Five Minutes with Kelly DeAngelo, refinery manager at Domino Sugars

When he had an appendectomy in his early 20s, Kelly DeAngelo's career took a sweet turn.

As he recovered from the operation, the Pennsylvania native, then a production manager at a carpeting manufacturer, decided he wanted to better use his chemical engineering degree. He updated his resume and soon afterward got hired at American Sugar Refining, the parent company of Domino Sugars.


The 35-year-old now oversees the processing of 6.5 million pounds of sugar a day as the refinery manager at the Domino plant in Locust Point.

"I was looking for a job that helped me utilize my four-year technical degree," he said.


In his 12 years at what is now called ASR Group, he's worked as process supervisor, staff engineer, engineering manager and director of internal strategic operations. DeAngelo worked at the Baltimore plant from 2004 to 2014, then spent a few months in San Francisco and two years at a Domino refinery in Yonkers, N.Y., before returning to the Locust Point plant in May.

His day-to-day work as refinery manager splits three ways: administrative duties, overseeing plant operations and strategic planning.

While every day is different, DeAngelo usually goes through his email when he gets into his office, then attends a variety of staff meetings about operations, energy and water use, food safety regulations, quality control, and security and infrastructure improvements — which the 96-year-old plant constantly needs.

He still roots for his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers, but he now lives in Elkridge with his wife and two kids and said he's grown to love Baltimore.

"I like the people and the attitude," DeAngelo said. "It's a blue-collar city."

Domino owns and operates its private port terminal, importing raw sugar cane on laden ships and boiling it in a vacuum to liquefy it and remove impurities. It refines and packages the sugar, and ships it out in grain and liquefied form by truck and train.

Like several generations of families who have worked at Domino, DeAngelo takes pride in working under the colossal red neon sign visible through much of the Inner Harbor. He sees the sign and the company as a reminder of the city's industrial past and an indication of its future.

While there are fewer workers at the plant now than in its heyday, it still employs 500 people and plans to add three packaging lines, which would mean additional jobs.


He said he still remembers seeing the glowing red lettering on the skyline on his drive back to Baltimore from Yonkers.

"It's a symbol that manufacturing continues to be strong here in Baltimore," he said. "People know the sign, and they're proud to see that. It's a symbol of what Baltimore is all about."

Kelly DeAngelo

The Evening Sun

The Evening Sun


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Title: Refinery manager, American Sugar Refineries (Domino Sugars)


Age: 35

Birthplace: Johnstown, Pa.

Residence: Elkridge

Education: Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, West Virginia University; Executive Master of Business Administration degree, University of Maryland

Family: Married with two children, ages 4 and 1

Hobbies: Spending time with family, watching sports