• Leadership

Chief Executive Officer

Mike Burgess

Mike Burgess - Chief Executive Officer

Michael Burgess is the Chief Executive Officer of US Ceramics LLC. He became the CEO with the First Bauxite LLC acquisition of US Ceramics LLC. Previously, Michael obtained investor support for the leveraged management buyout from Imerys that created US Ceramics LLC and was the GM. Prior to joining US Ceramics, Michael worked as the Vice President & General Manager of Imerys Oilfield Solutions. As Imerys Director of Operations and Engineering he provided leadership for ceramic proppant manufacturing at the Wrens, GA and Andersonville, GA facilities. Michael was a founder in PyraMax Ceramics LLC, a private equity start-up acquired by Imerys. As VP of Operations, he managed the design, construction and commissioning of the Wrens, GA facility. Previously, he held plant manager positions with CARBO Ceramics in McIntyre, GA and New Iberia, LA. Inventions include a patented method for producing ceramic proppant and anti-flow back additives. Michael is a mechanical engineer and worked in the engineering & construction, nuclear power, chemical, aerospace & defense, and oil & gas industries.

Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing

John A. Karson

John A. Karson - Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing

John Karson is currently Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for First Bauxite LLC and US Ceramics LLC. He has over 40 years of experience with industrial minerals and refractories. Starting off as a Steel Plant Superintendent and Melt shop Manager, he then worked with large refractory suppliers, researching and selling hundreds of refractory products and industrial minerals. His time with such companies as Foseco, F&S International, International Minerals, Puyang Refractories, and more recently, FX Minerals, has led to a vast network of international sourcing, sales and contacts from China to South Africa. John has a wide variety of technical and entrepreneurial skills including supply chain and logistics, finance, business development, metallurgy, engineering and manufacturing. He has an Engineering degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Vice President of International Sales, Proppant

Viviana Trevino de Barton

Viviana Trevino de Barton - Vice President of International Sales, Proppant

Viviana is the Vice President of International Sales, Proppant for US Ceramics LLC. Prior to joining US Ceramics, she was ChangQing’s President and brings with her a wealth of leadership and communication skills. Viviana’s reputation as a skillful negotiator, coupled with her relationship building is known globally with all of our customers. She has never met a stranger. Before joining ChangQing, Viviana spent many years penetrating the Latin America market in the oil and gas, aviation, and pharmaceutical sectors, representing domestic and international clients. Her ability to generate robust profitability margins by monitoring cash flows, eliminating unnecessary costs and conducting financial forecasts have been bar none, along with her ability to negotiate long-term contracts with key government entities, all with a heightened understanding and expertise of FCPA compliance. Viviana is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, has served previously as a Board Member and Advisory Council to the University of Texas at Austin, Theresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies as has served previously as a board member to the Higher Education Board of Dallas. She holds a B.S., Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo, Saltillo, Mexico (Eng.).

General Manager of Operations

Dan Hammonds

Dan Hammonds - General Manager of Operations

Dan Hammonds is the General Manager or Operations at the Wrens Plant for US Ceramics LLC. He participated in the leveraged management buyout that created the company. Prior to joining US Ceramics, Dan worked as the Operations Manager of IMERYS Oilfield Solutions. In this role, he had fiscal responsibility for the performance of the Wrens Operation and managed the Production, Engineering, Maintenance, and EH&S teams. Dan was the Plant Engineer for PyraMax Ceramics during the design and construction of the Wrens Plant and coordinated the fast-paced project. Dan’s background includes senior management positions in a consulting engineering firm, specializing in large project design and management and various Engineering, Maintenance, and Production positions in large kaolin-processing facilities. Dan has a BSME degree from Louisiana State University.

Technical Director

Tonia Boutelle

Tonia Boutelle - Technical Director of US Ceramics, LLC

Tonia is the Technical Manager for US Ceramics LLC. Prior to joining US Ceramics, she held a dual role as Technical Director for IMERYS Oilfield Solutions and Technical Service Manager for IMERYS Kaolin North America. She has 25 years of experience in the kaolin industry with responsibilities in several different fields with the last seven years in the Ceramic Proppant Industry. She was part of the PyraMax Ceramics LLC start-up team and was instrumental in the development of the Quality and Crude Programs and plant commissioning. She specializes in raw material selection, formulation improvements, and leadership. She has previous experience in Polymer Research, Production Management, Quality Control Management, and Crude Management in the Paper, Carbonates, and Ceramics Divisions of IMERYS and formerly ECC International. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Georgia College and State University.