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Talking Talent: John Glushik Takes the Helm of New Ventures

Early in 2023, John Glushik took the helm from Kip Frey as Executive Vice President of New Ventures and Managing Director for HG Ventures. The multi-faceted role puts John front-and-center of the ventures arm of The Heritage Group, where he directs the vetting, investment, incubation and growth of companies building innovative technologies and services related to THG’s industries. He also oversees the New Ventures internal incubation activities and the THG Accelerator, which brings a cohort of upstart hardtech company founders to Indianapolis for a three-month intensive program each year. Accelerator founders pilot their products, receive guidance from a network of mentors and prepare for successful launches into their industries. In a recent interview, John discusses his path to New Ventures and how he plans to leverage the entrepreneurial spirit of THG’s family of operating companies to best position us for institutional success.

Let’s discuss your journey to arriving here at The Heritage Group. You have a diverse educational background, studying mechanical engineering at Duke, achieving a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and earning an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. What drove your educational pursuits and how have they played into your role today?

Early in my education, there was a lot of trying to find where I wanted to be longer term. I got into technology because I was just fascinated about how it could change the world. By the way, my major was the same as Fred Fehsenfeld Jr’s. We both went through the mechanical engineering and materials science curriculum at Duke University. Following undergrad, I went to work for General Electric (GE), where I completed a technology leadership program that allowed me to move around and become involved in different types of engineering. That exposure sparked my interest in mechanical engineering, first through aerospace, because I was excited about all the new technologies coming out of that industry.

I started research at GE that got me connected to the Draper lab at MIT, which meant being at the forefront of studying modern technologies, including GPS navigation. Now, GPS is part of our everyday lives, but in those days it was very early in its development. As intrigued as I was by research, I realized I didn’t want to be focused on a single technology, and I decided to attend business school. Through my time at Kellogg, I developed some basic skills in business and finance, but more importantly, I started building a network of relationships in the business world and specifically in the venture capital sector. All of this led me to consulting and portfolio work in areas of new technologies, which then led me to the venture industry.

When did you first cross paths with Kip Frey?

I first met Kip through my work with Intersouth Partners, a venture firm in Durham, North Carolina that invests in early-stage life science and technology companies. Kip was a rockstar entrepreneur, and our professional relationship began through Intersouth’s investments with his companies. We also had a chance to work together as partners at Intersouth for a few years. After leaving Intersouth, I reported to Kip when he hired me to help create the Duke Angel Network. Slowly throughout the years, our dynamic developed into a personal friendship. In collaborating with one another for so many years, our styles and roles are very complementary of one another. He’s been a fantastic mentor and our dynamic is built on a deep sense of trust and respect that you can only find when working with someone for years upon years. Kip is how I first learned of Fred Fehsenfeld, Jr. and what he and Amy were starting to develop with The Heritage Group with Kip’s help.

What was Kip’s pitch to you to uproot your family and move to Indianapolis to work with Ventures?

Kip indicated that Fred and Amy Schumacher were interested in building a new model of corporate venture investing that capitalized on the capabilities of The Heritage Group. He said, “Just come to Indianapolis and meet with the folks at The Center. Meet with Fred and Amy, see the vision that they’re building around their corporate venture practice.” And because it’s Kip, I could only say, “Yes, I trust you.” So I got on a plane and met with the three of them in early2018. My visit to the Center and my discussion with Fred and Amy validated everything that Kip had told me. There was a special opportunity to build something unique with great people. It also helped that my wife, Robyn, knew Kip and trusted him. We made the decision to start the process of leaving North Carolina. I commuted for a year, and eventually moved my family to Indianapolis in the summer of 2019.

Since arriving, what’s been the most surprising thing to you about The Heritage Group?

There’s an unprecedented level of partnership, collaboration and understanding that The Heritage Group has with its customers and business partners – it’s been built over decades. This isn’t your typical customer relationship, and it cuts across all our businesses as part of the culture at The Heritage Group. This was important to me because of some issues I have seen with other venture investing groups. They often interact with entrepreneurs in a strictly transactional way. Not here. It speaks to the stability and unparalleled understanding of our businesses and their partnerships with clients.

From a Ventures perspective, what’s it like collaborating across industry partnerships and the network of experts we employ at The Heritage Group?

When we started the group, we made it our mission to not simply be an investor, but to invest in areas where we can add value. I think that’s how we distinguish ourselves from a pure venture company. Of course, we perform deep diligence on all our investments and we structure deals with a focus on being good stewards of THG capital. However, what we do is very different, because it’s not strictly transactional. We will do everything we can to make companies a success by utilizing our connections and our Heritage network. Entrepreneurs are blown away by the level of feedback they receive across our companies. What The Heritage Group can do in terms of business relationships is something no other company can do in our industries.

