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Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Energy Markets Kansas City Southern
By Daniel Niepow, Associate Editor
Darin Selby was 16 when he landed his first railroading gig. The former Central Kansas Railway in 1993 hired him to clean the inside of covered hoppers to be used for the grain harvest.
"That was my summer job, walking the repair track with a pressure washer and a can of paint to stencil the side of cars," he says.
When he returned to school in fall, the short line offered him a weekend job as a customer service agent. He went on to become a brakeman and conductor for the railroad.
Selby, 39, continued working for the Wichita, Kansas-based short line throughout his time at Emporia State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management.
In 2000, he earned his MBA from the same school; in 2001, he signed on with Kansas City Southern, where he was hired as an assistant trainmaster. Selby quickly rose through the ranks. By February 2005, he had become director of coal and coke sales and marketing. In 2007, he was named assistant vice president of sales and marketing.
Selby began serving in his current role — vice president of sales and marketing, energy markets — in spring 2013.
"Darin brings all of his knowledge and experience to a new challenge as he manages KCS’ plan to support the new Mexican energy reform regulations," wrote KCS Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Brian Hancock in his nomination for Selby as a Rising Star. "His ability to build a team and to gain consensus among competing parties will be essential as the railroad industry moves into this exciting environment."
Part of Selby’s job involves working with U.S.-based logistics companies and traders hoping to move energy products into Mexico, which has recently allowed companies other than state-owned Pemex to import gasoline and diesel from overseas markets. The country’s energy market presents opportunities for rapid growth, Selby says.
"It's taking a similar path that crude-by-rail took in 2007," he says. "We've taken all the lessons from that very fast growth and applied best practices. We've run the gauntlet trying to figure out how to make it work."
A third-generation railroader, Selby says he learned a lot about the industry at the kitchen table. His grandfather worked for the former Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe Railway, where his father also worked before becoming president of the Central Kansas Railway.
For Selby, it's crucial that older-generation railroaders actively mentor the newer folks.
"We need to make sure that we are giving the same opportunities to the next generation, and that we're trusting them to accomplish tasks," he says.
Bernando Ayala Jeff Bernstein Andrea Berry–Morris Kristina Brevard Matt Campbell Allison Fayfich Jon Gabriel Greg Godfrey Christopher Howard Amanda Jones Michael Keller Gretchen Kostura Jeremy Kramer Leslia LeMaster Wilson Mike Logan Kylie McLaughlin Kate O'Connor Rapik Saat Darin Selby Jerry Vaughn