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Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Americas Railtech Welding & Equipment
By Daniel Niepow, Associate Editor
Oliver Dolder gained an appreciation for railroading through his father, a 35-year industry veteran who worked primarily in maintenance-of-way. Exposure to Switzerland’s robust passenger-rail systems strengthened that interest during Dolder’s younger years.
“I knew early on this was going to be the field for me,” he says. “I always had a fascination with trains, trams and subway systems.”
Hired as a field sales representative at Railtech Welding & Equipment in January 2004, he’s steadily climbed through the ranks. In 2006, he was promoted to sales and marketing manager, and in March 2009 he became vice president of operations. Dolder was named executive vice president later that year.
“I took every assignment nobody else wanted … and worked my way up,” he says.
During his stint as VP of operations, Dolder led a company expansion that created jobs in an economically struggling region of Ohio, according to ESCO Equipment Services Co. Owner Tom Gehr, who nominated Dolder for the Rising Stars award.
Following that expansion, Dolder went on to serve as a board member of the Community Improvement Corp. in Henry County, Ohio. The organization focuses on attracting investments and growing job opportunities in the area.
Dolder also spearheaded several product improvements throughout his time at Railtech, Gehr said.
Currently, Dolder serves as both executive vice president and managing director for Railtech’s North and South American subsidiaries, comprising Railtech Boutet, Railtech Matweld, Railwel Canada and Railtech Calomex.
“Oliver is highly respected by a wide cross section of personnel at all levels within the rail and transit industries,” added Pandrol USA President Frank Brady in his nomination for Dolder. Both Pandrol and Railtech are part of the French transportation firm Delachaux Group.
Dolder is fluent in English, French and German — a useful set of skills in a “rapidly globalizing industry,” Brady says.
Dolder earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Ohio State University and his MBA from Ashland University. He’s also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in Durham, N.C.
In addition to his job at Railtech, Dolder serves as a member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association’s Committee 4, which works to develop guidelines for rail or welding equipment, he says.
“Today, more than ever, the industry needs a new generation of leaders … to take on the challenges of the 21st century,” says Dolder, adding that he strives to lead by example each day.
Away from the office, Dolder enjoys spending time with his wife Jenilee and their three children, in addition to traveling, when possible.
Rising Stars 2015 Award Winners:
Francois Belanger, CN
Todd Blaylock, HNTB Corp.
Jonathan Chastek, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co.
Oliver Dolder, Railtech Welding & Equipment
John Riley Edwards, RailTEC, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Stefan Loeb, Watco Cos. LLC
Jessica Moore, Union Pacific Railroad
Amanda Nightingale, King County Metro Transit
Celia Ann Pfleckl, Amtrak
Charles Rennick, Providence & Worcester Railroad Co.
Kaleigh Reyes, GE Transportation
Rebecca Reyes-Alicea, Federal Railroad Administration
Bruno Riendeau, VIA Rail Canada Inc.
Curtis Shogren, CSX Transportation
Alanna Strohecker, AECOM
Keith Tarkalson, Stacy & Witbeck
Brett Urquhart, Rocla Concrete Tie Inc.
Tara Vesey, Dakota Gasification Co.
Lexie Walker, Metra
Adam Weiskittel, BNSF Railway Co.