NARS: Elections, Awards, Scholarship Winners and 2024 Annual Meeting Dates
CHICAGO—June 21, 2023 (James Street Media Services)—The North American Rail Shippers Association (NARS) elected new officers at its recent annual meeting in May. The association also honored industry professionals with two major awards and announced its 2023 scholarship recipients.
The 2023–2024 NARS officers are: President John Meyers, DM Bowman Company; First Vice President Kate Luce Bourgeois, Mississippi Export Railroad; Second Vice President Ray Hufnagel, Plastic Express; Treasurer Torri Stuckey, CSX; Secretary Harry Zander, Patriot Rail; and Immediate Past President Bruce Mann, Port Houston.
“I am happy to serve as NARS President, and honored to have such an esteemed board that will help lead NARS into the future,” said Meyers.
Zander is the newest addition to the NARS Executive Officer team. He is the Chief Revenue Officer for Patriot Rail and a former president of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS).
Tom Tisa of CSX ends his time on the board after many years of distinguished and unparalleled service to NARS. His leadership was integral to the success of NARS during his extended time as president—especially when the association had to cancel and reschedule meetings in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.
Reflecting the priorities of the NARS Board, participants on a panel at the 2023 meeting discussed progress and goals for bringing greater diversity into the ranks of the railroad industry. Moderated by Torri Stuckey of CSX, the session included Arthur Adams, CSX; Tomeka Bryant, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad; Rick Galvan, Greenbrier Rail Services; and Terry Atkinson, Union Pacific.
Each year, NARS recognizes exemplary leadership in the rail shipping community through the Edward R. Hamberger Lifetime Achievement Award and the NARS Person of the Year Award.
Patrick J. Ottensmeyer was the recipient of the Hamberger Award. Ottensmeyer is now an advisor to the CEO of the newly formed CPKC and was the CEO of KCS for many years. He has been a strong supporter of NARS for many years, culminating in KCS hosting the NARS Annual Meeting last year in Kansas City.
“Pat has been a remarkably effective industry leader, as well as a loyal supporter of NARS,” said Meyers. “Recognizing his accomplishments, the presentation of the award to Pat by award namesake Ed Hamberger was a great tribute to the significance of Pat’s contributions to North America’s railroads.”
For 2023, the NARS Person of the Year is Tracy Stein. Stein joined the North American Rail Shippers as executive director in 2021. She was subsequently hired in 2022 by Pacific Northwest Association of Rail Shippers as their executive director, and now also serves in that same role for
Midwest Association of Rail Shippers.
"Tracy has been critical to the continued success of NARS. Her knowledge in the industry and the way she partners with others to accomplish our goals is such an asset. We are extremely lucky to have her," said Meyers.
During the annual meeting, NARS announced its 2023 class of scholarship recipients. The 2023 scholarship winners were selected based on their academic achievement, extracurricular activities, and community service. They are a blend of traditional undergraduate students as well as some working on advanced degrees in fields associated with the transportation industry.
The recipients of the NARS scholarships are:
• Kyra Cunningham, Pennsylvania State University
• Ryan Edmister, California State University Maritime Academy
• Mahin Fatima, Wayne State University
• Walker Hartfield, Auburn University
• Caden Hazenstab, Pennsylvania State University
• Adrian Hernandez, Northwestern University
• David Hinkle, Lehigh University
• Caleb Keilen, Michigan State University
• Reilly McCarthy, Pennsylvania State University
• Aesha Mehta, Rutgers University
• Kenneth Reid Osborn, University of Arkansas
• Nikolai Ross, California Maritime Academy
• Nevil Thomas, Michigan State University
• Teleri Wilt, Massachusetts Maritime Academy
The executive board has already started to plan for the next NARS Annual Meeting. It is scheduled for April 30–May 2, 2024 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
About The North American Rail Shippers Association
The North American Rail Shippers Association (NARS) is comprised of a network of five regional North American associations including the Pacific Northwest Association of Rail Shippers (PNWARS), the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS), the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers (SWARS), the Northeast Association of Rail Shippers (NEARS), and the Southeast Association of Rail Shippers (SEARS). Headquartered in the Chicago area, NARS brings together representatives from this network of more than 7,000 members of the rail shipping and railroad community in an annual forum, which enables open discussion of rail transportation issues. For more information, please visit the NARS website at www.railshippers.com.
James Street Associates