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People News: Michael Baker International, R.J. Corman, TriMet, CABT, NS

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
From Left to Right: R.J. Corman Railroad Services VP Mark Boyle; Dan Blair, Executive Director of TriMet's Transit Systems and Asset Support Division; and John Weston, Executive Director of TriMet's Maintenance Operations.

From Left to Right: R.J. Corman Railroad Services VP Mark Boyle; Dan Blair, Executive Director of TriMet's Transit Systems and Asset Support Division; and John Weston, Executive Director of TriMet's Maintenance Operations.

Michael Baker International strengthens its Rail and Transit team. Also, R.J. Corman Railroad Services Vice President Mark Boyle is appointed to the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA); TriMet names two new members to its executive leadership team; Emily DeLuca is named as the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks’ (CABT) new Director of Advocacy; and Norfolk Southern (NS) announces leadership changes within its Marketing division.

Michael Baker International

Michael Baker International on Feb. 28 announced a series of promotions and new roles that the firm says will “strengthen its Rail and Transit team and support the growth of its Freight Rail services.”

These leadership positions, Michael Baker International says, “will provide support to Class I Railroads and other agencies requiring rail design services nationwide and align with the unprecedented rail funding across the country.”

Reporting to Kirsten Bowen, National Director – Freight Rail Services, staffing updates include: Wendy Berrill, P.E., Director – Railway and Civil Design; Lisa Hoekenga, P.E., S.E., Director – Rail Bridges and Structures; Matt Kirby, P.E., M.L.E, M.ASCE, Director – Rail Public Projects and Programs; and Adam Walkowiak, P.E., CCM, Director – Rail Construction Services.

“Our nation’s freight rail network spans nearly 140,000 miles and ensures a safe, cost-effective and efficient way to move bulk commodities, consumer goods and other products to their destinations,” said Bowen. “Each of our colleagues in these new roles will strengthen our firm’s services to Class I railroads by providing streamlined services and innovative solutions that optimize opportunities for success.”

Additional details for each role include:

Wendy Berrill, P.E., Director – Railway and Civil Design: Berrill will be responsible for track and civil design staff for mainline tracks, industrial sidings, intermodal facilities and related projects for Class I and other rail clients. She has more than 18 years of experience working almost exclusively on railroad design projects in roles ranging from design engineer to project manager. Berrill has worked on intermodal yards, staging and storage yards, a railroad classification yard, mainline corridor projects, shooflies for temporary construction, industrial siding projects, and passenger rail transit projects.

Lisa Hoekenga, P.E., S.E., Director – Rail Bridges and Structures: Hoekenga will be responsible for rail bridge and structure inspection, load rating, rehabilitation, replacement and related designs for Class I and other rail clients. She has more than 19 years of experience working on railroad bridge projects for both passenger transit and freight rail structures. She is knowledgeable of requirements unique to rail bridge projects, including minimizing any obstructions to operations and producing innovative construction method solutions, all while maintaining a strong focus on safety.

Matt Kirby, P.E., M.L.E, M.ASCE Director – Rail Public Projects and Programs: Kirby will be responsible for Class I Public Projects work across the company. This includes development of agreements with Class I and state DOTs or municipalities, railroad coordination, and coordinating design reviews for projects on behalf of the Class I railroads, as well as overseeing owner’s representation services for publicly funded programs related to Class I railroad involvement. He has 12 years of experience specializing in owner’s representation and civil design services for rail projects and other work in transportation design.

Adam Walkowiak, P.E., CCM, Director – Rail Construction Services: Walkowiak will be responsible for growing construction services (CS), specifically with the firm’s Class I railroad clients. He has 17 years of industry experience and has been working on rail construction projects for the past decade, supporting each project in the design phase and taking it through construction to final closeout. After playing a key role in the firm’s major rail projects for CSX, including the NWOH Intermodal Terminal Expansion, Pittsburgh Intermodal Terminal and Carolina Connector Terminal, which received the Dr. William W. Hay Award recognizing outstanding achievement in railway engineering, Walkowiak “will leverage this experience for continued success in the industry with the firm’s clients.”

R.J. Corman

R.J. Corman Railroad Services Vice President Mark Boyle has been appointed to REMSA after being unanimously elected during the association’s annual meeting. He will serve on REMSA’s Board of Directors for a two-year term.

Boyle joined R. J. Corman in 2008 and has held various leadership positions in the Railroad Services company. Currently, as VP of R. J. Corman Railroad Services, he oversees the operations of its non-emergency divisions, which perform work including track construction, maintenance of way, and industrial services.

