Upcoming Meetings

2016 Winter Meeting

January 12-14, 2016
The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
70 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: 630-719-8000   Reservations: 888-627-9031

Advance Notice Winter Meeting 2016:
Please plan on joining us on the dates of January 13 & 14, 2016 to attend the 246th meeting of the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers. The early registration fee is $225 which includes 2016 dues. There will be a “Get Acquainted” pre reception on the evening of January 12. No refunds after December 28, 2014

Our conference is scheduled for a full day on January 13th, including breakfast, lunch and an evening reception, and a half day, including breakfast, on the 14th. Dress code is business casual. Networking tables will be available for distribution of your company’s information. We have increased our networking time but will still have a full agenda.

The full agenda will be available soon. We are proud to announce that we will be addressed by Mr. Daniel Elliott III, Chairman, STB, Mr. Lance Fritz, Chairman, President and CEO of the UP, Mr. Ed Hamberger, President and CEO of the AAR, Mr. Pat Ottensmeyer, President, KCS Mr. Tom Sanderson, CEO, Transplace, Pat Thomas, Vice Chairman, ATA. A legislative update will be provided jointly by representatives of the AAR and NITL.

This January we hosting six breakout sessions suitable for transportation execs as well as people new to the industry: Railroading 101, Railroading 201, Intermodal 101, Railcar Fleet Management, Transloading 101 and Industrial Plant Safety by Design & Training. There is no charge for these seminars and it is not necessary to attend the conference to attend the seminar, so please invite anyone you feel may benefit from this subject matter.

You can register on line at MwRailShippers.com; or you can also register using the attached form.

The hotel has allocated a block of rooms available from January 11th through January 14th at a preferred rate of $137, single or double, including internet access. There is a three day cancellation clause in our contract. You can reserve your room on line at StarWoodMeeting.com

Cutoff date for the preferred rate is December 28, 2015.

For those of you that were unable to attend our meeting in July, we had an excellent program and speakers resulting in attendance records and positive feedback from those in attendance. We believe we have another noteworthy program lined up for January.

Please join our new Linkedin group at Linkedin.com

Also, please visit our website at MwRailShippers.com. We invite you to review the site and take note of the increased content including additional information about our sponsors.

We look forward to seeing you in January.

George Macko

MARS is proud to advise the following industry executives have agreed to address our group at our January 2016 Meeting:

Daniel R. Elliott III, Chairman, Surface Transportation Board

Chairman Daniel R. Elliott III was nominated to the Surface Transportation Board by President Barack Obama on January 13, 2015, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 22, 2015, and was sworn in as the Board’s chairman on June 26, 2015 for a term of office expiring December 31, 2018. This is Chairman Elliott’s second term at the Board, having previously served as the agency’s chairman from August 13, 2009 until December 31, 2014. 

Chairman Elliott brings to the Board two decades of experience as an attorney, including 16 years litigating in the transportation field. Since first coming to the STB in 2009, Elliott has moved quickly to bring more openness to the agency. He has held public oral arguments on important cases, conducted numerous public hearings concerning important railroad-transportation rate and service matters, and is following through on President Obama’s push for government transparency. Chairman Elliott ensures that the Board communicates effectively with all of its stakeholders, including Members of Congress and federal officials; state, local and community leaders; transportation industry participants and shipper interests, as well as the general public. 

Chairman Elliott had led the Board to become a true forum for shippers and railroads to resolve disputes without litigation when possible. Under Chairman Elliott’s leadership, the Board has promoted its dispute-arbitration system, bolstered the STB’s informal dispute resolution process, and expanded the agency’s Rail Customer and Public Assistance Program. 

Within the Board, Chairman Elliott has implemented workplace policies that facilitate an open-door management environment, encourage creativity, and recognize and reward innovation. This workplace environment not only helps to retain skilled and dedicated workers, but also aids in the recruiting of the top-tier job candidates that are important to the agency’s mission. Under his leadership, the Board has been ranked the “Number 1” small federal agency by the Partnership for Public Service in its Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings for the last five years. 

Prior to joining the Board Chairman Elliott served (since 1993) as associate general counsel to the United Transportation Union. At the UTU, he practiced before the STB, as well as the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board. Earlier, Chairman Elliott worked in private practice in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. handling a variety of litigation matters. 

Chairman Elliott was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1962 and grew up in Cleveland. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985 with a degree in political science and earned a law degree from Ohio State College of Law in 1989.

Lance M. Fritz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Union Pacific Railroad

Lance M. Fritz was elected president and chief executive officer of Union Pacific February 5, 2015. He also was elected to the corporation’s board of directors.

