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The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today announced the 2017 recipients of the Holden-Proefrock Award and 2016 Non-Accident Release (NAR) Grand Slam Awards, which are given annually to individuals and railroads that operate in the fields of hazardous materials.AAR named Paul Williams of Norfolk Southern Railway as the Holden-Proefrock Award winner. For 34 years, Williams has worked to ensure the safe transport of hazardous materials by rail.In his current role as regional manager of hazardous materials, Williams oversees emergency response, regulatory support, and managing derailments and product releases across NS' Southeast region.Williams is a former chairman of AAR's Tank Car Committee and continues to represent NS on the committee. Additionally, he plays a key role in NS's community outreach programs, according to an AAR press release.Prior to joining NS in 2003, Williams held positions at the AAR, Bureau of Explosives in Washington, D.C., and the Transportation Technology Center's Security and Emergency Response Training Center in Pueblo, Colorado.The Holden-Proefrock Award is named in honor of Roy Holden, a former AAR employee and an innovator in tank car design and safety, and Art Proefrock, a former Hulcher Emergency Services employee who pioneered hazardous materials transportation emergency response.Meanwhile, AAR bestowed the 2016 NAR Grand Slam Awards on 21 companies. The award is given annually to companies that are "exemplary" shippers of hazardous materials. An award winner must have been recognized by at least four Class Is and have had zero NARs involving their shipments the previous calendar year.