stands strong with cross-disciplined, industry-experienced leaders dedicated to quality, environmental sustainability, customer partnership and product development.

Kho Irani

President & CEO

Kho joined the Lion team after more than 17 years at ExxonMobil where he held a variety of management positions, including roles as Global Marketing Manager of EPDM and Global Tire Technology Manager. Kho holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Rice University and earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

Neil Jurkovic

Chief Financial Officer

Neil was Division Financial Reporting Manager at Olin Corporation before assuming the role of CFO in 2013. Neil has over 20 years of financial leadership experience, earning both a CPA and CMA. Neil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy, a Master of Business Administration degree from Chapman University and is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Mark Wilson

Vice President, Corporate Quality

Mark has been with the Lion Elastomers organization since its inception in 2005 and has been with the copolymer organization for nearly 30 years. Mark has held positions as Maintenance Manager of Analysis and Scheduling, SBR Product Manager, and Supply Chain/Optimization Manager. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.

Bobby Rikhoff

Vice President, Manufacturing

Bobby has almost 30 years in manufacturing and business enterprise experience. He initially started with Uniroyal Chemical in 1995 and has held varying positions in manufacturing and the corporate office, including Plant Manager, Corporate Quality and Optimization Manager and Business Line Vice President. Bobby holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree from Louisiana State University.

Bhavesh Shah

Vice President, Technology

Bhavesh Shah has over 15 years of polymer experience. During this time, he has had progressive responsibilities in various technical and managerial roles. Bhavesh received his Ph.D. in the field of Polymer Composites from Michigan State University. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Technology from North Maharashtra University and a Master’s degree in Polymer Engineering and Technology from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, India.

Gary Niernberger

Vice President, Purchasing

Gary has more than 15 years of experience in petrochemical purchasing. Prior to joining Lion Elastomers, he worked for INVISTA as the global sourcing commercial leader for bulk raw material commodities and led the sourcing analysis and strategy efforts. Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Friends University in Kansas and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Russell Otter

Vice President, Supply Chain Management

Russell has 30 years of supply chain experience working at various on chemical and polymer companies including Kraton and BYK. Russell has held a variety of positions including supply chain advisor, head of supply planning, and global supply chain manager. Russell holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

George Panagopoulos

Vice President, Sales

George joined the Lion team after more than 22 years at ExxonMobil Chemical in Commercial leadership positions in the EPDM, TPV, Plastomers and Polyethylene businesses. His most recent role was Regional Sales Manager- Americas for the EPDM and Santoprene businesses. Prior to working with Exxon, he worked for Dow Chemical and Himont. He held management roles in technology and licensing. George has a B.S. and M. S. in Plastics Engineering from the University of Mass-Lowell and an MBA from the University of Delaware.

Keith Gordon

Director, Environmental, Health & Safety

Managing the Environmental, Health & Safety, and Security programs at multiple chemical manufacturing facilities before taking on his current role in 2011, Keith has almost 25 years of technical and leadership experience in the EH&S field. Keith holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management Systems from Louisiana State University, a Master of Science degree in Engineering from the University of New Orleans and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in Environmental Engineering and a Certified Safety Professional (CSP). 

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