RAVENSWOOD – Constellium-Ravenswood CEO Buddy Stemple and longtime community leader Earl Wolfe will be Co-Grand Marshals for the 2016 Ohio River Festival Grand Parade set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Ravenswood.
According to parade coordinator Denise Toler, the parade will lineup at 9:30 a.m. on South Ritchie Avenue by the new gym (PE Building) down Plaza Drive by Ravenswood High School.
The parade route will turn left onto Kaiser Avenue, left onto Flinn Street, cross Ritchie Avenue, turn left onto Washington Street at Premier Bank, proceed south through downtown Ravenswood, turn left onto Walnut Street at the traffic light, turn left onto Henry Street and end back at the RvHS new gym (PE Building) lot.
Lloyd A. “Buddy” Stemple, originally from West Virginia, earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from West Virginia University and a Masters in Practicing Management from McGill University in Montreal.
Buddy began his career in the aluminium industry in 1979 with Kaiser Aluminium and moved to Alcan Aluminium/Novelis in 1983, where he held various positions in Operations, Human Relations, Sales & Marketing, up to Vice President and General Manager of Novelis Specialty Product through 2009. Buddy joined the Oman Aluminium Rolling Company (OARC) in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer and has overseen the establishment of the facility, organization and marketing plans for the company. OARC is a 140,000 ton per year light gauge rolling facility located in Sohar Oman. The world class facility provides light gauge aluminium sheet to the food, heat exchanger and construction industries. In March of 2014, Buddy was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Constellium Ravenswood, LCC in Ravenswood, WV. Buddy returned to his hometown to lead Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, which is an industry leader in aerospace plate, general engineering plate and specialty rolled products.
Buddy is also a Director of Pathfinder Band Holding Company (NASDAQ: PBHC), an upstate New York Community Bank Holding Company of Pathfinder Bank based in Oswego, NY with assets of $600 million.
He is also a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for the Aluminum Association. He has also served as the Chairman of the Automotive and Light Truck Group for the US Aluminum Association, focusing on vehicle light-weighting with aluminum products.
Earl Wolfe was born on May 18, 1930, and was raised on a farm below Ravenswood; located where the aluminum plant currently stands. He went to school in Ravenswood, and during his years at Ravenswood High, he excelled on the athletic fields, as well as in the classroom. Earl met his best friend, Marjorie Bennett, during those school years, and they were eventually married on June 13, 1951. The two enjoyed 62 wonderful years together, before she passed away in 2013 after a long illness. They raised three boys, and have seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
Wolfe’s work career began at the young age of 15, when he went to work for Vernon McCoy’s dairy as a delivery boy. He maintained this job for six years.
At the age of 21, Wolfe left the dairy farm and went to work for Hutchinson Smith Dodge Plymouth on Sand Street in Ravenswood. He worked for the car dealership for six years, and spent his time doing everything from sweeping the floors, to performing maintenance on the cars. He also sold a few cars during those years.
When he turned 27, he left the automotive dealership, and took a job with the Jackson County Board of Education as a school bus driver. He drove school bus for two years before he was hired at Kaiser Aluminum. Wolfe worked at Kaiser Aluminum for 30 years, and was forced to retire due to health issues.
His final “official” job came when he was appointed as the first EMS director for Jackson County. He filled that position for several years, until his health would no longer allow him to work in a full-time position. He was 71 years old when he “retired.”
Wolfe joined the Ravenswood Volunteer Fire Department in 1952, and was an active member for 38 years. He became chief of the department in 1970, and maintained that role for 30 years. He had many accomplishments with the department, including developing the ambulance service into the predessor of the modern EMS with training as emergency medical technicians (EMTs), purchasing equipment and vehicles, and VFD members personally trained countless hours, and learned “on the job” as they built one of the strongest programs in the state. Today’s Jackson County EMS program would not be in existence as we know it, if not for Wolfe and those countless men and women of the Ravenswood Volunteer Fire Department.
In addition, the Ravenswood planned, and with the help of the mayor and city council, built the facility that is being used today to house the fire department, as well as the police department for the city. They didn’t hire a general contractor, or simply write grants; the members and their families raised money, and actually built the building. Kaiser Aluminum was also a large contributor to these efforts, and should be recognized for their outstanding civic pride during that time.
Wolfe spent over 11 years coaching the young men of Ravenswood in football, basketball and baseball. He helped establish the original Pop Warner football program in Ravenswood.
While still in high school,Wolfe learned the valuable lesson of civic pride, as he helped build the original “home side” bleachers at Flinn FieldWolfe and Jack Hendricks developed a plan, raised money, and installed the first set of lights on the high school baseball field. Earl also assisted with major upgrades to the little league baseball fields during the ‘90s, as well as assisting with the construction of the current “Facilities Building”.
Wolfe was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) in Ravenswood for 15 years. During his membership, he held numerous offices within the organization.
He was elected to serve as one of Jackson County’s constables during the late 60s, and held that legal position for 14 years.
In the early ‘70s, Wolfe was appointed by the Governor to serve on the original Curriculum and Training Committee for the State of West Virginia; during the inception of the current statewide EMS program. He served on the county EMS board from 1982 to 2001.He developed the original guidelines for the Jackson County 911 and EMS systems.
Wolfe has been a member of the Ravenswood Development Authority for 13 years. He has served as president of the RDA for some nine years.