USA: Operation Lifesaver elects new officers

22 Nov

LXinfoImage1218-OLI Barringer-Rose-StaytonWilliam “Bill” Barringer, director of grade crossing safety at Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS), was named chairman of Operation Lifesaver’s 14-member board of directors last week. Cliff Stayton, director of hazardous materials programs at CSX, stepped down as chairman of the rail crossing safety non-profit’s board.

Clyde J. Hart, Jr., who has served on the board since 2007, was re-elected as vice-chairman, and Steven Neubauer, a board member since 2012, was elected secretary-treasurer. At its November 13th, 2013 meeting, the board also welcomed new members Scott Sauer, South-eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s director of system safety; Shayne Gill, program manager at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO); and Michael Logue, Amtrak’s chief safety officer.

“Rail traffic and passenger rail ridership have been expanding exponentially in the United States, giving Operation Lifesaver a clear mandate to provide newer and more creative rail safety education to the general public,” said Barringer. “I’m pleased to lead the organization to the next level and toward its goal of reaching more than 3 million new people.”

Barringer, known affectionately throughout the Operation Lifesaver community as the “Honey Badger” for his fearless leadership style, began his career as a conductor nearly 40 years ago with the Penn Central Railroad in Cincinnati, Ohio, and through a series of consolidations and mergers moved to NS in 1998. He has been involved with Operation Lifesaver since 1979 and served on its National Advisory Council (NAC) prior to joining the board in 2012.

Cliff Stayton led Operation Lifesaver at a critical point in the organization’s history and is credited with leading an effort to improve the organization’s financial footing and setting measurable goals to improve its profile. Though his responsibilities at CSX have shifted from public safety to hazmat, he pledged to continue his connection with Operation Lifesaver by becoming an authorized volunteer.

“Cliff Stayton is an OL treasure,” said Joyce Rose. “I can’t thank him enough for his thoughtful leadership, his practical advice and the terrific energy that he brought to reinvigorate Operation Lifesaver. He will be sorely missed.”

Operation Lifesaver’s board typically consists of railroad safety chiefs, a transit representative, a state coordinator, NAC’s chair and vice-chair and representatives from OLI partner organizations.

Three new board members were formally elected on Nov. 13. Scott Sauer was appointed to the board on the recommendation of the American Public Transportation Association in August, but he along with Gill and Logue attended their first board meeting on Nov. 13. Sauer replaces Paul O’Brien, of the Utah Transit Authority. Gill, who replaced retired board member R. Leo Penne of AASHTO, is a member of the policy and government relations staff for AASHTO and serves as the liaison to the Standing Committee on Aviation, Standing Committee on Rail Transportation, Standing Committee on Public Transportation and the High Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Leadership Group.

Logue replaces board member Polly Hanson, Amtrak’s chief of police. Logue is responsible for the safety activities and standards of Amtrak departments, including the railroad’s Safe-2-Safer behavior-based cultural safety program. In addition, he oversees Amtrak compliance with safety regulations and participation in current and emerging industry safety practices.

Terry Ludban, a member of NAC and CSX’s new director of community affairs and safety, has also been appointed to the board and will attend his first meeting in February 2014. A representative appointed by Kansas City Southern has yet to be named.

“We really couldn’t ask for a more terrific team,” said Rose. “Our board is knowledgeable, engaged and committed to the fight against bad behavior around railroad property. We expect to do great things under the leadership of this board.”

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