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Today, Progressive Railroading is announcing 20 individuals selected by the magazine's editorial staff as "Rising Stars" of North America's railroad industry for 2015.The magazine defines a Rising Star as someone under the age of 40 who has made, or is making, a positive impact on his or her company, organization, department or team, and is viewed by others — peers, colleagues, supervisors, clients or associates — as an up-and-coming leader in the rail industry.During a nomination process that lasted several months, Progressive Railroading readers submitted nearly 200 nominations of individuals who work for Class Is, regionals, short lines, passenger railroads, transit agencies, government agencies, academic institutions, engineering firms or suppliers.This year's 20 honorees were chosen based on their contributions to the railroad industry, career achievements, demonstrated leadership, professional association activity or community involvement. Their stories will be profiled on ProgressiveRailroading.com this summer, and published in the magazine's September issue.Additionally, the 2015 Rising Stars will be recognized at a dinner to be held July 19 in conjunction with the American Association of Railroad Superintendents' 2015 Annual Meeting at the Grand Historic Venue in Baltimore. For more information about the dinner, visit the Rising Stars website.
The Rising Stars for 2015 and the organizations they work for are:Francois Belanger, CNTodd Blaylock, HNTB Corp.Jonathan Chastek, Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway Co.Oliver Dolder, Railtech Welding & EquipmentJohn Riley Edwards, RailTEC, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignStefan Loeb, Watco Cos. LLCJessica Moore, Union Pacific RailroadAmanda Nightingale, King County Metro TransitCelia Ann Pfleckl, AmtrakCharles Rennick, Providence & Worcester Railroad Co.Kaleigh Reyes, GE TransportationRebecca Reyes-Alicea, Federal Railroad AdministrationBruno Riendeau, VIA Rail Canada Inc.Curtis Shogren, CSX TransportationAlanna Strohecker, AECOMKeith Tarkalson, Stacy & WitbeckBrett Urquhart, Rocla Concrete Tie Inc.Tara Vesey, Dakota Gasification Co.Lexie Walker, MetraAdam Weiskittel, BNSF Railway Co.