Each year, the League of Railway Women honors an Outstanding Member of the Year, either individually or corporately, who has contributed their time and talents to improving the mission of LRW.
2018 Emilia Marceta, Metrolinx
2017 Kathee Fisk, GE Transportation
2016 Claire Tomlinson, L.B. Foster Rail Technologies Corp.
2015 Carol Steckbeck, Independent Media Consultant
2014 Amanda Patrick, Railway Supply Institute
2013 Kaleigh Reyes, GE Transportation
2012 Kathy Keeney, UBM Global
2011 Barbara Tumlin, Trinity Parts & Components
2010 Nancy Cieslak, Pittsburgh Pins
2010 Jessica Kramer Havens, Diesel Supply Company
2009 Victoria Anderson-Lytton, TTX Company
2009 Wendy Pickering, Gunderson
2008 Grace “Alex” Pascoe, Trinity Parts & Components
2007 Connie Sumara, Chicago Freight Car Leasing
2006 Victoria Bowermaster, A. Stucki
2005 Carol Weekley, BNSF
2004 Kelly Case, Control Chief
2003 Tracy DeLeon, CIT
2002 Victoria Anderson-Lytton, TTX Company
2001 Carol Brinkman
2000 Ann Zuhn, Texas Tank Car Works
1999 Pat Aubrey
1998 Gloria Ethridge, New York Air Brake
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Kathee Fisk, LRIW 2017 'Outstanding Member of the Year'
Kathee Fisk, Senior Customer Support Engineer, GE Transportation, was named the 2017 Outstanding Woman of the Year at this year's annual membership meeting held at Railway Interchange.
A well-respected member of the LRIW, Kathee has been involved in the LRIW for over 13 years, most recently completing a successful term as membership chair and commencing her new role as director.
"Kathee is a dedicated member of the LRIW and an asset to our board of directors," said LRIW Past President Jodi Heldt. "Her devotion to her work as membership chair has been profound. She is often the first point of contact for our new members - a role which she embraces with her genuine soft-spoken kindness and grace, as she welcomes women to the LRIW."
It is Kathee's profound industry insight that has truly shaped her vision for the LRIW in "creating a place for women to network and build lasting relationships, inside and outside of their own areas of expertise."
Kathee earned her railway acumen through her many years working in the industry. Starting her career as a general agent for the Ontario Midland Railroad in Sodus, NY, she went on to become office manager for the newly created Finger Lakes Railway in Geneva, NY, in July 1995, and was part of the start-up team.
In June 2007, Kathee moved to Atlanta, to accept a role in customer support with Railcar Management (RMI), predecessor to GE Transportation. In her current role with GE Transportation, she is responsible for managing car hire payables and interline revenue settlement for several client railroads.
To further enhance her appreciation for the industry and to stay up-to-date with current industry trends, Kathee is a company representative for various railway industry committees and is a member of the American Railway Development Association (ARDA).
Kathee was raised in Marion, New York located between Rochester and Syracuse, and Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. When Kathee isn't visiting family in New York, you will find her researching her family's history as an amateur genealogist or competing in a half-marathon - she's completed four to date in three different states, AZ, FL and NY.
LB Foster Rail Technologies Corp.’s Claire Tomlinson Named LRIW’s 2016 ‘Outstanding Member of the Year’Claire Tomlinson, LRIW 2016 ‘Outstanding Member of the Year’
It’s been a busy year for Claire Tomlinson, Office Manager for LB Foster Rail Technologies Corp. in Burnaby, British Columbia. The Canadian joined LRIW a year ago, was elected to the position of Events Chair on the LRIW board and immediately started making a difference in the organization. In recognition of her efforts, she was named the 2016 Member of the Year by Jodi Heldt, LRIW President at the Annual Members Meeting at the 2016 RSI/CMA Rail Expo & Technical Conference in Omaha, Nebraska on October 3, 2016..
The LRIW Member of the Year Award honors members who among other strengths, demonstrate a passion for the rail industry, dedication to leadership and support for the personal and professional growth of women in the rail industry, with a continued volunteer commitment to LRIW over the past year. The Award is traditionally presented at the annual membership meeting as a surprise to the recipient. Claire made a short acceptance speech after being named as this year’s recipient and then resumed her role with the conference program.
Excelling in her role as Event Chair, Tomlinson organized the LRIW’s spring Railroad Day on the Hill reception in Washington, DC, and led her committee in planning the program for LRIW’s Annual Conference in Omaha in October. Planning the successful two-day conference involved inviting speakers, finding new sponsors, and coordinating two off-site events, a walking tour of downtown Omaha and a special tour of the Union Pacific headquarters and Harriman Dispatch Center.
Amanda Patrick, LRIW Secretary and Vice President of Trade Shows & Member Relations with the Railway Supply Institute, who nominated Tomlinson for the award, said, “It can be daunting to join a board not knowing much about the organization, but since day one Claire has been curious and eager to help improve events for LRIW.
“I continue to be impressed by her work ethic on a volunteer board and her commitment to women in our industry in general. She has the enthusiasm needed to move LRIW to a new level. In particular, I’ve been struck by her willingness to step up and improve LRIW – she is almost fearless in her efforts,” Patrick stated.
Tomlinson is an administrator with 20 years of combined experience in culinary arts, travel, legal, client services, customer support, Human Resources and administrative arenas. She recently celebrated 10 years with LB Foster, where she provides administrative support to high-level executives, coordinating communication and efficiency throughout the company, and also acts as an HR liaison for the company’s Burnaby office. Over her 20-year career, she has held various positions including payroll and permits and licensing clerk, client service support, chef, travel agent, legal assistant, executive assistant and office manager.
Tomlinson attended Capilano University and the Culinary Arts program at Vancouver Community College, where she unleashed her inner chef. She began her career with the City of Vancouver, then worked in professional kitchens in Europe. Upon her return to Vancouver she branched into the travel business and then transitioned into the legal field before finding her home in 2006 with Kelsan Technologies (which was bought by LB Foster) as an executive assistant. She celebrated 10 years this July with LB Foster. She resides in North Vancouver with her husband and two daughters.
Pictured: (l-r) Susan Robertson and Kaleigh Reyes, LRIW Board Members with the Outstanding Member of the Year, Carol Steckbeck
LRIW announced Carol Steckbeck, a media consultant for the Railway Supply Institute and exhibition sponsorship manager for Railway Interchange 2015, as the Outstanding Member of the Year.
Carol has been such a huge help to LRIW this year,” said Amanda Patrick, LRIW Secretary, “from sending out press releases, promoting us through social media, to helping with our annual conference agenda. She’s really gone the extra mile to improve the visibility of our organization. We are thankful for her help and expertise.”
Carol is an independent media consultant for the Railway Supply Institute, Railway Interchange and Operation Lifesaver Inc. Her experience in the industry goes back to her time at the Association of American Railroads when she worked in the communications department.