About Scott Vollero
Scott Vollero is an experienced entrepreneur and management expert who has worked in the automotive parts and precious metals recycling sector for more than 15 years. He cemented his reputation as the co-founder and former head of Autocats Inc., a multinational firm that specializes in extracting precious metals from automotive catalytic converters — and which Vollero and his key associates built from a scrappy startup into one of the world’s principal suppliers of rare precious metals.
Vollero founded Autocats in 2000, building the firm around a highly efficient business model that allowed Autocats to thrive in the highly fragmented scrap converter recycling market. Autocats collected and extracted platinum, palladium and rhodium — rare, extremely valuable metals — from used catalytic converters. The model Vollero employed allowed Autocats to efficiently and cost effectively reach down into the grassroots level of recycling where none had succeeded before. Thanks to Autocats’ innovation, great employees, and some hard work, Scott Vollero and his team soon exerted considerable control over the scrap converter recycling markets they competed in. This success also allowed Autocats to play a valuable role in reducing the political risk and supply issues associated with mined platinum and palladium.
During the 2000s, Autocats expanded rapidly. The firm had first year sales of approximately $2 million. Five years later sales were topping $75 million. The firm moved into several major international markets, directly or indirectly supporting hundreds of jobs. Vollero focused the bulk of his personal energies on the emerging overseas markets, where his keen cultural understanding enabled him to secure a wealth of new business contracts. By the end of the decade, Autocats was one of the dominant recyclers of auto-derived precious metals in the U.S. Globally, with the explosion of car sales in emerging markets, Autocats’ physical presence in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, South America and North America fueled the company’s growth. In 2011, Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. (TAI) purchased Autocats.
Autocats was just the latest experience in a career that has seen Vollero hone a distinctive, highly effective approach to personnel management and process efficiency. Prior to founding Autocats, Vollero amassed managerial and executive experience in the investment banking, renewable energy and health/fitness industries.
Vollero holds dual bachelor’s degrees from James Madison University, from which he graduated cum laude, as well as a finance MBA from California State University-Fullerton. His first career-track job came at an old-line Washington, D.C. investment banking firm, where he recalls learning the value of humility and the vicissitudes of the financial industry.
Following his exit from the investment banking world, Scott Vollero purchased a stake in a down-on-its-luck solar panel company and moved to California to manage it directly. Although the firm was never a resounding success, Vollero managed to stabilize its losses and salvage substantial value from his investment. He subsequently was the managing partner in a chain of four health and fitness centers near his new home before entering the auto scrap and precious metals recycling industry around the turn of the 21st century.
In addition to his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Vollero holds a registered environmental assessor certification with the state of California and is in the process of completing his certifications for both his Lean Six Sigma black belt and his Professional Project Management (PMP) . His current workload encompasses a wide-range of high-value consulting tasks for national and international clients.
During the rare moments when he’s not at the office, Scott Vollero spends time with his family and pursues such active hobbies as skiing, hiking, playing tennis and practicing Jiu-Jitsu. He is also active in the Southern California charity circuit; he founded and continues to manage Kozy Toes, a social enterprise that connects disadvantaged families with comfortable footwear and other closing accessories. He lives in Orange County, California, with his family, but continues to travel extensively.