Keys to Securing Contract/Tolling Business from a Buyer Perspective

Tuesday, February 20
JW Marriott Nashville – Symphony Ballroom
10:00am CT

In the current business climate, specialty chemical buyers are more selective than ever when it comes to business partners, and tollers are looking for innovative and advantageous ways to acquire new business opportunities. SOCMA’s newly published 2024 Contract Manufacturing Outlook provides insight on what capabilities customers are seeking and what capacity tollers have through YE 2024. Attend this session for insight on:

  • How and where customers are seeking tolling partners.
  • Key changes in the buyer/toller relationship under current business conditions including flexibility, speed to market, CapEx, geopolitical risks, among others.
  • Types of chemistries and capabilities customers are looking to outsource.
  • How companies can break through the noise and gain a customer’s attention.

This session is included with SOCMA Show Attendee and Exhibitor Registration. Register to join us in Nashville. For more information, contact us at


Brooke DiDomenico, Nation Ford Chemical 
Chief Technical Officer

SOCMA Tradeshow Committee Chair & 2023 SOCMA Women in Specialties Awardee

Brooke DiDomenico is the Chief Technical Officer at Nation Ford Chemical. Holding a degree in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from Queens University of Charlotte, Brooke has cultivated a diverse skill set that bridges technical expertise with strategic business acumen.

Known for her leadership qualities, Brooke has played pivotal roles in driving operational efficiency and fostering collaborative environments within the organizations she has been a part of. Her strategic mindset, combined with a deep understanding of both technical and business aspects, positions her as a valuable asset in the ever-evolving landscape of specialty chemical manufacturing.


Chelsea Burlan, Global Director, Procurement & Supply Chain
W.R. Grace

Chelsea Burlan is the Director of Global Strategic Sourcing at W.R. Grace. With 18 years of professional experience, she is a thought leader with a passion for value creation and risk mitigation. Built on talent, technology and trust, Grace’s high-performance specialty chemicals and materials improve the products and processes of customers around the world.

A strong supply chain depends on key strategic supply partnerships. In 2021, Chelsea launched the Responsible Sourcing initiative at Grace that won the “Best Value Chain Engagement” award by EcoVadis in 2022. Through this initiative, Chelsea drives innovation and meaningful improvements within the supply base to build a resilient, sustainable supply chain.

Brian Burkhart, PhD, Vice President, Fine Chemicals

SOCMA Board of Governor, Class of 2024

Brian is Vice President of Fine Chemicals for Milliken & Company, a role he has been in since 2018. He has served in a multitude of other roles within Milliken from 2000, while also working for SiVance, LLC (a specialty silicones division of Milliken) as Commercial Director, 2017-2018, before entering into his current role.

Specific roles and responsibilities under Brian’s direction include Global P & L analysis; sales, marketing, applications development and research activities for the Fine Chemical Products division (silicones, semiconductor chemicals, and fine chemical sales).

Jessie Walters, Global Procurement Director of External Manufacturing

Jessie Walters is the Global Procurement Director of External Manufacturing for Evonik Industries, a European specialty chemical company which generates annual sales of €14 billion globally.

Jessie is accountable for the commercial strategies, partner selection and contract negotiations for all external manufacturing activities across the entire Evonik portfolio. Her team has a global reach, with members located in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Since 2014, Jessie has managed a diverse slate of categories in the direct procurement space, including raw materials, tail end and now external manufacturing – a category which is continuing to grow exponentially at Evonik.