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2024 Lifetime Achievement Award

John Todd

John C. Todd was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised and educated in and around New York City. Following graduation, he proudly served in the United State Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1962. He returned to college earning marketing and industrial management degrees from Manhattan College. John then embarked on a career with FMC Corporation’s Industrial Chemical Division that lead to various marketing, sales, and administrative roles taking John, his wife Sharon and their children to Los Angeles, New York City twice, Chicago and Philadelphia.  After 20 years with FMC, John briefly joined PGS, a unit of ITT, and then returned to the West Coast representing Degussa Corporation’s entry into the US Hydrogen Peroxide market. John established a distributor network and storage terminals in the west. It was during this period that he discovered the growing cyanide market in the Nevada mining industry and recommended to Degussa management that a representative be established in Reno and capitalize on this opportunity. John was that man, transferred to Reno as the Western regional Manager for Degussa’s Mining Interests and proceeded to build sales.    

John’s experience with the Nevada mining industry expanded in the mid 1980’s when he started supplying sodium cyanide and other related mining reagents to the Nevada gold/silver industry for Degussa (now known as Evonik).  John saw an emerging market that was relying heavily on imported cyanide from all over the globe.  He convinced Degussa to build a solid sodium cyanide plant in Mobile, AL to supply a USA sourced option.  DuPont followed suit competing for the customers from their plant in Memphis, TN.  In 1990 FMC and Cyanco entered the marketplace with solution sodium cyanide which gained a strong foothold in the marketplace.  John again saw the writing on the wall and led Degussa to the decision to purchase a 50% JV stake in Cyanco to supply solution sodium cyanide to the industry. This earned him the recipient of Degussa Corporation’s Presidential Award.

John wore the roads out in Nevada working for Degussa, selling Cyanco solution from 1992 until he retired in 2001.  He established a relationship with many miners across the cyanide-using states and was well respected at the corporate levels of miners throughout North America.  John had a “get er dun” attitude and was creative in meeting customer needs which helped solidify his reputation and position as a trusted supplier.  His in-depth working knowledge of the industry and friendly demeanor endeared John to the industry.  “Everyone knows John Todd” was a common phrase heard at mining events.  John was a valuable mentor to those following in his shoes at Degussa, and Cyanco as the company evolved to an international supplier.  













After retiring from Degussa John has remained active in the mining industry as a consultant and a Business Development professional working closely with clients that are interested in entering or increasing their participation in the mining industry.  John remains active in SME and has helped establish the Nevada section MPD.  For more than 20 years John has been a driving force bringing like-minded mining folk together twice weekly to discuss current topics in a group fondly known as the Rap Pack.  

John enjoys upland bird hunting, reading, music and traveling to visit his four children and nine grandchildren. He was a longtime volunteer at several PGA tour events and the National Automobile Museum in Reno.  

John’s friendly professional demeanor, keen wit, networking ability, reliability, and care for the industry, and those in it, make him an ideal recipient of the Nevada MPD’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  

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