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Leaders, Recognized: 2021 Railway Age Women in Rail Award Honorees

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

Railway Age’s 2021 Women in Rail awards program is honoring 26 leaders for driving their businesses forward while helping to make a difference in the industry and in their communities.

Established in 2017, the annual awards are presented to women railroaders from the freight, transit and supplier sectors as well as government and trade organizations. They are based in the United States, Canada and/or Mexico.

“Our annual awards program keeps getting stronger,” Railway Age Publisher Jonathan Chalon said. “Our honorees this year were drawn from close to 100 applicants. They are making their mark on the industry with their outstanding leadership, vision, innovations, community service involvement and accomplishments.” In addition to the 26 honorees, five women received honorable mention in 2021. All will be featured in Railway Age’s November 2021 issue.

The judges for the fifth annual awards were Barbara Wilson, President and CEO of RailUSA LLC, and KellyAnne Gallagher, KAG Strategic Advisory and Founding Executive Director of the Commuter Rail Coalition.

And the honorees are (in alphabetical order):

 Kristina Chambers, Chief Data Officer, TTX Company

• Janie Bowen Colalillo, VP, Media Services, RailPros

• Stephanie Denton, Director, Freight Claims and Damage Prevention, CSX

• Aleta Evans, Chief Officer, Control Center Operations, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Cindy Ingram, Assistant Chief Engineer-Quad Cities/Chicago Territory, Canadian Pacific

• Maribel S. Kelly, Senior Director of Commuter Rail Modernization Programs, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

• Siu Ko, Vice President and Chief Mechanical Officer, MTA New York City Transit

• Farah Lawler, AVP, Industrial Products Sales and Marketing, BNSF

Martha (Marti) Lenz, Chief Engineer, Locomotive, Progress Rail

• Sally Librera, Vice President, New York and New Jersey Rail and Transit Practice Leader, HNTB Corporation

• Amy Louk, Manager Administration and Marketing Support, New York & Atlantic Railway, Anacostia Rail Holdings Company

• Jennie Louwerse, Deputy Secretary of Multimodal Transportation, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

• Salana McElroy, Group Vice President, Network Optimization, Wabtec Corporation

• Nicole McKinstry, AVP Sales Operations, The Greenbrier Companies

• Laura McNichol, SVP of Government and Industry Relations, Watco

• Christy Mimbs, Director Commercial Support, Genesee & Wyoming

• Teresa Muti, Director, Power and Way, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

• Paula C. Pienton, Chief Engineer Bridges and Structures, CN

• Jennifer Reiser, AVP Automotive and Intermodal Operations, Kansas City Southern

• Barbara Richardson, Executive Vice President of External Relations, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)

• Mary Richardson, Deputy General Counsel, Norfolk Southern

• Catherine Rinaldi, President, MTA Metro-North Railroad

• Monique Stewart, Rolling Stock Equipment and Components, Program Manager, Federal Railroad Administration

• Norma Torres, President and COO, Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway, OmniTRAX

• Jacqueline Watkins, Project Manager Positive Train Control (PTC)-Safety, Metra

• Beth Whited, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, Union Pacific

Honorable Mention:

 Janet Gilbert, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) Member of General Counsel Committee and Safety and Training Committee, Fletcher & Sippel LLC

• Veronica Griffin, Lead Rail Yard Master, Miami Dade County (Florida) Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW)

• Cassandra Quach, General Counsel, Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer, Canadian Pacific

• Ruby Siegel, Vice President, Senior Project Manager, AECOM

• Kristin Smith, Senior Vice President, Communications, Association of American Railroads (AAR)

2020 Women in Rail Honorees

2019 Women in Rail Honorees

2018 Women in Rail Honorees

2017 Women in Rail Honorees

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