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Late last week, Metra's board unanimously approved Don Orseno, a lifelong railroader and 30-year Metra veteran, as the commuter-rail agency's next executive director and chief executive officer.Orseno has served as the interim executive director/CEO since August 2013, when he was chosen to succeed Alex Clifford. Orseno was the clear favorite among three other candidates who were interviewed on Jan. 31, board members said in a prepared statement."It is a difficult balance to find an individual who has an understanding of railroad operations, customer service delivery, and local and national advocacy, but we have found that individual in Don Orseno," said Acting Chairman Jack Partelow.Orseno said tackling Metra's capital funding needs and restoring public trust in the agency are among his top priorities."I want our riders to know that nothing will be more important to me – and to Metra – than providing safe, dependable and comfortable trains and the best possible customer service," he said.Orseno has worked in railroading for the past 40 years. A Chicago-area native, he began his career as a Rock Island Railroad trainman. Since joining Metra in 1984, he has risen through the ranks, serving in various roles such as senior trainmaster, director of mechanical, director of suburban operations, director safety and rules, chief customer service officer, chief transportation officer and deputy executive director/chief operations officer.
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