Global leadership changes for Smithers Rapra

With the recent retirement of president Jim Dowey, Smithers announces various leadership changes including the promotion of former vice president of Smithers Rapra / Smithers Pira North America, Nat Leonard to global president.

Nat Leonard, President (left), Jim Popio, Vice President Rapra US (top right), Sam Sheppard Fidler, Vice President Rapra EU (bottom right)

Smithers recently announced Nathaniel “Nat” Leonard has been appointed President of Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira. Following the retirement of 8 year president, Jim Dowey, Leonard will take over responsibility for the global Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira business units. Smithers Group president and CEO Michael Hochschwender explains, “Nat’s commitment to excellence, combined with his industry knowledge and vision make him the perfect choice to lead the continued growth of Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira for many years to come.”  Previously, Leonard held the position as the vice president for Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira North America and other leadership roles with Republic Steel, Veyance Technologies Inc. and Goodyear.

In an effort to promote growth and best serve their clients, Smithers initiated serval other internal shifts and promotions within the organization. James Popio, former vice president of Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira EU, will take over the role of vice president for the North American business.  Popio has served with Smithers for 15 years and previously held positions with Bridgestone/Firestone and Goodyear.  Succeeding Popio, Sam Sheppard Fidler, a 20 year member of the Pira team in the UK, will now assume the role of vice president for Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira Europe.

About Smithers Rapra

Established in 1925, Smithers Rapra has become a trusted provider of rubber and plastics testing services that support a wide range of industry sectors including tire, automotive, polymer products, oil and gas, medical device, pharmaceutical, transport, industrial and consumer products. For more information, visit

About Smithers Pira         

For more than 50 years, Smithers Pira has become the worldwide authority on the paper, packaging and print supply chains.  Our comprehensive testing facilities helps is to support our clients from the initial product development stage through material and primary pack testing to packaging performance testing, including food contact and distribution and package testing. For more information, visit