Mike Uhrick

Chief Executive Officer
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 International.  He is responsible for overseeing high-level supplier relationships in the wholesale and industrial sectors. He has over 25 years of progressive scrap metal recycling experience, including his work done as part of the senior management team at one of the largest metal companies in the world.  Mark’s outstanding marketing and negotiation skills have been instrumental in growth not only for Venture Metals, but for partner suppliers as well.

Mark is a fourth-generation scrap metal entrepreneur. His industry expertise and significant relational background are key to enabling maximum value for both Venture Metals and their industrial/dealer partnerships.

Mark currently resides in Dallas with his wife Jen and their two sons. He enjoys golf and watching his sons compete in sports.  A dedicated “lacrosse dad”, Mark can be found on the field with his children in his spare time. He also serves his community by volunteering with the UTD Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies, ASPCA, North Texas Food Bank, AIPAC, and First Tee of Dallas.

Mark attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business/Law.

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Wayne R. Hale

Chief Operating Officer


Wayne has over 30+ years of Executive leadership in a multitude of businesses.  He was Chief Executive Officer of two family-owned businesses; PSF Mechanical, a design and build HVAC and plumbing contractor and Gopher Resource, a lead (Pb) recycling company. He has also successfully led multi-site global organizations as the President of Upstream at Noranda Aluminum, COO of Century Aluminum, SVP Upstream of SUAL (Russia), COO of Kennecott Utah Copper (Rio Tinto), President of Primary Business at Kaiser Aluminum and as a leader in various other businesses. At each he drove record levels of safety, quality, productivity, revenue and EBITDA. His skill set includes P&L management, hands-on operations improvement, strategic planning, HSE, finance, sales, marketing and regulatory compliance. He has also led successful turnarounds in both union and non-union environments.

Wayne lives in Montana and enjoys mountain related activities and fly-fishing. He holds an MBA from Ohio University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Honors from Western Washington University.


Sharma Rao

Executive Vice President 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 of 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.