Cranberry Township, Pa. — Auxiliary equipment supplier Conair Group has appointed five new managers about 18 months after Venice, Italy-based Piovan SpA acquired its former parent company, IPEG Inc.
New managers are in place in Conair's sales, product management, systems and extrusion businesses to help grow the business and meet the targets.
They are: Anthony "A.J." Zambanini, director of product management; Nick Paradiso, director of Conair's newly formed Systems Group; Lane Brewster, director of unit group sales; Chris Weinrich, general manager of extrusion sales; and Tom Bishop, national sales manager.
Zambanini, a nine-year Conair veteran, will oversee the staff developing individual auxiliary equipment lines of blenders, conveyors, dryers and other products for extrusion, heat transfer, storage and size reduction. In the past, he has held management positions related to drying equipment and packaging sales. His previous industry experience also includes engineering and new product development. He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Penn State Erie, the Behrend College.
Paradiso will work with teams to develop and install turnkey systems for new production lines and complete production plants. He was promoted after three years as product manager for conveying and bulk storage equipment. He previously served as sales and marketing director for Piovan Group and as a division manager for material handling and auxiliaries at Wittmann Battenfeld. He received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University and is a 2024 MBA candidate at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.
Brewster, a 12-year Conair employee, now leads a large team responsible for helping customers select auxiliary equipment suited to their application requirements. In the past, he managed inside sales, supervised technical sales and was as an account manager. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Weinrich will lead a growing business of Conair auxiliaries used to produce tube, pipe and profile extrusions. He previously served as director of packaging and medical and was a general manager of extrusion. He has been in the plastics industry more than 30 years, also holding product management positions at Milacron and Xaloy Inc. before joining Conair in 2011. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Xavier University's Williams College of Business.
Weinrich succeeds Ernie Preiato, vice president for extrusion, who plans to retire after 50-plus years in the extrusion industry as an employee of Conair and Gatto, a company acquired by Conair.
Bishop will direct the activities of six Conair regional managers who support North America's largest auxiliary equipment sales team, which comprises 12 independent sales agencies and 45 sales representatives throughout the U.S. and Canada. He also served Conair as a regional sales manager, systems engineer and inside sales representative.
Before Conair, Bishop worked as a regional sales manager for Davis-Standard and as an account manager for Design Molded Plastics, an Ohio-based processor. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Ohio Northern University.
"All of these appointments — A.J., Nick, Lane, Chris, and Tom — reflect the desire of Conair Group to strengthen customer focus, market awareness and technical expertise in key areas of our business: developing and managing a comprehensive offering of auxiliary equipment; engineering and delivering high-performance turnkey systems; and supporting processors who seek help in selecting and sizing market-leading auxiliary equipment and solutions for their businesses," Sam Rajkovich, Conair's vice president of sales and marketing, said in a news release.
Conair Group employs 32 degreed engineers, including 16 senior team members with an average of more than 23 years of experience.
Piovan bought IPEG, which comprises the Conair, Thermal Care, Pelletron and Republic Machine brands, from Sewickley Capital Inc. to enhance its automation products for material handling, downstream equipment, shredders and chillers.
The acquisition also allowed Piovan to expand geographically. IPEG has a plant and research and development lab in Cranberry Township, two manufacturing plants in Illinois and Michigan, two offices in Georgia and Kentucky, and a production plant in India.
Meanwhile, parent company Piovan SpA is off to a good start in 2023. In the first quarter, sales generated 138.9 million euros ($152.6 million), up 31.9 percent from the same period last year, with a profit of 9.5 million euros ($10.4 million), which is up from 7 million euros ($7.7 million) in 2022.