New Indiana chapter president Colin Denihan has nothing but gratitude for his predecessors and their confidence in recommending him for chapter leadership. Denihan recently took some time to chat with Scrap News about his background, his journey to becoming chapter president, and what he’s looking to accomplish during his tenure.
Tell me about your background and how you ended up working in the recycling industry.
My father ran a large district of one of the largest equipment companies in the country, United Rentals, so I always thought I would go into the business with him. But when I was introduced to aluminum and recycling, that really sparked my interest and I never looked back. Part of that introduction came from my grandfather who worked for Joslyn Steel Company, which was later sold to Slater Steel, a structural steel erection and fabrication welding company. He was one of my biggest role models growing up, so when he told me about the business, I was drawn to it.
I began working in the industry through a college internship. While in college, I also met Ben Gebhart, CEO of Metal Source, a metal processing company in Wabash, Ind. I worked for several companies in the industry before joining Metal Source in 2016, where I currently serve as vice president.
What was your introduction to ISRI, and how did you get involved with the Indiana chapter?
I was introduced to ISRI and the Indiana Chapter through former chapter presidents. Former chapter president Rick Grinsfelder, manager of nonferrous procurement for OmniSource, led the charge in recruiting me. I was elected a director-at-large at 25, and over the years, I climbed the ranks to become chair of various committees including membership and events, and then held each officer position. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into at first, but the journey has been a lot of fun.
Tell me about your journey to become chapter president. Did you always have chapter leadership in mind, or did something spark that interest?
After attending my first few chapter board meetings, I was hooked and knew I wanted to become a leader within the chapter. Again, I credit people like Grinsfelder and Gebhart for pushing me to get involved. I learned the importance of advocacy at the grassroots legislative level. I also learned the importance of networking. ISRI has helped me build relationships on behalf of Metal Source.
When you found out you were elected chapter president, what was your reaction?
I was honored that my fellow chapter members elected me. I was also honored to be elected co-chair of the Council of Chapter Presidents. I’m the first Indiana chapter member to hold that role.
How has your career thus far prepared you for this new journey as chapter president?
I’ve been leading teams since I was young, so I’ve gained valuable experience that’ll help me in my new role as chapter president. I’ve performed almost every job at Metal Source, so now I can take that knowledge to the executive level and grow as an industry leader, which is very exciting.
Metal Source is both a dealer and a consumer. We operate several ferrous and nonferrous recycling facilities, and we also have multiple aluminum plants as well. I look forward to bringing my expertise in these areas to my new leadership roles.
What are you hoping to accomplish during your tenure as chapter president?
Growing chapter membership has always been a focus of mine. We have multiple companies we are targeting and recruiting to join ISRI. Working with Brianna Gianti [ISRI’s vice president of membership] and Lacey Capps [ISRI’s director of chapter relations] has been key and they deserve a ton of credit for the work they do. We’ve already gained 10 new members since I was elected president, and we hope to gain many more during my term. I hope I can follow the footsteps of past chapter presidents and help recruit the next generation of industry leaders to become more involved at the local level.
When you’re not working or engaged in ISRI-related activities, what do you enjoy doing?
My wife, Mary Kathryn, is a rockstar and she supports my career whole heartedly. My free time is dedicated to her and our five children and their various activities. We also love to travel and we’re always on the search for new restaurants to try. Key West is our favorite travel destination. We also enjoy spending time with our customers, many of whom have become friends.