Spring 2016 • INSIDER 32 INSIDER • Spring 2016
Strong as Steel Naming
He’s a Winner! Of the Fall 2015 SP
Insider contest, that is. Mark Guyer,
Head of Continuous Improvement for
API Laminates in Poynton, England
was the BIG winner of the October
2015 Strong as Steel Naming contest.
When he learned he had won, he
said he was “really chuffed about it.”
Did You Know?
• Steel comprises approximately 75 percent of all major
• Susan G. Komen organization has invested over $2
billion dollars in breast cancer education, research,
advocacy, health services and social support
programs since it was founded in 1982.
• The first use of the term “coaching” to mean an
instructor or trainer arose around 1830 in Oxford
University slang for a tutor who “carries” a student
through an exam. The first use of the term in relation
to sports came in 1861.
• Gemba is a Japanese word meaning “the real place.”
In business, gemba refers to the place where value is
• The euphonium is a large, conical-bore, baritone-
voiced brass instrument that derives its name from
the Greek word euphonos, meaning “well-sounding”
• Engineering has existed since ancient times as
humans devised fundamental inventions such as the
wedge, lever, wheel, and pulley.
• The first evidence of whiskey production in Scotland
comes from an entry in the Exchequer Rolls for 1494.
• Boys & Girls Club youth development programs,
training and services impacted more than 4 million
children and teens last year.
• One of the first users of a virtual tour was Queen
Elizabeth II, when she officially opened the visitor
centre of Dudley Castle in England in June 1994.
Because the Queen’s officials had requested titles,
descriptions and instructions of all activities, the
system was named and described as: “Virtual Tour,
being a cross between Virtual Reality and Royal Tour.”
Mark Guyer, who was really
chuffed with his iPad!
Mind Like a Steel Trap Contest
Want to be the happy (or chuffed) owner of a new iPad Mini or a
one-ounce Steel Partners commemorative silver bar? Employees
who submit the correct answers – yep, they all have to be correct
and they can all be found in this newsletter – to newsletter@
steelpartners.com will be entered in a random drawing to win the
iPad Mini, while 25 runners-up will receive a one-ounce silver bar.
Winners will be notified by email and announced in the next Steel
Partners Insider newsletter.
• What state is known as the Volunteer State?
• How many years ago did the Challenger shuttle tragedy occur?
• Who wrote The Lean CEO: Leading the Way to World-Class
• What is the English translation of Escondido?
• What is the acronym STEM short for?
• What’s another word for corrective action?
• Who was the first woman to coach a men’s professional
• What Steel Partners company’s business focuses on e-commerce
• What is the Maori word for meat?
• What might someone in Great Britain say if they’re very pleased?
This is your Steel Partners Insider! If you have ideas for
future articles or information you’d like to see included,
please contact the Steel Partners communications team.
Steel Partners Insider is for all employees, so this publication
highlights activities and interests happening all across Steel
Partners Holdings L.P. and its affiliated companies!
To submit ideas, please e-mail newsletter@steelpartners.
com or contact the following communications team member:
For the past seven
years, thousands of
friends and families
have gathered at the
Pier to walk for kids
with special needs
Every year of the
to Pier Friendship Walk has broken new records in attendance
and donations – and this year was no different! More than 12,000
people joined together at the beach on October 25, 2015, blowing
away the $1.2 million goal by raising $1.4 million for children.
Steel Sports once again played an important role in helping the
event eclipse the million dollar mark through its sponsorship of the
#P2PSteelSports Selfie Challenge, which pledged $5 donated to
the Walk for each photo posted on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
with the #P2PSteelSports hashtag.
One of the best parts of the annual Skechers Pier to Pier
Friendship Walk is sharing the funds raised from the event.
Supported by celebs like Tommy Lasorda, Brooke Burke-Charvet,
Sugar Ray Leonard and Denise Austin, the Skechers Foundation
presented record-breaking funds: a $434,000 check for the
Friendship Foundation to help children with special needs, and
$932,000 dedicated to six education foundations. The launch of
our scholarship program was also celebrated – with $25,000 in
scholarships for 11 well-deserving high school students, who were
recognized for their great potential, leadership and contributions to
their schools and communities.
Now the largest event supporting children with special needs and
education, the SKECHERS Pier to Pier Friendship Walk has broken
fundraising records every year since its 2009 launch. To date, the
Walk has raised more than $5.5 million.
Some of the 12,000 people who took part in the walk.
Steel Gives Back
Steel Sports Co-sponsors SKECHERS Foundation Pier to Pier Friendship Walk
Rabbi Yossi Mintz, Michael Greenberg,
Warren Lichtenstein and Sugar Ray Leonard
Tommy Lasorda, Michael Greenberg,
Brooke Burke-Charvet and Jimmy Kimmel
Emily Fast, Camille Murray and Caroline Perry
LinkedIn: Steel Partners Holdings - Twitter: @steelholding
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 54 INSIDER • Spring 2016
Thirty miles northeast of San Diego sits
a hidden gem – Escondido. Not only is
Escondido nestled in a shallow valley
surrounded by rocky hills, its name means
hidden in Spanish. Escondido is rich in
beauty, history and culture, but there’s no
hiding that it is as well known for its caring
and generous community.
In response to the loss of one mother to
breast cancer and the diagnoses of three other mothers of players
on their son Andy’s soccer team, Bill Bickel, VP Finance of MTE
Corporation, and his wife Pam founded Kickin’ It Challenge.
Having lost family members and friends to breast cancer as well,
Bill and Pam pledged to take action and make a difference in an
intimately familiar way – by organizing a soccer tournament from
which 100% of the proceeds would benefit breast cancer research
and services. With the help and support of friends in the soccer
community, the inaugural Kickin’ It Challenge tournament was held
in June 2012. They were off and running. And kicking, too.
With over 13 million Americans playing soccer in the US, it is the
nation’s third most played team sport, behind basketball and
baseball/softball. But soccer’s popularity is not what drives teams,
players and families to the Kickin’ It Challenge tournament. They
come for the event’s unique combination of competition, fun,
breast cancer awareness, giving back, and the lessons everyone
takes home with them at the end of the two-day tournament.
“It’s not unusual for teams to play in honor of a friend, a relative,
or even a coach,” said Bill. “Two years ago we had a boys under 9
team playing in honor of their coach who was there to coach them
in their tournament games two weeks post-mastectomy. It was a
huge weekend for them, and a great lesson for all about uniting in
the fight against breast cancer.”
The weekend is filled with emotion, spirit and fun. The Power of
Pink Challenge encourages teams to display their spirit by wearing
unique pink soccer attire. Each year two teams – one boys’ team
and one girls’ team – are recognized with POP awards. Other
unforgettable moments include male coaches dressed in pink
tutus, referees donating their fees back to the tournament, and
groups of kids donating funds they raised in anticipation of the
Teams “go pink” for the Power of Pink Challenge.
Steel Gives Back
“It is deeply personal. Initially we were
inspired to take action to help support the
fight against this horrible disease when we
lost a member of our community to breast
cancer. No child should lose a mother this
way, and we won’t stop until a cure for
breast cancer is found.”
- Pam Bickel, Kickin’ It Challenge
Kickin’ It Challenge – Unite in the Fight Kickin’ It Challenge continues to be a Bickel family affair. Pam
is president and, according to Bill, “the real force behind the
event,” Bill is CFO, and Andy is chief gopher and emergency
referee. With the increased success in each year, the Bickels
and their crew are surprised at how, as Bill says, “their little idea
has become a really big
thing.” In four short years,
the event has contributed a
total of $150,000 to Susan
G. Komen San Diego, San
Diego County’s largest
funder of breast cancer
services and an affiliate
of Susan G. Komen, the
organization that has
invested $2.6 billion in
community health outreach,
advocacy and programs
in more than 30 countries
since 1982. The Kickin’
It Challenge two-event-
one-cause goal for 2016 is
According to Annie Alwine, Director of Marketing &
Communications for Susan G. Komen San Diego, Kickin’ It
Challenge is the affiliate’s largest third-party fundraising event.
“We have many amazing volunteers who fundraise for the
Komen cause, and the Bickel family tops the list. The dedication
and passion of Pam Bickel and her committee is inspiring. They
work year-round to make each Kickin’ It Challenge event bigger
and better. Their contribution to breast cancer services and
support in San Diego is remarkable and our community would
be at a loss without them.”
Held during the third weekend in June at Frances Ryan Park in
Escondido, this year’s Kickin’ It Challenge dates are June 18 and
19. The two-day tourney is open to all youth competitive teams
American Cancer Society Key Statistics for Breast
Cancer in the US
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among
American women, except for skin cancers. About 1 in
8 (12%) women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast
cancer during their lifetime.
