Astec Industries Inc. announced that Dr. J. Don Brock, Chairman and former CEO of Astec Industries, Inc. passed away earlier today at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn. As previously announced, he had been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer in 2012.
"We announce this news with great sadness, and our thoughts and prayers are with Don's family at this difficult time," Vice President of Administration Stephen C. Anderson said in a statement. "Don was an inspirational leader, mentor and friend to countless customers and employees of Astec."
Dr. J. Don Brock and four others founded Astec in1972. Under his leadership, Astec grew into a global company of eighteen (18) subsidiaries in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Brock held approximately one hundred (100) U.S. and foreign patents on construction machinery and drying equipment. He was a recipient of numerous awards including "Man of the Year", (National Asphalt Pavement Association), "Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni", (The Georgia Institute of Technology), "Dougherty Award", (The University of Tennessee), the "ARTBA Top 100 Private Sector Transportation Construction Professionals of the 20th Century", and the "Dr. J. Don Brock Transovation Award", (American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)).
In 2013, the Astec Board of Directors approved a management succession plan. On Jan. 1, 2014, Benjamin G. Brock became president and chief executive officer and Richard J. Dorris assumed the role of executive vice president and chief operating officer. W. Norman Smith, a founder of the company and Board member since 1982, continues to serve as vice chairman.
"Don Brock was one of the greatest innovators in the history of modern road building," said ARTBA President and CEO Pete Ruane. "“He founded Astec Industries in 1972 and transformed it into a leading global manufacturer of equipment for asphalt road building, aggregate processing, pipeline and utility trenching, oil, gas and water well drilling. A man of incredible intellect, Don’s vision for Astec was to apply creative thinking and state-of-the-art technology to traditionally low-tech industries and bolster them with a corporate culture that would become renowned for putting its customers first. He succeeded."