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September 2016

Rail News: People

Rising Stars 2016: Twenty young pros find success early in their rail careers

This is the fourth consecutive year that Progressive Railroading has honored professionals under the age of 40 who are making a positive difference in the railroad industry.

The 20 Rising Stars of 2016 represent the spectrum of rail-sector careers. They hold jobs at Class Is, short lines, passenger railroads, suppliers, transit agencies and engineering firms, as well as with associations and in labor organizations.

As in prior years, Progressive Railroading editors chose this year’s award winners from a long list of reader-submitted nominations. Narrowing the list to only 20 winners is never an easy task.

The reasons behind their rail-career choices are diverse. Some told us they followed relatives or friends into the business, while others said they came upon their jobs after a detour through another industry. Still, others said they arrived "by accident."

Although their circumstances vary, they do share a common goal: Succeed in ways that make their railroad, company, union, trade group or agency a better, more efficient and safer place for their colleagues and the people whose interests they serve.

And though most are still in the first half of their careers, many told us that they already feel an obligation to mentor their younger coworkers.

"We need to make sure that we are giving the same opportunities [we had] to the next generation, and that we’re trusting them to accomplish tasks," said Rising Star Darin Selby, vice president of sales and marketing, energy markets, at Kansas City Southern.

Progressive Railroading honored Selby and his fellow award winners at a July 24 dinner in Pittsburgh, where dozens of other guests helped celebrate the Rising Stars' achievements. A special thanks goes to the sponsors of this year’s dinner: the American Association of Railroad Superintendents, Kansas City Southern, STV, RailTrends® and HDR Inc.

The complete profiles — which were written by Senior Associate Editor Julie Sneider and Associate Editor Daniel Niepow — can be found below.

Bernardo 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


Browse articles on Rising Stars Progressive Railroading American Association of Railroad Superintendents Kansas City Southern STV Railtrends HDR Inc.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.