Nick Kovics Vice President, Global Chlor-Alkali Service Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS Nick Kovics is the Vice President at Chemical Market Analytics. Mr. Kovics leads the global chlor-alkali market advisory team and holds specialized expertise related to pulp-bleaching chemicals including sodium chlorate and hydrogen peroxide. Nick Kovics brings 25 years of chemical industry experience to the Chemical Market Analytics Inorganic chemicals insights team. He joined Chemical Market Analytics in 2017 as Global Bleaching Chemicals Global Service Lead. Mr. Kovics went on to lead the Global Lithium & Battery Materials team before being promoted to Chlor-alkali Chemicals Global Service Lead in 2020. Mr. Kovics has a varied background having worked in upstream energy, new energy, and electrochemical. He held a range of functional roles in several companies prior to joining the IHS Markit base chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics). Nick began his career in the oil service sector with Schlumberger Canada cementing and hydraulic fracturing services. Nick transitioned from oil and gas to new energy and spent a decade in the hydrogen fuel cell sector with Ballard Power Systems. Nick's career continued in the electrochemical sector when he joined Canexus and held positions in chlor-alkali chemicals and sodium chlorate marketing. Nick holds a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, an MBA, and is a Canadian Certified Professional Accountant.
Michael P. Loeffel Founding Partner Lighthouse Chartering LLC Michael graduated with Honors from SUNY Maritime College in 2007 with a degree in Marine Transportation. He began his career sailing onboard Chemical Tankers as Third Mate and completed Stolt-Nielsen’s prestigious Operations Trainee program. He held positions in both Operations and Chartering during his 5.5years at the company. Michael joined Louis Dreyfus Commodities in Wilton, CT in 2012 where he was in charge of Global Ethanol and Molasses Chartering. In addition to procuring freight, overseeing operations and demurrage, and negotiating terminal storage contracts, he played an integral role in trading LDC’s domestic and international Ethanol position. In 2015, Michael moved to Houston, TX to join Tricon Energy LTD as Global Chartering Manager. Michael is one of the founding partners at Lighthouse Chartering LLC, which was formed in 2016 with a focus on handling logistics and freight solutions for Tricon Energy LTD. and other Charterer’s in the Specialty Chemical space.
Leonardo Mancilla Director, Latin America Polyolefin Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS Leonardo Mancilla is a Director in the Polyolefins group at Chemical Market Analytics. He leads polyethylene and polypropylene market coverage for Latin America. Before joining the Chemical Market Analytics Polyolefins team, Leonardo worked as a contractor for almost eleven years coordinating the research and production of the QuiMax Latin American report and its consulting service. After the merger of the QuiMax into the Global Plastics and Polymers Report (GPPR), Leonardo continued supporting the Latin American sections for the GPPR. He began his professional career in Pequiven, Venezuela, where his last job was Process Engineer in the Olefins plant. He also worked for Dow Chemical’s Emulsion Polymers business with roles in all the phases from Manufacturing to Business Planning. Before joining the QuiMax Report team in 2011, he worked as Operations Manager for chemical transport companies like ITT, Flexitank, and ITQ Inc. Leonardo holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University at Kingsville, United States.
Byron Miller Chief Commercial Officer South Carolina Ports Authority Byron Miller leads all sales, marketing and business development efforts at SC Ports, growing and diversifying South Carolina’s cargo base. Byron joined SC Ports in 1993 and worked in many leadership positions across the organization. Since he joined the commercial group in 2012, the Port of Charleston earned the title of the nation’s fastest growing top 10 seaport. Byron held several roles including director of sales where he worked collaboratively with many of SC Ports’ largest customers in the automotive, manufacturing and distribution sectors and helped to develop solutions for their end-to-end supply chain objectives. A South Carolina native, Byron has been active with various professional associations and community organizations and was previously named the Charleston region’s “Transportation Leader of the Year” and the Propeller Club Member of the Year. He earned bachelor’s degrees in business and French from The College of Charleston, with a concentration in global logistics.