American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in
the U.S. for 2016:
• About 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will
be diagnosed in women.
• About 61,000 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will
be diagnosed. (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest
form of breast cancer).
• About 40,450 women will die from breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death
in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance
that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s
death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%). Death rates from breast
cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger
decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases
are believed to be the result of earlier detection through
screening and increased awareness, as well as improved
At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer
survivors in the U.S.
Business leaders from across the Steel
Partners spectrum came together in mid-
March at Shutters On The Beach in Santa
Monica for the 2016 CEO Summit. The
conference is an outstanding opportunity
for leadership to team up and brainstorm
with their SP peers, get to know the other SP businesses, discuss
best practices and lean implementation, and create bandana
fashion statements. What?
That’s right. As soon as the PowerPoint presentations and panel
sessions concluded, participants divided into five teams to engage
in teamwork-building activities disguised as games, and each
team’s first order of business was stylizing their team bandanas.
Once united by their bandana-wear, each team faced a variety of
challenges and earned bicycle parts by completing each. At the
end of the camaraderie-filled session, five beautiful new Steel-built
bikes were constructed and donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa
More photos from the 2016 CEO Summit and Bike Build can be
seen on the back page of this newsletter.
Let’s Go Build a Bike!
Steel Gives Back
With Warren Lichtenstein and five beautiful new Steel-built bikes
are Garron Campbell, BGCSM Branch Director (left) and Roy
Shioda, BGCSM Director of Operations. The Boys & Girls Clubs
mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those
who need Boys & Girls Clubs most, to reach their full potential as
caring, responsible, productive citizens.
Kicking’ It Challenge founders and organizers Bill, Pam and Andy
ages 8 – 18, and the Bickels expect to host 110 teams with 1,500
soccer players during the 2016 tournament. A companion “Gala
Bash” fundraising event for adults was added in 2015. Featuring a
silent auction, DJ and buffet, the 2016 Gala Bash will take place on
For more information on Kickin’ It Challenge or to make a
donation, visit www.kickinitchallenge.com. To learn more
about the good work done by Susan G. Komen San Diego,
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 76 INSIDER • Spring 2016
we work to
inspire that desire
and passion for
of the shuttle
commitment made several years ago toward the expansion and relocation of the
Powerhouse Science Center and its new Challenger Center.
“We are honored to be a long-time partner with the National Challenger Center and
learning centers across the nation, especially on this meaningful anniversary,” said
Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “Working together, we are helping
to inspire and educate the next generation of America’s aerospace leaders, those
students who may actually be on future missions to the International Space Station,
Mars and beyond.”
Student “astronauts” from Silva Valley Elementary in El Dorado Hills, CA, and other dig-
nitaries were also in attendance. Silva Valley has been “flying missions” from the Sac-
ramento Challenger mission control simulator since 1998. To date, 72 Silva Valley fifth
grade classes have participated in the unique hands-on learning experience field trip.
4-Minute Click-to-Ship Recognized By Business
Intelligence Group as 2016 BIG Innovation Award Winner
As reported by BusinessWire on February 5, 2016:
Organizations from across the globe submitted their recent
innovations for consideration in the 2016 BIG Innovation
Awards, which were then judged by a select group of
business leaders, innovators and executives. “This year we
saw new innovations from virtually all industries. It is clear
that the role of technology in improving business results and consumer experiences is
accelerating,” said Russ Fordyce, Managing Director of the Business Intelligence Group.
Through a heavy investment in its new e-fulfillment operations, technology, and
processes, ModusLink has been able to strengthen its wide array of e-commerce
solutions. Consequently, the 4-Minute Click-to-Ship technology has become one of
ModusLink’s most recent achievements. ModusLink implemented state-of-the-art
solutions into the order fulfillment process to ensure that products remain in constant
motion from the time the product is initially picked to its arrival at the shipping dock.
ModusLink is able to meet the instant gratification standard that consumers have come
to expect from this industry.
between the Folsom Cordova Unified School District and
Aerojet Rocketdyne is designed to inspire the next generation of
aerospace leaders. As part of this effort, Riverview STEM Academy
provided a unique opportunity for its students to “tour” our highly
secured facility – without ever having to leave their school.
Via a two-way, live-streaming broadcast, Toby Hargreaves
helped provide the virtual tour between Aerojet Rocketdyne’s
Sacramento’s manufacturing bay and 265 students gathered in a
multipurpose room at Riverview. Two Aerojet Rocketdyne rocket
scientists, Lyn Van Winkle and David Daniewicz, led the tour,
showed and discussed real Aerojet Rocketdyne hardware and
answered live questions from the students. Watch the video to see
how the students were able to experience rocket science in a new
way with this two-way, live-streamed broadcast:
Aerojet Rocketdyne Commemorates 30th
Challenger Anniversary with Major Donation
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a leader in funding and designing the
Sacramento Challenger Learning Center since its construction
in 1997, recently participated in events commemorating the 30th
anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy.
The Challenger Learning Center, a living legacy to the astronauts
of the Space Shuttle Challenger, continues to inspire the future
30 years after the accident. The leading science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM) education organization, founded by
the Challenger families, has educated over 4.4 million students at
more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers around the globe.
“The Challenger Center is inspiring today’s students to see
their full potential and follow a path that leads to a career in the
STEM industry,” said Dr. Lance Bush, president and CEO of the
Challenger Center. “Never before has this mission been so critical.
Just as the Challenger crew demonstrated a true commitment to
Aerojet Rocketdyne Plays Key Role in
Missile Defense Test
In late January, Aerojet Rocketdyne
announced the successful testing
of its liquid Divert and Attitude
Control System (DACS) on the
Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) in the latest flight test of the
Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-based Midcourse Defense
(GMD) program. The Aerojet Rocketdyne DACS has a mission-
The vital GMD
currently is the
test, a Boeing-
built EKV, was
of a threat
from a C-17 over
the Pacific Ocean west of Hawaii.
“On this flight, we validated key design improvements in the DACS,
demonstrating improved performance, reliability and producibility,”
said Michael Bright, Aerojet Rocketdyne vice president of Missile
Defense and Strategic Systems. “The overall goal of the Missile
Defense Agency is to make a more capable and reliable system,
and this successful test demonstrated significant progress toward
reaching that goal.”
The design, development and qualification of these design
improvements were performed at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Los
Angeles site. Matt Widman, the thruster program manager,
added, “This successful flight represented three years of hard
work and dedication by our entire team. We are very proud of this
accomplishment and look forward to many years of production of
this advanced propulsion system.”
Students Get Glimpse of Aerojet
Rocketdyne in Virtual Tour
Recently, Riverview STEM Academy in Rancho Cordova, CA,
connected with future rocket scientists in a virtual tour of Aerojet
Rocketdyne’s Sacramento facility. The continued partnership
In The News In The News Employee Discounts
All Steel Partners employees
are eligible to use our vehicle
manufacturer discount programs
with Ford and GM. For each partner
program, the manufacturers’ websites
contain information on how to
participate, sample vehicle pricing,
shopping tools, as well as rules and
FAQs. The company code should be
taken to the dealership in order to
qualify for the vehicle discount. The
dealer will also need to see proof of
employment. We recommend the
employee visit www.steelpartners.com
to print out their company’s page for
validation as well.
Ford X-Plan Partner Recognition
• The program offers 4% below
factory price for new vehicles.
• Employees, members of the
employee’s household, and retirees
• Each employee is entitled to 2
control numbers per year, which
can be generated on the www.
• Upon accessing the website, each
employee will be required to enter
the code WP791.
General Motors Supplier Discount
• The program discount is different
for every GM vehicle.
• The discount price can be found
below the MSRP and applied to
the purchase or lease of eligible
NEW Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and
Cadillac vehicles by requesting
an authorization number and
presenting it to your GM Dealer.
• Register via the website https://
• Use: Company name:
(l to r) Tyler Evans, Aerojet Rocketdyne vice president, presents a cer-
emonial check to Michele Wong, Powerhouse Science Center board
president and Harry Laswell, Powerhouse Science Center executive
director & COE, at the Sacramento Challenger Learning Center.
