High Profile: MTA Metro-North SVP Ops; Nexsen Pruet Legal Counsel

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Justin Vonashek, Senior Vice President-Operations of MTA Metro-North Railroad (left); and Attorney Scott Saylor, member of the Corporate and Economic Development Team at Nexsen Pruet.

Justin Vonashek, Senior Vice President-Operations of MTA Metro-North Railroad (left); and Attorney Scott Saylor, member of the Corporate and Economic Development Team at Nexsen Pruet.

New York MTA’s Metro-North Railroad has promoted Justin Vonashek to Senior Vice President-Operations, succeeding John Kesich, who has held the position since 2013 and will retire in April. Nexsen Pruet, a North Carolina-based economic development group, has hired attorney Scott Saylor.

At Metro-North, Vonashek has served as Vice President-System Safety since joining the commuter railroad in 2016. In this role, he has “furthered the reorganization and expansion of the safety function; helped establish the Office of System Safety as an active partner with Operations on efforts to improve risk reduction, accident investigation and emergency management; and led the railroad’s implementation of the Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS),” Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi said. Prior to joining Metro-North, Vonashek worked for Metra in Chicago and Keolis Commuter Services, the operator of MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) Commuter Rail, in Boston. He was named one of Railway Age’s “Fast Trackers” in 2018.

At Nexsen Pruit, Saylor joins the Corporate and Economic Development Team in Raleigh after a 31-year career at North Carolina Railroad Co. He will focus on legal matters around infrastructure development and joint ventures and acquisitions, and counsel business leaders on moving to the state. Saylor has served on the Board of Directors of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Capital Associated Industries (CAI), and as an officer of the Railway Association of North Carolina.

“Scott’s unique perspective on infrastructure and job creation is what attracted our firm to him,” Nexsen Pruit Board Chairman Leighton Lord said. “Few entities are as valuable to our economy as the railroad system, and we are confident that the skills and acumen Scott demonstrated at NCRR will translate well in service of our clients.”

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