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September 2013

Rail News: People

Rising Star: Shelli Austin

Shelli Austin

Shelli Austin [AGE 37]

Vice President, Client Solutions
IDS Transportation Services

Shelli Austin has spent most of her career in transportation logistics, a field she says she just "fell into." But she didn't know much about railroading until after 2004, when she went to work for IDS Transportation and was asked to develop an intermodal service for the company.

Since then, Austin has been "taking the domestic intermodal market by storm," says Rick LaGore, IDS' executive vice president and chief operating officer, and one of several people who nominated Austin as a Rising Star.

"Shelli has been instrumental in transforming our business from a regional truckload brokerage company to one that is firmly entrenched in the domestic intermodal market in just a few short years," LaGore wrote.

Colleagues and customers praise her for accelerating road-to-rail conversions by educating shippers on the environmental and other benefits of rail transportation. She's a frequent speaker on the topic at transportation industry conferences.

"I spend a lot of time visiting the rail lines and learning from their experts to make it easier for us to develop an ultimate solution for our customers," Austin says.

Austin's inspiration?

"Growing up, my family was very influential in developing my work ethic and sense of determination. I've also had some really strong mentors."

Her five-year career plan?

"I definitely want to continue to expand with IDS."

An interesting fact about her?

"I started out with a full-ride scholarship for theater technology. I was casting people's faces and doing the backstage pyrotechnics of the theater."

Austin's favorite pastime?

"Spending time with my family. I'm an outdoors person when the weather is nice, so I enjoy any activity — running, biking, golfing and playing with my kids."


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