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Asplund to lead Red River Valley & Western

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Red River Valley & Western Railroad (RRVW) has named Nate Asplund to succeed Andy Thompson as President and CEO, effective May 1, 2015. Asplund most recently served as Assistant Vice President, Mexico for BNSF Railway, where he led a U.S. and Mexico-based team that provides rail and intermodal transportation to and from Mexico.

Asplund began his career at BNSF as an Agricultural Commodity Transportation Specialist. He then spent 13 years at Crowley Maritime Corp.n, where he served in roles of increasing responsibility, cumulating as Director of International Marketing. After returning to BNSF in 2007, he led its Public Private Partnership group, which successfully worked with local, state and federal governments to complete several rail projects that reduce congestion and facilitate growth. He was appointed to AVP Mexico in 2010. Asplund earned a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University.

Thompson will retire at the end of April “after ensuring a smooth transition for Asplund in his new role,” said Martha Head, trustee for the family trust that owns RRVW. “Andy Thompson has been a highly valued member of RRVW since 2005. Under his leadership, RRVW has grown to a company of more than 100 employees engaged in the transport of more than 60,000 freight cars per year. We deeply appreciate Andy’s leadership over the past decade and wish him every happiness in his retirement.”

RRVW worked with Jason Ward, Managing Partner of Industrial Search Partners, to conduct a comprehensive search for RRVW’s new President and CEO. “Jason’s expertise and industry relationships helped us find an outstanding successor to Andy Thompson in Nate Asplund,” said Head. “Nate brings knowledge and experience in the rail industry that will be invaluable in helping us formulate strategies for RRVW’s future. His contacts and relationships in the rail community also promise to be extremely useful. Most important, we are excited about his impressive intelligence, integrity and vision. We are confident we’ve selected the right person to lead RRVW’s continued growth and development.”

Short line Red River Valley & Western serves North Dakota and Minnesota. The railroad operates 577 miles of track and transports more than 60,000 carloads of agricultural products and other commodities annually. RRVW has twice received the Railway Age Regional Railroad of the Year Award, and has received the BNSF Short Line Achievement Award as well as the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s “Jake Award” for safety.

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