North American Technologies Group Inc. Chairman Pat Long has been appointed chief executive officer, after former CEO Rod Wallace was fired in February because of alleged unauthorized use of company funds and irregularities in reimbursement requests.
NATG officials have hired an independent accounting team to investigate further, Joe Dorman, NATG's general counsel and chief financial officer, said in a March 6 telephone interview. More details will be available once the investigation is completed, he said.
Dorman said Long is intimately familiar with the operations of the company and will do an effective job as CEO.
NATG is the publicly traded holding company for composite railroad-tie manufacturer TieTek LLC of Marshall, Texas.
[Long] is here every day and directing major decisions and the course the company is taking at this point forward, Dorman said. [He] is very capable because he's been on the board and part of this operation for two or three years now.
Using a proprietary mix of recycled high density polyethylene, fiberglass, minerals and crumb rubber from used tires, TieTek can extrude hundreds of thousands of ties per year from its 200,000-square-foot plant in Marshall and its 50,000-square-foot plant in Houston.
Plastic ties are common in the rail industry, but have yet to emerge as the industry standard.
Despite being made from recycled products, their material and engineering costs make plastic ties about two to three times more expensive than wood counterparts.
Even a favorable lifetime-cost analysis cannot convince many railroad companies to buy the ties in high volumes. Railroad ties have nonetheless become a focal point for the structural plastic lumber industry.