Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Amtrak promotes, adds new executives

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Among numerous changes, Caroline Decker has been appointed Vice President, Northeast Corridor Service Line. She was selected in November for a Railway Age Women in Rail award. Among numerous changes, Caroline Decker has been appointed Vice President, Northeast Corridor Service Line. She was selected in November for a Railway Age Women in Rail award. Amtrak

Amtrak announced a number of appointments – all vice presidents – as part of its recent reorganization under new President and Co-CEO Richard Anderson. The changes come one month after Amtrak offered current staff buyouts as part of a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program as it streamlines staffing.


Robin McDonough has been appointed Vice President, Human Resources, reporting to DJ Stadtler, Executive Vice President, Administration. Byl Herrmann, who had been serving in this role for the past year, will return to the Law Department as Vice President, Senior Managing Deputy General Counsel. While the transition has begun, Hermann will remain in the VPHR role through the beginning of February 2018.

As part of the change, McDonough will continue the transformation of the Human Resources functions begun by Hermann earlier this year, which Stadtler described as “a return to the basics – including service, efficiency and talent.”

McDonough most recently worked as Vice President, Network Support, overseeing the HR function within Operations. Jeanne Cantu has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Network Support, succeeding McDonough and reporting to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scot Naparstek. Cantu will be moving from the Finance group, where she had already been working closely with Operations through her role as Senior Director, Business Planning and Controls.

Caroline Decker has been appointed Vice President, Northeast Corridor Service Line, reporting to Stephen Gardner, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, effective Jan. 1. Decker, a winner of Railway Age’s inaugural Women in Rail award, succeeds Mark Yachmetz, who remains with the group as Vice President, Acela 2021 Program, where he will be exclusively focused on delivering the next-generation of Acela service, including the new high-speed trainsets. In her previous role as Vice President of Government Affairs and Corporate Communications, Decker led Amtrak’s efforts in Congress to secure annual federal funding while providing strategic leadership on corporate messaging. In her new role, she will focus on increasing customer satisfaction and driving net revenues through innovation for the company’s flagship products and prepare for future growth across the NEC.

Bob Dorsch has been promoted to Vice President, Long Distance Service Line, reporting to Gardner and effective Jan. 1. Dorsch succeeds Mark Murphy, who will be retiring after 40 years at the national passenger rail operator, most recently as General Manager – Long Distance Business Line. Dorsch previously served as Vice President, Product Support and Management within the Marketing and Business Development group. In his new role, he is responsible for leading efforts to modernize and improve the carrier’s products, deliver these services more efficiently and at a lower cost, while also providing a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Peter Wilander is joining Amtrak on Jan. 4 as Vice President, Product Development and Customer Experience, reporting to Gardner. He comes to Amtrak from Gate Group, a global provider of products, services and solutions for the aviation industry, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer. Wilander has more than 35 years of airline industry experience, having previously held the role of Managing Director Onboard Services for Delta Air Lines, where he was responsible for the worldwide catering operation, food and beverage design and implementation, onboard retail programs, and crew service delivery procedures. In his new role, he will establish Amtrak’s customer service standards. Assisting him in the transition will be Tom Hall, Vice President of Passenger Experience, who will be retiring at the end of March, 2018, also concluding a 40-year Amtrak career.

Dennis Newman joined Amtrak on Dec. 4 as Vice President, Schedule and Consist Planning. He reports directly to Tim Griffin, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer. In his new position, Newman is responsible for the execution of Amtrak’s network strategy through schedule planning and capacity management of trains in the Northeast Corridor, State Supported, and Long Distance services, and ensuring that we manage our route capacity in way that optimizes load factor and revenue, and stays responsive to market conditions and demand. He was most recently Vice President, Sales, at Dish Network. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Network Planning at Delta Air Lines.

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