Bowen-Thompson Student Union 1001 E Wooster St , Bowling Green, OH 43402

https://www.bgsu.edu/eweek #EWeek2022
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The Executive Briefing provides an opportunity for students, faculty/staff, alumni and the public to engage with and hear entrepreneurial experiences from an executive who has found success in their career.

We're excited to announce that the 2022 Executive Briefing will be given by Dave Stickler, the former CEO of Big River Steel and managing partner of Global Principal Partners. Stickler is a dynamic presenter with a compelling story of overcoming insurmountable odds to build a series of even more technologically advanced steel mills capable of competing (and winning) against the larger, more established companies in the industry.

In reference to Stickler's 2018 Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship presentation, Paul J. Hooker, Board Chair of the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership said, "In my opinion, he gave one of the most memorable presentations I've ever seen."

This event is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public. Registration is not required but is preferred. 


David Stickler '83

Former Founder CEO, Big River Steel

Managing Partner, of Global Principal Partners

Dave Stickler has spent the past two decades designing, building and operating some of the most successful and profitable steel mills in the U.S., even as American steel producers have lost market share to other countries. Stickler has had a thriving and growing career in a shrinking industry. The key to Stickler’s success has been driven by his laser focus on three underlying pillars: 1.) requiring innovative technology throughout the production process design; 2.) empowering employees by pushing decision making down and avoiding bureaucratic organizational layers; and 3.) leading the world’s steel industry in terms of environmental sustainability. 

Most recently, Stickler founded and served as CEO of Big River Steel, a $2 billion start-up steel mill located in Osceola, Arkansas. Unlike traditional steel producers that use iron ore, coal and coke to produce steel in environmentally challenged facilities, Big River Steel produces steel using recycled scrap metal from old cars, appliances, buildings, ships and bridges. Big River Steel was the first steel mill in the world to achieve LEED Certification (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design). Big River Steel also set the global standard for reducing carbon emissions with only 0.15 tons of carbon emitted per ton of steel produced compared to the global average of 1.85 tons of carbon emission per ton of steel produced. 

Reflecting the three underlying pillars used by Stickler (use of innovative technology, employee empowerment and environmental sustainability), Big River Steel 1.) produces some of the highest quality steels in the world, including the best performing steels used by Tesla, Panasonic and others to make electrical motors used in hybrid and EV vehicles; 2.) produces over 5,000 tons of steel per year per employee compared to some steel producers that produce less than 900 tons of steel per year per employee; and 3.) after less than three years of operation was named Daimler Mercedes first global Sustainability Supplier beating out all suppliers to Daimler Mercedes not just steel suppliers.

Stickler is currently finalizing the agreements necessary to build and operate a new $3 billion steel mill that will build on the tremendous success of Big River Steel. United States Steel Corporation purchased Big River Steel from Stickler and his investment partners in 2021 and will own and operate the new mill. Stickler is also currently designing and raising the capital necessary to build two steel mills that will produce the steel used in large infrastructure projects. One of these mills is expected to be powered by 100% renewal energy (hydro and solar).

Stickler graduated from BGSU in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He was inducted in the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame in 2017.


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