Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak executives’

Flynn to Retire as Amtrak CEO in January

December 16, 2021

Amtrak announced on Wednesday that CEO William J. Flynn will retire from his post on Jan. 17, 2022, and be replaced by company president Stephen Gardner.

Gardner will assume the positions of president and CEO, an arrangement that Amtrak has used in the past. He will be the fourth CEO at Amtrak in the past five years.

Flynn has served as Amtrak CEO since April 15, 2020, when he replaced Richard Anderson. At the time of his hiring, Flynn assumed the positions of CEO and president.

He dropped the latter title when Gardner was promoted to president in December 2020 with responsibility of overseeing the passenger carrier’s daily operations and modernizing its services and equipment fleet.

Flynn, 67, came to Amtrak after having served as CEO and president of Atlas Air World Holdings, a charter and freight carrier. He was at Atlas for 13 years.

He also held senior positions at CSX Transportation, Sea-Land Services, and GeoLogistics Corporation.

Amtrak said Flynn will continue to serve Amtrak as a senior advisor through the end of the federal fiscal 2022 budget year.

Gardner, 45, has a largely political background having served as a staff member for two Democratic members of Congress and as a senior staff member of a congressional committee overseeing transportation.

He is credited with having written much of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.

Earlier in his career, Gardner held operating and management positions at Maine Central, and the Buckingham Branch Railroad.

New Amtrak VP Will Oversee Infrastructure, Fleet, Station Projects

May 25, 2021

Amtrak has appointed an executive vice president who will be overseeing infrastructure, fleet and station programs.

Laura Mason will report to Amtrak President Stephen Gardner. She begins her post on June 28.

In a news release, Amtrak said Mason will lead strategy in developing the railroad’s largest and most complex projects.

The news release said Mason will work with Amtrak’s stakeholders and ensure that programs are implemented in adherence with safety, regulatory, program-management and reporting requirements.

Mason is currently executive vice president of capital delivery at the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority where she has been responsible for project management, engineering and construction of major capital projects, infrastructure renewal, capital-program planning, and the scheduling and contracting strategies.

New Amtrak VP Oversees Long-Distance Services

October 14, 2019

On the same day that Amtrak implemented its flexible dining service aboard all overnight eastern long-distance trains it also welcomed aboard a new vice president to oversee long-distance service.

Larry Chestler took the job after a career in the airline industry, most recently in marketing at Sun County Airlines. He also work at MLT Vacations.

He told Trains magazine that he is still too new to the post to have a clear sense of the dynamics of the Amtrak rout network, including how contributes to peak travel demand.

“The role I’m stepping into as the commercial leader is take all of the elements and look at what [the trains] need to be more successful — whatever that definition is,” Chestler said.

“My team should have enough knowledge about the traffic use and customer base of (each) train and what its role is in the national network to be able to clearly advocate what it brings.”

That includes studying travelers taking a route endpoint to endpoint versus those who travel only on a segment of a route.

He described himself as “keenly interested” in studying connections to long-distance trains from corridor service trains.

Chestler had little train riding experience before taking the job. He said he had ridden Amtrak long-distance trains before, including the Coast Starlight.

He views pricing and inventory management as key to marketing the long-distance services.

Chestler also view his role as being an advocate for long distance routes. However, he said that focusing on long-distance services won’t be the only facet of his position.

He doesn’t see corridor services as competitors or rivals but partners.

Shortly after going to work at Amtrak Chestler rode the Cardinal from Chicago to Washington to observe how the carrier’s flexible dining service is playing out.

He spent the night in a business class eat that he admitted as a good experience but one in which he got little sleep.

But he told Trains “it was good for me to experience the product as the majority of our customers do, in a seat.”

Chestler also concluded that the flexible dining food service was well-received by passengers and “the onboard staff did a nice job delivering the product.”

Amtrak Appoints Vice President for Safety

January 11, 2018

Amtrak has appointed a former airline safety officer to the post of executive vice president and chief safety officer.

Ken Hylander retired as a senior vice president for Delta Air Lines in 2014. In a news release, Amtrak said that Hylander oversaw the safety system implementation at Delta and managed the occupational, operating safety, security, quality, and environmental compliance programs.

He also worked at Northwest Airlines as chief safety officer and currently serves on the board of governors of the Flight Safety Foundation and is an independent member of the board of directors of Monroe Energy in Trainer, Pennsylvania.

Before joining Northwest in 1997 as the vice president of quality reliability and engineering, Hylander spent nearly 17 years at United Airlines where he held a variety of engineering, quality assurance, and operations management positions.

Hylander will report directly to Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson.

Amtrak described Hylander’s mandate at the rail passenger carrier as being responsible for implementing a proven safety management system.

“We are improving safety at Amtrak. Keeping our customers and employees safe is our most important responsibility and a high-quality safety management system is a requirement for Amtrak,” Anderson said in a statement. “Ken is a recognized leader in the implementation and operation of [safety management systems], and his experience will be instrumental in helping build our safety culture.”

In its news release, Amtrak described a safety management system as a proactive risk management system that builds on predictive safety management methods.

