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Prestige Ameritech
7201 Iron Horse Blvd.
North RIchland Hills, TX 76180

Telephone: 817-427-2700

Year Started: 2005

# American Employees: 100
  Not long ago, Tecnol Medical Products, Inc. domestically manufactured about ninety percent of America's surgical masks. In 1997, Tecnol was acquired by Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Subsequently, Kimberly-Clark moved mask and respirator manufacturing to Mexico. The rest of the major mask manufacturers then moved to China, Mexico, Columbia and elsewhere. In 2005, former employees of Tecnol and Kimberly-Clark began Prestige Ameritech in order to re-secure the US mask supply. They believed that the death of mask manufacturing had caused a national security issue: during pandemics, America's mask supply would be at the mercy of foreign health officials charged with protecting their own countrymen. Besides the obvious risk of confiscation, conditions and infrastructure issues within the exporting countries could disrupt supply. In 2009, the mask shortages created by the relatively mild H1N1 pandemic highlighted the fragility of the US mask supply. Prestige Ameritech quickly increased its output and provided masks to many US hospitals that could no longer get their foreign made masks. During this time, business increased enough for the company to obtain and reopen the vacant 220,000 square foot Kimberly-Clark mask and respirator factory in which Prestige Ameritech's employees had previously worked as Tecnol and Kimberly-Clark employees. It is now the site of the company's Global Pandemic Preparedness and Response Center. As of 2011, the company sells a full line of US-made masks and respirators to hospitals across America, has acquired contracts with major hospital group purchasing organizations, has sold millions of masks to several departments of federal government, has an agreement to stockpile masks for the federal government, and manufacturers masks for other companies. Prestige Ameritech's engineering department designs and constructs the high speed machinery that manufactures all of the company's products. During global emergencies, the company can quickly add production capacity. The company's growth comes from hospital systems and government agencies that desire the security of a domestically made mask and respirator supply and Prestige Ameritech is the only major domestic manufacturer of surgical masks in the United States. Prestige Ameritech classified as a small business.  
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Thoughts on America:
Many years ago, I saw a bumper sticker on an American car that said, "Out of work? Eat your foreign car". This bumper sticker succintly sums up the problem with the US economy. We foolishly think that we can buy all of our goods from China, yet still have jobs. President Obama says that America can be competitive in the global economy. Really, Mr. Obama? Then why does our own government buy foreign made surgical masks - compromising US security during pandemics? Even our own government is addicted to the "crack cocaine" of cheap foreign prices. It is time to end this foolisness. If you want to fix the US economy and lower the unemployment rate, it's simple: Buy American. Before you buy a product, look at where it is made and consider that the dollars that you spend on that product are votes for jobs and a stronger military in that country. Today is December 15, 2011. On Yahoo's home page is a sattelite photo of China's first air craft carrier. What you can't see in the photo it the big bumper sticker on the back of the ship that says, "Paid For By American Shoppers". Wake up America! Mike Bowen Vice President Prestige Ameritech - America's only major surgical mask company
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