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Introducing Our Modern Casting Team

Doug Kurkul

The American Foundry Society has been publishing Modern Casting, or its predecessor publication, since 1938. This month, I would like to devote this space to recognizing the superb team that makes possible both the monthly magazine and our related digital products. 

Editorial and Graphics

Shannon Wetzel—As the award-winning Managing Editor of both Modern Casting—and our sister magazine for parts buyers and designers, Casting Source—Shannon exercises overall responsibility for the art, editorial, and digital presence for both magazines. Her position requires excellent journalistic and administration skills as well as the ability to meet strict print deadlines. The mother of two, Shannon has also visited dozens of foundries, and her passion for metalcasting rings true throughout the magazine pages. 

Mike Berrafato—Every page of every issue has been laid out by Mike, a veteran graphic designer, who has been with AFS since 1989. He, too, is no stranger to meeting tight deadlines. Mike is also an avid NHL hockey fan and has coached youth hockey for many years. 

Kim Phelan—Kim is a gifted writer/editor who draws on extensive experience with manufacturing associations in her role as an editorial contributor to Modern Casting. 

Stephanie Salmon—In addition to representing the views of AFS and its members in the corridors of Congress and on regulatory issues at OSHA, Stephanie also contributes a monthly policy update for Modern Casting. Widely respected on both sides of the aisle for her policy expertise, Stephanie has served the metalcasting industry by heading up the AFS Washington Office for more than 20 years.  

Business and Advertising 

Whereas the art and editorial team provides and perfects the content for each monthly issue, the business and advertising team performs the functions that make Modern Casting viable and that allow forward-thinking suppliers to our $44 billion industry to deliver their timely advertising messages to North America’s foundries. 

Ben Yates—Ben has overall responsibility for marketing, communications, advertising sales and sponsorships at AFS, leading a team of nine employees and consultants. When I hired him in 2017, he had been with the Associated Equipment Distributors association for 14 years. Ben has been heavily involved in our successful introduction of geo-targeted digital advertising over the past year. The father of three, Ben also serves on his local school board.

Fabio Cavalieri—Advertisers find Fabio to be a friendly, detailed-oriented account manager who can provide suggestions on how to maximize a print and digital advertising budget. When not assisting magazine advertisers, Fabio enjoys spending time with his young family and pursuing his interests as an automobile enthusiast. 

Joe Murphy—A key member of our advertising team since 1982, Joe helps foundry suppliers put their very best foot forward in print and digital advertising. A consummate professional with keen business insight, Joe serves our advertisers from his home base in Florida. 

Barbara Jackowski—As AFS’s excellent manager of customer service, Barb plays key behind-the-scenes roles that include data management, ensuring that our mailing lists are accurate, and that AFS magazines comply with Postal Service regulations. Barb joined AFS in 1998. A mother of three, Barb enjoys reading and spending time with her family. 

Dave Kathe—No tribute to the magazine team would be complete without recognizing David Kathe, who works with foundries and their advertising representatives to deliver their message to thousands of casting buyers and designers through Casting Source magazine and digital products. Casting Source receives through-the-roof approval ratings from its readers. David draws on extensive experience in the magazine industry. When not serving our advertisers, it’s not unusual to find David listening to some Jimmy Buffet music, playing golf, fishing, or watching sports.

So, there is an overview of the fine team that makes Modern Casting possible. Please let me know what you think of the magazine and our digital products at dkurkul@afsinc.org.     

Click here to view the column in the digital edition of the July 2021 Modern Casting.