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Searles Valley Minerals > About Us > Management  



Avinash Puri is the President of Searles Valley Minerals. He was formerly Executive Vice President responsible for the boron business and international sales at Searles Valley Minerals. Avinash has spent 30 years with Searles Valley Minerals and their predecessors IMC Chemicals, Kerr McGee and North American Chemical Company. Avinash joined Kerr McGee, Trona, CA in 1980 as a Staff Engineer and was quickly promoted to Manager Engineering directing engineers at four manufacturing locations. In 1987 he became the Plant Manager overseeing all locations including a co-generation unit. In 1990, he became the Operations Manager for the California, Colorado and Italy locations. He successfully reengineered the boron operations at the California and Italy locations reducing maintenance costs and increasing on-stream time and restructured the Colorado facility to increase output and improve quality to meet food grade standards. In 1992, he became the Manager of Business Development at the corporate office of North American Chemical Company where he identified acquisition and joint venture opportunities. In 1995, Avinash became the Director of Commercial Development overseeing new products/applications and strategic market planning. In 1997, he became the Vice President and General Manager - Boron Products responsible for all boron activities, market growth and international sales. He was promoted to President in 2012. Avinash graduated from Panjab University, India with a chemical engineering degree in 1977. After graduation, he joined the post graduate school at University of Arizona to receive his MS degree in Chemical Engineering in 1979.


Pamela Hasty is Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Searles Valley Minerals soda products division and oversees the management of the Sales & Marketing Teams and Customer Service Department. Pamela has spent 20 years with Searles Valley Minerals and their predecessors IMC Chemicals and North American Chemical Company. Pamela joined North American Chemical in 1990 as a Credit Manager, and was quickly promoted to Marketing Business Manager and then to Regional Sales Manager. In 1998, Pamela became the Business Manager for the Soda Products Division under IMC Chemicals. She led strategic and tactical initiatives across sales, marketing, production and customer relations. In 2000, she became the Business Director for the Soda Products Division, where she managed key customer accounts for both domestic and international sales, and oversaw contract negotiations. In 2004, Pamela became the Director of Sales & Customer Service, and was responsible for domestic sales in excess of $130 million in revenue and the customer service team. In 2009, Pamela was promoted to Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Searles Valley Minerals and she is currently responsible for worldwide sales and marketing and customer service of the company’s largest business group. She provides direction to plant management on production planning, technical issues, and product development projects. She is a Board Member of SVM’s Safety, Security, Health and Environment Committee, and is charged with development and implementation of policies that support Responsible Care practices.


Burnell Blanchard is Vice President - Operations responsible for engineering, mining, production and utilities operations for Searles Valley Minerals. Prior to joining SVM, he was the plant manager for Proctor and Gamble's oleo-chemicals, surfactants and USP glycerin plants located in Ohio and California. During his 20+ year tenure with P&G, Burnell managed operations throughout the United States as well as in the People's Republic of China, the Czech Republic, and Puerto Rico. He has implemented rigorous quality systems that have included successful launches of sustainability programs that reduced waste in water use, solid waste generation, and energy consumption. Burnell has also effectively implemented Lean methodologies as well as team-based high performance work systems. Burnell holds dual Bachelors Degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. He also earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Don Pemberton, Director, Finance & Information Systems is currently responsible for Treasury operations, Risk Management, Financial Planning & Analysis and the Information Technology division. He joined the company in 1997 and has provided support for M&A activity including the divestiture of 5 different operating companies and the transition of the current company through 4 different ownership structures.

Don graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri with a BSBA in Finance and BSBA in Economics while placing in the top 7 in each program. He has held leadership positions at the Federal Reserve Bank, US Central, and Sprint PCS in both the Finance and the IT divisions. He also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the University of Missouri student federal credit union.


Dennis Cruise is the Corporate Controller for Searles Valley Minerals, managing the accounting functions, communicating financial results to management, assisting management with the formulation and execution of the annual and five-year business plan, and recommending process improvements. In his role, Dennis maintains internal controls, financial reporting, cost accounting, cash flow management, receivables, payables, payroll, and shares responsibility for budgeting. Dennis has been with Searles Valley Minerals for 15 years, and is responsible for all SVM Accounting to ensure adherence to GAAP, SOX, and requirements of Nirma India and the protection of the financial assets of the Company.