Jim Leopold, the founder of Vulcanium Corp./RIGHTech Fabrications, died on December 28, at the age of 99.

A lifelong salesman, in 1967 he purchased a Chicago area manufacturing firm that specialized in titanium products for the metal finishing industry. Combining his sales skills with an approachable pragmatism in engineering and design, Leopold grew his little company into a leader in corrosion resistant equipment. He was among the first to champion the widespread use of titanium grid coils in nickel baths, the replacing of hanging slab anodes with titanium anode baskets, and the introduction of zirconium to galvanizers. Vulcanium Corp. became one of the earliest members of the Titanium Development Association, now the globally recognized International Titanium Association.

To his many friends and colleagues inside and outside the industry, he was well-known and respected for his integrity and negotiating skills. He was also a pioneer in the titanium distribution business. In 1972, he opened Industrial Titanium Corp., later known as Vulcanium Metals International, and now part of the United Performance Metals division of O’Neal Industries.

Leopold was drafted into the Army’s 47th Infantry in 1941, and won four Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and a battlefield commission during World War II’s North Africa and European campaigns. He remained active in many veteran organizations.

He is survived by his sons Richard (president of RIGHTech Fabrications ) and Jay, and by his daughter Susie and their families. www.rightechfabs.com