What’s something you wish our employees and companies better understood about HG Ventures?

I want to make sure our employees know that we want to collaborate. If there’s a challenge they’re trying to overcome, we want to know about it, because we might be able to help. We can provide a window into the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which includes an awareness of early-stage companies that are creating innovative solutions for our industries. We want to create an open door for communication.

You’ve inherited this position with Ventures from Kip. Where do you plan to take it?

First, I think it’s important to note that while, yes, I’ve inherited this from Kip, I’ve always been aligned with his and Amy’s vision of Ventures. I want to lead Ventures in what I would call a deeper integration into our industries. Given what we’ve been able to build and develop in terms of a nice track record of success, I want to weave Ventures into the fabric of The Heritage Group. We can deepen our integration and leverage each other’s expertise so that we add value across our businesses.

If anyone within our operating units has any big ideas, anything they think can be the basis for a new business, we want to help. That’s where we see great potential to create game changing businesses. When I look at the next five years, that’s where I think we can make the biggest impact with our venture work. Internal incubation is where we’re truly harnessing the power of the innovative people that we have here.

What are some ideas emerging on the horizon that you’re particularly excited about?

Well, it certainly varies from quarter to quarter, depending on our market intelligence. Right now, I’m excited about a wide range of innovation trends including the future of roads, circular economy/recycling technologies and sustainable approaches to chemical manufacturing.

We’re good at finding entrepreneurs and companies that are creating things to address specific business and technology challenges. Effective communication across THG is really important so that we can leverage the power of people in our businesses who understand those challenges.

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Cirba Solutions Announces Flagship EV Battery Facility In South Carolina

Cirba Solutions, the most trusted and comprehensive battery materials and management company for end-of-life batteries and gigafactory scrap, announced today a phase I investment of more than $300 million into a world-class lithium-ion electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling flagship facility in South Carolina. With over 30 years of experience, Cirba Solutions has paved the way for a sustainable closed-loop battery supply chain. The company is investing over $1 billion in the next five years to expand the infrastructure required to meet the growing demand for critical materials needed for EV batteries.

This will be Cirba Solutions’ eighth operational facility in North America and its fourth facility strategically located in the U.S. ‘Battery Belt’, an area where more than 15 new lithium-ion battery gigafactories or expansions have been announced between Michigan and Georgia since 2021. This flagship, industry-leading facility will bring critical battery materials to the U.S. and will focus on processing end-of-life hybrid and electric vehicle batteries, gigafactory scrap, and end-of-life consumer batteries to extract critical materials, such as nickel, cobalt, and lithium. These key metals will support the domestic lithium-ion battery supply chain and provide enough premium recycled, battery-grade materials to power over 500,000 EV batteries annually.

The over 200-acre battery materials campus will create more than 300 jobs and be located near Columbia, South Carolina in Richland County. Groundbreaking will take place this year, with operations expected to begin in late 2024.

“The State of South Carolina and Richland County have been tremendous partners in supporting Cirba Solutions’ strategy to build a sustainable battery materials supply chain,” said David Klanecky, President and CEO of Cirba Solutions. “We are proud to bring this battery materials mega-site to Richland County, which will create generational jobs in the state and support an amazing community. Additionally, it shows our commitment to provide sustainably sourced and domestic battery-grade raw materials for cathode production in North America.”

The State has been a magnet for economic development centered on sustainability and high-tech manufacturing that will bring jobs with an environmental focus to the area.

“South Carolina has worked hard to create a business environment where the electric vehicle industry can thrive, and with announcements like this it is most certainly paying off. We are proud to have Cirba Solutions as a partner as we continue to grow our already booming electric vehicle industry,” said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

Beyond creating jobs, Cirba Solutions is focused on partnering and giving back to the communities in which it operates through outreach and career paths. For example, its new facility will also be used as an educational and professional training center. The company will bring critical knowledge and decades of experience to the community by highlighting processing technology for end-of-life batteries. This facility will have a keen focus on clean energy, ensuring thoughtful operational practices are used in processing these materials and converting them back into reusable battery materials.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our footprint and partnering with the state of South Carolina. This flagship battery materials site is crucial to the success of North America’s battery supply chain and is strategically located to support our partners,” said Luke Kissam, Chairman of Cirba Solutions Board.

