Ballou Retires From O’Neal Steel; Parnell Moves Up

11 July 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, AL — After a storied career in the American steel industry, Tom Ballou has retired as Vice President of Supply Chain Management at O’Neal Steel. He will, however, continue in an advisory role to the company through the end of 2013.

Ballou’s career in the metals industry began at U.S. Steel Corporation, where he held a variety of sales and management positions, after graduating from Indiana University and serving in the United States Navy. He joined O’Neal Steel in 1985 to successfully lead the marketing efforts of the company’s participation in Tuscaloosa Steel (now Nucor-Tuscaloosa). After next serving as General Manager of O’Neal’s Toledo operation, and then opening O’Neal’s Pittsburgh facility, he returned O’Neal Steel’s corporate office in Birmingham to join what was then known as the Purchasing Department (now Supply Chain Management). He served as Director of Carbon Plate and Flat-Rolled Products until 2008, when he was promoted to Vice President with overall responsibility for Supply Chain Management.

Commenting on Ballou’s retirement, O’Neal Steel President Holman Head said, “Tom has made many significant contributions to O’Neal through his varied roles in supply chain, sales, and management. His strong supplier relationships have been of great benefit to the company, and have influenced the entire metals industry in a positive way.”

Stepping into Ballou’s position as Vice President of Supply Chain Management is Jodi Parnell, previously the department’s Director of Carbon Products. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Parnell began her career in the metals industry in 1998 at Tuscaloosa Steel (now Nucor-Tuscaloosa). She joined O’Neal in 1999 as a product specialist in Supply Chain Management, and has been promoted to positions of increasing responsibility ever since. In her most recent job – leading the group that purchases and manages carbon products – she oversaw more than 70 percent of O’Neal Steel’s total inventory.

With regard to her promotion, Head said, “Jodi has performed in an exemplary manner and has answered every challenge she has faced. She has earned not only this promotion but the respect of her colleagues at O’Neal as well as the suppliers with whom she has dealt.”

O’Neal Steel is one of more than a dozen companies that comprise O’Neal Industries (, the U.S.A.’s largest family-owned group of metals service centers. With sales of approximately $2.5 billion in 2012, O’Neal Industries is based in Birmingham, Alabama, and has more than 90 specialized facilities throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.