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 7
Students enjoy a virtual tour of Aerojet Rocketdyne
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 98 INSIDER • Spring 2016
SP Supply Chain Corner
Steel Partners maintains 21 national supply contracts, which repre-
sent over $90MM in annual spend and generate more than $37MM
in savings. Finance, Human Resources and Supply Chain collabo-
rated on opportunities for supplier consolidation and savings in the
areas of benefits, insurance and third-party advisors. We created an
intranet site as a central location for contracts, key contacts and key
correspondence. Below are select highlights from our September
Summit, highlighting some of the best practices and cross-company
Strategic Sourcing – The Make vs. Buy Analysis
Given the results of the growing trend of
near-shoring and the insights outlined in the
Q3 2014 Steel Partners study, The Future of
Global Manufacturing and LCC Sourcing, Bob
Murphy, SVP of Supply Chain for OMG, was
invited to present to the team on how to evalu-
ate internal production vs. third-party sourcing.
He broke down the factors that may influence
a company’s decision to buy a part rather than
produce it internally, including lack of in-house
expertise, small volume requirements, desire
for multiple sourcing, and the fact that the item may not be critical
to its strategy. Similarly, he discussed factors that may persuade a
company to choose insourcing, including existing idle production
capacity, better quality control or proprietary technology that needs
to be protected. Finally, the team benefited from Bob’s live exam-
ple of OMG’s evaluation process and decision to insource OMG’s
heat-treating needs, which required capital investment, significant
governmental and environmental approvals and increased utility
involvement. Ultimately, OMG’s evaluation of the value chain, as well
as the differences in cost and service levels, heavily supported the
decision to insource the heat-treating operation.
Talent Development - Lucas Milhaupt Internship Program
Exceptional people and leaders drive our
businesses. Thus, recruiting, developing and
retaining the best talent available is essential
to our business success. While there are
many ways to identify and recruit talent, Jon
Ollinger, head of the Steel Purchasing Council,
presented on Lucas Milhaupt’s strategic
internship program and outlined its benefits
and results. Jon shared a low-cost approach,
which has proven to be highly successful – a
partnership with Marquette University. The
Applied Learning Course is a program in which college students
are paired with local companies to provide exposure to company
culture, markets and various functional disciplines. The students or
interns assume responsibility on challenging projects and see them
through from strategy to impact. Typically, the internship assignment
consists of a semester or 12-week program with a company
mentor. Since 2010, the Lucas program has resulted in two full-
time hires and over $160,000 in annual savings. In addition to the
savings and talent acquisitions, this program has afforded Lucas
a strong relationship with Marquette University, including guest
lectures and an advisory board role to the supply chain department.
Undergraduate interns and new hires can and should be a low cost
and effective talent acquisition and internal development channel.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Handy & Harman Ltd.
Handy & Harman Ltd.
(HNH) announced on
April 21, 2016 that
it has commenced
a tender offer through a wholly
owned subsidiary to purchase all
of the outstanding shares of SL
Industries, Inc. (SLI) for $40.00 per share in cash.
The tender offer is being made pursuant to the
merger agreement entered into by HNH and SLI
and announced on April 7, 2016.
Consummation of the tender offer is subject to
certain conditions, including the tender of a number
of shares that constitutes at least (1) a majority
of SLI’s outstanding shares and (2) 60% of SLI’s
outstanding shares not owned by HNH or any of
its affiliates, as well as other customary conditions.
Steel Partners and its affiliates began purchasing
shares of SL Industries in 1991 and currently own
approximately 25.1% of its outstanding shares.
As promptly as practicable following the completion
of the tender offer, HNH will acquire all remaining
SLI shares through a merger of one of its wholly
owned subsidiaries into SLI at the tender offer
“We are extremely pleased to have
commenced our tender offer for SLI.
HNH affiliates have been long-term
investors in SLI, and we look forward
to a prompt closing and to integrating
SLI into the HNH/Steel family of
– Warren Lichtenstein
CoSine Communications, Inc.
On December 28, 2015, CoSine
Communications, Inc. effected
reverse stock split
of its common
to which stockholders owning fewer than 80,000
shares of CoSine’s common stock had such
shares converted into the right to receive $4.40
for each share of CoSine’s common stock held
immediately prior to the effectiveness of the reverse
stock split. CoSine’s common stock was delisted
from the OTC Pink marketplace and its trading
symbol COSN was deleted effective at the open
of trading on December 29, 2015. Subsequent to
the reverse stock split and pursuant to the terms
of an Agreement and Plan of Merger dated as of
December 29, 2015, CoSine merged with and into
a wholly owned subsidiary of WebFinancial Holding
Corporation, itself an indirect subsidiary of Steel
Partners Holdings, L.P., with WebFinancial Holding
Corporation’s subsidiary as the surviving entity.
ModusLink Global Solutions Announces
As reported by BusinessWire on March 29, 2016:
Warren G. Lichtenstein Appointed as Interim
Chief Executive Officer;James R. Henderson
Appointed as Chief Executive Officer of
ModusLink Supply Chain Business
ModusLink Global Solutions™, Inc. (the “Company”) MLNK +0.96% today
announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Warren G. Lichtenstein
as its interim Chief Executive Officer, replacing John J. Boucher who resigned
as President and Chief Executive Officer on March 23, 2016 to pursue other
interests. Mr. Lichtenstein will remain Chairman of the Board. The Company
also disclosed today that James R. Henderson has been appointed as the
Chief Executive Officer of the Company’s principal operating subsidiary,
ModusLink Corporation (“ModusLink”).
“Jim is an experienced business executive with an
impressive track record in sales, operations and supply
chain management,” stated Mr. Lichtenstein. “I’ve worked
with Jim for years and his knowledge of our industry and
the markets we serve, along with his extensive hands-on
operational experience, make him the perfect fit to lead
ModusLink in this important period in our corporate
evolution. We have the cash resources on hand to grow
our core business and enhance operational capabilities.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Jim to
ModusLink and look forward to collaborating with him as
we continue to execute our strategy while driving long-term shareholder value.”
Mr. Henderson is a seasoned industry veteran with significant public company
and turnaround experience. Throughout his career, he has held various
leadership positions with global corporations and supply chain and distribution
businesses. Most recently, Mr. Henderson served as Acting Chief Executive
Officer of School Specialty, Inc., a leading distributor of educational supplies,
furniture and curriculum products to the education and healthcare industries,
where he helped navigate the Company’s turnaround, enhance distribution
and manufacturing capabilities to stabilize the core business, and drive
process improvements throughout. Prior to School Specialty, he served as
Chief Executive Officer of Point Blank Solutions, a worldwide leader in the
manufacturing and distribution of protective products and ballistic armor to
the U.S. Military, Federal and Law Enforcement agencies, and international
markets. Previously, he was CEO of other public companies across multiple
“While the global market remains challenging, we have strong and long-
standing client relationships, a strategic global footprint, and some of the best
talent in the industry. My focus over the coming year is to continue to drive
operational efficiencies on behalf of our employees and the clients they serve,
while working with the team to grow sales and expand our pipeline across the
globe. I look forward to taking on this role and working with the ModusLink
team to deliver unprecedented value for our clients,” stated Mr. Henderson.
In addition to his prior management roles, Mr. Henderson has and currently
serves on a number of corporate Boards. He has served as a Director of
Aerojet Rocketdyne since 2008, Chairman of the Board of School Specialty,
Inc. since June 2013, and a Board member of Aviat Networks since January
2015. Previously, Mr. Henderson served as a Director of RELM Wireless
Corporation, DGT Holdings Corp., SL Industries, Angelica Corporation, ECC
International Corp., and Point Blank Solutions, among others.
In The News
Leverage Spend - Risk Management and Premium Pooling
Steel Partners continues to seek economies
of scale across our portfolio. In 2015, we
expanded from traditional procurement areas
into other areas including insurance policy
renewal programs and pooling insurance
premiums to enhance coverage and obtain
better coverage while reducing premium costs
~20%, up to $5MM per annum. Ted Yerdon,
VP & Treasurer for Steel Partners, presented
on the engagement of Risk International, an
independent, outsourced risk management
services company with over 75 professionals. Their list of clients
includes The Carlyle Group and United Technologies Corporation.
While Risk International provides additional risk management
resources and advises on Enterprise and Hazard Risk, each
individual company maintains control and authority.
In 2016, with Jon Olinger taking the helm of the Steel Purchasing
Council, Steel Partners will continue to identify categories for
savings and opportunities for collaboration and knowledge-transfer
across businesses. We will continue to host our annual Supply Chain
forum again in Q3 as well as category-specific meetings as needed.
We welcome feedback on our market updates or other suggestions
on how we can better collaborate or leverage our supply chain.
During the September Summit, Finance, Human Resources
and Supply Chain collaborated on opportunities for supplier
consolidation and savings in the areas of benefits, insurance and
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 1110 INSIDER • Spring 2016
Steel Sports Welcomes Eight Members to
New Advisory Board
Since its founding in 2011, Steel Sports consistently scores goals
and bats in runs while following its founding principle: to promote a
lifelong enjoyment of sports, while emphasizing a positive consumer
experience and instilling the core values of discipline, teamwork,
safety, respect and integrity.
