The Business of Giving Back

For Esmark Founder and CEO James P. Bouchard, giving generously to the community is just part of business as usual.

Greater Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Business Leaders

James P. BouchardJames BouchardJames Bouchard has much to be proud of. In addition to building a strong, diversified business of industrial companies, he has also, alongside his wife, donated more than $6 million to charitable causes since 2004. But when asked which accomplishment he is most satisfied with, Bouchard talks about Esmark’s people. “No one individual is responsible for our success,” he says. “We work as a team, and when you have the right people in place, you are successful together.”

With an executive group of managers with over a century’s worth of combined experience in operations, strategic planning, sales, finance, and engineering, Bouchard never feels the need to micromanage. Instead, he believes in treating employees like family. “When you treat people well, they will give it back to you exponentially,” he says.


As a privately held business with a portfolio of industrial holdings, Esmark’s two largest segments are steel services and energy. Esmark is the third largest producer of tin plate steel in the United States and also develops the production and distribution of oil and natural gas properties. The company’s latest iteration has become a $400 million enterprise in just three years. Other subsidiaries include premier real estate, business services, and aviation.

“When you give to youth programs, you are creating future community leaders.”

However, a strong portfolio is only part of the Esmark story. The company is passionately engaged in a multitude of community improvement projects. “My mom was a very generous person,” Bouchard explains. “We carry on her legacy here.”


Esmark Youth Development LLC supports educational initiatives, such as recreation and obesity prevention, and sponsored the development of Esmark Field at Bouchard Family Park, a state-of-the-art sports complex that supports over 1,200 Pennsylvania youths. The company also extends financial resources to local school athletic programs.

“When you give to youth programs,” Bouchard says, “you are creating future community leaders.” Bouchard’s personal commitment to give back 5 to 10 percent of company profi ts has especially made an impact in the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where his investment in the town’s hockey team has resulted in a revitalized local economy.

“I am very grateful to help,” Bouchard says. “It feels really good to be able to give back.”


  • NHL® Pittsburgh Penguins®
  • Pittsburgh Vipers’ Esmark Stars National AAA Youth Hockey Team
  • NAHL Johnstown Tomahawks
  • Quaker Valley High School Hockey and Baseball Programs
  • FC Pittsburgh Soccer Club
  • Imani Christian Academy Basketball

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Sewickley, PA 15143
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