William P. (Billy) Ainsworth graduated from Auburn University in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in Marketing. After graduation, he began his professional career with the Atlanta office of Luria Brothers, a national scrap metal brokerage firm. In 1979, Billy returned to his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., joining Erman Howell, a national scrap metal brokerage firm, as a regional trader. In 1981, Billy opened the Birmingham office of Amex Steel, a regional scrap metal brokerage firm based in Corpus Christi, Texas. As Vice President - Trading, he was responsible for all trading throughout the U.S., as well as acquiring material for export to Mexico.
In 1983, Billy founded Steel Processing Services, serving as its President and CEO. Steel Processing Services quickly expanded to become a diversified recycling and railroad services company with operations in nine states. In 1993, Progress Rail Services Corporation purchased the operations of Steel Processing Services, along with two affiliated companies. In connection with that transaction, Billy was retained as President and CEO of Progress Rail Services, and has continuously served in that capacity. Progress Rail Services has developed into one of North America's largest suppliers of products and services to the railroad industry.
In March 2005, One Equity Partners and Progress Rail's management team purchased Progress Rail Services from Progress Energy, Inc. Progress Rail was in the process of filing a S-1 registration in preparation to take the company public when they entered into an agreement for the sale to Caterpillar on May 16, 2006. The Caterpillar sale was finalized on June 19, 2006. On December 1, 2006, Billy was named as a Vice President of Caterpillar, and he continues to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of Progress Rail.