Our Leadership

Meet the people who drive the core values of Rice Industries, while providing leadership in advanced materials and contract manufacturing. Rice invests in R&D, Operations, Sales and Business Development, and M&A expertise.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM

  • Daniel Rice

    Daniel founded Rice Industries while living in Richmond, Virginia. Originally inspired by the Danaher and Colfax business models, Daniel started Rice out of a strong desire to build an operating company with acquisition, as well as strategic and process improvement, as core competencies. As Chairman, Daniel oversees organizational and process development, M&A and company strategy. Daniel’s vision is to continue to build an enterprise with an extraordinary team that expedites material advancements. These advancements then drive improvements in plastic packaging, battery tech, lightweighting, renewable power, and 3D printing among other critical, secular themes. Before founding Rice, Daniel worked in M&A and private equity focused on chemicals, industrials, renewable power and bio-based fuel. He earned his MBA from Harvard and his BA from Middlebury College. Daniel has been influenced by his family members who have taught him that the best way to build a sustainable business is through dedication, perseverance and risk-taking. Daniel was inspired by his father who founded one of the first private equity firms and his grandfather who was Chairman and CEO of Allegheny Power Systems, one of the largest US utilities at the time.

  • Valentin Alvarez

    As President, Valentin presides over Rice Industries’ companies and serves on the Board. Valentin started at Rice at the beginning of 2018 as President of Rice’s polymer enhancement division. Valentin has since assumed leadership of all of Rice’s operation and commercial efforts. Before being named President, Valentin served as General Manager at UNARCO (a division of Marmon Group, a Berkshire Hathaway company), the leader in retail conveyance equipment. He led all facets of the business with full P&L responsibility. Prior to joining UNARCO, Valentin served for more than a decade at SPX Corporation, where his ultimate position was Vice President, SPX Heat Exchanger. Beforehand, he served as VP Southeast Asia for SPX Corporation where he was instrumental in the region turnaround. Previously, Valentin spent 12 years at GE Aircraft Engines including a four-year campaign in Spain. Valentin received his Bachelor of Aviation Technology and Master of Business Administration degrees from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is a former triathlete, an avid cyclist and swimmer, and resides in Richmond, VA.

  • Tony Asfor

    Tony is the Chief Financial Officer of Rice Industries and sits on its Board. Tony joined in 2018 and leads Rice’s financial, accounting, IT, and administrative efforts. Tony is a 20+ year veteran of the pharmaceutical and telecom industries, and public auditing (Big 4). Tony’s experience prior to joining Rice included finance and accounting leadership roles at Catalent Pharma Solutions, Icon Clinical Research, and Comcast. Tony led finance for Catalent’s Biologics and Small Molecule Laboratory, and the Pulmonary Manufacturing, and Micronization facilities. While at Catalent, Tony worked with Joe Drost, one of Rice’s Board members. Tony is active in Jiu Jitsu and resides in Abington, PA.

SALES AND R&D

  • Chris Arnoldt

    Chris leads R&D and Sales at our Polymer Enhancement and Material Handling divisions. Before joining Rice Industries in 2019, Chris worked in polymer compounding and manufacturing at Edge Adhesives for thirteen years.  Primarily focusing on saturated block copolymer formulations that were turned into various high-end industrial adhesives, coatings and pressure sensitive tapes.  During his time at Edge, Chris managed the product development and sales teams for eleven active end-use markets from Aerospace to Building Envelope.  From 2009-2012, Chris served as the elected Chairman of the American Architecture Manufacturing Association (AAMA) committee that was responsible for establishing all of the National Building Code and testing specifications for sealants, adhesives, coatings and psa tapes.  Chris is the inventor on two patents that are commercialized and in active use globally and has developed dozens of private labeled products for some of the world’s largest brands including 3M, DOW-DuPont and GAF. Chris is an active triathlete and swimmer, and resides in New York City.

  • Fred Surville

    Fred Surville has lead R&D and Sales for our Micronization division since joining Rice in January 2017. Fred is responsible for bringing the message of quality, innovation and customer service to the market. He is passionate about digitization, metric oriented marketing, and creating impact within our clients’ operations. Previously, Fred worked at Server Technology, Eaton Corporation and Veolia Environmental where he developed his technology sales and marketing skills while working on projects ranging from waste-to-energy, industrial zero waste initiatives and data center power and cooling. Fred received his BA and MS in International Affairs from Florida State University and his MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Fred is a passionate Seminoles fan and resides in Chicago.

COMPANY ADVISORS

 

Joseph L. Rice

Joe has spent the major portion of his business career in private equity and is one of the founders of the industry. Joe is trustee emeritus of Williams College and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution. He is also a co-founder of the Private Capital Research Institute. In his free time, Joe enjoys playing golf, reading the newspaper, and watching the NY Giants. Joe is the proud father of two daughters and one son, and the grandfather of five boys and one girl.

 
 

Joseph Drost

Joe began his career at Bristol-Myers Squibb as a Research Associate. He then spent twenty years at Colorcon, a leader in drug delivery technology and development solutions. At Colorcon, Joe worked in various leadership capacities, culminating as CEO of Micron Technologies, a global leader in particle size reduction of Pharmaceutical active ingredients and excipients. Micron’s impressive growth under Joe’s leadership led to its acquisition by Arlington Capital Partners in 2013. In 2014, Catalent Pharma Solutions, a leading integrated Pharma CMO, purchased Micron from Arlington. Joe stayed on as General Manager of Catalent Micron Technologies until his retirement in 2015. Joe graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy.