Benson to retire from North American Coal; Butler named in his place

NACCO Industries (NYSE: NC) on May 18 said that Robert L. Benson, President and Chief Executive Officer of NACCO’s wholly owned subsidiary, The North American Coal Corp., will retire on June 30. 

Benson, 67, has given over 38 years of dedicated service to North American Coal. North American Coal has grown substantially under Benson’s leadership through the addition of seven new mining and services operations. During his tenure, Benson held various management positions. He assumed the position of Executive Vice President in September 2005, and has been President and Chief Executive Officer since March 2006.

Prior to that time he was also President of North American Coal’s largest subsidiary, The Coteau Properties Co., and General Manager of the Mississippi Lignite Mining Co.’s Red Hills Mine. Benson will serve as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of North American Coal following his retirement, until December 2015.

Upon Benson’s retirement, J.C. Butler, Jr., 54, currently Senior Vice President-Project Development, Administration and Mississippi Operations will become President and Chief Executive Officer of North American Coal. Butler will also continue to serve in his capacity as the Senior Vice President-Finance, Treasurer and Chief Administrative Officer of NACCO Industries.

Butler has extensive leadership experience and knowledge of both North American Coal and NACCO. He joined NACCO in 1995 and has been an officer since 1997. Butler has been Senior Vice President-Project Development and Administration of North American Coal since January 2010, and in June of 2014 his role was expanded to include oversight responsibilities for North American Coal’s two mining operations in Mississippi. He was Senior Vice President-Project Development of North American Coal from May 2008 to December 2009. He has held his current NACCO position since September 2012.

North American Coal mines and markets steam and metallurgical coal for use in power generation and steel production and provides selected value-added mining services for other natural resources companies. Its primary focus is producing lignite from large strip mining operations for captive power plants, including Mississippi Power‘s new Kemper County coal gasification plant. 

NACCO Industries, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is an operating holding company with subsidiaries in the following principal industries: mining, small appliances and specialty retail.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.