J. Steven Whisler
2004 Inductee into American Mining Hall of Fame
J. Steven Whisler was born in 1954 and was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He holds a B.S. degree in business (accounting) from the University of Colorado, a J.D. degree from the University of Denver College of Law, and an M.S. degree in mineral economics and an honorary D. Sc. degree in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Mr. Whisler also attended the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He is admitted to the bar of the State of Colorado, various federal courts, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Arizona. Steve joined Phelps Dodge’s corporate office in New York in 1981. Since then, he has served as counsel for the company’s exploration group, as president of the Mining Company, as president and chief operating officer of the Phelps Dodge Corporation, and currently as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Steve has been instrumental in rebuilding Phelps Dodge. His career at Phelps Dodge has established him as a mining industry leader. Throughout his career, he has been passionate about safety with his declaration that Phelps Dodge is morally obligated to ensure that no employee will be harmed in the process of producing PD products. To this end, he has developed a program called "Zero and Beyond" in which no goal other than zero occupational illness and workplace injuries is acceptable at Phelps Dodge. Steve’s other major initiative within PD, called "Quest for Zero", is a performance system for creating sustainable operational improvements by achieving zero environmental incidents, zero variability in production processes and costs, zero waste, and zero product defects.
Mr. Whisler is a director of the Phelps Dodge Corporation in Phoenix, Arizona, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation in Fort Worth, Texas, the America West Holdings Corporation and its principal subsidiary, America West Airlines, Inc. in Tempe, Arizona, the National Mining Association in Washington, D. C., the International Copper Association in New York, New York, and the Copper Development Association in New York, New York. He is also a member of the Business Council. Mr. Whisler is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Arizona Society of CPAs, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, and the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America. Mr. Whisler has been awarded the Colorado School of Mines "Distinguished Achievement Medal" for career accomplishments.