Meet Francis Casola: Maintenance Repair and Operation Buyer with A Flair for Martial Arts

Francis Casola, Maintenance Repair and Operation Buyer (MRO buyer) for Phoenix Mecano, holds a unique position with new focus for the company.  Francis is responsible for handling both Maintenance Repair and Operation supplies as well as inventory items supplied by domestic vendors throughout the United States.

Francis brings an extensive background in procurement, across many industries, to his role at Phoenix Mecano. He began his career in supply chain by supporting the manufacturing of oilwell drilling equipment in the oil and gas sector, then continued to develop professionally by turning to supporting roles in aerospace manufacturing, theme park maintenance, food manufacturing, and purchasing for a specialty retailer.

With five separate undergraduate degrees in areas such as Political Science, Information Systems, Earth Science and Social Science, Francis believes in being a life-long learner. He is self-taught in Economics and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Geology. “While I have become completely enthralled with rocks, minerals and earth processes, Economics comes in a very close second for me. People who spend any time with me notice how I string together every aspect of life and its experiences into relationships between these two subjects.”

As a volunteer Associate Naturalist for the Newport Bay Conservancy, located in Newport Beach, CA, he can be found leading kayak tours and nature hikes as well as conducting wildlife inventory for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. His role with this organization is geared towards ongoing conservation efforts, including public information and encouraging involvement with the Conservancy.

In his spare time, Francis enjoys being fully immersed in the wilderness, mountain biking, hiking, camping, SUP boarding in a bay or an alpine lake, fishing, rock hounding, digging for fossils, or prospecting for gold. “Many of my hobbies complement my study of geology,” he explains. “I have a natural affinity for water, rocks, and mountains.”

With an eclectic reading list containing titles from Orwell, Peterson, Sowell, Tolstoy, Huxley, and Jung (among many others), Francis finds that many books and movies don’t present any real story worth listening to. “I don’t mean that there are not some classics out there,” he explains. “As far as movies, No Country for Old Men and The Big Lebowski top my list, Fight Club is inspirational, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is a classic.” He goes on to say, “Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood is an absolute masterpiece that cuts deep for me as a southern California native, and Pulp Fiction gets an honorable mention, too.”

Francis’ coworkers may be surprised to learn that he has studied numerous martial arts, focusing on Muay Thai, Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and trained with the full commitment and intensity to compete professionally in related combat sports. “Health and fitness remain paramount in my life, and I am still participating heavily in this community, teaching and training with other athletes and fighters. However, I decided to spare my brain from some of the trauma and put it to use as a scientist instead.”

Chris Howes,  Phoenix Mecano Supply Chain Manager, appreciates Francis’s analytical nature. “Francis has the potential to benefit Phoenix Mecano greatly, given the time to learn, evaluate and improve on vendor relationships, product choices, internal processes and other various needs centered around MRO and the support of Production.” Chris explains, adding. “If you plan to visit Chino and spend time outside the office with Francis, be sure to come prepared for the outdoor nature!”

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