Nathan Sylvester

Ongoing Involvement in Events Like Day of Caring Keeps Those with a Passion for Giving Back Engaged and Committed.

Nathan Sylvester is the Director of Manufacturing Portfolio Management at Kennametal.


  1. Are you from Pittsburgh? Have you ever lived anywhere else? I live east of Pittsburgh in Ligonier, PA. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania and went to college in Latrobe. During my time with Kennametal, I have lived in North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas.
  2. Why did you choose to make Southwest PA your home? In 2013, my career with Kennametal brought me back to Southwest PA from Tennessee. My wife and I loved the small town feel of Ligonier and proximity to friends and family. We were also drawn to the outdoor activities that Laurel Highlands has to offer with state parks and skiing.
  3. Tell us a little about your family. My wife, Sara, and I met at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, and have been married since 2009. We have three kids, Luke (9), Maggie (8) and Molly (5).
  4. How did you choose the career you’re in today? When I was studying business management at Saint Vincent College, they had a great program for “Operational Excellence.” I got very interested in applying these management and leadership principles in manufacturing and did some internships in hospitality, logistics transportation and manufacturing. An opportunity came up to join Kennametal in 2007 as part of their early career rotational program within manufacturing and the rest is history.
  5. What do you love most about your job? Being a part of a global manufacturing company brings both challenges and excitement! Kennametal’s vision is to transform how everyday life is built. Working on a team that strives to solve customer challenges and improve performance is extremely rewarding. Kennametal has given me tons of opportunities to tackle different jobs and grow my career.
  6. What is something people might not know about you? I came from a big family! I’m the oldest of five children, with four younger sisters.
  7. What is your favorite book or TV show and why? I’ve been stuck reading children’s books for the past nine years! My wife teases me, but I have three to four books in progress at any given time spanning from history, fiction and leadership. I’m currently diving into the Alexander Hamilton biography.
  8. What are some of your hobbies or favorite things to do outside of work? I’m an outdoor and fitness enthusiast. We love to downhill ski, camp and ride bikes as a family. I also run and bike four to six days a week. I also have completed a handful of ultramarathons.
  9. Why do you think it’s so important to give back to your community? I feel extremely fortunate for the education, professional opportunities, good health and family that have been provided to me. With that, giving back to those less fortunate is a high priority for me. This includes those that need a little help getting back on their feet and for those that truly need ongoing support to live a life of dignity. United Way strives to serve those individuals in countless ways so that’s why I lend my support to them as often as I can. 
  10. Why do you volunteer with United Way? The breadth of impact and focus that United Way makes through partner agencies is remarkable. To many, what goes on behind the scenes with United Way is a mystery, but when you pull back the curtain, it’s clear that contributions through United Way are guaranteed to make an impact on those in need in our local community. In addition, United Way is thinking about the needs of today and into the future.
  11. What is your favorite United Way memory? Over the years, Kennametal has participated in several “Day of Caring” volunteer events. Working together with partner agencies and the recipients of our services is always a lot of fun and rewarding.