Mike Uhrick

With over 37 years’ of visionary, leadership experience in entrepreneurial scrap metal recycling, Mike serves as CEO of Venture Metals, the company he founded in 1986. In addition to leading Venture Metals, he has comprehensive operational experience in demolition, heavy equipment, industry plant remediation, logistics, environmental management and custom recycling program design.  Mike has developed and managed green-field startup locations with exceptional results. Prior to forming Venture Metals, he served as the leader of one of the largest private recycling companies in the Southwest and prepped it for acquisition by a major public corporation. Mike’s leadership experience and business acumen have been invaluable factors for the growth and exemplary products and services provided by Venture Metals.

Mike attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he focused on engineering and business. He resides in Dallas with his wife Jeanie and his two sons. His expertise with metals extends beyond his role at Venture Metals where he is an avid metal sculptor. His sculpting creations have been donated to Cistercian Preparatory School in Dallas, where both of his sons attended and graduated.

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Mark Chazanow

Mark leads the management team of Venture Metals along with overseeing high-level supplier relationships in the wholesale and industrial sectors. He has over 24 years’ of progressive scrap metal recycling experience, including being a member of senior management at one of the largest metal companies in the world.His outstanding marketing and negotiation skills have been instrumental in growth not only for Venture Metals’ but for partner suppliers as well.

As a fourth generation scrap metal entrepreneur, Mark’s longevity in the business, background and expertise is key to enabling maximum value for Venture Metal’s partners in the area of buying and pricing scrap purchased by the company.

Mark resides in Dallas with his wife Jen and their two sons. A dedicated “lacrosse dad”, in his spare time, Mark can be found on the field with his children. He also serves his community by volunteering with the ASPCA, North Texas Food Bank, AIPAC and First Tee of Dallas. Mark is a 1994 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Business Law.

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Sharma Rao

EVP – Business Development

Sharma has over 28 years’ experience in Metals and Metal processing industries, having managed global supply chains for Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation. Most recently, Sharma was the VP of Metals & Strategy for Arconic-EP&S. Over his career he has held leadership roles in Quality, Engineering, Operations, Supply Chain and Commercial functions. Sharma will be leading the Business Development efforts for Venture Metals and remains passionate about value creation.

Sharma resides in Mason, OH with his wife and two children. He has a graduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida. He is an avid football fan and a proud Gator.


Matt Ellis

Vice President
With over 24 years’ of scrap metal experience, Matt is responsible for trading high temperature alloys and foundry scrap for Venture Metals. In 2010, he founded Pioneer Metal Solutions which was a specialty niche business for alloys and foundry scrap grades. Venture Metals acquired Pioneer Metal Solutions in 2016 and Matt joined the team. His expertise, industry knowledge and deep business relationships with both suppliers and consumers have resulted in significant growth for the company.

Matt lives in Bellaire, TX with his wife and two children.  He enjoys running, watching and playing sports, and traveling. He is a 1993 graduate of the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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Chris Chong

Vice President, Global Marketing & Sales
Chris Chong leads the international trading department for Venture Metals. He has over 15 years’ experience in global scrap metal trading and joined the company in 2011, where he is directly responsible for growing our global consumer base. His expertise in export logistics, international banking transactions and commodity trading have been key components to the global expansion of Venture Metals. Chris attended the University of Texas at Arlington and lives in the Dallas area.

Preston Dargan

Vice President of Finance
Preston directs all accounting and finance activities for Venture Metals. He has over 15 years’ experience in the recycling industry including sales management, operational expansions and mergers & acquisitions. Preston currently serves as the treasurer for Venture Metals IC-DISC and is the management representative for the company’s ISO 9001:2015 certification in the Trading of Waste and Scrap of Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals (including Mixed Metals) for our three scrap locations.

Preston lives in the Dallas area with his wife and his two children. He is a guitarist and holds his commercial pilots’ license to fly helicopters. Preston is a graduate of the University of Kansas and holds his MBA from the University of Dallas.