Nathaniel Leonard named President of Smithers Pira and Smithers Rapra

Akron, Ohio, USA - The Smithers Group announced today the appointment of Nathaniel “Nat” Leonard as President for Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira. Leonard will report to Smithers Group President and CEO, Michael Hochschwender.

“Nat is an exceptional leader with a tremendous amount of expertise and experience in the automotive and steel industries, giving him unique insight into our customers and suppliers,” said Hochschwender. “Nat’s commitment to excellence, combined with his industry knowledge and vision make him the perfect choice to lead the continued growth of Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira for many years to come.”

Leonard succeeds long-time Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira president Jim Dowey who is retiring after eight years with the company. “Jim provided excellent leadership and grew Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira significantly throughout his tenure with the company,” said Hochschwender. “We wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Previously, Leonard was Vice President, North America for the Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira business groups. Before joining the Smithers team, Leonard served in leadership roles at such industry and global leaders as BFGoodrich, Progressive Insurance, Goodyear and Republic Steel.

Assuming the role of Vice President, North America for Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira is former Vice President, Europe James Popio. Popio is a 15-year Smithers veteran with previous experience at Bridgestone/Firestone and Goodyear. Sam Sheppard Fidler, a 20-year member of the Pira team in the UK, will take on the role of Vice President, Europe for Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira.

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About The Smithers Group

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Smithers Group includes Smithers Apex, Smithers Avanza, Smithers Pira, Smithers Quality Assessments, Smithers Rapra, and Smithers Visicient. Each Smithers Group company provides technology-based services focused on a defined market. As a group the diversity of market sectors and technologies provides stability and a platform for long-term growth. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers goal is to add value throughout the life cycle of our clients’ products, by utilizing testing, consulting, information, and compliance services. All Smithers companies are known by their clients as Trusted Providers of Innovative Solutions.  For more information, visit