Kansas City Southern’s Ottensmeyer Railroader of the Year

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The 57th annual recipient of Railway Age’s Railroader of the Year Award is Kansas City Southern President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, a leader in positioning North American railroads as a critical part of the globally competitive, integrated supply chain.

“Pat Ottensmeyer’s tireless efforts on behalf of the North American rail industry have supported mutually beneficial trade and robust economic growth,” said Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William C. Vantuono. “Pat chairs the U.S. Chamber of Commerce U.S.-Mexico Economic Council, ensuring the rail industry has a voice by working with public- and private-sector leaders to strengthen bilateral commercial ties. He also serves as U.S. Chairman of the U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue Strategic Trade Initiatives Working Group. At Kansas City Southern, his leadership has produced efficient and fluid operations on the railroad’s cross-border and northern Mexico corridors. Pat has also been instrumental in KCS’s adoption of advanced technologies.”

“I am deeply honored to be recognized among this distinguished group of railroaders, including two of my KCS predecessors,” said Ottensmeyer. “The railroad industry is at a pivotal crossroads with new trade deals and the endless possibilities of new technologies. Playing an active part in securing good trade deals and embracing advanced technologies will ensure a healthy railroad industry that is well-positioned for growth for generations to come. I am humbled, excited and grateful to play a role in navigating these changes.”

Pat Ottensmeyer was elected as KCS President and CEO July 1, 2016. From April 2015 to June 2016, he served as President of KCS. From October 2008 through March 2015, he served as KCS Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing. He joined KCS in May 2006 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and served in that role until October 2008. Ottensmeyer has a broad range of railroad experience from the various senior executive positions he has held at KCS over the past 13 years, and also with BNSF. During his time as Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, he developed a deep understanding of KCS’s strategy as well as its customers and growth opportunities. He has an extensive understanding of financial matters, which helped him lead KCS’s Finance department during his time as CFO. He came to KCS with substantial experience in financial matters from serving in various executive roles, including treasurer and chief financial officer positions. Ottensmeyer holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Indiana University.

Railway Age will formally present Pat Ottensmeyer with the Railroader of the Year Award at the Union League Club of Chicago on March 10, 2020, where the presentation has traditionally taken place during the Western Railway Club dinner.

Railway Age’s Railroader of the Year Award

The Railroader of the Year Award was initiated by Modern Railroads magazine in 1964 as the “Man of the Year” award. Railway Age acquired Modern Railroads in 1991 and has presented the award annually since then.

• 1964: D. W. Brosnan, Southern Railway System

• 1965: Stuart T. Saunders, Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

• 1966: Stuart T. Saunders, Pennsylvania Railroad Co.

• 1967: Louis W. Menk, Northern Pacific Railway

• 1968: William B. Johnson, Illinois Central Railroad

• 1969: John W. Barriger, Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad

• 1970: John S. Reed, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway

• 1971: Jervis Langdon, Jr., Penn Central Transportation Co.

• 1972: Charles Luna, United Transportation Union

• 1973: James B. Germany, Southern Pacific Transportation Co.

• 1974: L. Stanley Crane, Southern Railway System

• 1975: Frank E. Barnett, Union Pacific Railroad

• 1976: Dr. William J. Harris, Jr., Association of American Railroads

• 1977: Edward G. Jordan, Conrail

• 1978: Robert M. Brown, Union Pacific Railroad

• 1979: Theodore C. Lutz, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

• 1980: John G. German, Missouri Pacific Railroad Co.

• 1981: Lawrence Cena, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway

• 1982: A. Paul Funkhouser, Family Lines Rail System

• 1983: L. Stanley Crane, Conrail

• 1984: Hays T. Watkins, CSX Corp.

• 1985: John L. Cann, Canadian National

• 1986: Raymond C. Burton, Jr., Trailer Train Co.

• 1987: Willis B. Kyle, Kyle Railways

• 1988: Darius W. Gaskins, Jr., Burlington Northern

• 1989: W. Graham Claytor, Jr., Amtrak

• 1990: Arnold B. McKinnon, Norfolk Southern Corp.

• 1991: Mike Walsh, Union Pacific Railroad

• 1992: William H. Dempsey, Association of American Railroads

• 1993: Raymond C. Burton, Jr., TTX Co.

• 1994: L. S. “Jake” Jacobson, Copper Basin Railway

• 1995: Edwin Moyers, Southern Pacific Transportation Co.

• 1996: Robert D. Krebs, AT&SF, and Gerald Grinstein, Burlington Northern

• 1997: Paul M. Tellier, Canadian National

• 1998: David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern

• 1999: Edward A. Burkhardt, Wisconsin Central Transportation Co.

• 2000: The Railroad Worker (“Railroader of the Century”)

• 2001: Michael R. Haverty, Kansas City Southern

• 2002: E. Hunter Harrison, CN/Illinois Central

• 2003: Richard K. Davidson, Union Pacific Railroad

• 2004: Robert J. Ritchie, Canadian Pacific Railway

• 2005: David R. Goode, Norfolk Southern

• 2006: Richard F. Timmons, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association

• 2007: William E. Wimmer, Union Pacific Railroad

• 2008: Stephen C. Tobias, Norfolk Southern

• 2009: Michael J. Ward, CSX

• 2010: Matthew K. Rose, BNSF

• 2011: Wick Moorman, Norfolk Southern

• 2012: David L. Starling, Kansas City Southern

• 2013: James R. Young, Union Pacific

• 2014: Joseph H. Boardman, Amtrak

• 2015: E. Hunter Harrison, Canadian Pacific

• 2016: Carl R. Ice, BNSF Railway

• 2017: Thomas F. Prendergast, New York MTA

• 2018: John C. Hellmann, Genesee & Wyoming

• 2019: Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN

• 2020: Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, Kansas City Southern

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