By Josephine Marcotty

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is joining the sand mining business with his eighth board of directors appointment --  this one at Smart Sand, Inc.

The company, based in Fair Hills, Pa., owns and operates a new sand mine site and sand processing facility in Oakdale, Wis. just east of Tomah that total nearly two square miles in size.  The company says it expects to be up and running later this month and will process more than one million tons of sand per year that it will ship to oil and gas hydro-fracking operations all over the country.

“Tim’s experience in the energy and transportation sectors combined with his respect for the environment… makes him a strategic addition to our board,” said Andrew Speaker, chief executive officer of Smart Sand, in a news release Tuesday.

Pawlenty hinted at the coming appointment earlier this month, when asked about his praise of natural gas. He said at the time that while he was seeking a board spot that involved an energy company, his paean of natural gas had nothing to do with that appointment.

Smart Sand’s web site says that the Oakdale site, adjacent to a major railroad line, is ideally situated to provide a steady supply of sand critical to the oil and gas industry.

“Shale oil and gas is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S,” Pawlenty said in a release from the company. “With proper stewardship, it will help solve our nation’s energy crisis and dramatically boost our economy.”

In December he was elected to the board of one  public company,  the e-commerce company Digital River, and was paid  $53,720 for the partial year --  $7,250 was in cash and $46,470  in stock awards – according to the company’s proxy statement. In the coming full year of service on the board, he will earn $26,000 to $27,000 in cash plus stock awards that bring the total compensation to $216,380 to $328,435, according to the proxy. .

According to public company documents, he is also on the boards of six other privately held companies, which do not release compensation information for their directors. But industry experts estimate that directors can earn anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 annually, depending on the size of the company.

They are: the Atlanta-based supply chain company RedPrairie, the medical company Miromatrix, California-based Tiburon Inc., which provides computerized resources to law enforcement, Minneapolis-based Ionix Medical, a medical device company, Inmar Inc., a North Carolina-based company that operates commerce networks,  and he is a senior advisor to San Francisco-based Vector Capitol, a private equity firm that specializes in technology companies.

Update: Earlier today this blog post said Pawlenty served in four boards. But further reporting revealed that he actually sits on a total of eight, and has previously served in two more.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger contributed to this report.


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