The South Carolina campus is in addition to Cirba Solutions’ expanded Lancaster, Ohio and Trail, British Columbia facilities that have been processing batteries for decades. The company’s expanding footprint is bringing hundreds of new jobs to local communities, expanding the battery and sustainability sectors, and providing critical materials for electric vehicle manufacturing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWs6YO13dAc
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HG Ventures Invests in Solar Panel Recycling Leader

SOLARCYCLE, a tech-driven recycling company focused on producing sustainable materials at scale for the solar industry, today announced that it has raised $30M in Series A funding, bringing the company’s total funding to $37M since its inception a year ago.

The funds, consisting of both company equity and infrastructure financing, will be used to scale the company’s growth in solar panel recycling capacity and expand materials remanufacturing capabilities. The round is led by Fifth Wall, the largest asset manager focused on improving, future-proofing and decarbonizing the built world, and HG Ventures, the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group. The round also included participation from Prologis Ventures, as well as existing investors Urban Innovation Fund and Closed Loop Partners. The announcement follows the initial $6.6M seed round the company raised in May 2022.

Experts in panel manufacturing, advanced recycling, and climate technology founded SOLARCYCLE in 2022 to create a more sustainable, domestic supply chain for the solar industry. Solar adoption is expected to accelerate over this decade, increasing from 150 GWp installed in 2021 to 650GWp installed per year in 2030. In order to meet the increasing demand for new solar panel production, SOLARCYCLE has developed proprietary technology that can cost-effectively return more than 95% of all the valuable materials, like aluminum, glass, copper, silver, and silicon, back into the solar value chain to help create a sustainable and scalable solar industry.

The infrastructure financing, led by Fifth Wall Infrastructure and Special Situations Partner Alok Sindher, provides asset-level equity capital for SOLARCYCLE’s first-of-a-kind Odessa, Texas factory. Fifth Wall’s complementary venture and infrastructure investments address a critical gap in investment for hardware-intensive businesses.

“Fifth Wall looked far and wide, and we believe SOLARCYCLE is the only company within North America aiming to do true, end-to-end solar panel recycling. Their deep solar industry partnerships and ability to extract valuable materials at reasonable cost, with efficient logistics, is what differentiates the company’s position,” said Peter Gajdoš, Partner and Co-Head of The Climate Tech Investment Team at Fifth Wall. “The rapid adoption of customers speaks to the quality of the solution and the growing market demand as solar panel portfolio ages. We are confident in management’s ability to help lead the solar industry into the next chapter and make solar energy even more sustainable.”

“I spent nearly twenty years in the solar industry, helping grow two large solar companies from scratch. When I co-founded SOLARCYCLE in 2022, I knew the moment was right to build an industry-backed advanced technology solution to recycling solar panels that ensures that valuable materials go back into the domestic supply chain,” said Suvi Sharma, CEO and Co-Founder of SOLARCYCLE. “This Series A funding will allow us to further advance our patented technology, grow partnerships with industry leaders, and rapidly build recycling infrastructure in the United States and beyond to mine old solar panels for making new solar panels.”

Recent research projects that recyclable materials from solar panels will be worth more than $2.7 billion by 2030, up from $170 million this year. SOLARCYCLE works with residential, commercial and industrial (C&I), and utility companies to recycle solar panels at scale. The company is on track to install capacity to recycle one million solar panels per year by the end of 2023, and plans to open a vertically integrated, advanced recycling factory capable of processing millions of panels annually in 2024.

“SOLARCYCLE provides customers with the first scalable model for solar panel recycling, which aligns perfectly with HG Ventures’ mission to partner with innovative, high-growth companies that support a sustainable future. We are delighted to support SOLARCYCLE’s world class team developing a business model that is both an economic opportunity and an environmental necessity,” said Kip Frey, Managing Director of HG Ventures.

“As the #2 generator of onsite solar in the U.S., we see a strong and urgent need for an advanced circular solar supply chain solution, which SOLARCYCLE delivers,” said Will O’Donnell, Managing Director of Prologis Ventures. “We like that they are making solar energy even more sustainable, given their ability to extract 95% of the material from a panel and return them to the supply chain to make new solar panels.”

The funding announcement follows a founding year in which SOLARCYCLE opened their first, advanced-technology solar recycling facility in Odessa, Texas, inked customer partnerships with major US solar companies, including Sunrun, Silicon RanchDEPCOM PowerSOLV EnergyNovaSourceGreentech Renewables, and Forum Energy Partners, and assembled a world-class management team with experience scaling companies such as Amazon, SunPower, and Nextracker.

