Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) recently named John Giles president and chief executive officer by FEC’s parent company, Fortress Investment Group. The Surface Transportation Board granted authority for Fortress to exercise control over FEC effective as of October 29, 2007. Giles is also president and CEO of RailAmerica, another Fortress holding. "I have long been an admirer of the Florida East Coast Railway with its strong tradition of safety, service, and customer care," said Giles. "FEC is an excellent railroad with the best rail franchise in the State of Florida, one of the fastest-growing markets in the country." David J. Rohal has been named vice president of FEC and will assume responsibility for supervising all FEC operations. Rohal is also vice president of RailAmerica with over 23 years of railroad industry experience across many disciplines. "I look forward to working alongside all FEC employees, who share the same high standards of safety and operating excellence as the employees at RailAmerica," said Rohal. John McPherson, who has led FEC since 1999, will provide assistance to Giles and Rohal to accomplish the leadership transition and retire with over 39 years of service to the railroad industry. "I am honored to follow such a respected railroad leader," said Rohal.

GATX Corp. has promoted Thomas Clark from corporate account manager to regional vice president-sales for the Midwest sales office. He will be responsible for rail-car leasing customers in North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. Clark joined GATX in 1998 as a rail-car fleet manager in portfolio management. He previously held various positions at GE Capital and Akzo Nobel Inc., and managed Chicago intermodal terminal operations for Union Pacific Railroad.

Helm Financial Corp. recently made a number of management changes - none bigger than Chief Executive Officer John Dains relinquishing his role as president to Courtney Williams. The company appointed Williams, most recently senior vice president of operations, president and chief operating officer. She joined Helm in 1996 after serving in various roles for BancBoston Leasing and had been responsible for Helm's rail-car fleet, locomotive logistics, and the car repair, inspection and maintenance departments.Helm also named:

  • Joseph McKenney, executive vice president-strategy;

  • Joseph Lencewicz III, EVP and chief commercial officer;

  • Bradley Wind, senior VP and director of marketing;

  • Francois Bernard, SVP-locomotives;

  • Federico Fernandez, VP of operations;

  • Jason Zimmerman, VP of marketing;

  • Jay Moskowitz, VP of finance; and

  • David Zahrobsky, VP and chief information officer.

MHF Logistical Solutions Inc. (MHF-LS) recently named transportation industry veteran Tom Piatak president and chief executive officer. Piatak will oversee all business operations for the logistics services provider, including business development, finance and administration, project development and safety and quality assurance. Prior to joining MHF-LS, Piatak was president and chief operations officer for VEXURE, a privately held transportation and logistics provider specializing in transportation management, intermodal operations, contract logistics and expedited transportation. His resumé also includes executive-level management roles with Infinium Software, where he was vice president of sales and marketing-transportation, and more than nine years with CSX Transportation's CSX TransFlo, where he served as assistant VP of sales and marketing.

The New York & Atlantic Railway Co. (NY&A) recently promoted Paul Victor from general superintendent to president. Mark Westerfield, a former general superintendent who had been serving as acting president since Fred Krebs retired in April, now will become superintendent of mechanical.Victor joined the 269-mile short line — an Anacostia & Pacific Co. Inc. affiliate that serves Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island — in 2006. He has 18 years' experience managing Latin American and African railroads, and directed the first major privatization of freight service in Argentina and first privatization of commuter-rail service in Buenos Aires. Victor also co-founded Iowa Interstate Railroad Ltd. and headed operational planning for the Illinois Central Railroad. NY&A also promoted Joel Torres from director of marketing to chief transportation and commercial officer. Since joining the short line as a trainmaster/road foreman when the railroad launched operations in 1997, he has served stints as director of transportation and marketing director.

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