Rick Axthelm


Rick Axthelm joined Compass Minerals as vice president, communications and corporate affairs in October 2019. He was named senior vice president, communications and corporate affairs in January 2020, and then appointed to his current position of senior vice president and chief public affairs officer in September 2020. In this role, Mr. Axthelm leads the overall public affairs strategy, including internal communications, media relations, corporate branding, government affairs, external partnerships and community engagement.

Mr. Axthelm brings more than 20 years leading teams in various public policy and corporate communications roles to the company. Most recently he served as senior vice president, communications and government affairs at Contura Energy Inc., a leading coal supplier, since the company’s inception in July 2016. Previously, he held similar roles at Alpha Natural Resources Inc. Before joining the private sector, Mr. Axthelm served nearly a decade in the federal government, working for two consecutive members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He also spent two years in the non-profit sector, for America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth.

Mr. Axthelm earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Wyoming.