2015 Executive Forum

The 2015 ARDA Executive Forum took place on January 27-28, 2015 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Forum will start at noon (12 pm) on Tuesday, January 27 and will end by noon (12 pm) on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. There will be a networking reception on Tuesday night.

The theme of the event was "The Changing Face of Business", a timely topic as New Orleans plays a key role in freight rail transportation.

The New Orleans metro area has six Class I railroads operating in North America, including the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF), Canadian National (CN), CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern (KCS), Norfolk Southern (NS), and Union Pacific (UP). Combined, these six Class I railroads offer connections to 132,000 miles of track across the United States and Canada. Each railroad also operates a intermodal freight terminal within the region. The Port of New Orleans is served by all six Class I railroads.

Program - Session Topics and Speakers

The 2015 Executive Forum featured speakers from all over the railroad industry. Some speakers did not use slides or are unable to share their presentations publically due to confidential content. Presentations that are available may be found by current ARDA members at this link.

Economic Development Committee

Economic Development Project Lessons Learned

Stephanie Johnson, Director, Carload Sales, Florida East Coast Railway, ARDA First Vice President
Mike Ray, MBA, CPA and Manager of Economic Development, BNSF, ARDA Economic Development Committee Vice Chair
Vern Van de Loo, President, Mountain States Contracting, Inc.

Port of New Orleans Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal Improvements

Andree Fant, Deputy Director of Operations Division - General Operations & Cranes, Port of New Orleans
Robert Humbert, PE, Vice President Freight Rail Market Sector, AECOM
Jonathan McArthur, Sr. Project Manager, AECOM

Environmental Committee

Critical Facilities Resiliency and Response Measures

Karen Parsons, Principal Planner, New Orleans Regional Planning Commission
Gary Rozmus, Senior Consultant, GEI Consultants, ARDA Secretary-Treasurer 
Erich Schmitz, Senior Water Resources Project Manager, HDR
Alan Sisk, Director Technical Services, NS, ARDA Second Vice President

Law Committee

Eminent Domain: Appropriate Appropriation by Railroads, Ports, Agencies and Other Statutory Creatures

Kevin Baldwin, Daley Mohan Groble
Bruce V. Schewe, Partner, Phelps Dunbar LLP

Significant Developments for Utilities in Railroad Rights of Way: Valuation and BLM Interpretation of Congressional Land Grants

Michael Wallenstein, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Real Estate Committee

Debunking the Myths Associated with Utility Crossings in Public Right-of-Ways

David Drach, Director Real Estate - U.S., Canadian Pacific, ARDA Past President
Dave Elder, Director Corridor Occupancy Services, CSX
Bob Fronczak, Assistant Vice President Environment & Hazmat, Association of American Railroads
Paul Kaufmann, Project Manager, AECOM
Bob Ledoux, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Florida East Coast Railway
Renay Robison, Director - Real Estate, Union Pacific Railroad

Technology Committee

3D Project Visualization: Permitting, Stakeholder Engagement, Operations and Beyond

Rick Lovel, Visualization Manager/Professional Associate, HDR 

Locomotive Interactive Simulation Software

Steven Scruggs, Manager of Train Operating Practices, NS

Click here for the full program in pdf format.

Quick Links

Registration List


The 2015 ARDA Executive Forum was held at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, LA from January 27-28, 2015.

To view a list of those already registered for the Executive Forum, click here.


Click here to view the program for the 2015 Executive Forum!

Members Only