Hellstern joins Americhem as CEO

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Materials firm Americhem Inc. has named Matthew Hellstern as its new CEO.

Hellstern has almost 30 years of specialty chemicals experience, most recently as vice president and general manager of specialty catalysts for W.R. Grace & Co. in Columbia, Md. He also spent 15 years in a variety of positions with global plastics and chemicals firm BASF SE.

Hellstern joined Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based Americhem on Feb. 27. The firm is rearranging its corporate structure, with owner Rick Juve now becoming chairman. John Deignan — who had served as Americhem's president since 2014 — has left the company to pursue other interests.

Recent growth — including the acquisitions of Infinity Compounding, LTL Color Compounders and Vi-Chem Corp. — led Americhem to recognize the need for a "coordinated leadership structure," officials said in a news release.

As CEO, Hellstern "will drive appropriate strategies to accelerate organic growth in an expanding global polymer industry," they added. "Americhem Group and its companies look forward to the future with this new leadership structure in place."

Americhem is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers, according to Plastics News data. The firm operates 10 plants worldwide and has annual sales of almost $300 million.