About SOLARCYCLE

SOLARCYCLE is a technology-driven platform designed to maximize solar sustainability by offering solar asset owners a low-cost, eco-friendly, comprehensive process for recycling retiring solar panels and technologies and repurposing them for new uses. The company’s proprietary technology allows it to extract 95% of a solar panel’s valuable metals, such as silver, silicon, copper and aluminum, and to recycle or repurpose panels currently in use. Experts in solar technology, recycling and sustainability founded SOLARCYCLE in 2022 to accelerate the circular economy for solar and renewables. www.SOLARCYCLE.us

About Fifth Wall 

Founded in 2016, Fifth Wall, a Certified B Corp, is the largest asset manager focused on improving, future-proofing and decarbonizing the built world. Since 2016, Fifth Wall has raised the third-most capital of any venture firm globally ($2.9B), according to SEC Form D filings. With approximately $3.2B in commitments and capital under management, Fifth Wall is backed by a global mix of more than 110 strategic limited partners (LPs) from more than 15 countries, including BNP Paribas Real Estate, British Land, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Hilton, Hines, Host Hotels & Resorts, Kimco Realty Corporation, Lennar, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Marriott International, MetLife Investment Management, MGM Resorts, Related Companies, Starwood Capital, Toll Brothers, and others. This consortium represents one of the largest groups of potential partners in the global built world ecosystem, resulting in transformational investments and collaboration with portfolio companies to cut emissions, improve efficiency, and maximize returns. Founded in Los Angeles and headquartered in New York, Fifth Wall’s other offices include San Francisco, London and Singapore. For more information about Fifth Wall, its LPs, and portfolio, visit www.fifthwall.com.

About HG Ventures

HG Ventures is the corporate venture arm of The Heritage Group, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind. HG Ventures supports innovation and growth across The Heritage Group by investing and partnering with innovative, high-growth companies to support a sustainable future. We leverage the world-class expertise of The Heritage Group operating companies and research center to offer a unique value proposition to our portfolio company partners. www.hgventures.com.

Contactmedia@solarcycle.us

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Link to press release: https://www.solarcycle.us/press-releases/solarcycle-raises-30m-equity-financing-to-scale-advanced-recycling-for-the-solar-industryhttps://p2science.com/press-release/p2-science-raises-funding-round-led-by-lewis-clark-agrifood/

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Heritage Grant Supports Ukrainian Scholars at Purdue University

Just over a year ago, war erupted in Ukraine. Following a long buildup of military equipment and forces, Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In the days and months that followed, Russia’s bombings targeted essential infrastructure and systems, including hospitals, schools and neighborhoods, leaving destruction and devastation at every level of Ukrainian life. In news reports and through footage posted to social media, many were witness to the millions of Ukrainians being killed, displaced or forced to flee their country.

As a response to the invasion, Purdue University launched the Ukrainian Scholars Initiative, a program to host individuals whose lives were upended by the war. The goal of the initiative is to offer support to scholars who held faculty positions or were conducting research at Ukrainian universities the opportunity to safely continue their academic pursuits at Purdue.

“Our aim is to make at least one small contribution to help the Ukrainian people in this moment of peril,” Purdue’s then-President Mitch Daniels said of the program’s launch in March 2022. “Our hope is that we can offer refuge to these scholars and a chance to continue pursuing their work, and then see them return to a safe and free Ukraine. But while they are with us, I don’t doubt that they will personify and perhaps share with our students the precious value of freedom and the constant need to defend it from its enemies.”

Having experienced the terror and sadness of the war unfold, leadership within The Heritage Group (THG) gathered with representatives from Purdue to help fund the initiative. “For 90 years, the Heritage Group has been committed to building a safer, more enriching and sustainable world by harnessing the power of family,” said Sara Morris, Director of Strategic Initiatives. “We are fortunate to be able to support this initiative to enrich the lives of the individual Ukrainian scholars, their families, all who come into contact with them at Purdue, and for our own team members.”

Purdue received hundreds of inquiries to the program, ultimately welcoming nine scholars. Michael Brzezinski, Dean of International Programs at Purdue, notes that the Ukrainian Scholars Initiative is one of the first, largest and most ambitious university-led programs in the United States. According to the university, the visiting scholars participate in several academic pursuits that span many schools of study – from chemistry, library sciences, psychology, linguistics, sociology and neuroscience to political science, management, history, and earth and planetary sciences.

