Mount Vernon-based National Railway Equipment Company, an employee-owned provider of rail, marine, and power industry services, has appointed Merritt Becker chief executive officer. An executive and strategic business developer, Becker joins NRE from global engine and power generation company, Cummins Inc. He joined the company effective June 1, succeeding Steven Beal, who passed away in 2020. Since then, NRE has been led by its Board of Directors.
A veteran of the manufacturing sector, Becker spent the last 12 years at Cummins and its affiliates in a variety of executive-level roles, both in the U.S. and abroad. He most recently served as president and managing director of Cummins DKSH in Thailand. Before that he spent more than 12 years with diesel engine and truck manufacturer, Navistar Inc.
John Miscione, chairman of the NRE Board of Directors, said, “We have not been immune to the challenges facing our industry in recent years, which were exacerbated by the global pandemic and Steven’s passing. In the face of those obstacles, we have spent the last several years streamlining and stabilizing our operations to prepare the company for a successful future. Merritt’s appointment is a major piece of that strategy, and we are confident he is the leader who can take NRE forward in a rapidly changing industry.”
In taking the helm at NRE, Becker will be charged with serving OEM and aftermarket customers in the rail and inland waterway sectors, and creatively addressing the challenges the company’s customers face as the industry moves toward new technologies. NRE aims to assist them in the implementation of converging technologies in new and existing fleets to practically meet their objectives.
“I could not be prouder or more excited to join NRE and continue the wonderful legacy that the Beal family has nurtured for so many years,” Becker said. “The board has worked diligently over the last few years to quietly develop and execute a strategy of streamlining and stabilization. This work has brought NRE to what I consider to be an ideal “fighting weight,” and ready to make some noise in the industry.”
Born, raised, and educated in the Midwest, Becker’s grandparents founded and owned small businesses with strong ties to their hometown – something that made a long-lasting impression on Becker from a young age. In fact, his understanding of the importance of companies like NRE to their local communities was also influential in the board’s hiring decision.
“While Merritt certainly has the professional qualifications we sought in a new CEO, what also drew us to him was his emphasis on community and his embodiment of the culture and values that make NRE such a special place,” said NRE director, Susan Frangella. “So much of our culture is tied to the communities in which we operate, and from our very first meeting, Merritt eagerly embraced our family culture, our history, and above all else, our unwavering commitment to finding innovative ways to solve our customers’ business challenges.”
With facilities around the world, NRE delivered more than 1,200 new and remanufactured locomotives to North American and international railroads.