Becker to Take the NRE Throttle

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Merritt Becker, incoming CEO, National Railway Equipment Company (NRE)

Merritt Becker, incoming CEO, National Railway Equipment Company (NRE)

National Railway Equipment Company (NRE) has appointed Merritt Becker CEO, effective June 1.

NRE has been led by its Board of Directors since 2020. Steven L. Beal ran the Mt. Vernon, Ill.-based rail, marine and power industries company from 2010 until his passing on July 11, 2020. Beal’s father, Lawrence, founded NRE in 1984; he passed away in 2010.

Becker joins NRE from global engine and power generation company Cummins Inc. He has spent the past 12 years serving Cummins and its affiliates in the U.S. and abroad, most recently as President and Managing Director of Cummins DKSH in Thailand. Becker also spent more than 12 years with diesel engine and truck manufacturer Navistar Inc.

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 reported on May 24.

Since its founding in 1984, NRE has delivered more than 1,200 new and remanufactured locomotives to North American and international railroads.

“This is an exciting day for NRE,” NRE Board of Directors Chair John Miscione 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.”

“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.”

“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, the daughter of Lawrence Beal. “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.”

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