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People News: L.B. Foster, WSP USA

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(Photograph Courtesy of L.B. Foster)

(Photograph Courtesy of L.B. Foster)

Pittsburgh, Pa.-based L.B. Foster Company has appointed a new Board Chairman. Also, WSP USA has selected a leader for its Asset Management and Business Advisory group.

Raymond T. Betler has been named Chairman of the Board at L.B. Foster, which operates businesses specializing in energy, transportation and construction infrastructure products. He succeeds Lee B. Foster II, who retired June 2.

A Board Member since Aug. 3, 2020, Betler has more than four decades of transportation industry experience. He served for five years as President and CEO of Wabtec Corp., before retiring in 2019. He also held the Wabtec executive positions of Chief Operating Officer and Vice President and Group Executive of the Transit Group. Betler is a Director of Dollar Bank and a Member of the Advisory Board of Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering departments, including the Federal Transportation Center at CMU.

“Ray has been a welcome addition to the L.B. Foster Board since 2020 and has made a significant impact and impression,” said L.B. Foster President and CEO John Kasel, who last year took on the company’s leadership role. “His long history of board and operational leadership makes him a perfect fit for the role of Chairman. I look forward to working with Ray to ensure a positive impact for all of our stakeholders.”

In 2021, L.B. Foster restructured, creating two primary business units: Rail Technologies & Services and Infrastructure Solutions.

Larissa James, WSP USA

At engineering and professional services consultancy WSP USA, Larissa James has been promoted to lead the Asset Management and Business Advisory (AMBA) group. She had managed AMBA’s Northeast and Southeast regions since 2016.

Based in New York City, James currently leads enterprise asset management programs for New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Previously, she was a member of the senior leadership team at Aurizon, Australia’s largest freight railway, where she managed a team responsible for improving operational performance through better asset management, according to WSP USA.

Joining James on the AMBA leadership team are Regional Directors Nilmino Roberts (New York, N.Y.) in the Northeast, Douglas Stevenson (Washington, D.C.) in the Southeast, and Doris Lee (San Francisco, Calif.) in the West.

“With more than 30 years of national and international experience, Larissa has held both operational and consulting roles across multiple sectors, making her the perfect choice to lead our talented AMBA team,” said Denise Turner Roth, Advisory National Business Line Executive. “Her background spans the full range of asset management services, including gap assessments and improvement plan development and implementation within operations, maintenance, capital planning and delivery.”

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