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ASHLEY B. SMITH PRESIDENT AND CEO, SMITH-MIDLAND CORP., FAUQUIER COUNTY


Smith’s first job was on the family farm, raising cows and growing corn. Now he leads the $43.8 million company his grandfather, David G. Smith, founded in 1960 as Smith Cattleguard.


Smith became CEO in 2018. The precast concrete company employs 230 people — 150 of them in Virginia. He considers the company’s uplisting to the Nasdaq in 2020 as a milestone. Shares hit $25 in July. The company also expanded to California. Smith is past chairman of the National Precast Concrete Association.


He also serves on the board of trustees at Bridgewater College, where he graduated with a degree in business administration.


MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” by Daniel Kahneman


FAVORITE VACATION DESTINATION: Bryce Resort, Basye


ONE THING I WOULD CHANGE ABOUT VIRGINIA: Invest more in our transportation infrastructure. Virginia


does an admirable job, but I think we need to increase the investment there.


WHAT I’VE LEARNED: Always find out. Don’t take what you hear or read for granted or as the truth. There is always another side of the story, and you need to check out the facts and the other perspective for yourself.


ROBERT H. ‘ROB’ SPILMAN JR. CHAIRMAN AND CEO, BASSETT FURNITURE INDUSTRIES, MARTINSVILLE


Spilman, who’s been with Bassett for 37 years, spent part of his career working under his father, the late Robert H. Spilman Sr. — a member of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame. Like his dad, he became CEO, a role he’s held since 2000. Bassett, founded in 1902, sells home furnishings in about 100 retail locations in the United States and


Puerto Rico. Spilman has led an expansion of facilities in Newton, North Carolina, where the company plans to hire 80 more people. The expansion brings its manufac- turing complex to more than 800,000 square feet. Spilman said such moves were needed to increase upholstery manufacturing


capacity. Its wholesale shipping backlog was up 362% at the end of the first quarter. Saying its backlog was seven times pre-pandemic levels, Spilman told The Wall Street Journal in July 2021 that the company was battling logistics-related delays. A Vanderbilt University graduate, Spilman was a director of Harris Teeter


Supermarkets Inc. from 2002 to 2014. He’s lead director of Dominion Energy Inc.’s board of directors and serves on the board of trustees for the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.


JOHN STREET PRESIDENT, ETHYL CORP., RICHMOND


In his role leading Ethyl, Street oversees the antiknock compounds business of NewMarket Corp. — which also serves as parent of specialty chemical company Aſton Chemical Corp. NewMarket reported $2 billion in petro- leum additives sales in 2020. Aſter graduating from Mississippi State University


in 1975, Street embarked on a 32-year career with Ethyl, where he became vice president of health, safety and environment. Street leſt in 2007 for a similar role with Aſton Chemical Corp., but aſter three years, he returned to Ethyl. In 2013, he oversaw a closure of Ethyl’s plant in Corunna, Ontario. He became president of Ethyl in 2015. Founded in 1921, Ethyl keeps its headquarters in Richmond but operates its fuel


additives blending and distribution facility in Houston. It also provides storage and transloading services on the Houston Ship Channel and supplies fuel and lubricant additives for its sister company, Aſton Chemical.


JOHN M. STEITZ PRESIDENT AND CEO, TREDEGAR CORP., RICHMOND


Steitz has run Tredegar, the plastic films and aluminum extrusions manufacturer, since March 2019. Tredegar is a 1989 spinoff of Ethyl Corp., which now operates under NewMarket Corp. With facilities in North America, South America and Asia, Tredegar has approximately 2,400 employees.


Despite taking hits from the pandemic, Tredegar had “one of our best” years in 2020, Steitz said in the company’s annual report. He cited high backlog levels and record EBITDA from its specialty polyester films manufacturer, Terphane, which it acquired in 2011. He also noted that Tredegar’s aluminum extrusions business, Bonnell Aluminum, while experiencing chal- lenges, outperformed the industry. Before Tredegar, Steitz was president and CEO of


Addivant and led the specialty chemical company PQ Corp. He was with Albemarle Corp. for more than a dozen years, rising to president and chief operating officer. He leſt Albemarle, another Ethyl spinoff, in 2012. A chemical engineering graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Steitz earned his MBA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.


www.VirginiaBusiness.com 135


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