In a recent move to up their game, Steel Sports brought together
a collection of marquee individuals, each of whom has produced
an incredible career in the professional sports arena, to serve on its
new advisory board.
Tommy Lasorda, Dusty Baker, Bobby Valentine, Julie Foudy, Nancy
Lieberman, Jim Thompson, Frank Catalanotto and Urijah Faber
are the first eight members to join the board. Besides achieving
numerous accolades on the field and in the field house, each
member firmly believes in the Steel Sports vision for youth sports
and wants to continue making a difference in the lives of young
The advisory board members act as Steel Sports ambassadors,
promoting its mission of transforming the existing youth sports
culture to help create an environment where athletes learn to
compete while absorbing life lessons.
“What sets this group apart, aside from their achievements on
the field, are the tremendous leadership qualities each one has
displayed throughout their lives,” says Steel Sports CEO David
Shapiro. “Steel Sports is incredibly fortunate to have such an
accomplished group of advisors who believe in our vision of
improving youth sports as a whole where we can use it as a vehicle
to change the trajectory of our nation’s youth.”
• National Baseball Hall of Fame manager
Tommy Lasorda manned the Los Angeles
Dodgers dugout for 21 years from 1976-
1996 and won two World Series titles in
1981 and 1988. He managed USA Baseball
to an Olympic gold medal in 2000 and
recently visited the National Youth Baseball
Championships in New York to offer his
support and advice to the youth players and coaches.
• Current Washington Nationals manager Dusty
Baker is the only three-time MLB Manager of
the Year in history. A National League All-Star
as a player and a former U.S. Marine, Baker
speaks frequently on leadership, teamwork,
motivation and success. Baker is entering
his 21st season as a manager, his first with
Washington after stints with the San Francisco
Giants, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
• Bobby Valentine is a former MLB player and
manager, and he is currently the Sacred Heart
University athletic director in Fairfield, CT.
After a 10-year playing career he managed for
23 seasons, seven of those in the Japanese
Pacific League. In 2015, Valentine was
awarded the MLB Players Alumni Association
Lifetime Achievement Award for his on-field
accomplishments and off-field contributions to communities
across the nation.
• National Soccer Hall of Fame member Julie
Foudy won two FIFA Women’s World Cup
titles and two Olympic gold medals, among
her many achievements, during her 18-year
career with the U.S. women’s national soccer
team. Foudy currently serves as an analyst,
reporter and the primary color commentator
for women’s soccer broadcasts on ESPN and
ABC. Along with her husband, Foudy created the Julie Foudy
Sports Leadership Academy for girls, ages 12-18, which strives
to create leaders both on and off the field.
• Nancy Lieberman’s basketball career has
seen her go from Hall of Fame player to a
pioneer as a coach. Lieberman was inducted
into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996
after a long career as an outstanding point
guard in college and the professional level.
She is currently an assistant coach with the
Sacramento Kings, becoming the second
female assistant coach in NBA history when she was hired last
July. In November 2009, Lieberman became the first woman to
coach a men’s professional basketball team when she took the
Texas Legends head coaching position in the NBA Development
• Former MLB player Frank Catalanotto
enjoyed a 14-year career with five different
teams, and he played for the Italian national
team at the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball
Classic. Catalanotto serves as the lead
instructor at Baseball Heaven’s Steel Sports
Academy in Long Island, where he grew up.
• An American mixed martial artist, Urijah Faber
competes as a bantamweight in the Ultimate
Fighting Championship. Faber held the WEC
Featherweight title from 2006 to 2008, and
now ranks #3 in the official UFC bantamweight
rankings. He is widely regarded as one of the
sport’s pioneers for establishing legitimacy to
lighter weight classes in MMA.
“I’m happy to be a part of the Steel Sports advisory
board and be on board with a great group of people,”
says Dusty Baker. “I believe in what they stand for in
helping our future, our children through youth sports.
I just like the direction Steel Sports is taking with our
young people, both mentally and physically.”
“Our children are our future, and Steel Sports is
driven to ensure today’s youth become better people
through participation in sports,” says Julie Foudy. “We
want kids to be active and enjoy sports, but it’s just
as important to help shape their lives off the field. I’m
pleased to join the Steel Sports advisory board and
continue a path together to make a difference in the
lives of young athletes.”
Steel Coaching System: Reach Your Potential
Over the last year, a key instrument for the Steel Sports coaching
toolbox has been in development.
The idea for a Steel Sports Coaching Manual was born in March of
last year and then took shape at the Steel Sports Coaching Summit
on July 30, 2015. A decision to consult experts in the field led to a
unique partnership between Steel Sports and the Center for Applied
Coaching & Sport Science (CACSS) within the College of Physical
Activity and Sports Studies at West Virginia University (WVU).
Steel Sports and CACSS have complementary visions and missions.
The Steel Sports vision is to be the premier youth sports program in
the country, with the primary focus to promote lifelong enjoyment of
sports while emphasizing positive experience and instilling the core
values of discipline, teamwork, safety, respect and integrity. The
mission of the CACSS at WVU is “to generate original research and
materials that will fill the gap between cutting edge sport science
knowledge and technology, best teaching practices, and real world
coaching across all levels of sport.” Thus, the Steel Sports Coaching
Manual moved from good idea to exceptional coaching system
collaboration when Steel Sports and CACSS joined forces.
“At the youth level, a coach’s role is crucial, as players look to
their coach for guidance, structure and reassurance. This is why
we believe continuous coaching education is paramount,” says
Warren Lichtenstein. “The Steel Coaching System is an athlete-
centered coaching program that is backed by positivity, providing
a curriculum that standardizes our ideas, cultures and beliefs and
provides a consistent message across all of our platforms.”
The Steel Coaching System, which will be continually evaluated, will
rollout this summer at Baseball Heaven, Steel Sports’ state-of-the-
art baseball facility on Long Island.
Back row, left to right: David Shapiro (Steel Sports), Nanette Yang
(Steel Sports), Warren Lichtenstein, J.T. Mellendick (WVU), Clayton
Kuklick (WVU), Frank Catalanotto (Baseball Heaven), Steve Jones
(UK Elite), Jim Parque (Big League Edge), Sal Trovato (Baseball
Heaven), Keith Osik (Baseball Heaven), Gary Book (UK Elite), Andy
Broadbent (UK Elite), Dusty Baker, and Bobby Valentine.
Front row, seated left to right: Joe Franciskovich (Steel Sports),
Jonathan Elbaz (Steel Sports), Tommy Lasorda, Jollene Butler (Steel
Sports), Kristen Dieffenbach (WVU), Mick Smoothey (UK Elite), and
Roch King (WVU).
• Jim Thompson is the founder and CEO of
Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), a national
non-profit organization transforming the
culture of youth sports. PCA develops BETTER
ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through
resources for youth and high school sports
coaches, parents, administrators and student-
athletes. PCA resources have reached more
than 8.6 million youth, and are on track to reach 20 million youth
athletes by 2020.
With an All-Star Advisory Board in place, Steel Sports looks ahead
to a future rich with collaboration and positive impact that extend far
beyond the playing field.
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 1312 INSIDER • Spring 2016
Warren Lichtenstein is Chairman and CEO of Steel Partners.
When his son started playing sports, he realized there was
a huge opportunity to make a difference in youth sports and
he founded Steel Sports and added it to the Steel Partners
portfolio of companies. He provided the initial Seed Funding
for both the PCA-Los Angeles Chapter (which launched in June
2015) and the PCA-New York City Chapter (which launched
January 2016). Jim Thompson interviewed Warren for Impact
on March 21, 2016.
Jim Thompson: What was your sports experience like as a young
Warren Lichtenstein: Apart from Little League I didn’t play
organized sports. There was a dirt lot next to a church that I went to
every day after school where we played pickup ball. We made our
own calls (no adults around) and had fun.
JT: Sounds like my experience growing up in North Dakota, what I
now call the “golden age of sandlot ball.” It may not have been as
golden as I remember it, but it was a lot of fun. I assume your son
Stefan’s sports experience has been quite different?
WL: Yes, he never picked up a ball on his own until I enrolled him
in Little League. One of the dads coaching had played football and
baseball at USC and he created a positive environment for the boys.
I saw Stefan gaining self-confidence from it both athletically and
socially. He also played AYSO soccer, which was very organized—
AYSO has its act together. He also has played flag football, tennis
and he skies. He played youth basketball and the first year he
had a coach that was a yeller, but other than that he’s had good
JT: Did you follow professional sports as a kid?
