2018 Annual Conference

2018 Annual Conference

Our stompin’ grounds for this year’s LRW Annual Conference was overflowing with southern charm, honky tonkin’ and “y’alls”!

Held in conjunction with the RSI/CMA 2018 Rail Expo & Technical Conference from September 9-11 at Music City Center in Nashville, TN, the conference program featured presentations from a diverse group of speakers from across the industry on a variety of topics.
During the RSI/CMA General Session & Keynote Address, held on September 10, Tanis Peterson, President, League of Railway Women (LRW), named Corina Moore, President and CEO, Ontario Northland, as the 2018 LRW Outstanding Woman of the Year. “Under Corina's leadership as the first female president and CEO of a major Canadian Railway, Ontario Northland underwent the most significant transformation in its history,” said Amanda Patrick, Vice President, LRW. “Recently, Corina was the first woman to be appointed to the Railway Association of Canada's Board of Directors.” This award, co-sponsored by Progressive Railroading, has recognized 21 outstanding industry leaders, since its inception in 1998. View the awards presentation here. 

Ronald Batory, Administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration, presented this year’s keynote address. In his presentation, Batory spoke about the state of the rail industry and plans for future transportation projects and regulations. 

LRW Program Schedule

This year’s conference theme was connecting and cultivating women in rail, and featured presentations about everything from career development to mitigating beaver damn damage. 
  • Roquita Coleman Williams, Manager Supply Chain Solutions, and Alice Peres da Silva, Senior Manager of CN Brokerage, both of CN Rail, started of this year’s conference program with an inspiring talk about, “Cultivating a Rail Career Through: Entrepreneurship, Collaboration and Engagement”. The presentation featured insight into CN, its investments in capital, labor and training, and their evolution from “railroading thinking” to “supply chain & roundtrip thinking”. See Roquita and Alice’s presentation here. 
  • Shannon Emberly, Manager Production, Engineering, CN Rail, delivered an extremely insightful presentation about CN safety technology, which included an overview of cutting-edge technologies and efforts used to make freight and passenger rail safer. Shannon spoke about the geo-hazard risk management program at CN and some of the technologies used to monitor the thousands of miles of track CN operates on each day. See Shannon’s presentation here. 
  • Nicole Jackson, Assistant Vice President – Engineering Services, CTC, Inc., tested the audiences’ awareness with her presentation, “Awareness, Railroads, and the Rest of Your Life”. Her talk focused on the decisions that occur before, during and after a possible collision at a grade crossing and how being conscious of your surroundings at all times is critical. See Nicole’s presentation here
  • Jenny Carr, President, L&W Industries, LLC., challenged us to “Throw Yourself in the Deep End”, and discussed how to survive and succeed in your career when you aren't exactly sure what you're doing or what's next. She explained how it is possible to grow and achieve more than you have ever dreamed possible. See Jenny’s presentation here
  • Karen Hankinson, Vice President, RailPros, Inc. represented the LRW as she presented in the expo hall as part of the first-ever Rail Learning Lab sessions. Karen’s presentation focused on strategies for working with public agencies to enhance safety at grade crossings. See Karen’s presentation here.
  • Alison Brayman, Assistant Chief Engineer – Testing and Commissioning, Canadian Pacific Railway, delivered a presentation about what CP has done to update testing processes within Signals and Communications (S&C) and highlighted the successes and challenges throughout the project. See Alison’s presentation here
At this year’s annual membership meeting, Emilia Marceta, Project Coordinator, Metrolinx and LRW Public Relations & Outreach Chair was named the LRW Outstanding Member of the Year.

Due to popular demand, we held two panel discussions at this year’s conference – one on each day of the program. 

Colleen Leonardo, Project Coordinator, PNR Railworks, Inc., moderated the first session entitled, “Connecting & Cultivating Women in Rail – Mentorship, Career Paths & Development”. The panel featured Anna B. Albers, Senior Engineer – Track, Amtrak, Lauren Sullivan, Manager – Shortline Development, Union Pacific, and Erica Sander, PAC Manager – Public Affairs Specialist, Trinity Industries, Inc. See the moderator's notes here

Anamaria Bonilla P.E., Assistant Chief Engineer, Metro North Railway and 2016 LRW Outstanding Woman of the Year moderated the second session called, “Connecting & Cultivating Women in Rail – Diversity in the Rail Industry”. The panelists included Katie Hadenfeldt, Senior Vice President, Sales, GATX Rail North America, Debbie Taylor, Executive Recruiter, Edna A. Rice, Executive Recruiters, Inc., and Stephanie Noel, Vice President of Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer, CSXSee the moderator's notes here. 

Both sessions were very interactive and well attended. Check out our Facebook page to see video highlights from both sessions.

On Tuesday, September 11, the LRW organized a tour of CSX’s Radnor Yard. Open to all RSI/CMA conference participants, the group was welcomed by Jane Covington, Resident Vice President, State Government Affairs, CSX Transportation before boarding a bus and touring the yard. 

Radnor Yard, formerly Sidco Yard, served as a WWII staging area for goods and supplies shipped overseas. Today, Radnor’s hump terminal, auto facility and intermodal yard handle various commodities from the US, Canada, Mexico and overseas. The yard is situated on 517 acres, one of CSXT’s top ten terminals, and one of the largest classification yards in the South. 

View our full 2018 conference package [pdf]

View our full 2018 conference program [pdf]

View our full 2018 conference program (RSI) 


See you in 2019!

Our 2019 Annual Conference will be held in conjunction with Railway Interchange 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota from September 22-25, 2019.

Annual Conference Archive

Check out the highlights from our past annual conferences.

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