Midwest Association of Rail Shippers Welcomes New Officers and Announces Summer Meeting Dates


CHICAGO—February 1, 2024 (James Street Media Services)—The 2024 Executive Committee was introduced at the recent Winter Meeting of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS).
The Winter Meeting set a record for MARS with more than 980 attendees. Among the many topics covered was how North American railroads—functioning as a more efficient network—can gain market share of North American freight. 
The 2024 MARS elected officers are: President Matt O'Kray, Transtar; First Vice President, Steve Blinn, Norfolk Southern Railroad; and Second Vice President, Luke Jones, GATX Corporation. The Immediate Past President is Kathy Bathurst.
“It’s an honor to step into my new role,” says O’Kray. “I look forward to building on the momentum that Kathy and the board established this past year. It made MARS stronger than ever. We have an excellent team in place, and plans are already underway for a memorable Summer Meeting.”
There is one new member of the MARS Executive Committee: Tony Kazakevicius, Director of Sales & Marketing, Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad.
The next gathering will be the Summer Meeting on July 8-9 and will be held in conjunction with the MARS Scholarship Golf Outing at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. More information about the Summer Meeting will be available in the coming months at www.mwrailshippers.com.
The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) is one of five regional North American associations under the North American Rail Shippers (NARS) national organization. Headquartered in the Chicago area, MARS provides an open forum for discussion and resolution of rail transportation issues by bringing railroads, shippers, receivers, and rail supply companies together twice annually for formal meetings in the Chicago area. To review the most recent meeting presentations, and to inquire about MARS membership, please visit the MARS website at www.mwrailshippers.com
Bill Fahrenwald
James Street Associates