2017 Annual Conference

The League of Railway Industry Women (LRIW) would like to express a sincere thank you to all of those who attended our annual conference, held in conjunction with Railway Interchange 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana, from September 17 to 20.

At this year’s Railway Interchange General Session and Keynote Address, we presented the 2017 LRIW Outstanding Woman of the Year award, co-sponsored by Progressive Railroading to Lisa Stabler, President, Transportation Technology Center, Inc. “Lisa Stabler is a gifted engineer who has been a rail industry leader throughout her career,” said Past President Jodi Heldt. “We are so proud to present her with this year’s award.” View the awards presentation here.

Ken Schmidt, motivational speaker and former Harley Davidson Co. director of communications, made a raucous entrance to the stage riding in on a Harley to deliver his Keynote address. In his presentation, Schmidt described his role in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history, and how his vision helped transform Harley Davidson into one of the world’s most dominant brands.

LRIW Program Schedule

This year’s LRIW program schedule featured a variety of women who shared with the audience their stories of success and challenge, both corporately and personally.
  • Susanne M. Manaigre, Vice President – Canada, Network Rail Consulting, started the morning session off with her talk about how to break barriers and excel in the rail industry. Susanne’s engaging presentation resonated very strongly with many audience members.
  • Tanis Peterson, Director, Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Railway Association of Canada, and 2017-19 LRIW President, spoke about how regulatory affairs comprises a critical component of the railroading business.
  • Nicole Brewin, VP of Government Affairs for the Railway Supply Institute followed up Tanis’ presentation with a presentation about how changing regulations are affecting the rail industry, with a focus on federal legislation and regulations in the United States. Nicole’s complete presentation is available here. 
  • Coree Cuff Lonergan, Associate Director, Infrastructure Maintenance, Network Rail Consulting, delivered a thought provoking presentation about how women in rail can use tools and influence to succeed.
During this year’s annual membership meeting, we presented the LRIW Outstanding Member of the Year to Kathee Fisk, Sr. Customer Support Engineer, GE Transportation, and LRIW Director.

The ever popular ‘Women Business Owners in Rail’ Panel Discussion, moderated by Mary Proc, Vice President, Customer Service Delivery at Metrolinx and 2015 LRIW Outstanding Woman of the Year, was well attended by many railway enthusiasts. On this year’s panel was Carrie Budde of Budde Enterprises, Sally Boven, CEO of Reflective Apparel Factory, and Jessica Kramer, President & CEO of Diesel Supply Co., Inc.

Mary posed a variety of questions to the panelists that helped illustrate the successes, challenges, and opportunities faced at the helm of a business. The latter part of the discussion opened the floor to audience questions.

Closing the events of the day was a #WomenInRail networking reception sponsored by AREMA, in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the LRIW, entitled, “Celebrating Women in Rail – Past, Present & Future”. The evening’s special guest was Anamaria Bonilla P.E., Assistant Chief Engineer Track and Structures, Metro-North Railroad and 2016 LRIW Outstanding Woman of the Year.

Our feature speaker of day two was Shavon Lindley, Co-Founder and CEO Women Evolution. Shavon eloquently delivered two sessions directed towards the empowerment of people at all career levels. Her first session, Own Your Career – 3 Secrets to Advancement, was a showcase of Shavon’s first-hand experience interviewing 150 female executives and how they were successful while at the same time staying true to themselves. Her second session, Great Minds Think Unalike, was a powerful discussion designed to explain how to build a gender intelligent culture.

The afternoon included a facility tour of the Indiana Railroads Intermodal Terminal. In 2013, Indiana Rail Road and CN created an entrepreneurially-minded and unique intermodal partnership and is the only Class I with access to all three coasts (Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf).

View our full 2017 conference schedule [pdf]


2017 LRW Annual Conference



The LRIW would like to thank our generous 2017 Annual Conference Sponsors.


See you in 2018!

The LRIW 2018 Annual Conference will be held in conjunction with the RSI/CMA 2018 Rail Expo & Technical Conference from September 9-11, at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Annual Conference Archive

Check out the highlights from our past annual conferences.

LRIW Event Contact

For more information about our conferences and events, please contact events@railwaywomen.org.