Shipper Takes Chair of Rail Advisory Panel

A panel that brings together rail officials, some of their customers and government officials to help shape U.S. freight policies has shipper Terry Voss of the Ag Processing grain cooperative taking the helm as chairman.

The Railroad-Shipper Transportation Advisory Council meets periodically at the Surface Transportation Board, to offer industry views to the STB chairman, secretary of transportation and the transportation committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Its rotating membership reflects both small and large railroads, and small and large shippers. Last fall it released a "white paper" that urged Congress to make no more than mild changes in regulation of railroads, on a majority vote that indicated not all members signed on. Some shipper sources outside RSTAC later complained that it is a railroad-dominated panel.

Voss is Ag-Pro's senior vice president for rail-truck transportation, and last year served as RSTAC secretary. He follows Rick Webb, CEO of the Watco group of short line railroads, as chairman.

This year's vice chairman is J. Reilly McCarren, who chairs the board of short line Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, and held that same RSTAC post last year. The new secretary is another shipper, Bruce Ridley, who is a mill manager for Packaging Corp. of America.

The STB said this year's other RSTAC members are:

--Eric Butler, vice president and general manager for industrial products, Union Pacific Railroad

--Roger Fray, vice president for grain, West Coast Central Cooperative

--J. J. Keever, deputy executive director, Virginia Port Authority

--D. J. Kratzberg, rail transportation manager, Exxon Mobil

--Henry Lampe, president, Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad

--John Levine, president, Pinsly Railroad

--Leslie Moll, manager of logistics and external processing, ArcelorMittal USA

--Dean Piacente, vice president for chemicals and fertilizer sales and marketing, CSX Transportation

--Peter A. Weiss, director, worldwide transportation and logistics, Chrysler

--Gary G. White, president and CEO, International Resource Partners

--Owen Zidar, vice president for sales and marketing, carload business unit, Kansas City Southern Railway.

For more RSTAC information, see

- John D. Boyd, The Journal of Commerce Online.