In the cut and thrust of the
modern steel industry, it's all too easy to forget to recognize
the achievements of individuals and enterprises that have
helped drive the industry forward.
Modern markets demand a focus on short-term
results, and sometimes recognition of what might be lasting
contributions is worryingly momentary. That's one reason why it
was such a pleasure recently to help present the first
AMM Awards for Steel Excellence.
There were some truly outstanding
nominations for the array of awards, and it seemed long overdue
that the industry should recognize its finest achievements and
achievers. As Tom Graham notes in his column this month
(page 74), the tributes to former Nucor Corp. chief
executive officer Ken Iverson, AMM's Titan of Steel,
were particularly touching. The contribution of Iverson is a
prime example of steel industry heritage that we must work hard
With that in mind, AMM is pleased
to announce that it is launching the AMM Steel Hall of
Fame. As far as we know, this will be the first institution of
its kind for the industry, joining baseball, football and rock
and roll, among others, in giving proper recognition to its
greatest contributors. Initially, at least, the Hall of Fame
will be a virtual one, with the inaugural inductees recognized
during the presentation ceremony for next year's AMM
Awards for Steel Excellence.
Over the next several months, AMM
will call for nominations to the Hall of Fame and you will be
able to make your suggestions either online or at the
AMM booth at any one of a number of industry events,
starting with AMM's Steel Raw Materials Strategies
Conference in Minneapolis Sept. 28-29 and Scrap and Scrap
Substitutes Conference in Philadelphia Oct. 19-20. A highly
qualified panel will make the final selection of the first
Personally, I'm intrigued to see who makes
the cut. One would think that some names are slam dunks surely
Andrew Carnegie can expect "the call to the Hall." But what
about some of his fellow founding fathers of the U.S. industry?
Will Charles Schwab, Henry Clay Frick, J.P. Morgan, Elbert Gary
and William Henry "Judge" Moore make the cut?
AMM's Hall of Fame will not be
limited to people who made their careers in the United States,
so there should be strong contenders from Europe and Japan.
German pioneers like Friedrich and Alfred Krupp and members of
the Thyssen family must come into consideration, while there
also are worthy contenders from other historical steelmaking
powers such as France, Luxembourg, Spain and the United
One Brit who must be a strong contender is
Henry Bessemer, whose process revolutionized steelmaking. There
will doubtless be other champions of technology to consider.
From the early pioneers to modern-day metallurgists,
technologists have always been the heartbeat of the industry
and a major reason why steel remains as relevant today as it
was in Carnegie's time.
But the Hall of Fame need not be only for
those long since past. Unlike other Halls of Fame, AMM
does not insist that a candidate be deceased or retired to be
eligible. Has anyone had a greater impact on the steel industry
in the past 50 years, for example, than Lakshmi N. Mittal?
There will surely be much debate as the
candidates are whittled down to form the initial class. I
invite your participation in the process and look forward to
Senior vice president and