2015 Annual Meeting (109th)

From July 12-15, 2015, the American Railway Development Association held its Annual Meeting at the Westin Denver Downtown in Denver, Colorado. The Annual Meeting began on the morning of Sunday, July 12 with an early-bird golf tournament. That evening featureed registration and a welcome reception at Denver's historic Union Station.

The Annual Meeting conference sessions and business meetings will began on Monday, July 13 and proceeded through July 14 up to the President's Annual Dinner. Throughout the meeting schedule, a silent auction was held with proceeds going to a Harvesters, a charity providing food assistance and nutritional counseling services in the Kansas City region. On the morning of July 15 we held a farewell breakfast, and auction winners will had the opportunity to pick up their winnings.

Hotel Information

The 2015 Annual Meeting was held at the Westin Denver Downtown hotel, conveniently located on Denver's 16th Street Mall with easy access to Union Station, the Denver Performing Artx Complex and more.


The Annual Meeting included presentations and panels on a variety of topics from July 13-14. See below for a list of topics and presentors or click here for a detailed schedule of events and speaker biographies. To read the Surface Transportation Board's Decision on Railroad Cost of Capital, please click here. Select presentations are available for download by current ARDA members at this link.

Conference Session 1 - Abandonments Panel

  • Lou Gitomer, Owner, Law Offices of Louis E. Gitomer, LLC
  • Pete Shudtz, General Counsel & VP Fed. Regulation, CSX Corporation

Conference Session 2 - Mineral Rights Panel

  • Matt Coffing, Manager, Trails and Natural Resources, CSX Real Property, Inc.
  • Dan Leis, General Director of Real Estate, Union Pacific
  • Marcy Rothman, Managing Director, Kane Russell Coleman & Logan, P.C.

Conference Session 3 - Offshore Rail Regulatory and Land Use Practices to Watch, Heed and Wonder

  • Jerry Johnson, JMJ Consulting

Conference Session 4 - Unmanned Aerial Systems: The Technology, Applications, and Legal Issues

  • Allen Bishop, CEO, Reference Technologies
  • James Mackler, Member, Bone McAllester Norton, PLLC

Conference Session 5 - Legal Updates

  • Pam Nehring, Partner, Daley Mohan Groble
  • Michael Wallenstein, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Conference Session 6 - Storm Water Fees

  • Matt Gernand, Environmental Attorney, Norfolk Southern Corp.
  • Tim Wippold, Vice President, ARCADIS

Conference Session 7 - NEPA Panel

  • Phillis Johnson-Ball, Deputy Director, Office of Environmental Analysis, Surface Transportation Board
  • Amanda Nesmith, Manager for Eastern VA, Maryland and Delaware, Norfolk Southern Corp.
  • Devin Sprinkle, Regional Manager, Environment (US), CN
  • Derin Warren, Mgr. Environmental Permitting & Sustainability, BNSF

Conference Session 8 - Colorado Rail/Transit Projects

  • Tim Eklund, VP of Logistics and Transload, OmniTRAX
  • Aaron Epstein, Executive Director, Denver Transit Partners

Conference Session 9 - Right-of-Way Surveying with LiDAR

  • Doug Morrison, Director Rail Division, Bartlett & West
  • Elizabeth Steel, Real Estate Director, Kansas City Southern

Conference Session 10 - Union Pacific Commuter Rail Project in Denver

  • Dan Leis, General Director of Real Estate, Union Pacific
  • Shane Orr, Partner, Husch Blackwell

Additionally, the Annual Meeting featured roundtable discussions on Utility Crossing Issues and Unmanned Aerial Systems on July 13.

Silent Auction for Charity

ARDA held a Silent Auction taking place throughout the Annual Meeting. The proceeds of the Silent Auction will be donated to the Harvesters Community Food Network. Harvesters' is a regional food bank serving 26 counties in northeastern Kansas and northwestern Missouri, including the Kansas City metropolitan area.

For more information on Harvesters' mission and programs please visit their website here.

Golf Tournament

The Early Bird Golf Tournament was held on the morning of July 12 at the Fox Hollow Golf Course in Lakewood, CO.


The 2015 ARDA Annual Meeting was held at the Westin Denver Downtown in Denver, CO from July 12-15, 2015.

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