REMSA was created in 1965 by the merger of the Association of Track and Structure Suppliers and the National Railway Appliances Association. It represents companies and individuals who manufacture or sell maintenance-of-way equipment, products, and services or are engineers, contractors, and consultants working in construction and/or maintenance of railroad transportation facilities. REMSA members constitute a large part of the maintenance-of-way industry.


TriMet has named two new members to the executive leadership team: Dan Blair is the Executive Director of the agency’s newly developed Transit Systems and Asset Support Division and John Weston is the new Executive Director of Maintenance Operations, the position that Blair had been serving in an interim capacity since early 2023. Both executives will report directly to TriMet Chief Operating Officer, Bonnie Todd, and serve critical maintenance functions, directing activities around the management of TriMet’s vehicles, facilities, systems, assets and training.

Blair and Weston were selected following a nationwide search and are already beginning to transition to their new roles.

Weston comes to TriMet with nearly 40 years of experience in the transit industry, including extensive work on and management of systems in Washington, D.C., Miami and Seattle. Most recently, he served as Corridor Operations Director for Sound Transit.

“John has held a number of impressive maintenance, safety, quality assurance and construction management roles over the course of his career,” said Todd. “TriMet, our riders and our employees will benefit from his extensive knowledge and skills to keep our vehicles rolling and our system in a state of good repair.”

Weston will direct and oversee TriMet’s Maintenance Operations Division, which is responsible for the maintenance, repair and management of TriMet’s buses, light rail vehicles, track, buildings, transit station facilities and non-revenue vehicles.

His first role in transit was as a union mechanic, working in rail power distribution. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland.

Blair has been growing his career with TriMet for the last 30 years. He started out as a Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) apprentice mechanic and graduated from TriMet’s esteemed apprenticeship program. He served as Director of Rail Equipment Maintenance before being asked to take the interim Executive Director of Maintenance position in March 2023. In naming Blair to the Executive Director role of the newly created Transit Systems Asset Support Division, Todd noted his “expertise and in-depth knowledge of the agency, as well as his enthusiasm and personal style.”

“In addition to his technical ability, experience in management and extensive knowledge of TriMet, Dan brings a sense of humor, great leadership abilities, and a no-nonsense approach to his work,” said Todd. “As we work to increase ridership, Dan’s skills will be invaluable to elevate TriMet’s role in our community.”

The Transit System and Asset Support group that Blair will direct and oversee, was established in 2023 as a new division at TriMet. It is focused on maintenance and document control, asset management, key performance indicators, zero-emissions program training and more. Blair will serve as the division’s first dedicated full-time executive director.

Blair also served in the U.S. Marine Reserves, where he was trained as a helicopter mechanic.


CABT recently hired Emily DeLuca as the organization’s new Director of Advocacy, the American Short Line and Railroad Association (ASLRRA) announced in the Feb. 28 issue of its Views & News newsletter. ASLRRA works with several advocacy groups on Capitol Hill, including CABT, which advocates against any regulations allowing increases in freight truck length or weight.

DeLuca brings a decade of advocacy experience to CABT, with a background spanning federal and state government policy, political campaigns, Congress member office operations, field programs and coalition building. She will focus on building Hill relationships, working with and engaging national partners, and communications.


NS’s Marketing division has announced changes regarding its leadership team and structure, effective April 1, 2024. The personnel changes, the Class I says, “showcase the versatility of our team’s expertise, and the organizational changes reflect our ongoing commitment to providing a simple, reliable, and efficient service product with an eye towards continuous productivity and growth.”

Kathleen Smith will take on the role of VP Industrial Products. Her time as VP Business Development and Real Estate, as well as her background within Industrial Products, gives her a deep understanding as to the existing and emerging needs of NS’s diverse customer portfolio, the Class I said. Smith has been at the forefront in helping NS anticipate where markets are headed and adjusting to fulfill the long-term needs of its national and global supply chain. In her new position, Smith will continue to help ensure NS’s rail network leads the industry in growth.

“First and Final Mile Markets has been leading innovative strategies to enhance the customer experience with rail,” NS said. To bolster NS’s customer-centric approach, the Class I is integrating Business Development and Real Estate functions into the First and Final Mile Markets department, which will now be called Business Development and First and Final Mile Markets and overseen by VP Stefan Loeb. This move, NS says, “aims to streamline processes, enhance communication, and deliver a fully integrated approach to meet customer needs.”

“With the right solution, anyone can be a rail customer, and the expanded Business Development and First and Final Mile Markets team will push our business forward with that guiding mindset,” NS added.

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