Karen J. Hedlund has been designated Vice Chairman of the Surface Transportation Board (STB). Also, the League of Railway Women (LRW) named Trinity Industries, Inc. President and CEO Jean Savage 2022 Railway Woman of the Year; and the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) has installed its 2023 Board of Directors and Officers.
The STB on Jan. 9 reported that Board Member and Democrat Karen Hedlund is the agency’s Vice Chairman, succeeding Republican Michelle Schultz, who continues to serve as a Board Member. The STB’s Vice Chairmanship rotates among the Members on an annual basis.
Hedlund was sworn in as a Board member on Jan. 3, 2022, and her first STB term will expire Dec. 31, 2025. Each of the five STB members are limited to two five-year maximum terms, with a one-year holdover if a successor has not been Senate-confirmed.
Other STB members are:
- STB Chairman and Democrat Martin J. Oberman, whose first term will expire Dec. 31, 2023.
- Democrat Robert M. Primus, whose first term expired Dec. 31, 2022. On Dec. 7, 2022, he was recommended for Senate confirmation by the Senate Commerce Committee meeting in Executive Session, and was confirmed by Senate voice vote on Dec. 20, 2022. His new term will expire in 2027.
- Republican Patrick J. Fuchs, whose first term expires Jan. 17, 2024.
- Schultz, whose first term expires Nov. 11, 2026.
The annual award, co-sponsored by Progressive Railroading, honors a woman “who establishes a strong vision and a culture of continuous improvement and creativity, and brings excellence to her organization and community, all while supporting the personal and professional growth of others in the rail industry,” according to LRW.
“Jean has not only instituted transformational changes at Trinity, but as the first woman CEO of a major railcar manufacturing and leasing company, she is paving the way for countless women in America to seek top-level positions in railcar manufacturing and leasing, showing that the doors to the rail industry are wide open for women and other minorities,” LRW President Sarah Yurasko said. “Jean led and completed a full organizational redesign of Trinity and has furthered the cost-optimization strategy initiated by Trinity’s Board. In following her vision, the company is in a position to better serve its customers and stakeholders through innovative safety and sustainability enhancements in their products and operations.”
Since Savage took over Trinity leadership in 2020, the company has instituted Employee Resource Groups, including groups to further women’s success as professionals in the rail industry, according to LRW. The association noted that health and safety “are core goals for Jean and her team,” which the American Chemistry Council recognized with a Responsible Care Partner award for outstanding COVID-19 response efforts. Additionally, Trinity’s corporate headquarters is the first Dallas, Tex.-based building to receive the International Well Building Institute (IWBI)’s WELL Health-Safety Rating, and all TrinityRail facilities plus its headquarters have achieved ISO 14001 (Environmental) and ISO 45001 (Safety) certification.
According to LRW, Savage “places great value on community involvement and has designated paid time off for employees to participate in community volunteerism.” She also serves as Campaign Chair for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and as Executive Sponsor of Trinity’s giving campaign to raise $1 million for United Way. “In addition to her philanthropic efforts, Savage believes that spending time with her two sons and their families is one of the most important, and fulfilling things she can do, setting the example for all Trinity employees,” LRW said.
Prior to joining Trinity, Savage spent 17 years at Caterpillar Inc. in various leadership positions, and 14 years at Parker Hannifin Corporation in operations and engineering positions. She began her career as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. Savage holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Dayton.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to the League of Railway Women for naming me as their 2022 Woman of the Year,” said Savage, who accepted the award virtually. “This is such an honor for me to now be part of this amazing group of women that have shaped the rail industry. Trinity has proudly supported LRW since 2013, and I am appreciative of the great work this organization does to promote women, which brings diversity to our entire industry.”
In related developments, Trinity on Jan. 6 reported the acquisition of Holden America, a Montreal, Quebec-based producer of multi-level vehicle securement and protection systems, gravity-outlet gates, and gate accessories for freight rail, to support its autorack manufacturing business.
IANA on Jan. 6 reported the election of its 2023 Board of Directors and Officers. Shelli Austin, President of InTek Freight & Logistics Inc., is Chair of the Board, succeeding 2022 Chair Dr. Noel Hacegaba, Deputy Executive Director at the Port of Long Beach. Austin co-founded InTek 12 years ago to help shippers “build strategic advantage using intermodal,” and served IANA in 2022 as Vice Chairman.
“Shelli’s commitment to IANA and intermodalism is second to none,” IANA President and CEO Joni Casey said. “We look forward to her continued leadership in her role as the Association’s Chair.”
Tom Williams, Group Vice President, Consumer Products at BNSF, was elected Vice Chair, following service in 2022 as Treasurer; and Trevor Ash, CEO of CIE Manufacturing, Inc. was elected Treasurer, after serving on the 2022 IANA Board in the Supplier Division.
According to IANA, Ash was among the five Board Members who were re-elected to three-year terms, including Michael Burton, President, C&K Trucking, LLC (Motor Carrier Division); Robert A. Cannizzaro, Vice President, Operations, Virginia International Terminals, Inc. (At-Large Director); Tim Humbert, Director, North America Intermodal, C.H. Robinson (At-Large Director); and Maryclare Kenney, Vice President Intermodal and Automotive, CSX (Rail Division).
Continuing Members of the IANA Board of Directors, along with Shelli Austin (3PL Division) and Tom Williams (Rail Division), are Christopher Brach, General Manager, Radiant Road & Rail Services (3PL Division); Dr. Noel Hacegaba (Marine Division); Douglas D. Hoehn, Executive Vice President, Milestone Equipment Holdings (Supplier Division); Donna Lemm, Chief Commercial Officer, IMC Companies (Motor Carrier Division); Kevin Lhotak, President, Reliable Transportation Specialists, Inc. (At-Large Director); and Barbara Melvin, President and CEO, South Carolina Ports Authority (Marine Division).