WL: I didn’t really. If I did I would want to know every stat about
every player so I focused on other things that interested me. I could
tell you, however, which companies we bought and sold and for
JT: You’ve been very successful in business with Steel Partners, but
Steel Sports, which you founded, seems more like a mission than a
WL: It is. My goal with Steel Sports is consistent with your goal with
PCA—to create a complete cultural shift in how sports is taught to
kids, how parents connect with their kids over sports, getting rid of
negative coaching in favor of positive coaching, and having coaches
coach the way they would want to be coached.
I definitely want Steel Sports to make money but I don’t expect it to
earn the same return on sales or return on invested capital as my
other companies. You can’t leverage a baseball field 12:1 like you
can an office building. You also are often competing with mom-and-
pop operations that likely aren’t even profitable. Our organization
recognizes the value that sports and fitness has in providing
meaningful and life-changing experiences for our nation’s youth and
that’s more important than financial returns.
I’ve loved everything you do in PCA and have stolen from you—5
compliments for every criticism, flushing errors—even your former
Chief Revenue Office, David Shapiro, who is now our CEO!
JT: I guess that’s why you call it “Steal” Sports.
WL: Hah! I guess we will from now on! Seriously, you and PCA have
ingrained in David all the disciplines needed to be a great leader.
JT: You have been an important supporter of PCA. You provided
initial Seed Funding for both our Los Angeles Chapter and our New
York City Chapter. What made you decide to invest serious money
WL: What you’ve done with PCA is amazing. When I was starting
Steel Sports I called hundreds of people in the industry. I’m a digger.
I want to meet everyone and know everything about what I am
about to do. I kept coming back to PCA.
Your books and the philosophies behind them—it’s taken years to
put that together at such a high-level, superior quality of thinking.
I was shocked to find that you didn’t have a Chapter in LA or New
York City. I wanted to help you do that.
JT: I think we intentionally delayed moving into LA and New York
City because they are so big and we wanted to make sure we had
our model down before we tackled them. When you made the offer
of Seed Funding it was, “Okay, now it’s time to do Los Angeles,
ready or not!”
WL: I think you were probably ready to expand
to LA and New York City before you realized it.
My son has a poster on his bedroom wall that
says, “Potential is interesting but execution is
everything.” You are executing a program that
I hope will infiltrate every major youth sports
organization. My hope for PCA is that it becomes
part of every coach training program—if you don’t
have a PCA certification card, you aren’t allowed to
It will take a while to change the culture of sports.
I think the story of Exodus in the Bible is an
interesting example. My view is that God made
the Israelites leaving Egypt wander in the desert
for 40 years to get through three generations. The
first generation was tainted from its time in Egypt
and by the time the third generation came around,
good habits had replaced bad habits and then they
reached the Promised Land. As new generations
learn the good habits of how to coach using
positive reinforcement, youth sports will improve.
JT: I know you are close to Tommy Lasorda. How
has that relationship impacted you?
WL: When I moved to LA I actually didn’t know
who Tommy was. We were at a dinner together
and we just connected. He then came to one of
Stefan’s games and I saw how people mobbed
him. I didn’t realize he is like a god in Los Angeles.
During the game, one kid never touched the ball
when he swung the bat. Tommy stopped the game
and went up to the plate and showed the kid
something and said something to him. The next
pitch he hit the ball! He only talked to the kid for
about 75 seconds. I was amazed. If we can apply
the way Tommy interacted with that kid, we can
change the world.
JT: Has your exposure to Tommy and PCA changed the way you do
WL: Yes, 10 years ago I was good at mitigating risk including
mitigating my own weakness in managing people. Now I think
managing people and motivating people is one of my strengths.
We have 15,000 employees and I make it possible for every one
of them to attend a PCA workshop. I love your book, Developing
Better Athletes, Better People, and I give it out to every leader in my
company. I think of it as a mini-version of Jim Collins’ book, Good to
Great, applied to sports.
JT: Warren, it has been great talking with you. I am so grateful to you
for your support of the Positive Coaching Alliance movement.
WL: I think Steel Sports and PCA are riding a wave together. We will
grow together and we are on the verge of really changing everything.
I will be supporting both organizations for a long time.
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 1514 INSIDER • Spring 2016
Steel Business System Meeting
The Steel Business System conference was held January 12-13,
2016 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The conference was initiated
in 2008 for the H&H companies to share best practices in applying
the Business System tools to the manufacturing locations. This
year marked the beginning of a larger audience for the conference,
including participants from Steel Partner affiliated companies who
came to learn about the Steel Business System and how it can
holistically be applied to improve all aspects of the businesses
embracing the principles, values and tools.
Senior leadership of each of the businesses was represented by
President, Finance, Operations, Commercial and HR leadership
functions from all H&H companies, as well as several Steel Partner
affiliated companies including Moduslink, SL Industries, Aerojet
Rocketdyne, Steel Excel, WebBank and API.
Jacob Stoller, author of The Lean CEO: Leading the Way to World-
Class Excellence, served as keynote presenter at dinner on the first
night of the conference. Each conference participant received a
copy of Stoller’s book.
The conference agenda covered a wide array of Business System
best practices and various Kaizen events, presented by leaders from
many Steel Partners companies. Participants learned about best
practices at other companies, with an emphasis on lean learning.
The intent for next year is to continue with the broader audience of
all Steel Partner affiliates in order to focus on building the culture of
lean and problem solving across the business units.
Hugh McGovern, President of OMG, on left, with meeting Keynote
Speaker Jacob Stoller.
Stoller addresses meeting participants.
Left to right: The API Team - Dino Kiriakopoulos, Karen Smith, Ian
Marchant, Claire Chadwick, Jaime Bryant, Will Oldham and Mark
Left to right: Lori Veley, Pete Marciniak, Rick Jones, Stephanie
Dalton and Walter Brooks.
H&H Hall of Fame Awards
Since 2011, project teams that have
applied the H&H Business System
tools to real world Kaizen projects at
Handy & Harman have been recognized
and rewarded annually with H&H Hall
of Fame Awards. These projects best
exemplify the spirit and behaviors desired from using the tools of
the H&H Business System. The projects must be cross-functional
in nature and participation, utilize the tools of the Business System,
be linked to Strategy Deployment Initiatives or Key Performance
Indicators, and have sustainable results.
This year, 11 of the 20 projects submitted by H&H companies
for consideration were selected for Hall of Fame awards. 2015
• HandyTube – 3P on Qnergy cell
• ITC – 3P on Mill 6 Coiler
• JPS Statesville – SMED in Preparation Area
• Kasco Mexico – Heat Treat / Coil Manufacturing Capacity
• Kasco Wales – Wales Coil Capacity Increase
• Lucas Milhaupt Milwaukee – Handy 1 Schedule / Pull System
• Lucas Milhaupt Milwaukee – Supplies Kaizen
• Lucas Milhaupt Warwick – LOMA SWAT
• OMG Hickman – COPQ at Hickman
• OMG Fastenmaster – Bilwinco SMED / Standard Work
• OMG Roofing – Olyflow Hercules Cell
Congratulations to the companies and team members who were
recognized with 2015 Hall of Fame awards, and thank you for
making continuous improvement your goal.
JPS Statesville SMED in Preparation Area Team, from left: Gary
Wallace, Wes Young, Tina Alexander, Ann Hewitt, Eric Lussier, Albert
McClelland and Bonnie Davis.
Lucas-Milhaupt Milwaukee Supplies Kaizen Team, from left: Jeff
Svoboda, Marlon Evans (present for his participation at ITC Kaizen),
Brenda Povlich, Stephanie Christensen, Jon Ollinger, Dennis
Herrmann and Mike Hultman.
Lucas-Milhaupt Milwaukee Handy 1 Schedule/Pull System Team,
from left: Jeff Svoboda, Terry Pierce, Stephen Powalisz, Jonathan
Steiner and Jeff Hall; not pictured: John Treager and Dennis Mikula.
ITC Evansville 3P on Mill 6 Coiler Team, from left: Jeff Svoboda, Rick
Johnson, Ron Hawkins, Tom Daming, Daron McDonald, Bruce Pate,
Cregg Stambush, Mike Nelson, Keith Dupont and Eric Lussier; not
pictured: David Hassman and Jack Hatcher.
OMG Hickman COPQ Team, from left: George Hammond, Jason
Hildenbrand, Tina Duncan, Eric Lussier, Kevin Bramlett, Hugh
McGovern and Hector Quinones.
