Roberto Cañizares

Board Member

Rob joined MSA Safety Inc. and during his tenure as President, MSA International - from 2003 to his retirement at the end of 2011 - the International business of MSA tripled to over 55% of the total corporation, spanning more than 40 operating companies outside the United States. Before joining MSA, Rob’s 28 year career at Trane (the air conditioning company of American Standard) progressed to general management through product and marketing management, logistics, sales management, and strategic planning assignments in Brazil, France and the USA. He was promoted to general manager in 1987 and to VP and corporate officer of American Standard in 1990. In the mid-nineties he moved to Hong Kong to head Trane's expansion in Asia. Under his leadership Trane's business grew ten-fold by starting national companies that overtook the leading market positions in the main countries of Asia. This half-billion dollar business of integrated companies included seven manufacturing plants in the Asia-Pacific region, the two largest built in China. He acquired global experience as Trane’s Senior VP of International Applied Systems in 1997 and as Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Service in 1999 in the Netherlands, before being recruited to MSA in 2002. Born in Colombia and happily married for more than 40 years, Rob met his wife Gail at Cornell University where he earned an undergraduate degree in Applied & Engineering Physics (BS’71) and a master's degree in business administration (MBA’74). A Cornell-Louvain scholar, he also earned a master's degree in applied economics from Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (1973). In 2016 he was recognized with the Quintanilla distinguished Latino Award by the Johnson Graduate School of Management. After 19 years in expatriate assignments, Rob and his wife are global citizens who have lived and worked in four continents and speak four languages fluently.

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