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Our management team.

Meet the people at the helm of API Heat Transfer. Together, they have decades of experience in our industry and beyond, and are deeply involved in shaping our performance on a daily basis. 

Mike Laisure

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Laisure joined API Heat Transfer in 2016 as President and Chief Executive Officer. He is a 40-year veteran of the industrial manufacturing industry, with global experience in the Industrial, Automotive OEM and Aftermarket, Heavy Truck OEM and Aftermarket, Recreational Vehicle, Agriculture, Mining Equipment, and Engine markets. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Laisure served as CEO of Fluid Routing Solutions. Mr. Laisure began his career at Dana Corporation, where he spent 32 years and served as President of the Heavy Truck Group and subsequently the Automotive Systems Group. Mr. Laisure earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University and an MBA degree from Miami (Ohio) University. He also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Mr. Laisure currently serves on the Board of Directors for American Rail Industries, Federal-Mogul Corporation, and Central Conveyor Corporation. He has also served on over 20 executive boards in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Tom Strauss

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Strauss joined API Heat Transfer in 2017. Prior to joining the company, Tom was CFO for Schramm Inc., a manufacturer of land‐based drilling rigs serving the oil, gas, mineral, and water industries. He has held many corporate leadership positions in both mid‐sized and world‐class manufacturing companies, including Siegfried USA and the Eastman Kodak Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. John Fisher College and an MBA degree in International Business from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Joachim Fricke

Vice President, Global Operations

Mr. Fricke joined API Heat Transfer in 2017 as Vice President, Global Operations. Prior to joining the company, Joachim was the Director of European Operations for TRW Automotive Engine Components. He has also held prominent positions with various companies, including GDX Sealing Systems / Saargummi, AMI DODUCO GmbH in Germany; Sachs Automotive de Mexico S.A. de C.V. in Mexico and ITT Automotive in both Germany and the U.S. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dortmund in Germany.

Jeff Gale

Vice President, Engineering

Mr. Gale joined API Heat Transfer in 2001 and is currently Vice President, Engineering. Prior to his current role, Jeff has held various positions within the company, including New Product Development Manager, Manager of Engineering and Manufacturing Services and his most recent being President, Fluid Power and Distributed Products Group. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California-Davis.

Tom Gorman

Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Mr. Gorman joined API Heat Transfer in 2016 as Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Prior to joining the company, Tom was Chief Operating Officer at Melling Tool Company & Melling Industries, a privately held company that manufactures fluid pumps and precision turned components. He has held many corporate leadership positions including Chief Operating Officer at ZF Lemforder North America as well as at Spartan Motors. Mr. Gorman has over 32 years of experience in strategic planning, operations, and management of national and international manufacturing companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Spanish from the University of Detroit and an MBA degree from the University of Michigan.

Sean Parker

Vice President, Human Resources

Mr. Parker joined API Heat Transfer in 2018 as Vice President, Human Resources. Prior to joining the company, he has held many roles of increasing responsibility in HR Operations, Talent Management and most recently as Vice President of Human Resources of Global Power Equipment Group. Mr. Parker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in English Education from Northeastern State University and a Master of Science degree in Organization Dynamics with an emphasis in Human Resources Management from the University of Oklahoma.

Michael Morrison

Director, Lean Manufacturing

Mr. Morrison joined API Heat Transfer in 2016 as Director of Lean Manufacturing. Previously, Mike was Vice President of Global Operations at CTS Corporation. He also served as Chief Operations Officer at General Aluminum Manufacturing Company. Mr. Morrison holds Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology from Murray State University and a Master of Science degree in Management from Oakland City University. Mike is Lean Certified by the University of Kentucky.

Ben Stewart

Chief Information Officer

Mr. Stewart joined API Heat Transfer in 2016 as Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining the company, Ben was CIO at Stant, a tier 1 global automotive manufacturer. He has over 25 years of experience in technology for various manufacturing companies, including Plante Moran and Inteva. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Operations Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA with a focus on Management Information Systems from Oakland University.

Karl Anderson

President, Construction and Specialty Vehicle

Mr. Anderson joined API Heat Transfer in 2004 and is currently President, Construction and Specialty Vehicle. Prior to his current role, Karl was President, Air Cooled Group, and President, Airtech. Mr. Anderson was also appointed to run the Covrad GT operation. He holds an Associate of Science degree in Business Marketing from Jamestown Community College.

Bob Mladenovic

President, Compressor & Dryer

Mr. Mladenovic joined API Heat Transfer in 1991 and is currently President, Compressor & Dryer. Prior to his current role, Bob was Director of Sales for the Americas and has held many positions within the company, including Sales Manager, Senior Sales Application Engineer, Product Manager, International Sales Manager and Sales Engineer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Ottawa University.

John Reilly

President, Power Generation Cooling

Mr. Reilly joined API Heat Transfer in 2017 as President, Power Generation Cooling. Prior to joining the company, John was the Global Vertical Market Manager, Oil and Gas for Rittal, the world’s largest manufacturer of electrical enclosures for all industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Distribution from the University of Houston.

Mike Sanders

President, Process and Industrial

Mr. Sanders joined API Heat Transfer in 1998 and is currently President, Process and Industrial. Prior to his current role, Mike was President, Shell and Tube Group. He has held many positions within the company, including Vice President of Sales and Marketing, General Manager and President of the Basco business unit. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo. 

Greg Smietanski

President, Fluid Power and Distributed Products

Mr. Smietanski joined API Heat Transfer in 2016 as President, Fluid Power and Distributed Products. Prior to joining the company, Greg was General Manager for Fersa Bearings North America, Inc., a privately held manufacturer of tapered roller bearings. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ohio Northern University.

Neil Swift

President, Sanitary and Systems

Mr. Swift joined API Heat Transfer in 2018 as President, Sanitary and Systems. Prior to joining the company, Neil was the Executive Vice President at Kelvion as well as President and CEO of GEA Heat Exchangers. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.