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 1716 INSIDER • Spring 2016
SLPE Receives High Marks from SLI
SL Industries (SLI) and its
subsidiaries – MTE, SLI-MTI and
SL Power Electronics (SLPE) – are
known as industry
leaders in high
specializes in the
delivery of power
the communities and
industries they serve
– medical, industrial,
And, as is customary
with Steel Partners
focus is on lean
At the SLI Leadership
Conference held February 22 – 23, CEO Bill Fejes
recognized SLPE for the Best Performance Improvement
Areas assessed in determining the annual award winner
include year-over-year improvement in profitability
and working capital turns. It’s easy to understand the
benefit of improved profitability, but working capital
turns are important as well. Directly reflecting effective
management of Accounts Receivables, Accounts
Payable and Inventory, working capital turns dramatically
affect cash. If fewer dollars are committed to working
capital, more funds are available for things like capital
investments, process improvements and quality of work
Congratulations to all SLPE team members at locations
near and far – Ventura, Canton, Mexicali, Xianghe and
Shanghai – for being recognized for the best year-over-
year performance improvement within SLI in 2015.
KASCO Presents First Annual
Steel Partners’ company KASCO has been
an industry leader in providing quality
products, parts, repairs, and services to
the meat processing and retail institutional
food industries for more than 110 years.
To achieve the trust of its customers and industry leader distinction,
KASCO relies on internal leadership. To recognize leaders within the
company for excellent service and outstanding performance, the
KASCO President’s Award was established this year.
On February 2, 2016, KASCO President Brian Turner presented
Charles “Chuck” Isenberg with the First Annual President’s Award, in
recognition of his outstanding KPI performance in 2015. Hailing from
Southern California, Chuck is a Business Team Leader who manages a
team of 11 Field Service Representatives that specializes in the service
and repair of commercial food equipment and retail store equipment.
Chuck will celebrate 42 years in the business in July, including 16 years
as a division manager and 20 years as KASCO’s west coast business
Candidates for the award included nine other Business Team Leaders
who manage the remaining 120 plus KASCO service reps across
North America. The KPIs evaluated for the award included Revenue $
Increase Over Goal, Revenue % Increase Over Goal, Inventory Turns,
Service Calls on Time, and Routes on Time.
“Chuck sets a high standard for his team and other KASCO leaders,”
says President Ryan Turner. “His dedication and fine leadership
converts to outstanding performance, keeping KASCO in its industry
leader position. Thank you, Chuck, and congratulations from your
The SLPE Daily Focus
• Be Responsive and Proactively Dependable
(High Sense of Urgency)
• Practice Daily Management (Gemba)
• Be Process Oriented and Data Driven
• Champion Continuous Improvement (Kaizen)
VP Sales & Marketing Tim McCreery (left) and President Brian Turner
(right) present Chuck Isenberg with the First Annual President’s Award.
Countermeasures – Just Keep Digging
What do archaeological teams and SL Industries
(SLI) countermeasure teams have in common?
They just keep digging until they find the Holy
Grail. Or their version of it.
In archaeology, the Holy Grail can
be any historical tidbit that helps
reconstruct past lifeways in human
societies, bringing us closer to
understanding the people and cultures
that came before us
Though not equipped with shovels and
box screens, countermeasure teams dig
and sift all the same. They, too, survey,
excavate and analyze much material
before finding their Holy Grail – the root
cause to their problem or issue.
A countermeasure, also known as a corrective measure, is action
taken to counter or offset a missed goal or objective. As a general
concept it implies precision, and is any solution or system designed
to prevent an undesirable outcome in a process. At SLI, a recurring
need for countermeasures existed in two main functions:
• Daily Management Gemba Boards, when there is a miss on a
• Strategy Deployment, when there is a miss on a TTI (Target To
SLI, through its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures and markets
a vast variety of power electronics that are used in multiple
industries and environments that demand high-level performance,
making precision critical. SLI leadership was not satisfied with
the effectiveness of their countermeasure process and decided it
needed improvement. At the February 2015 SLI Leadership Meeting,
a hands-on training session on how to implement an effective
countermeasure was held for the top 45 leaders from all SLI
business units. Bruce Graham, a professional trainer and facilitator,
introduced a new way of looking at and examining the layers of the
The countermeasures image at SLI also needed an overhaul.
What had long been viewed as a negative process – my strategy
deployment fell short so my punishment is that I need to develop
countermeasures to correct the problem – should instead be
regarded as a positive opportunity to re-evaluate and correct a
process so it will work at its best.
SLI countermeasures often fixed symptoms but seldom burrowed to
the root cause of a process, leaving the way open for future failure,
as in the Gemba Boards and Strategy Deployment cases. Identifying
and targeting the root cause would take on new focus and
importance. It would also be viewed as an opportunity to improve a
process rather than considering it a failure that required punishment
– an opportunity to turn lemons into lemonade.
Graham introduced two techniques for identifying root cause: the
7 QC Tools and the 5 Whys? Approach. The 7 QC Tools are often
used to reduce variation of output or slightly shift the distribution
to a more desirable target. The 5 Whys? are mainly used to find the
single root cause or the combination of root causes that triggered a
miss versus goal. In the investigative stage of the problem solving
process, the practice of asking “Why?” five times throughout the
process brings the team closer to the root cause with each ask, and
closer to the goal of identifying and targeting the root cause to be
addressed by the countermeasure. In other words, just keep digging!
Following the Leadership Meeting, Graham facilitated
countermeasure training at each of the SLI business units to
deploy the process deeper into the organization. As a result,
the countermeasure process is now viewed as a welcomed and
game-changing process, and the SLI approach has changed:
countermeasure teams are digging deeper, issues are seen earlier,
root causes are being identified, time is being extended to treat the
root cause, and countermeasure teams are finding their version of
the Holy Grail.
To help reinforce the positive value of countermeasures, four
SLI Teams were recognized as having implemented the Best
Countermeasures in 2015.
MTE Teal Inventory Countermeasure – reduced inventory
25% in 2015
Niall Finnegan, VP Global Operations, Teal San Diego Facility
Angel Escarega, Materials Manager, Teal Tecate Facility
Tony Ruvalcaba, Plant Manager, Teal San Diego Facility
Joel Perez, Buyer/Planner, Teal Tecate Facility
Ryan Thomas, Materials Control Specialist, Teal San Diego
MTE Reactor Terminal Alignment Countermeasure –
eliminated a key customer complaint and associated
Rafael Ibanez, VP Quality, MTE San Diego Facility
Jaime Ruiz, Quality Engineer, MTE Mexicali Facility
Roberto Chain, Manufacturing Engineer, MTE Mexicali Facility
Liborio Ruiz, Production Supervisor, MTE Mexicali Facility
Victor Valdez, Quality Supervisor, MTE Mexicali Facility
MTE A/R Collections Countermeasure – improved DSO by
17% thereby freeing up a significant amount of cash
Bill Bickel, VP Finance, MTE San Diego Facility
Melanie Dobner, Controller, MTE Menomonee Falls
Susan Grunewald, Credit/Collections Specialist, MTE
Sheila Zenner, Sr. Sales Operations Manager, MTE
Elaine Litchfield, Business Programmer Analyst, MTE San
SLPE Mexicali OTD Countermeasure – improved OTD to
customer request from <60% to >90% thereby improving
Jim Morrissey, VP Supply Chain, SL Power Ventura Facility
Kisha Ward, Director of Operational Excellence & Quality, SL
Power Ventura Facility
Mary Lizarraga, Master Control Planner, SL Power Mexicali
Jose Casanova, Plant Manager, SL Power Mexicali Facility
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 1918 INSIDER • Spring 2016
Excerpts from the Annual Letter
April 13, 2016
To the Unitholders of Steel Partners Holdings L.P.:
Nothing in the world can take the place of hard work and persistence. Potential is interesting, but execution
is everything. There is no substitute for putting in the time and effort on the road to success. Steel Partners’
philosophies and strategies continue to endure and serve us well. We work hard and play hard.
We invest on the basis of value, not popularity. We invest in good companies with simple business models at
prices that have built-in margins of safety. We create a continuous improvement culture and implement operational
excellence programs. We control costs and use leverage prudently. We avoid complex businesses or investments
that cannot be easily explained or understood. We reward people who deliver results and ensure the right core
principles and culture.
Steel Partners and our affiliates have been successful at starting, buying, operating and building businesses over
long periods of time. Our capital is not short-term, and our assets and liabilities are aligned. Often, we compete with
private equity firms and strategic buyers, who are bidding up prices to levels which would not provide us with the
margin of safety we seek or a high enough return on our invested capital. Therefore, they buy a lot of businesses,
and we don’t.
