Westwater Resources, Inc., a battery-grade, natural graphite development firm announced the retirement of Jeffrey L. Vigil, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Vice President – Finance, effective August 26, 2022. Chief Accounting Officer (CAO) Steven M. Cates has been elected Westwater’s new CFO and Vice President – Finance, also effective August 26, 2022.
What is the industry expertise of Steven M. Cates?
Prior to joining Westwater, Mr. Cates served as the VP – Controller for Apartment Income REIT Corp. (2019-2021), as corporate controller for Caliber Midstream Partners, LP, an energy and oil infrastructure company (2016-2019), and in various accounting and financial reporting roles at American Midstream Partners, LP (2013-2016), Newmont Mining Corporation (2012-2013), and Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (2009-2012).
Mr. Cates began his career at KPMG in 2002, where he served as senior manager for audit and advisory services. Mr. Cates earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Redlands, and he is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Colorado.
Since joining Westwater in May 2021, Mr. Cates has been extensively involved in all aspects of the Company’s finance, capital markets and accounting activities, including responsibility for Westwater’s SEC reporting, treasury, tax, and risk management functions.
What were the executives’ thoughts on the appointment?
“After nine years of distinguished service and positioning the Company for financial success in the planned operation of the Kellyton graphite processing facility, Mr. Vigil will retire at the end of August,” said Terence J. Cryan, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“The Board and entire management team extend their sincere thanks to Mr. Vigil for his dedication and contributions to the Company. We wish him a happy and healthy retirement.”
“As part of a planned succession strategy beginning last year, the Board has elected Mr. Cates as the new CFO and VP – Finance. He will continue to work with the management team based in Denver and he will oversee financial activities associated with the completion of construction activities at the Kellyton graphite processing facility in Alabama,” said Mr. Cryan.
“I am honored and grateful to assume this role. Jeff’s mentorship and guidance has been invaluable, and I join Mr. Cryan in wishing Jeff a long and healthy retirement,” said Mr. Cates.