Through the grant, THG has pledged a two-year commitment to the participating Ukrainian scholars that will run through May 2024. “After the arrival of all of our nine scholars, The Heritage Group was eager to learn more about each individual and to know how they could help,” Brzezinski said. “We’re so very pleased and grateful that they are contributing the majority of funding needed to sponsor each scholar. Individuals from Heritage are eager to meet our Ukrainian faculty and students, a sign that they are truly interested in their well-being.”

As of late February 2023, the total number of Ukrainian casualties has surpassed 8,100 according to the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. It is estimated that over 8 million citizens have been displaced within Ukraine and another 8 million have fled the country. While the war continues, so does The Heritage Group’s commitment to Purdue’s visiting scholars. “The ultimate hope is for the war in Ukraine to end and for these scholars to be able to return home, but we are so pleased to support these amazing scholars in the meantime,” said Megan Savage, VP of External Affairs. “Beyond the financial support to cover their basic needs, it is our hope that we will have an opportunity across THG for our teams to engage with the scholars to learn about their experiences, both personally and professionally. There is a long connection between THG and Purdue, and our support is a natural extension of that. We also stand ready should any of the scholars need more wrap-around support, it is our hope we can tap the THG family to help provide that.”

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

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Purdue University’s Ukrainian Scholars Initiative Receives Heritage Group Gift

Gift will extend 9 scholars’ stay in the US through May 2024

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University program launched in March to provide Ukrainian scholars an opportunity to continue their academic pursuits here during the ongoing Russian invasion of their home country has received a grant from The Heritage Group to extend the initiative into May 2024.

The Indianapolis-based Heritage Group is donating $270,000 to support all nine participants in Purdue’s Ukrainian Scholars Initiative for another academic year. This extends funding through the Spring 2024 semester, officials with Purdue and Heritage Group announced Wednesday (Feb. 22). In addition to renewing the program, Purdue officials plan to expand it for a new class of Ukrainian scholars whose academic endeavors remain stalled by Russia’s invasion.

“When President (Mitch) Daniels launched the Ukrainian Scholars Initiative in March 2022, Purdue continued our distinct tradition of welcoming those scholars and students seeking refuge from tyranny and a home for liberty,” said Purdue President Mung Chiang. “We hope the Ukrainian scholars in our community can return to safety and freedom in Ukraine one day soon. In the meantime, through Heritage Group’s resounding support and our firm commitment, we will renew and expand this initiative on a campus for the free minds.”

Purdue established the Ukrainian Scholars Initiative in what was among the first and is now the largest and most ambitious university-led program in the country. The goal: to assist these faculty members and scholars whose academic pursuits have been derailed by the conflict, which marks its one-year anniversary on Friday (Feb. 24).

Of more than 100 applications, Purdue was able to accept approximately 20 individuals. Nine scholars eventually enrolled in the program to resume their research and studies, said Mike Brzezinski, Purdue vice president for global partnerships and programs. Since its March 2022 launch, Brzezinski has led Purdue’s Ukrainian Scholars Initiative along with associate provost Peter Hollenbeck; Amanda Thompson, director of International Scholar Services in Purdue’s International Students and Scholars program; and ISS counselors Chad Broeker and Austin Smith.

The first Ukrainian scholar arrived in May and the ninth was on campus by November, all with the expectation they would be here for at least 12 months.

“For 90 years, the Heritage Group has been committed to building a safer, more enriching and sustainable world by harnessing the power of family,” said Sara Morris, director of strategic initiatives for Heritage Group. “When we saw the war and heartbreak in Ukraine and then learned of Purdue’s efforts to support Ukrainian scholars, we knew immediately we wanted to help. We are fortunate to be able to support this initiative to enrich the lives of the individual Ukrainian scholars, their families, all who come into contact with them at Purdue, and our own team members.”

The Heritage Group expressed an interest in the Purdue program during its very early stages last spring and has been engaged ever since, Brzezinski said. Greg Kapp, vice president for development at Purdue for Life, and Diane Klassen, chief development officer of university initiatives for Purdue Research Foundation, were instrumental in collaborating with Brzezinski to secure the donation from The Heritage Group.

“After the arrival of all of our nine scholars, The Heritage Group was eager to learn more about each individual and to know how they could help,” Brzezinski said. “We’re so very pleased and grateful that they are contributing the majority of funding needed to sponsor each scholar for one year. Individuals from Heritage also are eager to meet our Ukrainian faculty and students, a sign that they are truly interested in their well-being.”

Additionally, the various unit hosts of the scholars within Purdue and the Greater Lafayette community have decided to continue their financial and humanitarian support of the program through May 2024, Brzezinski said. Indeed, as the world marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the strong Purdue-Greater Lafayette community connection has been essential to the success of the program, Brzezinski said.

