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WRA announces first female president

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

Carol Jackson, Chairman and CEO of HarbisonWalker International (HWI), has been elected as the incoming president of the World Refractory Association (WRA). Jackson will begin her two-year term in January 2020, succeeding Stefan Borgas, CEO RHI Magnesita, who has led the organisation since January 2018.

“I’m honoured to lead WRA through its next chapter and continue building on the tremendous momentum our organisation has achieved under Stefan’s leadership,” said Jackson. “As the global voice of the refractory industry, it is imperative for us to unify and advance the common interests of this trade association, as we promote the value and criticality of refractory in manufacturing to all our stakeholders.”

Formed in 2014, WRA has grown from 12 to 22 members in the last two years and has itself become a member of the World Steel Association (WSA). Under Borgas’ leadership, the WRA established working groups (Digital Data Standards, HS Codes, International Standards, Environmental Standards, Online Repository of Technological Papers, Communications Committee) to address specific areas of interest to the global refractory industry and its stakeholders. It also hosted the industry’s first Innovation Conference in China in fall 2018.

Jackson said that the success in adding and engaging membership under Borgas’ leadership paves the way for WRA to focus on continued growth and further elevate member engagement. She also affirmed that priorities for the organisation would centre around technology and innovation, sustainability, safety, customer collaboration, and communication initiatives to help unlock the full value potential of the refractory industry.

“Through my role with WRA, I’m looking forward to applying the passion and intensity that is inherent in our HWI culture to help guide the interests of our global industry. HWI has been a refractory leader and innovator for more than 150 years, and we are intensely at work to evolve our company for the next 150 years. Our company goals and focus on innovation closely parallel the objectives of WRA,” said Jackson.

Borgas wishes Jackson every success in the task ahead: "The refractories industry is facing numerous hurdles. The will to innovate within the industry came just in time. But the next challenges are already waiting. The macroeconomic situation is difficult for our business and we also have a major responsibility in the fight against the climate crisis. Carol Jackson will represent the refractories industry with a courageous and strong voice. She will steer us through these stormy times with a safe hand.”

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