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Team Expertise

Buffalo Armory has a unified team determined to redefine armor and high strength steel. Our research and manufacturing-led team leverages innovation, science and technology from a multi-disciplinary group of professionals committed to ensuring global innovation in the armor and steel industry. We are supported by a unique team of respected metallurgists and ballistic experts.

Joe Klein, Chairman. Joe Klein is also the Chairman of Klein Steel Service, headquartered in Rochester, New York. Klein Steel was rated the 2010 top Best Places to Work manufacturer in NY State and was Industry Week Magazine's Best Plants of North America Award winner in 2012. Klein Steel won the large company Rochester Business Ethics Award in 2012. Joe is a member of the Rochester Business Hall of Fame, and is the recipient of Rochester's Significant Citizen of the Year Award (2009). In 2011, Joe received a master's degree in Education Policy from Harvard and has co-founded E3 Rochester, a charter incubator organization. E3 Rochester's mission is to expand the number of high quality K-12 education seats for every child living in the city of Rochester.

Major General John Batiste, U.S. Army (Retired), President and CEO. As a retired US Army Major General, John has over 41 years of experience leading large, complex organizations. His 31 year military career included combat and peace enforcement operations in the Balkans and Iraq. His final assignment in the Army was the commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division, the Big Red One with duty in Kosovo and Iraq. He joined Klein Steel in late 2005 and served as the president and CEO to late 2013. John and the team stood up Buffalo Armory in 2011. He serves on a number of boards and assists veterans in their transition to civilian life. John consistently achieves the highest level of teamwork, productivity and efficiency with a focus on building high performing cultures.

Brent Nicholson, General Manager. Brent joined Buffalo Armory in 2011 after progressively responsible leadership roles while working with several large corporations, General Electric and DuPont. His 33 years of service includes extensive experience in manufacturing operations, engineering and business startups. His experience includes Six Sigma, Lean, TQM, Kaizan, and leadership.

Jack Heinz, Manufacturing Manager. Jack joined Buffalo Armory in June 2012 as their Manufacturing Manger during which time he has been a key member in the assembly, integration, commissioning, and the research / development phase of the Buffalo Armory production line. His previous work experience includes 6 years spent at Klein Steel Service where he was involved in steel processing, project planning, and supervision.

Richard Clare, Quality & Compliance Manager. Richard joined Buffalo Armory in 2012 and was an intricate member in the research and development of the Star Armor® and Star Steel® product lines. His seven years in the Steel/Armor industry includes experience in Quality/Inventory control, Lean Six Sigma, PI Process Control, International Traffic & Arms compliance and ballistic applications.

Pete Zdjelar joined Buffalo Armory in 2011 where he was a key part of the assembly and commissioning of the Star Armor® production line. He started at Klein steel in 2008 where he worked as a machinist, fabricator, and CNC programmer. Pete’s previous background includes over twenty years in machining and fabricating.

Doug Cummings joined Buffalo Armory in 2013 where he has become a key member in the production and shipping of Star Armor® and Star Steel® products. Doug has over 25 years of experience in the steel industry, specifically in production, supervision, inventory and shipping/receiving.

Dave Detschner joined Buffalo Armory in 2012 and has been a key member of the Buffalo Armory production team. Dave has over 30 years of work experience in manufacturing which includes warehousing, inventory control and shipping/receiving.

Certifications & Affiliations