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Kevin Christy, 31Director, financial planning and reportingConrail
Nominator’s quote: “Kevin possesses strong leadership skills and can clearly communicate financial objectives to his team.” — Deborah Beynon, Conrail
Education: B.A. in business finance; MBA, La Salle University.
Job responsibilities: Finance and accounting management for Conrail. Work with the team to build annual operating and capital budgets, produce financial statements and communicate financial results. Also, work with Conrail’s owner railroads, Norfolk Southern Corp. and CSX, in strategic and financial planning.
Career path: As a conductor trainee after college, worked out of the Pavonia Yard in Camden, New Jersey. Was promoted to management trainee in finance. Following several more promotions over the past decade, landed in current position.
How did you get into the railroad industry? I was introduced to the director of Conrail’s human resources department during my senior year of college. I went to a company orientation for potential conductors, where I learned about the railroad and what being a conductor entailed. I was very impressed with everything I saw and I knew that was where I wanted to work.
What is the best career advice you’ve received? Gain as many different experiences as possible and understand how your specific job fits into the big picture. I am fortunate to work in a department that gets exposure to every facet of the railroad, which gives me the ability to learn something new every day.
What advice would you give to a new railroader? Understand your role and how it impacts the company as a whole. Build relationships with colleagues in all departments because the railroad is extremely team-oriented and everyone needs to be working together for it to succeed.
What was your very first job? I was a caddy at a country club in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Describe a fun fact about yourself. My wife, Kerri, and I just welcomed our first child, Jack, in January.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I play a lot of golf and enjoy fishing in my spare time. I am also a big Philadelphia sports fan and I love going to the Jersey Shore on summertime weekends.
How has the pandemic changed your views of your career and life in general? I realized the importance of my work and how vital Conrail is to the U.S. Northeast and Midwest economies. I am proud to be a Conrail employee through the pandemic as I saw firsthand colleagues in every craft pull together to make sure our service remained world-class.