Todd Cottrell is the CEO of Azelis Americas. Todd has had a three decade long career leading global chemicals and materials businesses focused on aerospace, coatings, sealants, adhesives, and composites markets. He is tasked with growing Azelis Americas across its three major markets: the U.S., Canada, and Latin and South America.
Prior to Azelis, Cottrell was the Managing Director of Americas at Hempel A/S. Before Hempel, he held leadership positions at Birla Carbon, Huntsman, Kraton Polymers and PPG. During his career he has introduced disruptive specialty chemical technology and built and sold businesses around it. Todd’s managerial experience includes multiple stints abroad.
Todd started his career in the chemicals business while still in high school working summers and as an intern at Gage Products. He has an MBA from Fuqua College of Business at Duke University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He is an active member in multiple industry associations and a past board member of the American Coatings Association and AMPP, the Association for Materials Protection and Performance.
Trae has 19 years experience in Corporate Finance/Accounting. He began his career in public accounting working primarily with clients in wholesale distribution, and consumer and financial services. For the past 3 years, Trae has been the Vice President of Planning and Analysis for Azelis Americas. Prior to that , Trae was CFO of Azelis Americas’ Specialty Ag division for 15 years. In his career, he has played a key role in several business acquisitions, integrations and divestitures as well as several senior and subordinated debt refinancing events. Trae holds a B.A. in Accounting from Assumption College and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Vuk has over 25 years of experience in the industrial chemicals and life science sectors including regional and global leadership roles. Prior to joining Azelis, Vuk led the North America Battery Materials business unit within the Catalyst Operating Division of BASF and served as CEO of the BASF Toda America LLC subsidiary. Earlier in his career, Vuk served as Business Director for BASF Dispersion, Resins and Additives for the automotive and industrial coatings market in North America. He also served as Sr. Manager, BASF Performance Materials of Global Strategy for the Polyurethane business. Vuk also spent nearly 10 years in sales and marketing roles within the Care Chemicals business of BASF, including portfolio and P&L responsibility for strategic products in Personal Care, Home Care and Industrial and Institutional (I&I) markets . His market knowledge as well as strategic and operational leadership expertise will be a driving force for continued profitable growth of Azelis Americas in the US.
Vuk holds an MBA in Marketing from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Ontario and a BA in Business Administration from Whittier College in Whittier, CA
With over 30 years experience in the chemical industry, Andres joined Azelis Canada in March 2019 having joined from the Chemroy acquisition where he was previously Vice President. He has extensive experience in a wide variety of leadership roles on Canadian, Americas and Global teams, with both chemical manufacturers and distribution. Background in sales, marketing, new business development, technical support, M&A, strategic planning and P&L responsibility.
Andres started his career at Dow Chemical Canada before moving to GE Plastics and Silicones in the USA. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Queens University at Kingston, Ontario.
Eduardo has over 30 years experience in the chemical and specialty chemical distribution business. Eduardo will lead Azelis’
expansion into Latin America and Mexico. Prior to joining Azelis, Eduardo was a co-founder of High Chem Specialties Mexico; a specialty chemical distributor in Mexico. Eduardo’s career started at Eastman Chemicals as Sales Manager than moved to Air Products as Business Manager for Latin America before running High Chem Specialties in Mexico City.
Eduardo has a Chemical Engineering Degree from UNAM, Mexico City and an MBA from ITAM University of Mexico City.
Katherine Whalen joined Azelis in 2018 as VP General Counsel, Americas and is responsible for managing the legal affairs for North America. Prior to joining Azelis she held senior legal roles at LIN Media until its 2014 merger with Media General, Inc. She then continued as Deputy General Counsel of the combined company until 2017.
Ms. Whalen began her legal career as an associate in the Private Equity Practice groups at Edwards & Angell LLP (now Locke Lord LLP) and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. She has a wide range of experience in business affairs and strategic corporate transactions. Ms. Whalen has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.
Laura has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources. She began her career with New York University working in various HR roles for the Stern School of Business and the Global IT group. For the past 10 years, Laura has held HR leadership roles in global organizations including roles at a global consulting firm and a tech startup. She has experience in performance management, global compensation and benefits, coaching and advising employees and managers, and serving as an HR business partner to executives.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from New York University.
