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High Profile: NERRC Lifetime Achievement Award; RBNM, Metrolink, MUL Railcars Announce Leadership Changes

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

The New England Railroad Club (NERRC) Executive Committee is honoring Patricia Quinn, Executive Director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA), for her commitment to passenger rail service; Reading & Northern’s (RBMN) Rian Nemeroff, Susan Ludwig and Jim Cerulli are taking on new marketing and sales responsibilities; and Ilyssa DeCasperis and Bradley DeVault are joining Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) and MUL Railcars, Inc., respectively.

NERRC has selected Quinn for the Vincent R. Terrill Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes “individuals who have provided exemplary service to the New England Railroad community through leadership and by advancing railroad services and operations.” It will be presented at fall 2021 club event.

Quinn has served NNEPRA for 20 years. She led the development of Amtrak Downeaster service between Brunswick, Maine, and Boston, Mass., and has been engaged in all aspects of maintaining that service. Quinn is also on AASHTO’s Standing Committee on Rail Transportation and States for Passenger Rail Coalition.

“This award is a tribute to Patricia’s achievements for her longstanding influence in driving continual improvement strategies and forging partnerships that benefit the regional environment of the rail industry in New England and abroad,” NERRC President Clary Coutu said. “We believe Patricia embodies the qualities of a leader worthy of the title of this award and praise her accomplishments that further serve to empower women leaders in transportation.”

“Patricia is laser-focused on improving the Amtrak Downeaster service and the national stature of this service reveals the success of her efforts,” NNEPRA Chairman John Melrose said. “She is a transportation leader in Maine and on the national scene, and is a pleasure to work with and a leader to believe in.”

At RBMN, which Railway Age selected as 2020 Regional of the Year, Executive Vice President Marketing and Sales Dan Gilchrist has retired after 20 years of service. As such, the railroad has promoted Rian Nemeroff to Senior Vice President Merchandise Marketing and Sales and Susan Ludwig to Vice President Marketing and Customer Service; and will have Jim Cerulli take the lead on industrial development projects.

“Dan will be missed,” RBMN President Wayne Michel said. “I worked with Dan at Conrail, and he was the first person I thought of when asked to help develop the RBMN marketing department. For the last 20 years, Dan has been an integral part of our team and much of our amazing growth is due to his efforts. As Dan departs, we are fortunate to have a strong group to lead our merchandise marketing and industrial development efforts. At RBMN, customer service is paramount and going the extra mile to take care of our customers is job one. In Rian and Susan, we have two leaders who understand the importance of customer service and customer relations. I am confident that RBMN will continue to grow our business and satisfy our customers. Jim has worked closely with me for the last year, and with his knowledge of our operations and of our territory we are confident that he will do a great job handling industrial development.”

Now leading the day-to-day Customer Service Department functions following Ludwig’s promotion is Lori Chinchar, who becomes Director of Customer Service. Additionally, Steve Werley has been promoted to Director of Fleet Management, and will work with RBMN’s Car Shop to handle car inspections as well as handling distribution of cars for RBMN’s growing anthracite coal business.

At Metrolink, Ilyssa DeCasperis has been appointed Chief People Officer. She will lead strategies and processes for employee development and retention, and will serve as the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.

With more than 32 years of legal experience and 20 years in human resources management, DeCasperis served most recently as Vice President of Human Resources at Doctors Hospital in Riverside, Calif., following work in labor relations at the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“We are excited to welcome Ilyssa to the team as she brings a fresh perspective to address the changing workplace as our region emerges from the coronavirus lockdowns,” Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins said. “Her skill and perspective will contribute greatly to the growth of our organization and help continue to develop our most treasured asset: our employees.”

At MUL Railcars, Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc., Bradley DeVault has been named Assistant Vice President Sales. He will primarily focus on commercial opportunities in South Texas.

With 15 years of experience in the chemical, petrochemical and railroad industries, DeVault worked for ExxonMobil and BNSF, holding positions in fleet management, contract negotiations and terminal operations, among others.

“Brad has a unique understanding of the importance of relationships in the railcar leasing business, having been a customer in railcar sourcing roles at two very large shippers,” MULR CEO, Andy Vestergaard said. “Further, Brad has expert knowledge in new car acquisition, as well as remarketing activities.”

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