Michael H. Walters, Founder

Michael H. Walters, Founder and Chairman of CRI, has more than 30 years of sales, marketing and manufacturing experience.  Walters began his career with Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation, where he was involved in employment and corporate recruiting for 80 plants worldwide. 

From HR Walters moved into sales and marketing where he held numerous positions, including Commercial General Manager in the reorganization of a major acquisition by Olin.  In 1980, Walters became Vice President and General Manager for Madison Steel, Inc. with the purpose of redirecting the company which he successfully did.  In 1983, Walters moved to Vice President - Sales and Marketing for Alstrip, Inc., subsidiary of Allegheny Technologies, and established a national metals distribution system.  

Walters is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Harvard University’s Advanced Marketing Program.  He is founder of See Swing, Inc., and is a member of several boards, including Child’s Voice School, where he has served as President for the past five years.

Thomas D. Nelson, Partner

Thomas D. Nelson joined CRI as a Partner in 1999.  Previously, Nelson was recruited to serve as the Chief Operating Officer for Fullerton Metals/Metals-USA. From 1990 to 1995, Nelson was the President of National Materials Company in Elk Grove Village, Ill.  His background also includes a variety of positions at Inland Steel, including Outside Sales Representative, Sales Manager, General Sales Manager and Vice President of Sales. 

Nelson holds a BBA from Loyola University and an MBA from the Executive Program of the University of Chicago.  After graduating from Loyola in 1962, he joined the United States Marine Corps, where he held the rank of captain and was awarded six air medals while serving in Vietnam.

Advisory Board

Dennis R. Marx, CPA, is a shareholder of JMG Financial Group, Ltd., in Oak Brook, Ill., where he is a senior personal financial advisor to executive officers of public and private businesses as well as high net worth families. As an independent consultant, Marx was instrumental to the growth of an international, privately-owned executive search firm.

Prior to his position at JMG, Marx was the partner-in-charge of the Personal Financial Counseling Practice at Ernst & Young in Chicago, where he served on the firm’s National Tax Computer Services and Personal Financial Counseling committees.  Additionally, Marx was the firm’s media spokesperson on ESPN’s “Nation’s Business” morning news program and was frequently quoted in the Chicago press about personal financial planning.

Marx is a Certified Public Accountant and an AICPA Accredited Personal Financial Specialist.  He holds a BS degree in Accounting from the University of Dayton, an MBA in Finance from Loyola University and is a Graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development. 


Dr. T. Grant John has spent more than 35 years in the metals industry.  He is the Principal of T.G. John & Associates, Inc., a strategy and turn-around consulting firm focused on the primary metals and metal manufacturing industries.  Prior to forming his own firm, John was most recently President and Chief Executive Officer of Special Metals Corporation, a publicly-traded company and the world’s leading producer of nickel-based alloys.  He successful led the company through a Chapter 11 financial and structural reorganization.

John began his career in 1966 at Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., now known as LTV Steel.  He became the President of Ingersoll Steel Co. in 1977, a unit of Axel Johnson Inc., where he later became Group Vice President, Metals.  Later, John headed the North American activities of Avesta Inc., an affiliate of Avesta Sheffield AB; was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Washington Steel Corporation; and served as Senior Vice President of Lukens, Inc., holding responsibility for Lukens’ commercial and strategic activities up to its merger with Bethlehem Steel in 1998.

John holds BS and Ph.D. degrees in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of British Columbia. He has served on the boards of Special Metals Corp., Oregon Metallurgical Corporation and Titanium Industries, Inc., as well as the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA). 


Robert W. Patterson, J.D., began his legal career in 1960 with Mayer, Brown & Platt, one of Chicago’s largest law firms, where his practice focused on anti-trust litigation.  He later joined Hopkins & Sutter, becoming a partner in 1968.  In the early 1980s, Patterson was heavily involved in the business operations of Hopkins & Sutter, serving on the firm’s Executive Committee for four two-year terms and serving as its recruiting chairman for five years.  As recruiting chairman, Patterson was responsible for identifying and attracting talented attorneys for several offices throughout the United States. Mr. Patterson is now retired from Hopkins & Sutter.

In 1992, Patterson was listed by the “National Law Journal” as one of the 100 most influential attorneys in the United States in recognition of his leadership in providing legal services to various federal banking regulatory agencies during the savings and loan crisis.  Patterson is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Northwestern University’s School of Law. 



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