Pioneer Metal Finishing logo
Stephen Smith Named CEO of Pioneer Metal Finishing; Scott Kettler to Retire

GREEN BAY, WI, January 27, 2022 — Pioneer Metal Finishing, LLC (“Pioneer”), announces that Stephen Smith will become Pioneer’s CEO. Scott Kettler, Pioneer’s current President/COO, is retiring Feb. 3, 2022, as part of a planned transition.

“We’re very pleased that Steve Smith has joined Pioneer,” said Brandon Bethea, Co-Founder & Partner with Aterian Investment Partners; Pioneer is a portfolio company of Aterian. “He brings extensive executive leadership experience spanning all corporate functions including strategy, operations, leadership, talent identification, sales and marketing.”

Since 2019, Smith was CEO of Stewart Tubular Products in Houston, TX, an Aterian-owned manufacturer, distributor and threader of down-hole tubing and casing accessories. Prior to that, he was President of BrightFlare Performance Solutions in Houston, a business consulting practice, for 11 years. Earlier, Smith held executive leadership positions with various companies in Texas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He earned a Master’s degree in Operations Management from Kettering University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Oakland University.

“Steve’s proven strategic and visionary leadership will help the entire Pioneer team build upon our strong foundation today while preparing for continued growth in the years ahead,” added Bethea.

“While looking to the future, it’s equally important to thank Scott and recognize his significant contributions to Pioneer over the past four years,” remarked Bethea. “Along with his business acumen, we appreciate Scott’s personal integrity managing Pioneer with the highest ethical standards. We are excited for his next chapter of life with his family and wish him only the best.”

Since 2018, Kettler provided leadership to the Pioneer operations team as the Chief Operating Officer and to the broader organization as the President role was added last year. Kettler was a well-respected leader driving a “safety first” culture built on Pioneer’s core values.

In the past two years, he led the expansion of Pioneer’s geographic footprint and diversification of its capabilities through the strategic acquisitions of three new divisions: Salt Lake City, UT; Chippewa Falls, WI; and Union City, CA. In addition, Kettler spearheaded key profit-improvement initiatives at several locations and facilitated ongoing strategic repositioning of Pioneer’s customer engagement practices.

Reflecting on his tenure, Kettler expressed pride in the entire Pioneer team. “All our employees possess a relentless desire to meet our customers’ needs,” he stated. “It’s exciting to come to work every day.”

About Pioneer Metal Finishing, LLC

Headquartered in Green Bay, WI, Pioneer specializes in providing outsourced metal surface engineering services to customers across a range of industries including automotive, industrial, medical, consumer goods, aerospace & defense and more. Pioneer, with locations in seven U.S. states and Mexico, has been serving customers for more than 75 years, offering a range of processes including anodizing, plating, adhesive & coating applications.  Pioneer’s strategic R&D support helps customers develop new coating solutions designed to solve specific performance challenges.

For more information, please visit

About Aterian Investment Partners

Aterian Investment Partners manages over $1.5 billion of committed capital and invests in industry-leading, middle market businesses. In collaboration with management, Aterian supports investments throughout an organization, from people to processes, equipment, technology, and social governance, among other areas.

For more information, please visit


SOURCE: Pioneer Metal Finishing