Since February 2014, he had served as president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Railroad, with previous service as executive vice president-Operations and vice president-Labor Relations. He began his career with Union Pacific in Marketing and Sales as vice president and general manager-Energy.
Before joining Union Pacific, Fritz worked for Fiskars, Inc., Cooper Industries, and General Electric. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and earned a master’s degree in management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

He serves on a number of industry boards and committees, is chairman of the United Way of the Midlands board of directors and serves on the Omaha Symphony board of directors.

He and his wife Julie have two children and are committed to helping women and children at risk in the Omaha community.

Edward R. Hamberger President and CEO, Association of American Railroads

Since 1998, Ed Hamberger has served as president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Railroads. With more than thirty years of combined experience in private legal practice and the legislative and executive branches of the United States government, Hamberger, considered one of Washington's most-effective transportation policy advocates, works with member railroads to ensure the continued viability of America's freight railroad industry. 




Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, President, Kansas City Southern

Patrick J. Ottensmeyer serves as president of Kansas City Southern (KCS), responsible for sales, marketing and operations in the U.S. and Mexico.  He was promoted to this position in February 2015 and previously served as executive vice president sales and marketing.

Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., KCS is a transportation holding company that has railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico and Panama.  Its primary U.S. holding is The Kansas City Southern Railway Company, serving the central and south central U.S.  Its international holdings include Kansas City Southern de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. serving northeastern and central Mexico and the port cities of Lázaro Cárdenas, Tampico and Veracruz, and a 50 percent interest in Panama Canal Railway Company, providing ocean-to-ocean freight and passenger service along the Panama Canal.  KCS' North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a NAFTA Railway system, linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.                       

Ottensmeyer joined KCS in May 2006 as the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.  Prior to his employment at KCS, he served from 2000 to 2006 as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Intranasal Therapeutics, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company. 

From 1993 to 1999, he was vice president finance and treasurer for Santa Fe Pacific Corp and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

Earlier in his career, Ottensmeyer held executive positions at Security Pacific National Bank and Bank of America, including the position of senior vice president and head of the corporate banking group in New York.

Ottensmeyer holds a bachelor of science in finance from Indiana University.  He is affiliated with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, Traffic Club of Chicago and KC SmartPort, and serves on the finance advisory board of DePaul University.

Tom Sanderson, Chief Executive Officer, Transplace

A 34-year veteran in the logistics technology, third party logistics (3PL), and transportation industries, Mr. Sanderson is CEO of Transplace, a premier provider of transportation management services, intermodal, truck brokerage and hspace="6"SaaS TMS solutions. He is the author of the Transplace Blog, regularly writing and reporting on economic and legislative changes related to transportation. Prior to joining Transplace, Mr. Sanderson was president and CEO of Clicklogistics, which he sold to BNSF and YRC. Mr. Sanderson was co-owner and president of PTCG, Inc., the company that invented optimization-based transportation procurement with its OptiBid software. He sold PTCG to Sabre, who sold it as Logistics.com, and it is now operated as part of Manhattan Associates.

Mr. Sanderson worked eight years in the trucking industry, serving as president of J.B. Hunt Special Commodities, Inc., Vice President of Marketing for J. B. Hunt Transport, and Vice President of J. B. Hunt Logistics (now Transplace). He held marketing and IT roles at Schneider National. He has six years of consulting experience with Mercer Management Consulting and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). Mr. Sanderson was the key contributor in Transplace’s sale to Greenbriar Equity Partners in 2013, which was a strategic acquisition by a firm with strong networks and experience in the transportation industry.

Pat Thomas, Chairman of the American Trucking Association

Pat Thomas is Vice President of Global Public Affairs for UPS.

As Senior Vice President of State Government Affairs, Pat oversees all state legislative, regulatory and political activities for the U.S. In this role, Pat directs a team of state and local public affairs managers across the country. He also oversees the UPS Congressional Awareness Program, a comprehensive grassroots program designed to strengthen UPS’s relationships with Members of Congress in their home district.

Pat is currently Chairman of the American Trucking Associations, the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight.

Pat began his career with UPS in 1985 as a seasonal delivery driver. Since then, he held senior positions in operations and human resources before joining the public affairs group in 1998, where he first managed public affairs issues in the western region. In 2002, Pat was selected to join the public affairs group in Washington, D.C., where he assumed responsibility for developing and managing UPS’s state-level policy strategy. He also assumed a special assignment, leading UPS’s international group where he oversaw a team of international policy managers and advocacy for issues such as trade facilitation, customs and international aviation.

Before joining UPS, Pat worked as a commercial pilot for various private corporations flying both people and cargo to airports throughout the U.S. He is also a certified flight instructor and has trained pilots. He earned a B.S. in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University.

Pat is married to Kathy and they have three children.


July 11-12, 2016 Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI
January 11–12, 2017 Hilton’s Oak Brook Hills Resort, Oak Brook, IL
July 10–11, 2017 Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI
January 17–18, 2018 Hilton’s Oak Brook Hills Resort, Oak Brook, IL
July 16–17, 2018 Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, WI