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North Carolina Railroad, DOT announce appointments

Railroading People
The North Carolina Railroad Co. (NCRR) has named Jim Kessler vice president of engineering and planning.

He will be responsible for planning and implementing the railroad's capital investment program, employing safety measures, and working with transit organizations, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and Norfolk Southern Railway, which through an agreement is responsible for the operation and maintenance of NCRR's 317-mile corridor between Morehead City to Charlotte.

Kessler has 37 years of experience in managing and working on major freight- and transit-rail projects from inception to design to construction. He previously was a principal engineer with HNTB Corp. in Raleigh, N.C., where his duties included managing the firm's North Carolina rail practice. He retired from HNTB in 2010 after 30 years and joined Hatch Mott MacDonald as a rail engineering consultant.

Meanwhile, NCDOT has appointed La Nica Allison deputy secretary of intergovernmental affairs. She is the first African-American woman to serve as a deputy secretary at the department, NCDOT officials said in a prepared statement.

Allison will be responsible for overseeing policy, transportation planning and budget coordination. She has more than 17 years of experience in management and operations in private business, consulting and public-sector organizations, including a stint as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Allison also was a policy analyst for the governor's transition team.


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