John Sacco

October 3, 2023
John Sacco and Michael Cirillo sit down to chat at ASOTU CON 2023.
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John Sacco is the President and Owner of Sierra International Machinery.

Thanks to Effectv for making ASOTU CON Sessions possible!

Paul Daly: 0:02You're listening to his soda concessions by effective live from a soda con 2023.

Michael Cirillo: 0:10

All right, welcome to a sodium concessions for effective. I'm Michael Cirillo sitting down with John Sacco, the president of Sierra international machinery. Thanks so much for joining me on asoto concessions.

John Sacco: 0:22

It's great to be here.

Michael Cirillo: 0:23

Okay, I have all sorts of questions. So we're just gonna get into it. I got to set the stage here. We're here at an automotive conference. And I've done a little bit of research and I'm curious about this era international machinery. First of all, how did you get into that sector of the business?

John Sacco: 0:39

Okay, so we our company's initially started as a recycle recycling facility, we recycled iron, copper, aluminum, and even do paper now. So my father saw machine in Italy that could go into our industry in 1983. And I graduated from USC in 84. And he wanted to get involved with the equipment business, but my focus is the industry, the metals recycling and paper recycling industry, or the recycled materials industry, as I like to call it,

Michael Cirillo: 1:09

which I imagine is a lot more far reaching, then it sounds

John Sacco: 1:15

Well, absolutely. Because you're talking about a commodities that are traded worldwide, right, you have steel mills, foundries, all over the world that use recycled metals to make new, you know, new steel, new aluminum, new copper, you know, and if you think about anything metal, it's most likely got recycled metal content in it at some point, if not, right 100% It's a high level of recycled metals in it.

Michael Cirillo: 1:39

So we have a mutual friend Darren Dolan one time he and now I'm connecting the dots, he was talking about you. And he said, No, you don't understand just think of the sheer amount of rebar that winds through the infrastructure of America and I went huh, I didn't even think about it. Well,

John Sacco: 1:57

rebar we you know, we're we just finished shooting season two of repurpose the Docu series and and our focus is on rebar because basic infrastructure basic foundations to any building any highway project schools, hospitals, airports. With East when you look at the concrete it all starts with rebar reinforcement and rebar comes from the recycled materials industry. So our industry is the raw material supplier to these mills, but also into for instance, Toyota that they have a subsidiary Toyota to show that melts aluminum right and makes Molten Aluminum that goes right next door to the Toyota Motor plant in Troy, Missouri that makes motor blocks transmission housings all from recycled aluminum. Yeah.

Michael Cirillo: 2:42

It's not something you think about your you don't wake up in the morning and go, I wonder how much metal is being used. But obviously you keyed in on something and your family keyed in on something and said, no massive market. Tell me though, I'm interested. Where were in your journey as a company, do you say oh, here's how we take this whole thing to the next level? Well

John Sacco: 3:06

take you know, first of all, for me on an individual level in the company. Yeah, I don't we brand Sierra and I do a podcast pile of scrap. We've done different creative content. You know, different fun stuff we taught we have Super Bowl commercials talking about recycling pizza boxes, and we do I've done a godfather scene where recycling the offer you can't refuse. You know, we just do a lot of fun stuff. But the Docu series is you know, a really highly professionally done series that really promote stuff for people to understand that. If it's metal, you touch it. It's most likely coming from a recycled materials facility. We're not junkyards, we're not waste. Nobody calls gold waste, right, Michael? Why?

Michael Cirillo: 3:50

Because it's a precious metal.

John Sacco: 3:52

But why is it precious?

Michael Cirillo: 3:55

I don't know why. That's value. It has value. Yes, it has

John Sacco: 3:58

intrinsic value for industrial applications, right. So why isn't copper just because it's $4 a pound and not you know, gazillion dollars pound like Oh, sure. Why is that waste? It isn't because it's a commodity steel is the same thing. Recycled iron is a commodity that trades all our metals and paper it trades worldwide. But that's the narrative change I'm looking for. We're not wasting we're not junk. We are a necessity we are essential to manufacture central to the backbone of this country. Let's let's have a military without steel. Right. Let's have a navy without a steel aluminum stainless Sherpur brass.

Michael Cirillo: 4:40

Right? It makes me think differently because I'm even going to go to my home when I come home from this conference. And I'm like, oh, steel steel.

John Sacco: 4:48

So you opened your refrigerator. What's your refrigerator made of? Yeah, steel steel. But what runs that refrigerator, a little motor? What's in that motor steel, steel, but copper copper. So the so every Seeing? Yeah, if you think of all the lighting here in this facility, it's got a high, probably 30 36%, copper, recycled copper content in it. Okay, so we don't know that medical devices, knee braces, aluminum, recycled aluminum. How

Michael Cirillo: 5:13

do I get into this business?

John Sacco: 5:14

Well, you're more than welcome to try my dad out of saying, if you want to make a small fortune invest a large fortune in our industry. I'm

Michael Cirillo: 5:22

not gonna try and start from scratch. I'm like, How do I get into Sierra? Well, you know, what's interesting about this as well, as, you know, the, the automotive industry in particular, to draw a parallel here has had stigmas looming over it for quite some time. And I love how you're saying, Hey, I'm on a mission to actually change this stigma. We're not waste. We're not this. We're not bad, you know, for the auto dealer listening and they could simply inject their term of the stigma there. We're not you know, sleazy. We're not here to take advantage. We're not and I love how you're you're approaching that use the word that I love what searches indoctrinating

John Sacco: 5:57

Well, you look, we all have challenges. What do you think the challenge is for the oil industry? Big Oil, Big Pharma. Right, everybody? You know, it's not what you say it's what they hear. And this is what's important. And I think the audience to the the challenge for auto dealers and what what does the audience hear when they see these commercials? And see, I think they need to focus in on that, like I'm trying to focus in on trying to change the narrative and I think that the opportunities out there for any industry trying to change the narrative, but you got to be more than just one voice you have to be more than just one dealer you know, we you got and see and I think that's what's really interesting about the automotive industry and recycled materials, we coexist. We need each other right to build the material. So you know, Mercedes runs an ad about the plastic that comes from recycled. Well, the bugs me because out of that 3800 pounds of Mercedes S Class, you know, sedan. You got 70% recycled metals in that whole damn car. Why aren't we talking about that?

