base oils. Having broken ground on the facility just more than a year ago, ARG invested millions to upgrade its now state-of-the-art lab at the Bradford, Pa., refinery.