Tom has been with an Azelis Americas company since 2005. His most recent responsibility was as Sr. Vice President, Commercial Excellence. Prior to being the Sr. Vice President of Commercial Excellence, Tom was the Vice President in the Specialty Ag distribution company ADAPCO. During the last 7 years at ADAPCO, Tom lead ADAPCO’s effort to grow top line sales and achieved gross profit growth of 50% and EBITDA growth of more than 400%. Tom has a Chemical Engineering degree from Purdue University and received his MBA from Colorado State. He began his career in Cincinnati as Production/Maintenance/Plant engineer with Henkel and then became a Marketing Spec./Brand Manager with Cognis Corporation. In addition to his stellar business career, Tom served as an officer for 11 years in the United States Army Reserves and completed one tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Company Commander.
Nick began his career working in Hong Kong and New York building digital marketing solutions for luxury consumer brands, and now has over 10 years of experience leading Marketing teams in the specialty chemicals industry. Since joining Vigon in 2013, he has helped to build industry leading digital tools and marketing initiatives. As Senior Director, Digital and Marketing Excellence, he leads the Azelis Americas marketing organization, and acts as the commercial lead for key digital initiatives impacting customer and supplier experience. He is also a member of the Americas Senior Management Team and the Azelis Global Management Team.
Nick holds a B.S. from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, with a triple major in Entrepreneurship, Management, and Marketing.
Market Segment Leaders
Shiona Stewart has over 25 years of experience in the specialty chemicals industry. Throughout her career she has held roles of increasing responsibility in the technical, strategic marketing, and global key account management functions.
Shiona has led both regional and global cross-functional teams while working for leading chemical suppliers to the Coatings industries with her most recent experience being the North American Business Director for Additives, and then moving into the Dispersions Business Director role for Construction, Paper Coatings, and Carpet Business at BASF Corporation. Stewart holds a BS in Chemistry from Delaware Valley University.
Jesse has 19 years of experience in the specialty chemical industry. He joined Azelis through the acquisition of Ross Organic in 2017. Prior to his time at Ross Organic and Azelis, he spent 14 years with Solvay in various roles that include plant engineering, product management, acquisition integration and sales and key account management. Jesse is an active member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. He has a degree in chemical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Steve began his career at Goldman Sachs, working in real estate management in Hong Kong. Steve joined Vigon in 2011. He helped to build the organization into one of the industry’s fastest growing companies, leading the Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Purchasing teams as the Director of Commercial Activities. Steve became Managing Director of Vigon in September 2022.
Steve holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a BS in Corporate Finance and Accounting from Bentley University.
Martin has been the General Director of Azelis Mexico for 26 years. Martin started at Megafarma in March 1994 as Commercial Manager of the Veterinary Area and in December 1994 he was appointed General Director.
Previously, Martin was the Commercial Manager of the Pharmachemical Products Division of the Novum Group. From 1984 to 1989, he served as the Technical Service and Sales Manager of Esquim for the raw material areas for the manufacture of epoxy and phenolic resins, as well as raw materials for the Food and Veterinary area.
Martin has been President of the Manufacturers of Farmochemicals in Canacintra and Vice President of the Chemical Council of Canacintra. Currently he is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education of Mexico.
Martin has a Chemical Engineer graduated from La Salle University and did a Business Diploma at the University of Houston.
Holly Daley has over 20 years of experience in Chemical Distribution. Holly began her career in GE’s Technical Sales Program (Houston, TX) after several years Holly joined Monson Companies. Holly’s experience and career flourished with Monson as it transitioned via acquisition from a commodity distributor to a specialty chemical distributor. As Senior VP of Specialties for the past 8 years, Holly spent a great deal of her time shaping Monson’s position in the specialties space and worked closely with key Supplier Partners. Additionally, Holly was responsible for Monson’s small Life Sciences Business Unit. In February 2017, Holly returned to run Marcor and the newly formed Food and Health Market Segment. Previously from December 2014 to December 2015, Holly was Executive VP/General Manager of Marcor. Holly has a BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Jason has 15 years of experience in the specialty chemical business. A Pennsylvania native, Jason has experience in specialty chemicals from the services, manufacturing, and distribution disciplines. Jason currently sits on the board of the American Mosquito Control Association as the Industry Director and is an active member in the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE). Jason has an MBA from Florida State University and a BSc in Environmental Resource Management/Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
Shelley Becht has over 15 years of experience in sales and 8 years of experience in the food, beverage, and nutrition industry. Prior to joining Azelis as Managing Director, US Food and Nutrition, Shelley led Gillco Ingredients as VP of Sales and Marketing. During her tenure, Shelley demonstrated exceptional organizational leadership and accomplished impressive year-over-year, double-digit growth. Her market knowledge coupled with her ability to strengthen supplier relationships will support the growth of Azelis Americas in the Food and Nutrition sector.
Shelley holds a B.A. in Business from the University of Denver. In her free time, you can find her on the golf course or exploring a new beach with her family.