Rick Axthelm


Rick Axthelm joined Compass Minerals as vice president, communications and corporate affairs, in October 2019. He was named senior vice president and chief public affairs officer in September 2020. In July 2021, he transitioned to an expanded role of chief public affairs and sustainability officer. 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. Additionally, he provides oversight of natural resources and the company’s sustainability program to drive continued improvements for long-term success.

Mr. Axthelm brings more than 20 years of experience 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. 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 with America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth.

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