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Instructors

Spencer Johnson
Spencer Johnson
Spencer is an eleven year veteran in the world of steel futures, all of them with StoneX Financial Inc. – FCM Division. Over that time StoneX has worked with every type of market participant to formulate risk management and trading strategies for steel derivatives. StoneX has also worked tirelessly to grow liquidity and provide access to new ferrous markets for its clients. Spencer is also one of the longest serving members of the London Metal Exchange’s steel committee.
Estelle Tran
Estelle Tran
Estelle joined CRU as a steel and ferroalloy prices analyst in October 2017. Based in Pittsburgh, Estelle is the main contact for the data providers who contribute to the CRU Midwest flat roll indices. Estelle also covers the US bulk ferroalloys market, contributes analysis to the Global Steel Trade Service and produces the SMU Service Center inventories Report. She started covering the US steel industry as an editor for S&P Global Platts in 2011, and over the years has covered the flat rolled steel, long steel, and primary aluminum markets as well as trade issues. Estelle has been a board member of the Association of Women in the Metal Industries Pittsburgh Chapter since 2012 and served as president from 2017-2020. She earned a B.A. in English writing and history from the University of Pittsburgh.
Sean Kessler
Sean Kessler 
Sean serves as Director, Metals Products for CME Group. He is responsible for the strategic development, management and profitability of the company’s industrial and precious metals business in the Americas. Prior to joining CME Group in 2018, Kessler was a metals trader at Red Kite Group and ED&F Man Capital Markets, where he managed risk in metals futures and over-the-counter markets. He holds an MBA as well as bachelor’s degrees in finance and economics from Sacred Heart University.

Michael Cowden
Michael Cowden is a senior editor for Steel Market Update (SMU). Cowden has covered the steel industry since 2007. He has since 2014 specialized in flat-rolled steel but has previously reported on steel long products, steel pipe and tube as well as aluminum. Before joining SMU, Cowden held reporting jobs at Fastmarkets AMM in Chicago - where he was involved in launching AMM's daily hot-rolled coil index, the Associated Press in Pittsburgh, and the Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh. He has also worked as a copy editor and in marketing at the University of Chicago Press. Cowden has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Contact him at Michael@SteelMarketUpdate.com.

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