Management Team

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Les Edwards, Chief Technology Officer, Rain CII Carbon

Les Edwards is the Chief Technology Officer for Rain CII Carbon. He has been with the organization since 1998 and is responsible for customer technical support, R&D activities, laboratory services, and quality management.

Mr. Edwards is a regular presenter at industry conferences and has authored or co-authored more than 20 technical papers since joining Rain CII. He is a key contributor in The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS), including past roles as program organizer of the Electrode Technology sessions. Prior to joining Rain CII, Mr. Edwards spent 11 years working in the aluminum industry for Comalco Aluminium in his native Australia.

He holds a BSc degree from the University of Western Australia and an MBA from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Mr. Edwards’ passion at Rain CII is to drive technological improvements in carbon use for aluminum smelting, and to continue expanding Rain CII’s influence as a global leader in carbon materials technology.


Paul Francese is the Group Chief Financial Officer

Paul Francese is the Group Chief Financial Officer for the Global Rain Carbon Group. The Group consists of Rain CII Carbon LLC, RÜTGERS Group, Rain CII Carbon Limited and Rain Global Services.Mr. Francese joined the Group in March 2015, and has more than thirty years of experience serving in senior positions for General Electric, United Technologies Corporation, Litton Industries, Pitney Bowes and OCI Chemicals. He has a successful history of building world class finance teams, guiding companies to profitable growth and implementing rapid continuous improvement strategies.

Mr. Francese has held the position of Chief Financial Officer for both private and public companies and currently serves on several boards. He has also been a guest speaker at industry conferences and graduate classes at the University of New Haven.

Mr. Francese is a graduate of Rutgers University with a B.A. in Business Administration, holds an MBA from the University of New Haven and is a graduate of the General Electric Financial Management Program (FMP).


Ron M. Garbarino, Chief Commercial Officer

Ron Garbarino, Chief Commercial Officer, oversees Rain CII’s sales, logistics, and production planning. He began his career with CII in 1989 as a process engineer, and over the years his depth of experience in our calcining business also includes oversight of raw materials, coke plant operations, labor relations, and safety.

He possesses extensive knowledge of green and calcined petroleum coke markets, specifically related to the use of CPC in the production of aluminum and titanium dioxide, and specialized knowledge in supply chain management as related to the production of CPC.

Mr. Garbarino is a graduate of the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology with a B.S. in Computer Science in 1989. He earned an M.B.A. from Tulane University’s Executive M.B.A. program in 1997.


Gerry Sweeney, President & CEO, Rain CII Carbon

Gerry Sweeney is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rain CII Carbon LLC, and also the President and CEO of Rain Global Services Inc. Mr. Sweeney has more than 25 years of experience with leaders in the industrial carbon industry. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Sweeney has been instrumental in the global expansion of CPC production, especially China, India, and Kuwait. He sits on the board of Rain Carbon USA, Rain CII Carbon, Rain Global Services Inc., and Rütgers N.V. He also serves on the boards of several charities and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Sweeney aspires to build the world’s most Resourceful, Reliable, and Responsible industrial organization. He leads Rain CII with the belief that leadership means more than being recognized for industry accomplishments and rankings; it means stepping forward and doing the right things for customers, suppliers, employees, the environment, and the communities in which we live and work.
He challenges Rain CII employees to take pride and initiative in developing innovative new processes, helping customers and suppliers solve problems, and working with partners to maximize efficiency and profitability; and also to maintain a daily awareness of the environment and the citizens of the communities in which Rain CII operates.


Mike Tillman, Chief Operations Officer, Rain CII Carbon

Mike Tillman has held the position of Chief Operations Officer for Rain CII Carbon since 2014.

Over many years in the organization, Mr. Tillman has seen the company from a wide range of perspectives. He began his career with CII in 1996 as a Staff Engineer. In 2003 he became the Louisiana Operations Manager, responsible for the operations of the Gramercy, Norco, and Chalmette facilities. He has held various other positions in the company including plant Manager, Staff Process Engineer, and Information Systems Coordinator.

Mr. Tillman has also served as a Plant Electrical Engineer for LaRoche Chemicals, where was responsible for instrument and electrical maintenance, as well as capital projects. He is a graduate of Southern University and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology.


Bob Tonti, Senior VP & Director of Business Development, Rain CII Carbon

Robert Tonti is senior vice president in charge of business development for Rain CII. During his career, he has held engineering positions in oil refining, aluminum smelting, and carbon processing, including positions with Shell Oil Company and Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical. Over his many years with the Rain CII organization, Mr. Tonti has been responsible for operations, supply chain management, and energy systems.

Mr. Tonti holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and an MBA from the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland.
He is an avid proponent of energy efficiency and energy conservation through good industrial practice. Within its industry, Rain CII is a leader in co-generation of electricity and steam from waste heat. His passion follows the company promise: to be Resourceful, Reliable, and Responsible in all that we do.

We seek to lead by example in our relationships with each other, our suppliers, customers, and the communities in which we live and work. Together we are more resourceful. Together we are One Rain CII.