Over the past few years, we have accelerated our M&A efforts and called our friends at various private equity firms,
investment banks and hedge funds in order to increase our deal flow. We have been moderately successful in
creating our own deals and a proprietary pipeline, but, frankly, we have failed miserably when we have tried to buy
businesses by participating in auctions. The truth is, I really don’t like participating in auctions. It is expensive, time
consuming, and we never win the prize.
Undeterred, we continue to look for bolt-on acquisitions for our existing companies and companies we are invested
in: OMG, Lucas Milhaupt, JPS Composite Materials, Kasco SharpTech, Handy Tube, Indiana Tube, WebBank, API
Group, Steel Energy, Steel Sports, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and ModusLink Global Solutions. We are also looking to buy
new platform businesses, which are within our circle of competence and fairly priced.
At Steel Partners, we have the flexibility to buy parts of businesses (10-15%) with the ability to own up to 100% over
time. The more we own, the greater our ability to achieve economies of scale and implement operational excellence
and strategic programs through the Steel Business System, Steel Procurement Council, Steel Environmental
Health & Safety Council, and Steel Grow. We can also implement capital allocation policies, corporate development
guidelines, and reduce overhead costs, such as legal and accounting, through SPH Services.
We did this successfully at Handy & Harman, API, JPS, and are now buying all of SL Industries through Handy &
Harman. This way, we can buy part of the company and live with the business and managers for a period of time
and then decide if we want to own the entire business. Granted, we have made some mistakes in the past and have
lost money, and will probably make more errors in the future. But hopefully, our successes will far outweigh and
outnumber our mistakes and potentially increase our ownership over time.
In addition to looking for acquisitions, we will also use our capital to purchase our own shares when they are trading
at a discount. In 2015, Steel Partners and our affiliates purchased 1,091,175 shares for $19.2 million at an average
price of $17.63.
We will continue to buy and build for the long-term. In a sense, we are investing for our children and future
generations. Over the last few months, the prices of stocks have gone down at a number of companies we would
like to own for the long run. This has created more buying opportunities at attractive prices.
During the past year, we continued our program to simplify our business structure by reducing the number of
entities, organizations, and companies we own and manage. As you can see in the org chart below, we have done a
good job thus far, but still have more to do as part of this initiative.
We have publicly announced that Handy & Harman would like to acquire 100% of SL Industries. I am pleased to
announce that on April 7, 2016, Handy & Harman entered into an agreement to acquire SL Industries for $40/share
in cash or approximately $166 million in total.
Steel Partners and our affiliates currently own approximately 25.1% of SL Industries’ outstanding shares. In 1991,
when we first purchased shares of SL Industries, it was trading at around $3.50. I was on the board from 1993-1997,
and by 1997, SL Industries was trading at $11-12. I served as Chairman and CEO of SL Industries from 2002-2005,
and by 2005, SL Industries was trading at $17-18. I have continued to serve on the board at various points over
the past decade, as the stock has climbed. When this transaction is consummated, we will be on track with our
business simplification plan.
Below you can see the progress we have made with our business simplification plan:
Current State 2016
(Pending Handy & Harman & SL Industries deal)
*DGT and SPH Services are included in SPLP
*CoSine and WebBank are included in WebFinancial Holding Corp.
Proceeding into 2016, we will continue to focus on our capital allocation, our business simplification plan, and the
organizational development of our people, culture and relationships in a coherent manner. We are looking to make
acquisitions where we will gain a competitive advantage. We have diligently developed our culture around the Steel
Business System to maximize the productivity and efficiency in all areas of our business. We are retaining great
people and developing a great bench.
All of us at Steel Partners continue to be active owners who want to grow and protect our investments, and intend
to have a meaningful stake in our company forever. Today, our team owns approximately 51% of Steel Partners
Holding LP, so we are clearly eating our own cooking and completely aligned with our stockholders.
Thank you for your continued support and input. We look forward to a productive and prosperous future.
Warren G. Lichtenstein
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”
- Babe Ruth
2016 Pro Forma for Transactions Completed/Announced
Steel Partners Holdings L.P.*
Handy & Harman Ltd.
Initial Acq. Date 1/24/1997
Initial Acq. Date 6/13/2012
Initial Acq. Date 8/4/2000
Steel Excel, Inc.
Initial Acq. Date 2/09/2007
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 2120 INSIDER • Spring 2016
In 1980, Aerojet Rocketdyne (AR) initiated a groundwater
extraction and treatment (GET) system at its Sacramento
location to treat groundwater contaminated from Cold
War rocket testing. Over the years, that system was
expanded with advances in treatment technology to maximize cleanup efforts.
To date, over 146 billion gallons of groundwater has been treated and over one
million pounds of chemicals have been removed. All treatment and discharge is
done under Environmental Protection Agency and state agency oversight.
However, for many years, the water treated at the GET facilities was discharged
to a nearby surface water body on the AR property. Recognizing the need for
water conservation and severe drought conditions in California, AR identified
and developed smart ways to reuse the water after treatment and discharge.
With the use of industrial water in Sacramento so critical to AR’s operation
and the potential limitations of municipal water during drought conditions, AR
made modifications to its GET facilities to reuse the “clean” treated water in
its industrial system. Currently, 1.5 million gallons of treated water is being
conserved and re-used per day in AR’s Sacramento operations. This re-use of
treated water by AR also alleviates the pressure on the local city water system
and reservoir. AR treated water has also been supplied to other local water
districts and the county water services.
Collaboration between AR’s groundwater remediation projects and water-
strapped municipalities has helped provide drought solutions that benefit both
the local water purveyors and, at the same time, ensure AR is able to meet its
groundwater remediation requirements and operational needs.
OMG Roofing Products of Agawam,
Massachusetts, achieved an all-time
record Recordable Incident Rate (RIR)
for 2015 of 1.35. The RIR shows the rate
of injuries and illnesses for every 100
full-time employees. This is the third year
in a row that OMG achieved a new record, and
the fifth year in a row that OMG has maintained
an RIR significantly below the average rate for
their industry. This amazing accomplishment is
the result of OMG management and employee
commitment to place safety as a top priority.
Teams across all departments at all locations
strive for continuous improvement in all areas
including safety as a critical component.
Management and employees engage in regular
dialogue to ensure behaviors are supporting the
company’s safety goals.
The graph shows OMG performance and the
national average for similar industries. OMG
results are 50% less than the average, placing it
in the realm of world-class safety achievements.
Congratulations to the OMG family for their excellent record and
dedication to a safe work environment. OMG plans continued
success in 2016 on their safety achievements and goal of zero
accidents and injuries.
OMG, Inc. Continues to Set New Safety Record
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Sacramento Operations Saves Water
Two of the seven Sacramento Groundwater Treatment Facilities:
Arget (on-property) and Mather Field (off-property).
Do you know why Tennessee
is called the Volunteer State?
During the War of 1812, at the
request of President James
Madison, General Andrew
Jackson rallied 1,500 men from his home state to fight at the
Battle of New Orleans. The name became even more self-fulfilling
during the Mexican War when Governor Aaron V. Brown issued a
call for 2,800 men to battle Santa Ana and 30,000 Tennesseans
The term “Volunteer State” recognizes the long-standing tradition of
Tennesseans to go above and beyond the call of duty when called
by their country. In true Tennessean fashion, Eric Lussier does much
the same for his company and in life.
A lifelong Tennessean and diehard University of Tennessee
Volunteers football fan, Bristol, TN, was home for Eric until he
enrolled in UT at Knoxville, where he earned a BS in Industrial
Engineering and an MS in Industrial Engineering and Engineering
Management. After which, he added an MS in Industrial and
Systems Engineering from the University of Alabama at Huntsville to
“I chose industrial engineering because I like studying the interface
between people and systems-processes. It provided enough
technical detail to maintain my interest, but also focused on the
softer skills of leadership and management of people.”
While an industrial engineering co-op student at AlliedSignal in
Gallatin, Eric had a life-changing experience when he was trained in
lean manufacturing techniques by Osamu “Sam” Iida, a Japanese
Sensei. Pivotal to the direction of his career path, Eric frequently
returns to the lessons on lean that he learned from Iida and says,
of the Steel
System as it
ity systems in
Belt and Mas-
ter Black Belt
in Lean Six Sigma while with Al-
liedSignal and ARC Automotive
(a division of Sequa). It was his
time with ARC Automotive that
engineered Eric’s move to H&H.
John Quicke, with whom he
worked at ARC, recruited Eric to
develop an Operational Excel-
lence program, which became
the H&H Business System.
