Crossties

SEP-OCT 2018

Crossties is published for users and producers of treated wood crossties.

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RTA EVENT CALENDAR CONTACT US RTA EVENT CALENDAR CONTACT US ADVERTISE Stella-Jones Corp. Railway Tie Association Wheeler Lumber Nisus Corporation MiTek Industries CROSSTIES • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 23 CONFERENCE SHOWCASE John McGinley—this year's Broad Axe Award recipient—has served as president and chief operating officer for AmeriTies Holdings LLC since 2005, yet his career has taken him all through the ranks of the rail- road industry. McGinley first started out in the industry after graduating from Penn State University with a degree in forestry. From there, he went on to get a master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh, and before gradu- ation had been hired by Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail). "I had the opportu- nity to travel throughout the entire eastern part of the United States while at Conrail and learned a lot about the wood treating industry." While still at Conrail, he also worked in the purchasing department for a couple of years. Then, when he left Conrail, he went to work for Perma Treat Corp, a crosstie manufacturer in Connecticut, where he worked in production and manufacturing. After nine years, he was presented with another opportunity: a job at Kerr-McGee. "They recruited me, and I saw that move as an opportunity to grow in my career," McGinley explained. "At that time, Kerr- McGee had multiple treating plants and was the second largest supplier of crossties in the industry." When Kerr-McGee eventually ceased its railroad tie operations to focus on oil and gas, McGinley, along with a few others, saw an opportunity to start a new company and purchase Kerr-McGee's crosstie processing equipment at the Union Pacific plant in The Dalles, Oregon. After those negotiations, McGinley and the other owners founded AmeriTies Holdings LLC, a company focused on providing treating services to the Union Pacific Railroad at that plant for materials and crossties, switch ties, and fab- rication of bridge timbers. AmeriTies built a second plant—in Hope, Ark.—and today employs approximately 110 people, with McGinley at the helm as president and COO. McGinley has spent his entire career in the railroad industry, and it's a decision that he's thoroughly enjoyed. "Many smart folks have dedicated them- selves to our industry and are producing products that will serve for many years to come." Part of what helps the industry continue improving is involvement in the Railway Tie Association (RTA), McGinley said, add- ing that he has long appreciated the work of the association and even served on its Executive Committee and as president in the early 1990s. "It's so important for our indus- try to have a vehicle like the RTA to con- tinue developing processes and procedures for the betterment of our products," he said. Many people don't get second chances at life. But, when Bill Moss did, he took full advantage. Years before joining the railroad industry, Moss worked as an ironworker, setting steel on various skyscrapers and other projects. He had worked on projects in Chicago and New York, and one day was working on a bridge in St. Charles, Mo., when the unthinkable happened. "It was a bridge out across the St. Charles River, and one Saturday afternoon when I was working, I fell about 40 feet, and it almost killed me," Moss said. "It was the worst day of my life. I had a 50/50 chance of survival, but I lived." After recovering, Moss met someone in the railroad supply industry who convinced him to take a chance on making a career change. "Gordon Matlock had a patent pending on the end plate," Moss explained. "I decided to go into business with him." For seven years Moss worked with Matlock on the end plate before the company was sold to Robbins Engineering. After a few years, Moss left Robbins Engineering and worked in wood treating before returning to the end plate business soon after. "We had a great product," Moss said. "It wasn't very long, and Dan Moss and I joined MiTek USA. That was one of the best things that ever happened to me." It was then that Moss became a sales rep for MiTek. "It was wonderful working for MiTek," Moss added. "MiTek is the company I always hoped to end up working with, and I'm so glad I did." MiTek took Moss all over the country— into eight provinces of Canada and even into Mexico—one part of his job he thoroughly enjoyed. Another part of the job he enjoyed was the friendships. "One of my favorite parts of my job was that I got to meet and get to know so many people," he said. "To me, it's friends first and then business. I was given the chance to make many new friendships, and they could trust me." As a supplier, Moss found it important to be a part of the Railway Tie Association (RTA), even serving as one of the earliest suppliers on the RTA Executive Board. "To me it was so important to be involved with RTA, because that's a great avenue to contact customers and share products," Moss said. "The product I sold was used almost exclusively by the railroad industry, so it was great having the opportunity to get in front of other RTA members to share information and get their opinions." Broad Axe Winner Spends Career In The Wood Tie Industry Supplier Award Winner Appreciates Friendships

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