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Director of Interline Services, Umler Product Manager Railinc Corp.
By Daniel Niepow, Associate Editor
Jerry Vaughn got his start in rail after stints in the housing industry. He first became interested in railroading after a conversation with a friend who worked at Railinc Corp.
At the time, Vaughn was on the sales team at SiteTech Systems, a firm that maintains a database of real estate information.
"We saw a lot of overlap in what I was doing and in what my friend was doing," says Vaughn, who believed he could leverage his knowledge of Big Data and information technology (IT) in the rail industry. "So when the opportunity arose at Railinc, I jumped on it. It seemed like a great fit and a great industry."
In 2009, Vaughn joined Railinc as a business analyst. Within four months, he moved into a product manager role. And in October 2010, he was named director and product manager of interline services. The job involves leading a team of product managers and business analysts to support interline activities among railroads, car owners and other industry participants.
"We are fortunate to count Jerry among the leaders in our company," said Railinc President and Chief Executive Officer Allen West in the company’s nomination for Vaughn as a Rising Star. "His vision and leadership have enabled Railinc to deliver on critical industry initiatives and to provide innovative technology solutions."
One venture that Vaughn helped lead: Railinc's component tracking program, which the company began developing in 2011. The program aims to build and maintain a database of rail-car equipment component information.
In addition, Vaughn has played a key role in the industry-wide Asset Health Strategic Initiative (AHSI), a multiyear, multiphase program intended to reduce mechanical service interruptions, improve the quality of rail-car inspections, and increase rail-yard and repair shop efficiency. As head of Railinc's asset services products, Vaughn provides product and project management focus that has helped the company execute AHSI concepts, says Patrick O'Neil, Railinc's director of corporate communications.
"Railroads lean on us to provide a networked view of the industry and data that's not readily available to them," adds Vaughn, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2000.
He received an MBA degree from the same university in 2007.
One of Vaughn's first mentors advised him to find a way to add value each day. It’s something Vaughn continues to strive for.
"To do that, you never stop learning," he says. "This industry is so vast that you could never know it all. There's always somebody who knows a little bit more than you do. Listen and learn from them."
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