Michael Cirillo: 6:57

Interesting? Yeah, well, because we simply don't know is that they do

John Sacco: 7:02

know but they don't they just think they think the market wants to hear about plastic plastic and EVs. Yeah. Well, EVS that you know how much copper we're going to need for EVs and aluminum. Oh, where's that gonna? Where's that gonna come from? Yeah. So they want to have oh, we're eco friendly. Well, let's talk about how recycled materials that they use for the automobiles. Okay, reduce co2 emissions and energy consumption in the manufacturing process. Right. So we coexist, I think our message together can really enhance our image and then dealers with whatever, you know, challenges they have. People got to start changing it. You know, it starts with one, two, and then it snowballs. But if you got to challenge stop hiding, our industry hid for decades,

Michael Cirillo: 7:48

decades. Tell me a little bit more about the Docu series. It's called repurpose.

John Sacco: 7:52

It's called repurpose, and season one. We didn't know what the hell we were doing, man Darren down. But we got out there. And we went and toured a metal shredding operation in Davenport, Iowa and 20 miles down the road was SSAB steel mill. And so we followed recycled metal iron to the steel mill, and did the whole process and we talked to about safety and how the mill is important because people don't know what a steel mill is. Right? US chunky but what a steel mill. They wouldn't Yeah, they don't know. So but the products, the plate that come from it goes to build bridges and stadiums like Las Vegas that Alita what is the new Raiders, the new Raider stadium and all that steel, not all 100%. But a lot of that still is coming from SSAB which is made from recycled iron. Interesting. So let's let's talk about how cool that is. That's our purpose.

Michael Cirillo: 8:47

So that's the backbone of

John Sacco: 8:48

repurpose of repurposed Yeah, we're not junk. You know, the stadium's aren't made from junk they're made from recycled iron a commodity. What's the waist?

Michael Cirillo: 8:56

What's the end result? Goal? So you're putting this out? You're changing the narrative Tronic What are you you're aiming to that's the goal is that the end goal is simply to say, well, we've now changed the narrative or how to how do you see from a branding perspective that positively returns back to you? Fair question,

John Sacco: 9:15

look, first and foremost. It's a brand build for my company. Okay. It's a brand build for me within our industry. Okay. So people look at me and go, Hey, we love what you're doing. You know, I got people at our big convention in Nashville this year, people that stopped me Nirma Hey, I just want to say thank you for what you're doing for the industry. So that doesn't hurt. But the narrative change, you know, you got to get to regulators and policymakers because in California, for instance, metal recyclers, some of them are deemed hazardous waste facilities, right? It's just wrong. They don't know they don't know the impact. If you eliminate metal recyclers in this country, where our steel mill is going to get the raw material to make the products that these regulators have to use. They still got to eat right? How do you form food and harvest without metals and machine tractors? Yeah. And then it goes in a truck made from recycled iron on a highway that has rebar in it made from recycled iron to a food processing plant with the foundation recycling and steel and all the copper and everything in it. Where are we going? How are we going to eat? How are we going to get our medicine? How do we have a hospital? What's the hospital look like? If we don't have the raw material to make the metals that need to build the structure? It's going to look like a civil war because you're gonna get hurt. Yeah, Adobe has a Gettysburg where were some people's limbs off because you don't the electronics and nothing so these people need to wake up to because we're not junk we're not waste and so this is my challenge my personal challenge my my passion. Let's get out there and try to change the narrative. This

Michael Cirillo: 10:48

is amazing. Hey, John, thank you so much for joining me on a so do concessions for effective? How can those listening or watching get in touch with you learn more about repurpose, and your podcast?

John Sacco: 10:56

Well, pot my podcast is called pilot scrap. I wanted that. Yeah, in a fun name. I love it. I'm on LinkedIn, repurposed. We're out there. So John Sacco I'm on LinkedIn. You know, follow me follow SEER International, but you know, oh, man, repurpose is on Amazon Prime. Oh, amazing. Yeah. So so you can find it, you know, we're visible. So anybody wants to reach out and have more conversations? Because I think ultimately, the auto industry needs to push more towards that their product is made from recycled metals, recycling, recycled the total recycled content, and then dealers with whatever they want to talk about. How do you change the narrative? Gotta get out there. Right. So I'm available. Find me on LinkedIn, Instagram, I don't care. You know, wherever you can find John Sacco. I'm there. Appreciate you for joining me, Michael. been great to be here, man. Thank you, sir.

Michael Cirillo: 11:46

Thank you. Alright.

Paul Daly: 11:49

Thank you for listening to this episode to concession by effective if you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcasts we have a daily show called The automotive troublemaker Monday through Friday, here and podcasts also live streamed on YouTube, and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto collapse, auto collapse. And if you just want to go a little deeper into this community, you should sign up for our regular email we put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to a sotu.com. We'll see you next time.

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