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2019 Annual Meeting

February 27 - February 28


Save the dates, February 27 – 28, 2019, to attend SWARS’ 2019 Annual Meeting

Agenda  Meeting Registrants – Last Name Meeting Registrants – Company Alpha RR101 Course Syllabus Presentations

Our meeting was held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in The Woodlands, TX on February 27-28, 2019.

We had 735 registered attendees, our largest meeting in the history of SWARS.  Wednesday began with a golf outing at The Golf Trails at The Woodlands where our members competed on 36 holes.  (We sold out both courses.)  We also held our RR 101 Educational Course, Introduction to Railroad Operations; 78 registered to attend.

In addition to our meeting on Thursday, we also held a ‘Trade Show’ where 32 vendors, 3rd parties and others set up tables to promote their products and/or services throughout the day.

Thanks to all who particiated in our meeting; an extra special thanks for the 203 first time attendees!

We also want to thank our Sponsors; i.e. Annual, Event and Golf Sponsors for their generous contributions to SWARS.  We greatly appreciate their support!!


Event Speakers

Our lineup of speakers includes leaders in the rail transportation community!

Jim Vena 2019 Website
Jim Vena

Chief Operating Officer; Union Pacific Railroad

Jim Vena was named Chief Operating Officer in January 2019. Vena will lead all aspects of Union Pacific’s operations, including Unified Plan 2020 implementation, the company’s new operating plan that launched in October 2018. Prior to joining Union Pacific, Vena...

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Lee McPheters 2019 Website
Lee McPheters, PhD

Director, JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center; Research Professor of Economics; W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University

Lee McPheters is Research Professor of Economics in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and Director of the school’s JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center. The Center specializes in economic forecasts for the nation, Arizona, and...

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Monica Freeman 2019 Website
Monica Freeman

Manager Multi-Modal Transportation; Nestle Purina Petcare Company

Monica Freeman joined Nestle Purina Petcare Company in January 2017 as Multi-modal Transportation Manager. Based at the corporate headquarters in St. Louis, MO, she has responsibility for the corporate rail and transload strategy for seventeen (17) sites across the United...

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Anthony Robles 821510 website
Anthony Robles

• 3-time wrestling All-American and the 2011 NCAA Division I National Champion • Two Time ESPY Award Recipient, Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and Best Male Athlete with a Disability • Nationally renowned motivational speaker to Fortune 500 companies •...

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Brian Hancock 2019 Website
Brian D. Hancock

Executive Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer; Kansas City Southern

Brian Hancock is executive vice president and chief innovation officer of Kansas City Southern (KCS) (NYSE: KSU). In this role, he leads the development of KCS’ innovation technology strategy, as well as the company’s operations support, business process improvement, and...

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Kevin Shuba 2019 Website
Kevin Shuba

Chief Executive Officer; OmniTRAX, Inc.

Kevin Shuba is Chief Executive Officer of OmniTRAX, Inc., one of North America’s largest privately held transportation services companies. He oversees the company’s Short Line Railroads, Port and Terminal operations, OmniTRAX Energy Solutions and Industrial Real Estate. Prior to OmniTRAX,...

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Jeff Van Schaick 2019 website
Jeff Van Schaick

Assistant Vice President of Government Affairs; Genesse & Wyoming Railroad Services

Jeff Van Schaick is the AVP of Government Affairs for Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services and responsible for state and local government affairs covering G&W's western states. In this role he has successfully worked with state legislatures to advance and...

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Randy Thomure 2019 Website
Randall Thomure

Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs; Railway Supply Institute

Randall Thomure, Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs with Railway Supply Institute, has a long history in the rail transportation industry starting with a Class I railroad, three major rail car leasing companies and two rail car builders. While at...

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Jim Richards 2019 Website
Jim Richards

Principal and Director; Cornerstone Government Affairs

Jim Richards, a Cornerstone Principal and Director, joined the firm in 2005 after serving in both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. Since joining the Cornerstone family, Jim has successfully managed and advised a diverse set of...

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Mike Smith 2019 Website
Mike Smith

Principal and Director; Cornerstone Government Affairs

As a principal and director at Cornerstone Government Affairs, Mike advises a broad array of non-profit, corporate and tribal entities on a wide range of issues before the federal government including education, health care, aviation, rail, tax, technology, international relations,...

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John Schmitter

President & Founder - KEP LLC

John is the President and founder of transportation consulting firm KEP LLC.  John works with industrial companies, energy producers, transportation companies and government agencies on transportation issues including transportation strategy, transportation rate and contract negotiations, rail cost analysis, rail and...

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February 27
February 28


Jack Dail
SWARS Rail Shippers

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