William and Liesl Shen, Purdue alumni who own Crestview Apartments in West Lafayette, originally set aside 19 units since the spring to be used by the scholars; six scholars live there now. And over 20 families from Faith Church in Lafayette have given their time and resources to furnish the scholars’ apartments.

Through the Purdue program, the Ukrainian visiting scholars are engaging in their own research or supporting research conducted by Purdue faculty members. Additionally, several are enrolled in doctoral programs and at the dissertation research stage of their degree programs. Their impressive scholarship stretches across a diversity of disciplines — from chemistry, library sciences, psychology, linguistics, communication, sociology and neuroscience to political science, management, history, and earth and planetary sciences.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last five years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Mike Brzezinski, mbrzezinski@purdue.edu

Sara Morris, saram@thgrp.com

Related story: Ukrainian Grit & Hope: A Traveling Photo Exhibition at Purdue

https://news.cla.purdue.edu/2023/02/10/ukrainian-grit-hope-a-traveling-photo-exhibition-at-purdue/

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Taylor Brown Named Finalist In Indy’s Best And Brightest

Taylor Brown, Director of Talent for Heritage Construction + Materials, was named a finalist for the Junior Achievement of Central Indiana’s 19th annual Indy’s Best and Brightest event presented by KPMG LLP. The event honors 100 outstanding young professionals across ten industries in central Indiana.

An awards program and reception to recognize finalists will take place on Thursday, March 23, 2023, at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis. All 100 finalists will receive an award, and the winners in each category will be announced.

“KPMG is proud to serve as the presenting sponsor for this noteworthy event for the 19th consecutive year. We understand the importance of honoring these young professionals, who also serve as outstanding role models and mentors for the youth of our community,” said Eric Sutphin, KPMG Indianapolis Managing Partner.

Jennifer Burk, Junior Achievement of Central Indiana’s CEO, stated, “These innovative, passionate leaders are changing central Indiana for the better and serve as inspiration for the thousands of young people participating in Junior Achievement.”

The Best and Brightest event was created by Junior Achievement to recognize up-and-coming talent and the next generation of leaders in our community. Finalists in each category are judged on professional accomplishments, civic contributions, character and leadership qualities.

Learn more at www.indysbestandbrightest.org.

See what Inside Indianapolis Business is saying about finalists at https://insideindianabusiness.com/articles/finalists-named-for-indys-best-and-brightest.


About Heritage Construction + Materials

Heritage Construction + Materials (HC+M) is part of The Heritage Group, a privately held, family-owned business headquartered in Indianapolis. HC+M has core capabilities in infrastructure building. Its collection of companies provides innovative road construction and materials services across the Midwest. HC+M companies, including Milestone Contractors, Asphalt Materials, Inc., and US Aggregates, proudly employ 3,000 people at 55 locations across seven states. Learn more at www.heritagebuilds.com.

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Net Zero Asphalt Pavement Initiative Draws Support from Indiana-Based HC+M

Heritage Construction + Materials (HC+M) joined The Road Forward, an industry-wide initiative of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) to achieve net zero carbon emission asphalt pavements.

Through HC+M’s decades of research into pavement preservation technologies, HC+M has proven itself as an industry leader in sustainability efforts. “HC+M is committed to sustainability because it’s the right thing to do and because it’s smart business,” said HC+M CEO Geoff Dillon. “The Road Forward is an important commitment for us and our industry. It shows that we aren’t afraid to roll up our sleeves and work to build a better tomorrow for future generations.”

HC+M is a part of The Heritage Group, a 90-year-old family of companies employing more than 5,000 people, serving 170 locations, and innovating through science and research. HC+M is comprised of US Aggregates, Milestone Contractors and Asphalt Materials, Inc.

HC+M companies have a long history of involvement with NAPA. Asphalt Materials joined NAPA in 1961. Milestone, a member since 1967, has earned more than three dozen Quality in Construction Awards and one Sheldon G. Hayes Award, signifying the company’s commitment to quality asphalt pavements.

Similarly, HC+M leaders consistently devote their time and expertise to NAPA and the industry. Heritage Research Group (HRG) Associate Director of Research Gerry Huber has served on numerous NAPA committees and task forces for nearly three decades, including the Sustainability Committee and the
Climate Stewardship Task Force. Gerry and HRG Senior Pavement Materials Research Engineer Katie DeCarlo worked on developing The Road Forward. CJ Potts, COO of HC+M Construction, serves as the Indiana contractor representative on the North Central Advisory Council. Milestone Contractors Asphalt Operations Manager Patrick Fox is a member of NAPA’s Board of Directors. Kevin Kelly, former NAPA chair and lifetime member, and many other HC+M employees are active members of NAPA committees.

