CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. - A longtime Cleveland Cliffs executive and notable Michigan Technological University alumnus has died.
James Trethewey, a former Cleveland Cliffs executive, passed away last week in Chautauqua, N.Y. at 69.
Trethewey, who grew up in Ironwood, graduated from Tech with a business administration degree in 1967. In August, he received Tech's Distinguished Alumni Award.
Trethewey began his mining career at White Pine Copper Co. as a general auditor. In 1972, he joined Cleveland Cliffs as a cost analyst in its Ishpeming office, taking on various roles over the years with increasing responsibility, most of which were senior leadership roles, including mine controller at Cliffs' former Sherman Mine in Temagami, Ontario; group controller of Cliffs' North American Iron Ore Mines; controller in the mid-1980s; vice president and controller in the late 1980s; senior vice president of operations in the late-1990s; and eventually retiring as Cliffs' senior vice president of business development with 35 years of service and 40 years overall in the mining industry.
Along the way, he earned his master's of business administration from Baldwin-Wallace College and was active in the American Mining Association, the Society of Mining Engineers, as well as other industry-related associations.
After his retirement in 2007, Trethewey remained active in social, business and industry activities through participation on boards in the steel industry, charitable organizations and business partnerships.
He was named to the board of directors of Steel Dynamics in 2012, was a member of the MTU Advisory Board for the School of Business and Economics and served as a trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund.
In addition to supporting students through scholarships, Trethewey and his wife also endowed the James and Dolores Trethewey Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) Professorship, being held by Dean Johnson.
Eric Halonen, assistant vice president for advancement and enrollment, described Trethewey as "Mr. Positive."
"His enthusiasm was infectious, and he really inspired other people to give back to Michigan Tech with his service and his giving," he said.
Halonen said Trethewey brought a lot of business executive skills to the university.
"There were a lot of good things he did for Michigan Tech, so we're going to miss him," he said. "It's hard to find someone with all those talents who is willing to share it with the university."