Joel Morales Vice President, Global Plastics & Polymers | North America Polyethylene & Polypropylene Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS Joel Morales is the Vice President at Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS, a Dow Jones company. Joel joined the IHS Markit base chemicals business (now known as Chemical Market Analytics), in March 2013, covering Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) in North America. He is currently the service leader of three market advisory subscription services: The Global Plastics and Polymers Report, the North American PE Report, and the North American PP report. He has brought a wealth of industry knowledge to IHS Markit through multiple stints along the plastics value chain. He began his career with polyolefins manufacturer, Solvay Polymers, which later became Ineos, in technical services and product development before he moved into field sales. After five years at Solvay Polymers, Joel moved into resin distribution sales for both Muehlstein and then United Polychem as a Product Manager, where he managed and sold polyethylene and polypropylene resins into various customer segments. In his most recent role prior to joining IHS Markit, Joel was a purchasing manager for Silgan Plastics, a major blow-molding, and injection molding plastics converter. Joel graduated from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a minor in psychology.
James Nicholson Executive Director, America Benzene, Pygas & Reformate Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS James Nicholson is the Executive Director for America Benzene, Pygas & Reformate at Chemical Market Analytics. Mr. Nicholson is the Research and Analysis executive director responsible for market coverage of Benzene, PyGas, and Reformate in North America. He has 30 years of industry experience with 29 years having served Lyondell Chemical in a variety of roles including optimization, olefins feedstocks, trading, and multiple commercial roles where he was most recently Business Director – Aromatics and Oxygenated Fuels, Americas.
Tom Paeshuys International Representative for North America The Port of Antwerp-Bruges Tom currently serves as the International Representative for North America at The Port of Antwerp-Bruges where he serves as the local face of the port and supports marketing, sales, business intelligence, and foreland and hinterland strategy. He previously held roles at Liege Container Terminal, Interferry Boats and head of marketing at Port of Singapore PSA.
Ty C. Reasonover Senior Manager, Trade Development Port Houston Ty C. Reasonover is Senior Manager, Trade Development at Port Houston. With over 15 years of experience in international trade, vessel operations, and business development. In his current position, he is responsible for growing the organization’s revenue portfolio, Port Houston’s promotional activities on the U.S. East Coast, and in the EMEA regions, and promotion of the Port’s capabilities for handling containerized and project cargoes. Ty graduated from Texas A&M University, Galveston Campus, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Administration. He enjoys outdoor recreation, travel, and family time.
Nicklas Smith Shipbroker/CEO NETCO As Chief Executive Officer of NETCO, Nicklas Smith leads all commercial, market analysis, and business development activities for the international brokerage house. He has been an active broker and held numerous leadership roles during his 30+ years of service to NETCO. Since its founding in 1984, NETCO has grown from its roots as a lone Connecticut office to a global operation brokering freight contracts for liquid bulk chemicals, vegetable oils, lubricants, clean petroleum products, projects, liquefied petroleum gas, and petrochemical gasses. NETCO’s relationship with vessel owners, traders, and producers gives Nicklas a unique insight into trends and market patterns across the value chain.
Frank Vingerhoets President Katoen Natie Frank A.Vingerhoets has been the president of Katoen Natie Gulf Coast Inc. For the last 20 years. With more than 7,0 mio sq ft of warehouses and a 3000 railcar packaging capacity/month in Houston alone they are the biggest logistics service provider for the petrochemical industry in Texas. Katoen Natie operates over 12-mio sq ft of warehouse in the USMCA with locations in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Norfolk, New Jersey, Montreal, Sarnia, Edmonton, Mexico City, Silao, Altamira etc… As a veteran of the Katoen Natie group with over 32 years of experience in global logistics, he now heads the petrochemical logistics activities of the Katoen Natie Group in the USMCA area. During his career with the Katoen Natie Group he has held positions in Belgium, Scotland, Singapore, Japan, Canada and the USA. The Katoen Natie group is the largest global logistics service provider for the petrochemical industry in the world and handles more than 45 mio tones of polymers on a yearly basis. He holds a degree in Nautical Science of the Nautical university of Antwerp.
Dan Withers Director Business Development Advario Mr. Withers joined Advario (formerly Oiltanking) in 2019 as Director of Business Development North America where he is responsible for growth projects including new energy initiatives such as hydrogen and ammonia. He has been in the petrochemical, refining and mid-stream businesses since 1984 and has worked on many projects over the years. Prior to joining Advario he was president of Cogent Energy Solutions. He spent 20+ years working for Shell Chemical, Koch Chemical and Sterling Chemicals. He graduated from MS State University with a degree in chemical engineering.