Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate Malisa Sommers, managing director of transportation of United States Steel Corporation and president of Transtar, Inc., a subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation, returned to IUP on February 26–27, 2013, to speak to business students through the IUP Eberly College of Business and Information Technology Executive in Residence program.
Sommers, a native of Burgettstown, earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management from IUP in 1988 and her master’s degree in Business Administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1994.
She currently resides in the Pittsburgh area.
Sommers presented at 10 sessions in Eberly for Marketing, Management, and Business Technology Support students. She talked about the challenges of succeeding as a female in a male-dominated industry.
She told students not to be afraid of failure. Even if they don’t think they have the experience necessary for a position, they should go for it anyway, she said. She also explained U.S. Steel corporate strategies and outlined the logistics and inventory aspects of Transtar.
“A significant number of regional and national business leaders have served as Executives in Residence in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology,” Robert Camp, dean of the Eberly College, said. “The Executive in Residence program provides an opportunity for Eberly College students to learn first-hand from individuals about career paths, industry challenges and accomplishments, and company operations.
“Several hundred students participated in the sessions presented by Malisa Sommers during her visit. We were honored to have her return to campus to spend time with our students.”
“I was honored to return to my alma mater to participate in this important real-world teaching opportunity,” said Sommers. “The students I had the pleasure of speaking to were energetic and eager to learn more about the skills and qualities employers need in the workplace and the ways their IUP education will prepare them to take advantage of the opportunities available in today’s business world.”
Prior to joining U.S. Steel in 2001, Sommers worked for Wheeling-Nisshin, Inc., a steel coating facility in Follansbee, W.Va., for 13 years. She spent her first three years with U.S. Steel at Straightline, the company’s former steel distribution subsidiary, serving two years as manager of demand fulfillment and one year as manager of customer care.
In 2004, Sommers moved to U.S. Steel’s corporate headquarters after being named manager of purchasing information technology. One year later, she advanced to manager of CAPEX procurement, where she managed procurement activities related to capital expenditure projects around the company.
In 2007, Sommers was named manager of materials management, and in 2009 she advanced to general manager of global materials management and procurement operations with responsibility for parts and materials inventory management and procurement support activities at every U.S. Steel facility in North America and Central Europe.
She assumed her current position in February 2011 and is responsible for various aspects of transportation and logistics, including the logistics services group that serves U.S. Steel facilities throughout North America.
She also oversees operations at the railroad and barge companies that comprise Transtar, Inc.: Delray Connecting Railroad Company, Fairfield Southern Company, Gary Railway Company, Lake Terminal Railroad Company, Lorain Northern Company, Texas & Northern Railway Company, Union Railroad Company, and Warrior & Gulf Navigation LLC.
Sommers serves on the board of directors of Family House.