Surgical masks for 'Contagion:' Now that's viral marketing

Star-Telegram September 9, 2011


A few weeks ago, Mike Bowen, executive vice president of Prestige Ameritech in North Richland Hills, got a suggestion from his daughter: that his company hand out surgical masks at the opening of the movie Contagion. Prestige Ameritech is the only U.S. maker of surgical masks. Contagion is about a lethal pandemic.

The company, launched about five years ago, got a boost in 2009, when it couldn't sell masks fast enough during the H1N1 flu concerns. Now, Bowen hopes that a picture of several hundred moviegoers wearing the masks becomes as iconic as pictures of ones wearing 3-D glasses.

He called it a terrific way to promote his company and raise awareness about what might happen if there's ever a pandemic in the U.S. Surgical masks wouldn't arrive from Mexico or China fast enough to prevent deaths, he asserts.

Bowen contacted managers at the B&B Colleyville Cinema Grille, who also liked the idea of doing something fun.

The masks were to be handed out by Bowen, his daughter, a friend and Prestige President Dan Reese -- all dressed in surgical scrubs.

Premier's Annual Publication Economic Outlook Features Prestige Ameritech

​Economic Outlook - Building a Smarter Supply Chain: Best practices and recommendations for pandemic preparedness  March 2011

Risk management is a fundamental building block of any supply chain strategy. Risks external to a supply chain, such as influenza outbreaks and natural disasters, often occur suddenly with disruptive effects that can last far beyond the event itself. This sentiment, coupled with a deepening realization that globalization leads to greater supply chain interdependence,  has prompted many healthcare supply chain leaders to engage in smarter risk management and to develop best practices for pandemic preparedness. This article provides an overview of pandemic preparedness and related supply chain best practices, with commentary from key supply chain executives and subject matter experts.

"It's time to realize the potential threats of outsourcing, and to be strategic about the supplies we import, and in what quantities. Although it is imperative that supply costs remain as low as possible, we cant always assume that the global marketplace will be open for our business."
- Mike Alkire, president, Premier Purchasing Partners

Gov. Perry: Texas' Economy Continues to Have a Strong Foundation

From the Office of Texas Governor Rick Perry
March 29, 2010


 NORTH RICHLAND HILLS  Gov. Rick Perry today touted Texas relatively strong economic environment with attracting businesses to expand in the state and create jobs for Texans. The governor spoke at a ribbon cutting for Prestige Ameritechs new manufacturing facility, which is creating nearly 250 jobs in North Texas.

Here in Texas, we have worked hard to create and preserve a job-friendly economic climate, where innovation is rewarded and employers have the best chance to succeed. We are seeing more fruits of those labors as we welcome the return of a key manufacturer to this area and the 250 jobs that accompany the revival of this facility, Gov. Perry said. The jobs they are creating are part of a great overall trend for Texas, where our unemployment rate is the lowest among the nations 10 largest states and we produced more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the past 10 years.

The governor credited Texas low taxes, reasonable and predictable regulatory climate, and skilled and educated workforce with helping to attract companies that are looking to expand or relocate.

 Prestige Ameritech is the largest domestic manufacturer of surgical face masks and disposable medical products in the U.S. The company has consolidated its three Texas facilities into a single facility in North Richland Hills known as the Global Pandemic Preparedness and Response Center. The facility will help the U.S. and other countries build surgical mask and N95 respirator stockpiles for use during pandemics, reducing the likelihood of shortages in global emergencies.


Texas economy continues to receive national attention. Texas was recently named the number one exporting state in the nation for the eighth year in a row, and according to Moodys Economy, seven Texas metro areas are expected to be among the first to emerge from the recession. Forbes lists Texas as having one of the lowest debt burdens in the country, and a study conducted by Allied Van Lines found that more individuals and families chose to move to Texas than anywhere in the U.S. in 2009. Additionally, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years, and has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 largest states in the nation.