Titanium Association selects Conard Stitzlein as recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award
Wooster Daily Record
USA TODAY NETWORK
Conard Stitzlein, a pioneer in the fledgling U.S. titanium industry in the 1950s, who founded companies that would evolve into today’s Tricor Industrial Inc., is the recipient of the International Titanium Association’s (ITA) prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023.
Tricor touts itself as a leading international distributor of titanium mill products (plate, sheet, bar, billet, pipe and forgings) according to its website. Tricor also is involved in custom fabrication and builds process equipment in titanium, tantalum, zirconium, high-nickel alloys, duplex and 300-series stainless steel, as well as offering field repair crews. Stitzlein established operations in Wooster and also opened a facility in Conroe, Texas.
His extensive resume in the industry also includes being tapped, in 1984, as the first president of the ITA, which evolved from a group of metal industry executives known then as the Titanium Development Association.
Stitzlein said one secret to his success is that he was always willing to ask for help, and then he honorably held up his end of the bargain. “This is not just my award,” he declared, citing his gratitude for being the recipient of the ITA’s Lifetime Achievement honor. “There were a lot of other people who helped me along the way. I knew where to go to get answers. People were anxious to help me. I’m just a farm boy from Ohio.”
A pioneer in the industry
He was a pioneer in developing and then promoting the titanium service center model to the chemical processing industry (CPI). He eventually grew his business into a major player in the fabrication of titanium equipment to chemical plants, as well as being a major source of stocked titanium for other fabricators and end users. He developed a stable of competent engineers that could design titanium into these various process equipment requirements. He created a network of companies that were instrumental in promoting early adoption of titanium into industrial applications.
Stitzlein promoted new welding techniques for titanium in CPI applications. He tested and introduced novel design methods, such as using titanium Grade 2H per Division 2 of ASME to expand the use of titanium in the purified terephthalic acid (PTA) industry by making fabrications lower cost and more competitive with nickel alloys. He pushed the application of titanium for flue gas desulfurization (FGD) scrubbers in the electric power market, and worked on joint technical efforts in the 1980s to get titanium secured as an accepted corrosion resistant material in this market.
Michael Stitzlein, Conard’s son and the current president of Tricor Industrial, offered heartfelt words to honor his dad’s long career. “He instilled in me a strong work ethic and gave me responsibility at an early age and that our mission is to create employment. The most important thing I have learned from my father is to surround yourself with good people. Once titanium gets in your blood, it’s there to stay and that’s why Wooster is one of hubs in the world for titanium.”