Eric’s proudest professional
achievement to date is
developing the H&H Business
System, which became the pilot
for the Steel Business System,
with Jeff Svoboda. When
Eric joined H&H in February
2008, there were nine companies within H&H that had no common
suppliers, customers or processes.
“The challenge presented to us was how to improve a collection
of disparate businesses and put them on a path of operational
excellence to grow the company profitably. We built the Business
System with a foundation based on lean manufacturing and
modeled our House after the Danaher Business System. The
greatest recognition we’ve received recently came from Cliff
Ransom in his investor newsletter where he branded H&H as a ‘next
generation Danaher,’ which was external validation of the culture we
are trying to build within the companies.”
A lifelong learner, Eric continues to add new interests to his stock,
livestock among them. He and his family – wife Diane, whom he met
at UT, 8th-grader euphonium-playing Caleb, and 6th-grader and
percussionist Jacob – live on a “gentleman’s farm” in Tennessee.
They raise Kiko (the Maori word for meat) goats and free-range
chickens, which along with dogs, cats and a rabbit round out the
Lussier menagerie. This year they plan to give beekeeping a try.
Eric and Diane agree that raising their sons on the farm with
livestock teaches them valued work ethic as well as personal
responsibility and accountability. “I want to raise my boys to be
producers not consumers, and have them give more than they take
in life,” says Eric.
Eric is a fan of board games and movies, especially Star Wars, Lord
of the Rings, and Marvel superhero-related films. He teaches a
weekly Sunday School class for adults and enjoys family weekend
camping trips. An avid reader of non-fiction and fiction, a few of
Eric’s favorites are Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by
Robert Cialdini and, the book that he feels influenced his thinking
regarding lean manufacturing more than any other, The Goal by
Eliyahu Goldratt. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is a fiction favorite.
A rock solid Volunteer who goes above and beyond the call, no
matter where the call comes from – Eric Lussier, Steel Partners Man
Eric with newborn Princess, daughter of Leia, in
early March at his Tennessee Gentleman’s Farm.
Man of Steel: Eric Lussier, VP H&H Business System, Handy & Harman Ltd.
“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from
the corn field.”
~ Dwight Eisenhower; a favorite quote of Eric Lussier
Spring 2016 • INSIDER 2322 INSIDER • Spring 2016
Meet API Group
The Steel Partners presence spans the globe and
impacts a wide variety of markets. Businesses
represented by Steel Partners affiliated companies
are diverse, fascinating and extremely creative in
enterprise, and API Group is no exception.
A global company recognized as a brand
enhancement specialist, API is a leading manufacturer and
distributor of foils, films and laminates used to enhance the
visual appeal of products and packaging, and to help customers
communicate brand values and authenticity.
With roots in the United
Kingdom paper industry,
API’s reputation is founded
on a trading history going
back over a century, including
more than 40 years as an
Today, API’s global operations
employ more than 460
people, in 11 locations, who
are dedicated to providing
high quality, innovative
materials and solutions for use in a vast range of applications
including consumer packaging and printed media.
API foils, films and laminates are used to add metallic and
holographic finishes and effects to labels, cartons, containers
and closures for many of the world’s leading consumer brands in
premium sectors such as alcoholic drinks, confectionary, tobacco,
perfumery, cosmetics and healthcare.
API is known for its customer service ethos, technical expertise
and a highly collaborative approach to working with supply chain
partners to meet the most demanding requirements of brand owners
and product representatives.
API the Toast of the Champagne Industry
to supply Brand Enhancement
materials for the next generation
of premium products from
Champagne house, Taittinger.
Having worked in close
collaboration over recent years,
API has supported Taittinger’s
marketing team to refine the
graphics and the visual effects
they wanted for the 2017 packs.
This work builds on the now
iconic ‘Bulles en Fete’ champagne
gift cartons developed between
API and Taittinger, which saw
sales increase by as much as 40% in certain markets, with a new
twist based on the latest packaging trends information and materials
supplied by API’s creative team.
API is also celebrating supplying a Fresnel lens laminate to the
world famous Champagne house, Moët et Chandon. Developed in
great secrecy and in partnership with the chosen design house and
printer, the products will be hitting Duty Free stores around the world
in time for the Christmas.
API Shines at Packaging Innovations 2016
Interest in API’s Brand Enhancement products and creative solutions
was highly visible at Packaging Innovations 2016, the leading
packaging industry event in the UK, providing an opportunity for
essential networking and a platform to promote their full suite of
products to all those involved in all aspects of packaging. The event
was a great success, with leads taken at the show up 43% over
2015 and a significant drive in traffic to the company’s website
through a co-ordinated promotional campaign, which included
API Supports Next Generation of Packaging Designers at the
Starpack Student Awards – Effective Packaging is in the Detail!
The Starpack Industry Awards program is now in its 58th year and
is the UK’s premier competition of its kind, recognizing innovation in
packaging design and technology.
The Student Starpack competition, established in 1964, challenges
packaging designers of the future, students from a wide range
of Universities and Colleges, to create and submit solutions to
problems set by brand-leading FMCG companies, design agencies,
and manufacturers – and win recognition for their excellence. The
See and hear David Peters, Creative Development Manager
for API, discuss creative trends and visual effects while
representing API at Packaging Innovations 2016: http://www.
The famous ‘Bulles en
Fete’ gift pack developed
in partnership between
API and Taittinger.
Major interest in API’s Brand Enhancement solutions
expectation is that students
really challenge conventional
thinking and break the rules
with off-the-wall creativity,
and this is the key criterion
for judging success.
The Student Packaging
Design Awards allows
students to showcase their
talent and demonstrate how
to make a pack graphically
attractive, including foils
and laminates. In addition
to looking good, the pack
needs to meet the functional
requirements to preserve
and protect the contents and be produced cost-effectively with due
regard to environmental issues.
Judging took place in Grantham, UK on 23 March. Representatives
on the Judging Design Panel included members of API’s Technical
team and they were presented with eye-catching and inspiring
packaging ideas and designs presented across the board.
API supported the event by sponsoring the “Einstein’s Anniversary”
Coin Collector’s Presentation Packaging challenge, which saw
students briefed to produce a creative solution for a Presentation
Gift Pack to hold a special limited edition coin made to celebrate
the 100th Anniversary of Einstein’s publication of The Theory of
The winners will receive one week’s work experience with API to learn
from industry experts, and results are officially announced in June.
API Sees Customers Excel at the FSEA Gold Leaf Awards
API attended the 2016
Foil & Specialty Effects
Gold Leaf Awards
held at the FSEA
National Conference in
Orlando, April 3 – 5. The
the most exciting
and creative works
across the graphic arts
In its 23rd year in 2016,
the Gold Leaf Awards is
the industry’s “Oscars,”
with companies invited
from around the world
to enter their best work
for review. Entries are
judged on design, execution and level of difficulty in 25 categories
with a gold, silver and bronze award presented in each category.
Over 300 entries were made, with API foil used on 25% of the final
winning designs, the second most represented foil supplier across
API Chosen to Judge at World
API recently helped celebrate the
world’s best whiskies. The World
Whiskies Awards event, part of the
Whiskies and Spirit Conference,
was held on 17 March 2016
and, as a respected supplier to
the industry, API was chosen to
judge one of the key awards. The
Conference was followed by The
Whisky Magazine Presentation
dinner where the winners in
seven categories – American
Whisky, Blended Whisky, Blended
Malt Whisky, Canadian Whisky,
Flavoured Whisky, Grain Whisky
and Single Malt Whisky – were
The first round of judging for the World Whiskies Awards had judges
worldwide submitting their scores, with API part of the final decision-
making in the all-important design categories on 1 February 2016.
API was proud to present the award for the World’s Best Blended
Malt Whisky category to Reference Series III.2 by Master of Malt.
The Reference Series began with three blended malts – I, II and
III – each made up of the same constituent parts, only in different
quantities, with III containing over 50% incredibly well-aged single
malts. Version III.2 is the extraordinary Reference Series III with 10%
heavily peated Islay single malt added into the mix.
Commenting on the Awards, Bob Almer, VP Sales, Americas
at API said, “It is important that we celebrate success
within our industry and recognize the best use of foil and
acknowledge award-winning projects that deliver real
impact for our customers. As one of the leading providers
of materials for the enhancement of brands and packaging
around the world, we are proud to be part of the prestigious
FSEA Gold Leaf Awards.”
Award winner Hallmark Cards, Inc. in the
category of Best use of Holographic Foil
Example of Design Student’s
submission using API materials
World’s Best Blended Malt
Whisky category winner
Reference Series III.2 by
Master of Malt