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NARS Elects, Honors and Awards at Annual Meeting

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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The North American Rail Shippers Association (NARS) elected new officers, honored industry professionals with two major awards and announced its 2023 scholarship recipients at its annual meeting last month in Chicago.

The 2023–2024 NARS officers are: President John Meyers, DM Bowman Company; First Vice President Kate Luce Bourgeois, Mississippi Export Railroad; Second Vice President Ray Hufnagel, Plastic Express; Treasurer Torri Stuckey, CSX; Secretary Harry Zander, Patriot Rail; and Immediate Past President Bruce Mann, Port Houston.

“I am happy to serve as NARS President, and honored to have such an esteemed board that will help lead NARS into the future,” said Meyers.

NARS President John Meyers

Zander is the newest addition to the NARS Executive Officer team. He is the Chief Revenue Officer for Patriot Rail and a former President of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS).

Tom Tisa of CSX ends his time on the board after many years of “distinguished and unparalleled” service to NARS. His leadership, NARS says, was “integral to the success of the association during his extended time as president—especially when the association had to cancel and reschedule meetings in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.”

Reflecting the priorities of the NARS Board, participants on a panel at the 2023 meeting, which took place May 24-26, discussed progress and goals for bringing greater diversity into the ranks of the railroad industry. Moderated by Torri Stuckey of CSX, the session included Arthur Adams, CSX; Tomeka Bryant, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad; Rick Galvan, Greenbrier Rail Services; and Terry Atkinson, Union Pacific.  

Each year, NARS recognizes exemplary leadership in the rail shipping community through the Edward R. Hamberger Lifetime Achievement Award and the NARS Person of the Year Award.

Patrick J. Ottensmeyer was the recipient of the Hamberger Award. Ottensmeyer is now an advisor to the CEO of the newly formed Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) and was the CEO of Kansas City Southern (KCS) for many years. He has been a strong supporter of NARS, culminating in KCS hosting the NARS Annual Meeting last year in Kansas City. 

“Pat has been a remarkably effective industry leader, as well as a loyal supporter of NARS,” said Meyers. “Recognizing his accomplishments, the presentation of the award to Pat by award namesake Ed Hamberger was a great tribute to the significance of Pat’s contributions to North America’s railroads.”

For 2023, the NARS Person of the Year is Tracy Stein, who joined the association as Executive Director in 2021. She was subsequently hired in 2022 by Pacific Northwest Association of Rail Shippers (PNWARS) as their Executive Director, and now also serves in that same role for MARS. 

“Tracy has been critical to the continued success of NARS. Her knowledge in the industry and the way she partners with others to accomplish our goals is such an asset. We are extremely lucky to have her,” said Meyers.

During the annual meeting, NARS announced its 2023 class of scholarship recipients, who were selected based on their academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community service. They are a blend of traditional undergraduate students, as well as some working on advanced degrees in fields associated with the transportation industry.

The recipients of the NARS scholarships are:

  • Kyra Cunningham, Pennsylvania State University
  • Ryan Edmister, California State University Maritime Academy
  • Mahin Fatima, Wayne State University
  • Walker Hartfield, Auburn University
  • Caden Hazenstab, Pennsylvania State University
  • Adrian Hernandez, Northwestern University
  • David Hinkle, Lehigh University
  • Caleb Keilen, Michigan State University
  • Reilly McCarthy, Pennsylvania State University
  • Aesha Mehta, Rutgers University
  • Kenneth Reid Osborn, University of Arkansas
  • Nikolai Ross, California Maritime Academy
  • Nevil Thomas, Michigan State University
  • Teleri Wilt, Massachusetts Maritime Academy

The next NARS Annual Meeting is scheduled for April 30–May 2, 2024 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

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