Alessi to retire at Westmoreland Coal; Paprzycki to replace him

Westmoreland Coal (NasdaqGM: WLB) announced Oct. 23 that Keith E. Alessi, 61, Chief Executive Officer, plans to retire effective Dec. 31 of this year.

Alessi will remain an employee of the company as CEO Emeritus. He will be responsible for providing strategic support to both the Board of Directors and management, as well as maintaining key relationships and evaluating business development opportunities.

The board has named Kevin A. Paprzycki, the company’s Chief Financial Officer, as Chief Executive Officer effective as of Jan. 1, 2016. Paprzycki would also be elected to serve on the Board of Directors concurrent with the transition.

“We have come through a period of numerous acquisitions and built a solid base business for the future,” said Alessi. “It is now time to further integrate and assimilate these new properties and to onboard the San Juan mine. We have a great team in place, now led by Kevin, to accomplish these tasks. Kevin has worked closely with me these past nine years and has had a hand in every major strategic and financial decision. He is uniquely qualified to continue building upon our strong foundation.”

The company announced two additional promotions within the executive team. Both will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2016.

  • John Schadan has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer to oversee global operations for the company.
  • Jason Veenstra, who also joined Westmoreland in April 2014 as part of the Canadian acquisition, has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer.

“Both John and Jason have played key roles in driving results in Canada and, with their expanded responsibilities, will help Kevin drive future performance and growth,” said Alessi. “I look forward to continuing to work with the team to build the business.”

Paprzycki joined Westmoreland as Controller and Principal Accounting Officer in June 2006 and was named Chief Financial Officer in April 2008. Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Evans and Sutherland Computer Corp.

Schadan joined Westmoreland in April 2014 as Senior Vice President, Canada Operations, was promoted to Executive Vice President in August 2014 and President–Canada in March 2015. His career has encompassed both the western Canadian coal business as well as engineering and construction for a major international firm.

Veenstra joined Westmoreland in April 2014 as CFO–Canada. At Sherritt International, the former owner of the Canadian operations, he held roles which included Director of Business Development and Chief Financial Officer for the coal division.

Westmoreland Coal is the oldest independent coal company in the United States. Westmoreland’s coal operations include sub-bituminous and lignite surface coal mining in the Western United States and Canada, an underground bituminous coal mine in Ohio, a char production facility, and a 50% interest in an activated carbon plant. Westmoreland also owns the general partner of and a majority interest in Westmoreland Resource Partners LP, formerly Oxford Resource Partners LP, a publicly-traded coal master limited partnership. Its power operations include ownership of the two-unit Roanoke Valley (ROVA) coal-fired power plant in North Carolina.

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.