Management Team

Paul L. Howes

President and Chief Executive Officer

Paul L. Howes joined Newpark's Board of Directors and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in March 2006. In June 2006, Mr. Howes was appointed as Newpark's President. Mr. Howes' career has included experience in the defense industry, chemicals and plastics manufacturing, and the packaging industry. Following the sale of his former company in October 2005 until he joined Newpark's Board of Directors in March 2006, Mr. Howes was working privately as an inventor while engaging in consulting and private investing activities. From 2002 until October 2005, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Astaris LLC, a primary chemicals company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with operations in North America, Europe and South America. Prior to this, from 1997 until 2002, he served as Vice President and General Manager, Packaging Division, for Flint Ink Corporation, a global ink company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan with operations in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Mark J. Airola

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary

Mark J. Airola joined Newpark in October 2006 as Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer and was appointed as Secretary in December 2006. Mr. Airola has practiced law for 22 years, primarily with large, publicly traded companies. Most recently, Mr. Airola was Assistant General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for BJ Services Company, a leading provider of pressure pumping and other oilfield services to the petroleum industry, serving as an executive officer since 2003. From 1988 to 1995, he held the position of Senior Litigation Counsel at Cooper Industries, Inc., a global manufacturer of electrical products and tools, with initial responsibility for managing environmental regulatory matters and litigation and subsequently managing the company's commercial litigation.

Gregg Piontek

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Gregg Piontek joined Newpark in April 2007 as Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer. Prior to joining Newpark, Mr. Piontek was Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of Stewart & Stevenson LLC, where, as a member of the executive team, he directed all start-up and purchase accounting functions related to the purchase of assets from Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc. and served as lead executive financial officer for their $150 million public debt offering. Previously, from 2001 to 2006, he held the positions of Assistant Corporate Controller and Controller, Power Products Division at Stewart & Stevenson Services, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Piontek served in various financial roles at General Electric, CNH Global N.V. and Deloitte & Touche LLP. Mr. Piontek is a Certified Public Accountant and received a Master of Business Administration from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Arizona State University.

Bruce C. Smith

Executive Vice President and President, Fluids Systems & Engineering

Bruce has been in the drilling fluids industry since 1973 and has held many technical, operational and administrative positions during this 35 year period. Bruce joined Newpark in April 1998 as Vice President International and since October 2000 he has served as President of Newpark Drilling Fluids. Prior to joining Newpark, Mr. Smith was the Managing Director of the UK operations of M-I Swaco.

Matthew Lanigan

Corporate Vice President and President of Mats and Integrated Services

Matthew received his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and his MBA from the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne and certification as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt.

Matthew began his professional career at ExxonMobil in Australia working on rigs as a Drilling & Completions Engineer, progressing from there to Offshore Production Engineer and as a Marketer for Crude & LPG.  While pursuing his MBA he accepted a position with GE in the Plastics division where he rose to the role of Chief Marketing Officer before transferring to the Capital division of GE, based in the UK.  His first opportunity to work in the United States came with the Enterprise Client Group of GE's Capital division, where he worked in leadership roles in Sales & Marketing.  In 2011, he was appointed as the Director of Commercial Excellence for Asia Pacific, based in Australia.  In addition to growing revenue and market share, key responsibilities for this role included developing cross-organizational synergies and market entry strategies.