2017 Executive Forum

Get Connected

The 2017 ARDA Executive Forum kicked off our theme of "Get Connected," meant to highlight the importance of both our 2017 event sites (Atlanta and Memphis) to the national rail network and the opportunity for all ARDA members and event attendees to connect with fellow members of the railroad industry. Our final attendee list for the Forum can be found here.


The 2017 ARDA Executive Forum took place on January 24-25, 2017 at Norfolk Southern's Goode Building (1200 Peachtree St NE) in Atlanta, Georgia. The full Forum program can be downloaded here. On Tuesday (January 24) the Forum began with lunch and registration at 11:30am, feature our education program through the afternoon, and end with a reception paired with tours of Norfolk Southern's Enterprise Command Center and Locomotive Control Center. Wednesday (January 25) featured further presentations and panels in the morning, with the Executive Forum adjourning at Noon.

The Executive Forum featured presentations on a number of timely issues within the railroad industry. These include:

  • Avoiding Disconnections from Rising Tides, featuring Sam Merrill (GEI Consultants)
  • Creating Value from Surplus Property, a panel to be moderated by Mark Alvarez (Director, Surplus Property Program at ARCADIS), and featuring Malcolm Roop (Director Real Estate at NS)
  • Connecting the Industry Through GIS, featuring presentations from Abby Clark (GIS Consultant at Railinc) and Raquel Wright (GIS Program Manager at FRA)
  • Connecting with the Legislative Process: Push for Utility Crossing Legislation, featuring Ann Kennedy (Attorney at Law) and Kim Bongiovanni (Senior Counsel at CSX)
  • Helping the Public Get Connected to Rail, with presentations from Meaghan Atkinson (Manager Environmental Programs and Sustainability at CSX), Matt Graham (Director Environmental Real Estate at BNSF), Kari Harris (Regional Manager, Environmental Impact (US) at CN), and Esi Langston (Manager Corporate Sustainability at NS)
  • Sources of Funding for Economic Development Projects, with presentations from Chuck Baker (Partner at Chambers, Conlon & Hartwell), John Trent (Senior Director, Strategic Operations and Safety at the Georgia Ports Authority), and J. Lee Hutchins, Jr. (Director – Freight Logistics and Planning at AECOM)

Additionally, three roundtable discussions were hosted by our Topic Sections. They are:

  • Best Practices in Economic Development
  • Unmanned Systems and their Impact on Environmental Services
  • Utility Crossings


The 2017 ARDA Executive Forum was held at the Norfolk Southern Goode Building (1200 Peachtree St NE) in Atlanta, GA from January 24-25, 2017

Quick Links