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President, CEO-elect comments on Coosa grant
Special to the News
Following an announcement made earlier this month, an Alabama resident has been named the top official for Westwater Resources.
On February 9, Westwater Resources, a battery-grade natural graphite development company, announced the retirement of Christopher M. Jones, president and chief executive officer and member of the board, effective February 25.
Chief Operating Officer, or COO, Chad M. Potter has been elected Westwater’s new president and CEO and appointed to fill the vacancy on the Board of Directors effective February 26.
“Following nine years of distinguished service and after positioning the Coosa Graphite Project for success, Mr. Jones will retire at the end of February,” said Terence J. Cryan, chairman of the Board of Directors. “The Board and entire management team extend their sincere thanks to Mr. Jones for his service to the company. We wish him a happy and healthy retirement.”
Demonstrating Westwater’s commitment to the state, Potter is an Alabamian and is based in Alabama.
Since joining Westwater in August 2021, Potter has been intricately involved in all aspects of the Coosa Graphite Project in Kellyton, including responsibility for all construction activities, which is on schedule for completion in the first half of 2023.
“As part of a thoughtful and planned succession strategy beginning last summer, the board has now elected Mr. Potter as the company’s new president and CEO,” added Board Chair Cryan. “He will continue to be based in Alabama to oversee the completion of construction activities at the Coosa Graphite Project in addition to his expanded role as CEO.”
Prior to joining Westwater, Potter served as the COO and vice president of operations in Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee for American Consolidated Industries. He also spent more than 14 years in the management team at Nucor Steel in Decatur, including service as the CEO and general manager of the joint venture between Nucor and JFE Steel in Guanajuato, Mexico.
“I am honored and excited to assume this new role and to lead Westwater and its talented team into the future,” said Potter.
With the announcement of these executive management changes and with those changes going into effect tomorrow, Westwater Resources President and CEO-Elect Potter also provided a statement regarding the $1 million ADECA grant.
As reported last week, the grant was awarded to Coosa County to upgrade sewer service for the industrial park near Kellyton where Westwater is building its graphite processing plant, known as the Coosa Plant.
“We are extremely grateful to Gov. Ivey for her continued strong support of our Coosa Graphite Project as we build this first-of-its-kind graphite-processing plant in Kellyton,” Potter stated. “We also want to thank the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Department of Commerce, as well as the Coosa County Commission, Alexander City, the Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance, and the other parties for the tremendous teamwork that helped make this possible.”
He added, “The grant to Coosa County for the expansion of critical sewer infrastructure will benefit not only our project, but other customers in the county, as well, and will provide a boost to economic development in the region through the creation of jobs. In addition to employing 100 workers, our Coosa Graphite Plant will put Alabama at the forefront of the production of natural graphite, which is an essential material in batteries for electric vehicles and other products.
“We are proud to be building our graphite-processing plant here in Coosa County, and we look forward to being part of the business community here for many years to come.”