Leadership Team

J.P. Blanchard, SVP and President - Performance Materials

J.P. Blanchard is the Senior Vice President and President of U.S. Silica's Performance Materials business unit. Mr. Blanchard joined U.S. Silica in 2011 as vice president and general manager, industrial and specialties and in 2016 was promoted to senior vice president and president, industrial and specialty products. He brings significant experience, energy, and leadership to help accelerate EP Minerals growth trajectory. Mr. Blanchard possesses over 15 years' experience in a variety of industries, including nonwovens, composites, and pharmaceuticals. He has held increasingly senior roles in business management, sales, marketing, and business development, and formerly served as global business director at Johns Manville. Mr. Blanchard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.

Jim Ross, Chief Financial Officer - Performance Materials

Jim joined U.S. Silica in 2018 as Director of Strategy with an initial focus on the acquisition and start-up of the Millen, GA facility. Prior to U.S. Silica, he worked as a Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group where he led business strategy and cost optimization initiatives in the energy and industrial goods sectors. He also has deep technical knowledge, having worked in engineering and operations coordination roles at the ExxonMobil Baytown Refinery. Mr. Ross holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree from Rice University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.

Al Gwizdala, Vice President of Operations

Al joined U.S. Silica in October 1996 as part of the Technical Services Department. During his tenure, he has held the jobs of Corporate Services Lab Manager, Berkeley Springs Operations Manager, Plant Manager of Dubberly, LA, Montpelier, VA, and Berkeley Springs, WV before being promoted to Operations Director – Industrial Specialty Products. Mr. Gwizdala has serviced as Vice Presidents of Operations – ISP, Vice President of Operations – Oil and Gas, and Vice President of Operations – Specialty Materials, before assuming his current position. Today, he works directly with twenty of our mining facilities to make low-cost high-quality products for all of our Industrial Customers. Mr. Gwizdala holds degrees of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Saginaw Valley State University, Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from Iowa State University, and Master of Business Administration from University of Maryland University College.