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People News: CSX, Wabtec, Urban Engineers

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
NARS has recognized CSX’s Tom Tisa (center) as 2022 Person of the Year for outstanding leadership.

NARS has recognized CSX’s Tom Tisa (center) as 2022 Person of the Year for outstanding leadership.

Tom Tisa, head of Business Development at CSX, earned a North American Rail Shippers Association (NARS) award. Also, Wabtec Directors Lee B. Foster II and Michael W. D. Howell retired; and Will Willson joined consultancy Urban Engineers as Practice Leader for Risk Management.

NARS has recognized CSX’s Tom Tisa as 2022 Person of the Year for outstanding leadership. A long-serving member of the NARS Board and its immediate past President, Tisa received the award at the association’s annual meeting last month in Kansas City, Mo.

“Tom has shown unwavering support for NARS through an incredibly challenging time brought about by the global pandemic,” said Bruce Mann, Director of Freight Mobility for Port Houston and the current NARS President. “He has been a steady and positive force within our organization and the industry as a whole.”

Tom joined CSX in 2019 as head of Marketing and Strategic Development and was promoted to his current position in 2020. He has also served as a Board Member for the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) and is past President of the Traffic Club of Chicago.

The Wabtec Board on May 31 reported that Directors Lee Foster (Chairman of L.B. Foster Co.) and Michael Howell (former CEO of Transport Initiatives Edinburgh Limited) have stepped down, effective May 18, upon reaching the Board’s retirement age.

The rail freight and transit equipment, services and technology company is now working with an outside Board search firm to identify and recruit candidates.

“The Board and management team are extremely grateful to Lee and Michael for their service and leadership during a time of tremendous growth for the company,” Wabtec Chairman Al Neupaver said. “It has been a privilege working with them. Their contributions have delivered significant value for our shareholders, customers, and employees.”

“Lee and Michael brought tremendous expertise to the Board having led complex global businesses focused on growth, profitability and technical innovation,” Wabtec President and CEO Rafael Santana said. “We are grateful for their contributions to further strengthen Wabtec’s leadership across the rail sector.”

Among Urban Engineers’ projects: management and design work for the Amtrak Washington Terminal Yard High-Speed Rail Infrastructure Improvements project.

At Urban Engineers, Will Willson will serve as Vice President and Practice Leader for Risk Management for the firm’s Project Management Oversight department. He has more than 44 years of experience in the construction industry and has worked on such projects as the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco and the East Side Access project in New York City.

Willson has held the positions of Director of Risk at Davis Langdon USA; Director of Risk at Gardiner & Theobald; Head of Risk Management in Geotechnical and Tunnels at Parsons Brinkerhoff; Senior Vice President/Director of Risk Management at Faithful and Gould; and Lead Program Risk Manager for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. He also led the Global Risk Management team at Faithful and Gould, and spent six years as the Program Manager and then Risk Manager for the U.K.’s flagship P3 project, the Channel Tunnel High-Speed Rail Link (HS1) for Union Railways and Bechtel.

“We are thrilled to have Will come on board as a Practice Leader for Risk Management,” Urban Engineers Senior Vice President for National Services William Thomsen said. “His vast experience on international mega-projects will enhance the level of service we are able to provide for project management clients.” 

Urban Engineers provides planning, design and construction services for highways, bridges, railroads, buildings, transit, airports, and ports, in addition to environmental consulting.

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