Rodney A. Apple, President and CEO
Mr. Apple is a 40-year veteran in the Iron and Steelmaking Industry. He began his career in 1968 in the Management Training Program of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. He was assigned to the Steelmaking Division of the Lackawanna Plant and held management positions of increasing responsibility. In 1977 Mr. Apple became Assistant Superintendent of the Steelmaking Division responsible for the operation of the 4.8-million-ton capacity Basic Oxygen Furnace Shop which contained three 310-ton BOF Vessels. In 1983 he was transferred to Bethlehem, Pa assuming the position of Manager of the Foundry Division with P&L responsibility for Foundry Products.
Mr. Apple joined Ford Motor Company in 1988 as Operations Manager at the Rouge Plant in Dearborn, Michigan responsible for Iron Making, Steelmaking, and Casting, including 2 Blast Furnaces, BOF Shop, Electric Arc Furnace Shop, 2 Ladle Metallurgy Facilities, 2 Continuous Casters and a Slabbing Mill with over 125 Supervisors and 1250 hourly employees under his command. When Ford sold the steel business to Rouge Steel Company Mr. Apple joined Rouge Steel in the same position. He was responsible for operations, maintenance, quality and cost performance of the 3.5 million tons per year facility reporting to the President and COO of the company. He was also on the Board of Directors of Eveleth Taconite Company from 1988 until 2003. Eveleth was an Iron Ore Mining and Pelletizing plant located on the Mesabi Iron Range in Minnesota with capacity of 6 million tons annually and sales of over $200 million.
In 1999 Mr. Apple was asked to complete the construction of a Rotary Hearth DRI facility and successfully started up the DRI Plant in 2000. In 2002 due to high natural gas costs and declining orders the DRI Plant was shut down as Rouge Steel tried to avoid bankruptcy.
In 2003 Severstal, one of the largest steelmakers in Russia bought Rouge Steel as well as other assets in the United States and formed Severstal, North America. Mr. Apple became Manager of Raw Materials Purchasing for Severstal, N.A. until 2006. He purchased over $4 Billion of raw materials during that time such as Metallurgical Coke and Steel Scrap used in the steelmaking process. The purchases were made from all over the world including Canada, China, Japan, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Western Europe. He initiated a coke swap with United States Steel Corp that saved each company over $10 million by reducing Transportation Costs.
In 2006 Mr. Apple became Manager of Capital Projects responsible for all the Purchasing activities associated with Severstal’s Billion Dollar capital improvement program. He was responsible for purchasing the materials and equipment as well as negotiating Contractor Agreements for the new $350 million Blast Furnace, the $450 million Pickle Line Tandem Cold Mill and $250 million Hot Dip Galvanizing Line and other capital expenditures. He retired in 2009 to start up Saucon Resources LLC which focused on reclamation of abandoned or undervalued materials and sites used in the Steel Industry.
Mr. Apple graduated from Moravian College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Business Administration in 1968. He also completed the Management Development Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1985 and the Ford Motor Company Senior Management Training Program in 1989.
Thomas Vanacore, Chief Science Officer
Mr. Tom Vanacore
Tom has Pioneering agro-mineral resource identification and procurement for the purpose of
soil remineralization and nutrient dense agricultural management for organic and beyond
organic farming since 1989. Establishing Rock Dust Local LLC, the first company in the United
States dedicated to local and regional sourcing geologic materials for remineralization,
enhanced weathering, agriculture and forestry.
Tom has a series of US First in the industry.
• The first engineered basalt product for remineralization: BrixBlend Basalt, 2010
• The first remineralized inoculated biochar formulation: RICHMix, 2012.
• The first basalt mineral-humate formulation: BrixBlend-Humate, 2012.
• The first mineralized biocarbon as an effective selective sorbent for Phosphate: PHOS-Cap, 2017
Rockdustlocal.com has been ranked #1 globally by Google search engines for “rock dust
Ryan is our Chief Agronomist with a detailed focus on nutrition and soil research.
See Ryan Brophy & Agrononmy
Bill has 40 years of experience in Insurance and Finance, having worked with Sun Life of
Canada as an Underwriter and then Sun Life for more than 10 years between them before
running a processing centre for Lehman Bros and their subsidiaries for 14 years.
Bill has worked on projects throughout the Baltic Region dealing in fertiliser supplies for
Canada and Europe working with Buyers, Sellers, Agents, Shippers and in particular the
financing of these shipments.
Richard has a family background in seed and fertilizer distribution in the Irish and UK market.
The Farrington Bros operation was set-up in 1958 in Rathcoffey, Co Kildare, Ireland. After
many successful years of trading the business was purchased by the one of the largest
Farming PLC’s in Ireland, the Glanbia group circa 2000. Richard build a successful property
development business from 2000 onwards. He has been working with Rodney on this project
for 7 years and is keen to re-launch the Farrington brand again into the Irish and European
Patrick has 35 years+ of international business and financial experience having funded
business across, agriculture, mining, food packaging, technology, waste to energy and
renewables. Patrick has worked with ranch farmers in Montana USA to commercialise a
USDA patent for a Green Lubricating oil compatible with synthetic oils with an eventual
takeout by Bain Capital. Additionally Patrick has worked in the Ukraine on the operation
and conversation of 3000 acres of farm land from chemical to organic status.