Bringing Tech, Talent and Culture into the Steel Industry
Aviva Leebow Wolmer is a steel industry veteran currently spearheading a new stealth mode initiative. (More exciting news coming soon!) She is the former CEO of Pacesetter, a flat rolled steel service center who is a champion of providing bottom line value to its customer partners through continuous improvement across production, quality, and supply chain. Her unique focus on technology, developing talent, and strong family culture has made her a pioneer in the steel industry. Aviva remains firm in her vision of the steel industry as a vibrant, technology-driven cornerstone of American manufacturing.
As CEO of Pacesetter, Aviva challenged preconceptions of the industry, benefiting not only Pacesetter but also the entire market. While this drive has always been part of her ethos, she credits her many roles in the company as valuable learning lessons for herself.
These roles include Learning Leader, Vice President for People, Acting Vice President of Sales and Executive Vice President. By wearing these various hats, Aviva continued her hands-on approach with customers, suppliers and associates alike. She developed a deep rapport with customers while involving herself in essential company roles like finance, communication, talent retention and acquisition.
A thought leader in the steel industry, Aviva is frequently invited to speak at conferences and radio shows to share her innovative focus on talent and technology to help drive the ultimate customer experience. She’s been featured on Worldwide Business with Kathy Ireland and was a keynote speaker at the North American Steel Conference in 2015.
For Aviva Leebow Wolmer, as a second-generation CEO, some of the people she oversaw on a daily basis once knew her in a much different capacity–as a child roaming Pacesetter’s halls.
Going from child to adult within the Pacesetter family isn’t far off from the lives of many of the company’s associates and customers, who have remained loyal for decades. Aviva knew that the company’s continued success required a steady focus on building and maintaining these loyal relationships. So when she joined in 2010, Aviva embarked on her first project — personally interviewing every Pacesetter associate, over 150 people.
Through the insight gained from these interviews, Aviva was able to discern key themes necessary to improve Pacesetter. The information Aviva gleaned gave her the tools to reimagine Pacesetter University–the company’s prior internal Associate development program with the mission to promote education and creativity within Pacesetter.
That ushered in the opportunity for Aviva to lead strategic planning that year, as well as the revived Pacesetter University. Through Aviva’s leadership, associates opened up even more–providing her with additional insight into the wants and needs of her team members.
Aviva’s steadfast commitment to acquiring, developing, and keeping talented team members proved vital for both Pacesetter’s corporate profit and prospering culture. In the office, Aviva literally tore down walls in the spirit of collaboration. Where a wall once stood separating branches of the company now stands a space that provides ample collaboration and innovation. Aviva’s open-door policy afforded her the opportunity to regularly collaborate with the rest of the company as a leader, mentor, and fellow member of the Pacesetter family.
Aviva’s efforts culminated in her being the recipient of the 2015 Claudia B. Waters Award. She was honored for her consistent focus on drive, fairness and a dedication to self-improvement, amongst an array of other admirable leadership qualities.
To Aviva, making a difference in the community is just as important as making a profit. Aviva is proud to continue Pacesetter’s longstanding commitment to giving back, including her participation with the Pacesetter Team in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk each year, getting involved with children, and generally stepping into any activity where she can be of service. She also strongly supports the St. Jude’s Children Hospital.
Today, Aviva continues to cement her status as an innovative, inspirational force in the industry. When not in the office, Aviva can be found with her husband Michael, son Ari, and dog Violet, spending time with friends and family, or on adventures such as zip lining, hiking, hang gliding and skydiving.