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Executive shuffle begets organizational shift, ASLRRA says


With Vice President and General Counsel Alice Saylor's recent departure to Surface Transportation Board and President Frank Turner's planned May 2002 retirement, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) plans a top-to-bottom re-evaulation of its organization, said ASLRRA Chairman Walter Rich in a recent open letter to members.

The evaluation "should be wide ranging and include a critical review of the services we provide, association governance, the appropriate balance between political and service activities, and the relationship between big and small members," he wrote.

Beginning this month, ASLRRA plans to hold a series of sessions devoted to organizational change: One series would engage feedback from a cross section of smaller members whom Rich believes haven't been as active in structuring ASLRRA; a second series would feature presentations by rail suppliers to identify their needs and concerns; and a third would include presentations by representatives from related national associations to explain how they're shaping their associations for the next decade.

Additionally, ASLRRA plans to require each regional vice president to solicit views from their region's members.

ASLRRA's Executive Committee then would receive and discuss all session feedback, and craft recommendations concerning the association's staffing, organization, governance and goals.

The association's board would formulate final decisions, which would guide the search committee responsible for replacing ASLRRA's senior staff.

"I do not intend any subject to be off limits," wrote Rich. "I expect to hear criticisms, but I also expect to hear suggestions for dealing with those criticisms."