Desert NDT Appoints Larry Ames as CEO

Desert NDT, an Odessa, Tex.-based testing company serving the mid-stream oil and gas market, has appointed Larry Ames as CEO. Ames was formerly the CEO and president of the Americas at Transfield Services. He succeeds Doug Frey, who will remain a director on the company’s board.


Desert NDT, LLC, a full-service nondestructive testing company serving the mid-stream oil and gas market, today announced the appointment of Larry Ames, former CEO and president of the Americas at Transfield Services Ltd., as CEO. He succeeds Doug Frey, who will remain involved with the company as a director.

The appointment demonstrates the regional company’s commitment to become a national leader in the nondestructive testing industry by entering new regions through organic growth and acquisitions. Desert NDT is a portfolio company of Sterling Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm.

Ames combines 17 years of experience leading both public and privately-held companies with relevant expertise providing technical services to large customers and overseeing rapid growth. As CEO of the Americas at Transfield Services, an international provider of outsourced services to a range of energy, mining, transportation, defense and other companies, Ames managed a $1.5 billion portfolio that included five operating enterprises. He led a realignment strategy that included $325 million of acquisitions and divestments and rebuilt its leadership team.

Ames, 55, previously served as president, government services, at Day & Zimmermann, a $2.5 billion-a-year, family-owned company that delivers a broad spectrum of industrial, defense and workforce services to commercial and government customers. He led the company’s investment portfolio of government services businesses that employ 14,000 people globally.

“Larry will be a great asset to Desert NDT,” said Frey. “He brings a wealth of talent and deep experience in industrial and energy services that will help Desert, already a top-tier regional NDT company, grow into a national business.”

“We’re excited Larry has joined the company,” said Alan Macksey, a Sterling Partners managing director. “His appointment is consistent with what we and Doug envisioned for a management transition when Sterling invested in Desert NDT in March. The successful implementation of our strategic growth plan requires professional management with demonstrated ability in scaling businesses, and Larry brings these qualities in depth.”

Commenting on his appointment, Ames said, “Doug has built an excellent team, and there’s a great opportunity for growth here. I’m looking forward to working with Sterling Partners and Desert NDT’s staff to grow the business on a national scale.”

Ames, who was a U.S. Army captain and a graduate of the Ranger and Airborne service schools, received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In September, Desert NDT acquired Midwest Inspection Services, of Perryton, Texas, extending Desert’s service territory into Colorado and south Texas. The company has also deepened its presence in the Texas Panhandle region, western Oklahoma and North Dakota. Desert offers services across 10 states through 15 locations, including a new office in Bismarck, N.D., to service the strategically important Bakken Shale play.

About Desert NDT
Desert NDT, founded in Odessa, Texas, in 1989, started as a welding X-Ray company and has evolved into a full-service nondestructive testing company. A portfolio company of Sterling Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, since April 2012, Desert NDT offers ultrasonic testing, digital X-Ray and integrity management services in addition to the traditional X-Ray testing. Desert’s nondestructive testing services ensure the safe installation and operation of new gathering pipelines and other midstream oil & gas infrastructure. For more information please visit .

About Sterling Partners
Sterling Partners is a private equity firm with a distinct point of view on how to build great companies. Founded in 1983, Sterling has invested billions of dollars, guided by the company’s stated purpose: INSPIRED GROWTH(TM), which describes Sterling’s approach to buying differentiated businesses and growing them in inspired ways. Sterling focuses on investing growth capital in small and mid-market companies in industries with positive, long-term trends – education, healthcare, and business services. Sterling provides valuable support to the management teams of the companies in which the firm invests through a deep and dedicated team of operations and functional experts based in the firm’s offices in Chicago, Baltimore and Miami.