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August 2017



Rail News: People

Rising Stars: Danielle Ross, Spectrum Inc.



Danielle Ross, 35

President and chief executive officer
Spectrum Inc.

Job description: Ross sets Spectrum’s direction and oversees operations. She assesses staffing needs, anticipates and plans for growth, and creates short- and long-term strategies for the marketing and manufacturing of the company's products.

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish literature from Ohio State University

Nominator’s quote: “For every challenge Danielle faced as the head of Spectrum, she took the time to thoroughly research and seek out the most effective business solutions. The result has been that under her leadership, the company has grown in both sales and personnel.” — Sam Santabarbara, Spectrum Inc.

How did you get into railroading?
I got into railroading by chance. My prior career experience involved learning materials science, electrical circuits, understanding software to improve automation in manufacturing and selling capital equipment. These experiences provided the perfect foundation that translates well into running a company like Spectrum, which manufactures electric heating solutions and controls. My father offered me the position to lead Spectrum, and I enthusiastically accepted. He knew that I had a well-suited background, the business acumen and determination to take the helm at Spectrum.

What career accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
I am proud that I have had the technical aptitude to work in a variety of industries. I am particularly proud of the talented team that I have built at Spectrum and of our dedication to building reliable products while maintaining a strong focus on serving our customers. I feel most proud when I hear the positive feedback from our railroad customers when they tell me how well our product line works for them and that they enjoy working with Spectrum.

What would you say to convince someone to consider railroading as a career?
Railroads are an increasingly vital part of America’s transportation infrastructure. The size of the rail industry is enormous, and there are a lot of diverse opportunities to explore. Large investments are being made in areas of R&D, state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, making this field innovative and exciting. With the growing U.S. population, the rail industry is projected to grow and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

What do you enjoying doing when you’re not at work?
I must have been born with the same travel bug my grandmother had because I love to travel both domestically and internationally. I enjoy going to see live music, reading and staying up-to-date on current events. I love being outside with my dog, a very active vizsla. I also spent the last two years volunteering as a guardian ad litem through Voices for Children, which provided me with the tremendously rewarding opportunity to represent the interests of children in legal actions.

What is a little-known fact about you?
I have an identical twin sister. I am three minutes older than she.

What do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I hope to still be Spectrum’s president five years from now. I hope to continue to offer to the railroad the most dependable technology to meet the growing industry’s needs.

Rising Stars 2017 Award Winners:


Winnie Chang
Winnie Chang

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Nick Chodorow
Nick Chodorow

Belt Railway Co. of Chicago


Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon

National Transportation Safety Board


Travis Kelly
Travis Kelly

Texas Central Partners LLC

Darrell Krueger
Darrell Krueger

BNSF Railway Co.


Michael Lefevre
Michael Lefevre

Brightline (All Aboard Florida)

Michele Malski
Michele Malski

Short Line Safety Institute

Julie Mink
Julie Mink

Tealinc Ltd.


Myat Ohn
Myat Ohn

HNTB

Annka Robinson
Annka Robinson

Dallas Area Rapid Transit/Trinity Railway Express

Danielle Ross
Danielle Ross

Spectrum Inc.


Mike Stickel
Mike Stickel

Lake State Railway Co.

Sarah Touey
Sarah Touey

Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon


Stu Towner
Stu Towner

Watco Cos. LLC

 



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