People News: Railroad Software, Savage, HDR, WSP

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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Railroad Software hired a short line railroad veteran as Vice President of Business Development. In addition, a former Mexican Ambassador to the United States joined the Savage Board of Directors; HDR made two executive appointments; and WSP USA named a National Transit and Rail Deputy Market Sector Leader.

From top to bottom: Steve Yoder, Railroad Software; Martha Bárcena Coqui, Savage; Matthieu Grady, HDR; Cathy LaFata, HDR; and Anne Darnall, WSP USA.

Steve Yoder (top, left) has joined Atlanta, Ga.-based Railroad Software as Vice President of Business Development. He served most recently at Genesee & Wyoming, managing rail operations in 10 states, including large industrial and transload facilities. During Yoder’s 15-year stint at the short line holding company, he also worked as Director of Dispatching, Vice President of Industrial Switching and General Manager.

“We are excited to bring Steve Yoder on board,” said Jeff Birmingham, CEO of Railroad Software, which offers Rail Terminal Management Software as well as compliance software products. “With his wealth of networking and tremendous industry knowledge, Steve possesses a unique opportunity to usher Railroad Software toward exponential market growth.”

Savage has added Martha Bárcena Coqui (second from top, left), former ambassador of Mexico to the United States (December 2018-February 2021), to the Board of Directors. She will serve on the Audit and Compensation committees.

Bárcena has also served as Mexico’s permanent representative to the United Nations agencies based in Rome as well as to the Governing Council of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law from April 2017 to December 2018. In addition, she was the Mexican Ambassador to Turkey concurrent with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan from 2013-17; Ambassador to Denmark concurrent with Norway and Iceland from 2004-13; and Consul in charge of the Department of Protection of Mexicans Abroad and Cultural Affairs at the General Consulate of Mexico in Barcelona from 1989-90.

“We’re honored to have Ambassador Bárcena join our Board and grateful for the unique perspective she brings from her distinguished career and leadership around the world,” said Todd Savage, non-Executive Chairman of the Board at Savage, an infrastructure and supply chain services provider based in Salt Lake City, Utah. “As Savage continues to grow, Ambassador Bárcena’s knowledge and experience from decades of diplomacy and governance will inform decisions that help shape our future.”

HDR has hired Matthieu Grady (center, left) as Design Principal, based at the consultancy’s Vancouver, British Columbia headquarters. With more than 21 years of experience, he previously worked alongside globally recognized design firms like Jean Nouvel, Morphosis and Diamond Schmitt, and as a  “generalist” architect, helped design and deliver projects on the commercial, industrial, institutional, corporate and retail fields throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Also at HDR, Cathy LaFata (fourth from top, left) has taken on a new role as the firm’s Transportation Equity Director, where she will apply more than 27 years of environmental justice (EJ) expertise to help clients incorporate equity into projects at every level. LaFata has been practicing environmental justice in the transportation sector since the requirement was introduced in 1994. She has managed and/or been a principal preparer of dozens of environmental documents for transit, rail and roadway improvement projects, including community impact assessments and EJ evaluations for transportation projects across the U.S., according to HDR.

“Cathy will be instrumental in helping our clients plan, fund and deliver tailored, equity-centered initiatives and programs for all modes of transportation,” HDR Transportation Operational Resiliency Director Janet González Tudor said.

WSP USA has appointed Anne Darnall (bottom, left) National Transit and Rail Deputy Market Sector Leader. She will direct business development and operations for transit and rail projects across the Eastern U.S.

Darnall spent more than 23 years in various leadership and planning roles at Parsons Corp., most recently as Vice President and Business Development Director for the firm’s Transportation and Water Infrastructure Business in the Eastern U.S. She served previously as Parsons’ Eastern/Central U.S. Regional Manager and its Operations Manager for the Transport Division. Darnall has been involved with planning, project development, program and construction management, engineering, and design projects.

“Anne brings tremendous business development experience and leadership to our transit team in the East, and we are grateful to welcome her to the WSP team,” WSP National Transit and Rail Market Leader Jannet Walker-Ford said. “For more than two decades, she has managed numerous and complex transportation and infrastructure projects and programs across the Eastern and Central U.S., and her familiarity with the region combined with her consistent and successful results will be a valuable asset to her WSP colleagues and to our clients.”

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