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Nominator's quote: "Kristen has built strong relationships and credibility throughout the organization through her integrity and commitment. Leaders throughout the sales and marketing organization rely on Kristen because they know she will 'do what she says she will do' and her team will consistently deliver high quality products and analysis enabling sustainable profitable growth." — Amanda Cobb, CP
Education: University of Calgary, MBA; University of Alberta, B.S. with a specialization in psychology.
Job responsibilities: Oversight of revenue accounting and reporting, costing and profitability, and revenue planning of more than $8 billion annually.
Career path: Began career in 2012 at CP; held a variety of roles including customer service, financial analysis and management accounting.
How did you get into the railroad industry? Once I graduated, I was hired into a CP customer service class where I could learn about the railroad. At the same time, E. Hunter Harrison became the new CEO and I knew I had to be a part of the exciting changes that ultimately formed the new CP.
What is the best career advice you've received? As you progress up the corporate ladder, consider the ladder to be more of a spiral staircase. Take the opportunity to spend time in positions in as many different departments as you can early in your career. This will give you a broad base of knowledge and experience from which to draw upon and will increase your value to the company. This, in turn, will help to create opportunities for advancement.
What advice would you give to a new railroader? Be curious. Strive to understand every aspect of your role, and the railroad. No matter what role you hold in the company, the breadth and depth of railroad knowledge will aid you in your current and future roles.
What was your very first job? I worked in the tourism industry, servicing houseboats in the interior of British Columbia. It was a great opportunity to immerse myself in a fast-paced environment and to learn about the importance of customer service.
Describe a fun fact about yourself. As a part of my time at Waterway Houseboats, I became the first female to drive the largest houseboat in western Canada.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I enjoy spending my summers on the lake, waterskiing with my family.
What is the rail industry's biggest challenge? Climate change is a risk that will disrupt our environment and the people within it, and is one of the challenges that the rail industry needs to consider. I think this challenge also presents an opportunity for our industry to build on an already environmentally superior mode of transportation by incorporating environmental, social and governance strategies.
These strategies will enable companies to enhance sustainable rail transportation and drive long-term value. This includes adapting our business through efficient operations and investments in technology to confront climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.