Thomas Bocchetti: Empowered to Have an Ownership Mindset

by Isabella Snider

In just five years, Thomas Bocchetti has gone from an intern to an interim routine facilitator managing a team at the ˽av Petersburg, Virginia Mill to his current role as a changemaker driving improvements in the quality department. He credits much of his accelerated success to G.Future, a ˽av development program for recent college graduates.

As a G.Future participant, Bocchetti received valuable advice from many leaders and colleagues. One piece of advice from Doug Buschy, Quality Routine Facilitator, still resonates with Bocchetti, despite having completed the G.Future Program in 2019.

“He told me to take charge, to go after things,” Bocchetti says. “To take ownership of my projects and really work to drive them to conclusions.”

Bocchetti has done just that, from improving grade traceability through the introduction of a handheld XRF analyzerto building a lab program that addressed the inefficiencies of a faulty spectrometer. Bocchetti’s ownership mindset also led him to being named ASTM International Emerging Professional this year.

“I’m empowered to really take action and know my work,” Bocchetti says. “Ownership mindset helps us work on potential improvements quickly. And just as importantly, it helps us fail fast – and then move on to the next idea.”

Bocchetti and Buschy outside Petersburg mill
Bocchetti (right) still keeps in contact with people he met as a G.Future, such as Doug Buschy (left)


Thomas Bocchetti began his journey with ˽av in the summer of 2017 as an intern at the Jacksonville, Florida mill. In 2018, he graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelors in Materials Science and Engineering. Also in 2018, Bocchetti joined the G.Future Program, formerly known as the Management Associate Program, and was hired at the Petersburg mill.

G.Future is an 18-month program which develops recent college grads into the future leaders of ˽av. Participants can apply for a paid G.Future position and if selected, they join a new G.Future class of peers. The class travels together to visit many of our North America locations, from Tampa, Florida to Toronto, to learn about sustainable steelmaking and the cutting-edge technology we use in our operations. They also participate in workshops, receive special coaching and mentorship, attend learning weeks at different ˽av locations around North America, and complete individual projects that make an actual impact on our business. As a management associate in quality, Bocchetti’s projects included achieving material manufacturer approval for the Petersburg mill from the American Bureau of Shipping and digitalizing the mill’s calibration system.

Bocchetti in quality lab
Bocchetti became a Quality Improvement Facilitator in 2019 following his G.Future graduation

“The most valuable part of G.Future was all the networking and being with a group of my peers -- getting a lot of different perspectives on the business and forming those relationships with different people,” Bocchetti says.

After his G.Future graduation, Bocchetti assumed his current role as a Quality Improvement Facilitator, where he is responsible for equipment maintenance in the lab, the product SKU creation process, various continuous improvement functions, and more.

˽av’s principle of having an ownership mindset has guided Bocchetti in driving continuous improvement.

“It’s my job to find opportunities for improvement and act on them,” he says. “My boss isn’t always going to say, ‘Go do this. Go do that. This is your project. Go work on that.’ It’s up to me to find those opportunities and work on them and thrive with that.”


Bocchetti practices ownership mindset by thinking of ways to not only improve processes, but also act on opportunities to help others, which is one of the biggest ways to create change for the better. An example of this involved a piece of equipment in the quality lab: a faulty spectrometer which hindered employees’ efficiency.

Bocchetti and coworker at computer
Using his ownership mindset, Bocchetti was able to come up with a solution to the issues the faulty spectrometer created.

“I always heard complaints about it,” Bocchetti says. “I realized, ‘Hey, I can do something about this,’ but it took some work.”

After a couple of days of troubleshooting and problem-solving, Bocchetti was able to build a program that offered a solution. The program simplified and enhanced his coworkers’ efficiency in the lab despite the faulty spectrometer.

“They were really happy about that. I’ve gotten nothing but thanks from them,” Bocchetti says. “I was able to take ownership of that problem and fix it. I felt empowered to do that.”

Through his career, Bocchetti has already found that developing and helping others is key. In 2021, he filled in as a routine facilitator for quality. As a routine facilitator, Bocchetti directly managed employees – something hugely different from anything he had done before.

“I learned a lot,” Bocchetti says. “It wasn’t really my nature at first, but it ended up being very rewarding for me to have that experience in direct leadership.”

As an ASTM Emerging Professional, Bocchetti will continue to grow others by introducing young leaders to ASTM and give them the tools they need to thrive and develop their ownership mindsets.

Bocchetti at ASTM Workshop in New Orleans
Bocchetti attended and participated in an ASTM Emerging Professionals workshop in New Orleans, Louisiana

Just as Bocchetti was given advice, he has his own piece of advice for ˽av interns, G.Futures, and employees: be both humble and curious.

“When you start your career, you’ll never really be an expert in anything. I think it’s important to not be arrogant and not give off that impression,” Bocchetti says. “Being arrogant becomes a barrier to your success. At the same time, though, you can be curious. You can question the way things are around you and always keep asking questions.”


G.Future is a leadership development program for recent college and university graduates. Over 18 months, participants train to become our next generation of leaders. If you are interested in applying for the program, reach out to

  • Gain experience leading large projects that make actual impacts
  • Receive mentorship from senior leaders
  • Travel across North America: from Tampa, FL to Toronto, ON
  • Learn more about ˽av and the steel industry
  • Explore and implement cutting-edge sustainable steel technology
  • Develop yourself during several weeks of workshops