Amtrak noted that the National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that Amtrak create a safety management system.

Moorman’s Letter to Amtrak Employees

September 2, 2016

Charles “Wick” Moorman became president of Amtrak on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. He wrote the following letter to Amtrak employees. Make of it what you will.

Wick Moorman

Wick Moorman

My name is Wick Moorman and it is a pleasure and a privilege for me to be joining you as your new CEO.

I want to start my time at Amtrak by saying how honored I am to follow Joe Boardman. I’ve known Joe for many years, and his work at Amtrak and FRA has left us a strong and useful legacy to build on. During his eight years in leading the company, Amtrak delivered record ridership and revenue levels, while making critical investments in our assets and our people to prepare for future growth. That success is a testament to the strength of the entire Amtrak team, and to Joe’s commitment to leaving Amtrak stronger than when he arrived. That’s what I hope to accomplish myself as your new CEO, as we work together to make Amtrak a safer, more efficient, and modern company, that’s growing our business and delivering increasing value to our customers and the nation.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself, and why I have chosen to come to Amtrak.

The first thing you should know about me is that I am a life-long railroader, and from childhood I have been fascinated by the technology and romance of our business. After high school, I studied civil engineering at Georgia Tech and was fortunate enough to obtain an engineering co-op position with the Southern Railway, one of Norfolk Southern’s predecessors. Upon graduation from Tech, I joined Southern full-time as a management trainee in the Maintenance of Way department, where I was first put to work on a track gang to ensure that I knew the railroad from the ground up! It was a great way to start, and for the first 12 years of my career I worked in Southern and then Norfolk Southern’s Maintenance of Way department as a track supervisor and then as a division engineer.

Those years served as a wonderful foundation for my over four-decade career with Norfolk Southern. After a brief stint in business school, Norfolk Southern gave me the opportunity to work in transportation, human resources, labor relations, IT and strategic planning. These experiences helped me to understand what it truly takes to run a great railroad and prepared me to become Norfolk Southern’s CEO in 2005. Over the next 10 years, our company went through a period of significant change. Together, we continued to improve our safety culture. We introduced new technology and found new ways to become more efficient. And we completed several rail corridor projects that would help us grow our service capabilities and revenue levels for a long time to come.

I retired quite happily last year, with no intentions of working full-time again, but then was approached about the possibility of leading Amtrak. I started my career in the summer of 1970, not long before Amtrak started to operate. It is not an exaggeration to say I have followed Amtrak since Day One – and while my background is in freight, I have a deep appreciation for passenger rail and have ridden passenger trains all my life. Amtrak provides a great and necessary public service. It keeps people moving and businesses strong in the Northeast Corridor, and it provides connectivity and mobility to 46 of the 48 contiguous states throughout our National Network. Furthermore, as our country’s transportation needs continue to change and grow, there is more and more public interest in passenger rail service everywhere. Together, we can continue to transform Amtrak. We can expand and grow our company in ways that will help us meet these new demands, and make Amtrak the leading rail passenger carrier worldwide.

As I have talked to people over the years about my life and career, I have always stressed how extraordinarily fortunate and blessed I have been! The opportunity to become CEO of Amtrak is another chapter in that story of great good fortune, and I am excited to be starting today.

My immediate priority in the next 60 days as I transition into the new role is to spend time with the leadership team and to get out and see as many of you as I can, in order to get a better understanding of what we do, and how we do it. I also encourage all of you to let me know your thoughts on what we can do together to improve the company.

I will be communicating more with you as we close out fiscal year 2016 and kick-off fiscal year 2017. For now, thanks for everything you’re doing to keep Amtrak rolling, and I look forward to seeing you somewhere out on the railroad.

Sincerely,
Wick Moorman

Carper Expresses Interest in Heading Amtrak

December 16, 2015

Speculation as to who will replace Amtrak President Joseph Boardman has begun with some industry analysts seeing the passenger railroad reaching out to the business world for a new chief.

Another possibility might be former Amtrak board member Tom Carper, who is now a U.S. senator from Delaware.

“I would like to be president of Amtrak,” he said. “I’ve wanted to have that job ever since I stepped down as governor in 1999. I was on the Amtrak board. I love trains. I have all my life. So I’m announcing my candidacy, not for president or vice president, not for anything else. I’m announcing my candidacy for Amtrak.”

The desire to see someone from the business sector appears to be rooted in a desire by some in Congress to see more competition to Amtrak from private companies.

A clause of the recently passed federal transportation bill would allow competition on certain long-distance routes.

Boardman to Retire as Amtrak Chief in 2016

December 9, 2015

Amtrak President Joseph Boardman told the railroad’s employees on Wednesday in a letter that he plans to retire in September 2016.

Boardman wrote in the letter that he informed Amtrak’s board of directors of his decision earlier this week after serving eight years as the railroad’s chief executive officer.

“When I look back at this time I see so many accomplishments and so many changes we made to make America’s Railroad a stronger, safer and a more important part of our nation’s transportation system,” Boardman said in the letter.