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NAME AND TITLE: Ron Peppe, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer. AGE: 45 OUT OF THE NORTH: Canam Steel Corp.’s name is a marriage of Canadian and American; its parent company is based in Qu�bec, Canada. “We don’t make steel, but we do make things out of steel, like building components,” Peppe said. “We also build things like stadiums, office buildings, convention centers. We built the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium and also the new Patriots stadium in Foxboro [Mass.]. And now we have contracts for both the [New York] Mets’ and the Yankees’ stadiums.” The company fabricates and erects steel components for convention centers and office buildings, such as the new Boston and Hartford, Conn., convention centers, the Fleet Center in Boston, and the Cira and Spectrum centers in Philadelphia. “In short, we do construction, engineering and heavy manufacturing,” Peppe said. “We also deal with architects and developers. It’s kind of a broad market. We have four plants in the U.S.: in Maryland, Missouri, Florida and Washington state. Half of the plants are union, and half are nonunion.” The company is headquartered in Point of Rocks, Md. It employs more than 2,500 people worldwide, including more than 900 in the United States. LEGAL DEPARTMENT: Peppe oversees legal affairs and human resources for all U.S. operations. “I also deal with risk management, insurance and compliance. The general counsel in Canada handles most securities issues, and I tend to focus more on U.S. operational matters and corporate issues. The Toronto Stock Exchange has adopted many provisions similar to the Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, and there are U.S. investors who expect Sarbanes-Oxley-type controls, so I also deal with the compliance aspects of the U.S. operations.” Peppe and a legal assistant are the sole legal employees in the United States. “I rely on outside counsel for litigation and specialized areas such as ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] compliance or local matters. I also do traditional labor law, since we do have unions, including contract negotiations and grievances. A large part of risk management involves safety and workers’ compensation issues.” DAILY DUTIES: Given the nature of the industry, “I’ve had to learn quite a bit about environmental regulation, especially air and water permitting issues. I also handle contracts and collections issues but rely on outside counsel for local collection matters and liens. For large projects, such as stadiums, the contract and collection work can take years to sort out. Canam is growing via acquisitions, so I also manage the [mergers and acquisitions] work,” Peppe said. “I tell people that sitting at my desk is like hosting a radio talk show. When I get to work, the phone starts ringing, and I never know what question will come up next.” He reports to the company president, Sam Blatchford. OUTSIDE COUNSEL: Washington-area offices of DLA Piper; McDermott, Will & Emery; and Chicago-based Seyfarth Shaw are Peppe’s top outside firms. “We’re active in all 50 states and in [Washington] so I also work with local counsel on litigation, project and employment matters. We sell and build things and have employees nationwide, so issues come up everywhere.” ROUTE TO THE TOP: Born and brought up in Frederick, Md., Peppe earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international studies at Johns Hopkins University and took his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1987. Peppe joined Omaha, Neb.-based Kutak Rock, working in public finance and banking. Next he spent six years working on investment matters for Prudential Insurance’s mortgage company arm in Frederick. “I also started to do [intellectual property] transactional work when it was a relatively new field,” he said. “A mortgage company is really in the business of maintaining a large data system. We were building networks and creating financial processes involving computers, so I learned quite a bit about the IP side.” Canam hired Peppe after he answered a newspaper employment ad. He stayed with the company from 1996 to 2004, leaving for a position as vice president for law and technology at the Association of Corporate Counsel in Washington. “I was there until this past July, when I came back full-time to Canam. I had tried to help them hire another general counsel after I left. Even so, they had kept my office open for me, and two years later, when I sat down at the same desk, I opened the drawer and found the crayons that my daughter used to play with.” INTERNATIONAL ISSUES: “It is getting much more complicated to bring steel and people across the borders, even from Canada,” Peppe said. “There are federal and state buy-American acts that require American steel on many projects. It sounds simple, but it can be difficult to figure out if something is really American. For instance, in doing the Eagles’ stadium, the requirement was to use domestic ore. The problem is that we used recycled steel, so we then had to negotiate clarifications with the contracting body.” Then there are customs and import problem, plus employment issues. “Any big construction project or a plant where you are moving and cutting and painting large, heavy objects has the potential to turn into a crisis, no matter how well managed, if someone gets hurt,” Peppe said. “Sometimes the hardest thing is when things go very wrong, such as a worker death or serious injury.” What sets Canam apart from most competitors is its in-house engineering staff, in North America as well as in Romania and India. “There’s just a small breed of folks who do this kind of work. When the immigration laws got tougher, it got even harder to find them here,” in North America. “We now have joint ventures in Russia and in Dubai, and we’ve discovered that Romania has a well-educated work force.” PERSONAL: Peppe and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Falls Church, Va., and have two children, Matthew, 17, and Laura, 15. Peppe served for many years on the Frederick school board and in May was elected to the school board in Falls Church. LAST BOOK AND MOVIE: The Metaphysical Club, by Louis Menand, and Tristan and Isolde.

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