“Heritage Construction + Materials, through its family of companies, has displayed a commitment to the asphalt pavement industry over many decades,” said NAPA President and CEO Audrey Copeland, PhD, PE. “HC+M’s support of The Road Forward further propels our collective vision for the future: sustainable communities and commerce, connected by net zero carbon asphalt pavements.”

To learn more about The Road Forward and see all sponsors, visit AsphaltPavement.org/Forward.

About The Road Forward

An initiative of the National Asphalt Pavement Association, The Road Forward: A Vision for Net Zero Carbon Emissions for the Asphalt Pavement Industry calls on the U.S. asphalt community to advance technologies, products, and processes to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Launched in January 2022, the multi-year effort will engage, educate, and empower the U.S. asphalt community to produce and construct net zero carbon emission asphalt pavements.

About Heritage Construction + Materials

Heritage Construction + Materials (HC+M) is part of The Heritage Group, a privately held, family-owned business headquartered in Indianapolis that began operations in 1930. HC+M has core capabilities in infrastructure building. Its collection of companies provides innovative road construction and materials services across the Midwest. HC+M companies, including Milestone Contractors, Asphalt Materials, Inc., and US Aggregates, proudly employ 3,000 people at 55 locations across seven states. Learn more at heritagebuilds.com.

About NAPA

The National Asphalt Pavement Association is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt pavement material producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts 1,100 companies as its members, was founded in 1955. Learn more at asphaltpavement.org.

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Homecoming: Sibel Selcuk Appointed EVP of Heritage Research Group

On January 16, 2023, Sibel Selcuk assumed the role of Executive Vice President of Heritage Research Group (HRG), returning to lead a segment of the same organization where she began her career 16 years ago. A home-grown expert, we are delighted to bring Sibel’s deep technical expertise, knowledge of the industry, and talent for people-first leadership back to Heritage Research Group in this new role. “Sibel exemplifies all of the reasons we bet on people and is a natural choice to lead this dynamic group,” said Amy Schumacher, CEO of The Heritage Group.

After earning her chemistry PhD at Louisiana State University, Sibel began her career at HRG as a research chemist and most recently served as Vice President, Global Research and Development and Strategy at Monument Chemical, an operating company of THG. Sibel found a moment to reflect on her time with Monument and how it feels to move into the next chapter of her career. What follows is a brief, modified Q&A she gave as she transitioned from her role with Monument Chemical.


How does it feel to leave Monument and begin your new job leading HRG?
I’m very excited, but it’s also bittersweet. When I joined Monument, I did not envision ever leaving or that I would someday return to HRG. I came to Monument tasked with building a new global R&D organization to boost our collaborative, cross-functional opportunities and enhance our abilities to fuel Monument’s growth. Two years ago, I was asked to be responsible for defining our strategy and identifying our growth levers, and that work was also very exciting to me. I loved my job and the people I got to work with. Monument and HRG will always feel like family to me, and I have this new opportunity because of how much you taught me, helped me grow as a leader, and prepared me for this next step. I look forward to always being part of the Monument and HRG family — you’re stuck with me!

What excites you most about what lies ahead for you with HRG?
It’s very exciting and an honor to return to lead the group I “grew up in.” It’s also humbling, because HRG is such an important part of The Heritage Group’s history going all the way back to Amy’s grandfather, Fred Fehsenfeld Sr., who interviewed me for my first job and became one of my mentors. He understood, as Fred Fehsenfeld Jr. and Amy do, how important R&D and innovation are to The Heritage Group’s future. I’m also very much looking forward to partnering with fellow members of the Heritage Leadership Council to seek future opportunities for HRG and the operating companies to collaborate.

Is your career heading down a path you envisioned, or has it surprised you?
When I was finishing my PhD almost 20 years ago, I pictured myself working as a chemistry professor in Turkey, not as an industry executive in Indiana. In fact, I had two teaching jobs waiting for me in Turkey when I graduated. But I listened to a professor who was advising me when he suggested I look into industry, and here I am. Turns out, it was very good advice.

Speaking of advice, what career advice do you most often share?
My number-one piece of career advice is to not fear change. Change is challenging and can be difficult to manage, but it keeps us moving forward and open to new opportunities. I’ve made some big changes in my life, beginning with leaving Turkey and my family to come to the United States to continue my education. Leaving HRG to join Monument was another big change, and I remember feeling nervous when I started. But I am very grateful I didn’t let uncertainties stop me then or keep me from taking this next step in my path.


As an organization, The Heritage Group is delighted to welcome Sibel back to our HRG team. HRG has played a unique role in the longevity and success of The Heritage Group, helping us innovate and tackle tough problems. As a versatile and experienced leader, Sibel embodies our Heritage values with a forward-thinking approach to innovation and research. In the months ahead, she’ll be working with colleagues new and old to talk, connect, share ideas and work together to build the future of Heritage Research Group.

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A Quick Reflection On United For Service

Coinciding with The Heritage Group’s 92nd anniversary as a company, our inaugural United for Service event was held on Thursday, November 17, 2022. Volunteers from around the Heritage Group of companies and centered in dozens of locations across the country came together, united in generous spirit, to serve the communities in which we live and work. With a focus on addressing food scarcity and insecurity, and in partnership with the United Way, volunteers hosted food drives, assembled food kits, sorted and packaged food donations, and served residents of community shelters. We are so grateful for this opportunity and are proud to celebrate the 1,211 volunteer hours. 

What is United for Service?

United for Service is your opportunity to volunteer side-by-side with your Heritage family to meet a need in your community — putting food on families’ tables. This experience is all about building a sense of community among our Heritage family while also giving back in a meaningful way to the communities where we live and work.

United for Service originated with the Fehsenfeld family as a way for the whole group to get together and bond while giving back to the community.

Why focus on food insecurity?

The need for food is key to our existence. And the enjoyment of food is a part of our culture. Families bond over dinner, co-workers chat over lunch. But for some, putting food on the table is a struggle.

According to the USDA, more than 38 million people, including 12 million children, in the United States are food insecure. In fact, every community in the United States is home to families who face hunger. But rural communities — where many struggle with limited job opportunities and lack of transportation options to reach grocery stores or food pantries — are especially hard hit by hunger.

 

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Cirba Solutions Gains Governmental Green Light

In October, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a $2.8 billion grant to supercharge U.S. battery manufacturing for electric vehicles and the electrical grid. Cirba Solutions, a Heritage family company focused on battery recycling, was one of the 21 companies awarded a portion of that grant. Here, in an interview with The Heritage Group, Shane Thompson, Strategy and Business Development for Cirba Solutions, discusses what a $75,000,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy means for the company and its future.

Tell us more about the grant.
It funds the first set of projects for President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The U.S. government is trying to set up a domestic supply chain for critical materials so the country can expand manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the grid.

What does the grant mean for Cirba Solutions?
It allows us to put more dollars into our new facility in Lancaster, Ohio, which was already in the works when we won the grant. We’re planning to expand the number of minerals we recycle and enhance our ability to upgrade materials before they re-enter the battery supply chain.

How will the grant impact the future?
The fact that our new facility is being built with the full confidence of the Department of Energy will help us introduce our product in the marketplace. In addition to funding, the validation adds visibility and credibility that will make us more attractive to customers, employees and investors.

How did you win the grant?
We responded to the Department of Energy’s request for funding, which included a rigorous application process. Our strategy was to apply for half of the available funding in the battery recycling category. We built on the fact that Cirba Solutions is unique, and we have experience to back up what we do. Laura Evans, our director of environmental, social and governance (ESG), led the application process, which included a robust environmental justice questionnaire and requirements. We welcomed that. We prioritize sustainability and ESG at Cirba Solutions, and the grant was a great opportunity to highlight some of those practices.

Why is the grant important for the country?
We’re creating a circular economy and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and minerals mined in other parts of the world. Producing batteries and components in the U.S. will help advance our country’s goal to build a robust lithium-ion supply chain and meet the demand for electric vehicles.

What capabilities will you add?
Typically, in the process of collecting, disassembling, shredding and upgrading critical materials from lithium-ion batteries, we focus on nickel and cobalt. Our expansion in Ohio will allow us to add lithium and other materials to that list.

Now, when we chop up batteries and separate out materials, some parts of the battery — including lithium, carbon, manganese and aluminum — are sent to a third party for processing. In the future, we’ll run those materials, known in the industry as “black mass,” through a hydrometallurgical process at our plant. We’ll be able to keep the recycling process going and create more materials that can go back into the battery supply chain.

How does this impact The Heritage Group?
Winning the grant is something Cirba Solutions and Heritage employees should share in and feel good about. It shows that a company that got its start with The Heritage Group is betting on the right things, receiving validation at the highest level and growing, which is good for us all.