CARS National Railway Day 2022
National Railway Day 2022 took place on November 1st & 2nd, 2022 at Hyatt Regency in Calgary, Alberta!
The theme for the conference was "Building the Future of Rail".
This year the CARS' team is working hard to make this event as sustainable as possible. ?
CARS Annual Awards
This award recognizes initiatives in people safety, innovation, technological advancements, outstanding achievements, and any other
positive influence a supplier has brought forward to improve the overall safety of the railway industry.
This award was established to recognize and celebrate businesses that champion diversity in their companies, and leaders for
developing and cultivating diversity strategies in their organization, in addition to communicating the rationale for these strategies to employees.
This award is for members that developed advanced or innovative technologies to meet the needs of the rail industry.
This business contributes to making a strong and rapidly growing innovative industry and is creating a positive impact on rail and the community.
Lifetime Achievement Award:
This award is awarded to recognize the contributions over the whole of one's dedicated career to improve the Railway Industry.
George Gavrilidis, Founder and President
Accsess the Photos from National Railway Day 2022 here:
Connect with the CARS Team at NRD@railwaysuppliers.ca
Speakers / Panelists
Master of Ceremonies
Jason Pierosara is the Manager of Business Development for the National Research Council of Canada’s Resilient Ground Transportation Program. In his role, he works to establish and secure collaborative research projects that push the development of game-changing rail technology for the benefit of NRC clients and Canada.
Jason joined NRC in 2010, where he has held positions in various levels of management, but has always gravitated towards roles that allows him to engage directly with clients. He has received various awards for outstanding teamwork and account development.
A 20 year sales and marketing professional, Jason started his career in the telecommunications and software industries at companies such as Nortel, Bell and Telus Mobility, but jumped at the opportunity to join the rail industry when the presented with the chance to apply his skills within such a unique environment.
Jason has an MBA from McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario, and a BA in Psychology from Western University in London Ontario.
Brent Laing was appointed Vice-President, Engineering, CN in June 2022. He has more than 32 years of experience in the railway industry at Canadian Pacific where he last held the position of Vice-President and Chief Engineer. After Brent left CP in 2016, he started his own engineering consulting firm covering the rail sector.
Brent holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. He is based in Edmonton, AB.
Justin Meyer was appointed Senior Vice-President of Engineering and Mechanical in January 2022.
In this role, Justin is responsible for CP's track infrastructure as well as the railway's car and locomotive assets. With a focus on safety, service reliability and efficiency, Justin oversees the planning and execution of maintenance and project activities across CP's entire network.
With a background in engineering, Justin joined CP in 1998 and has held a variety of operational and management roles, including his previous position of Vice-President Engineering.
Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University and has a Professional Engineer designation.
Faye Ackermans had 25 years of experience in the rail industry, with over 15 of those years with senior positions in rail safety and regulatory affairs, before being appointed a member of the Board on 02 July 2014.
Mrs. Ackermans began her career with the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1982. From 1996 to 2008, as General Manager of Safety & Regulatory Affairs, she was responsible for corporate-wide oversight for safety management, security planning, operations regulatory compliance and occurrence investigations. Over that period, Canadian Pacific reduced train accidents by 65% and personal injuries by over 70%. She has held several rail industry committee memberships over her career, including the Safety & Operations Management Committees of both the Railway Association of Canada and the American Association of Railroads. Mrs. Ackermans received a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University in Montreal and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Director of Communications & Government Relations - Western Canadian Short Line Railway Association
Rachel Mackenzie is the Director of Communications & Government Relations for the Western Canadian Short Line Railway Association, an industry association representing 18 railways across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba as well as preferred railway supplier members. In her role at the WCSLRA, Rachel serves on committees and working groups related to supply chain fluidity, rail safety, and rail service in Canada.
Rachel entered the short line rail industry with a background in journalism, non-profit communications and grant writing, and community development.
CEOs typically place their first call to Coach Kevin with a crisis to solve. They stay because of his business acumen and no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is style.
Kevin’s career spans 30 years, over a dozen countries and four continents. He’s worked with hundreds of CEOs and executives, helping them to break through business challenges, grow their companies and find personal success along the way.
These experiences inspired Kevin’s book, Your Oxygen Mask First, in which he reveals the 17 habits every leader must know to transcend the perils of success, and achieve even more.
Kevin was given the designation of Coach Emeritus with Gazelles—a rare distinction. He is a key contributor to Scaling Up (Mastering the Rockefeller Habits 2.0).
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Kevin can often be found tearing up the racetrack, exploring a new city, or adventuring in the outdoors with inspiring people and his two amazing kids, Brayden and Ashley.
Saeed joins the Green Line LRT Project with a diverse background of senior roles in procurement, project execution, dispute resolution, and program controls for large infrastructure projects, including the $5B Hurontario LRT. Saeed’s experience includes transit (LRT and BRT), heavy civil, industrial (oil and gas), and nuclear construction sectors. In addition to his professional experience, he has a Master of Civil Engineering.
As COO, Saeed provides direction on executing and implementing Stage 1 of the Green Line LRT Project and is accountable for providing executive oversight to the Green Line’s construction, technical, commercial, business services, legal, PMO, stakeholder relations & communications, and HR teams.
Tank Car Principles Seminar
A.D. McKisic currently serves as VP and Chief Engineer at TrinityRail where he oversees technical and regulatory compliance. He has worked in the rail supply industry for over the 30 years, the last 17 at TrinityRail where he has been deeply involved in the design and construction of tank and freight cars. He is also active in AAR technical committees, the Railway Supply Institute and the Chlorine Institute.
Brad is the acting Chief Security Officer for The City of Calgary. Brad brings over 33 years of experience in the security industry and has been an advocate for running Security as a business, with a philosophy grounded in ESRM (Enterprise Security Risk Management).
Throughout his career, Brad has held executive positions in several organizations, notably as the Director of Corporate Security for GameHost, the General Manager of the Deerfoot Inn & Casino, and as a consultant and Senior Advisor for Corporate Security in the Oil business both with Encana & Cenovus. Brad is no stranger to government, however, having worked for both the Edmonton Police Service in Edmonton, and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission both in enforcement roles.
Brad came to The City of Calgary in November 2018 as Manager, of Physical Security, and has worked to evolve security at The City with a focus on people, culture, and integrity. Reflecting his functional approach to security, Brad’s team evolved significantly during 2020-21, including a new Integrity and Advisory Services (IAS) group led by Andrea Vaney in March 2020, and more recently formation of new teams Technical Services, Physical Security, and Security Risk Analysis and Design (SRAD), led respectively by Rob Morris, David Kennedy, and Don von Hollen.
Brad was awarded his degree in Criminology from the University of Alberta in 1996 and has been a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) through ASIS since 2007. In his time at the Government of Alberta, Brad was awarded the Premier’s Award of Excellence (Gold) for his work developing a program to attack underage drinking in licensed premises, and at the City of Edmonton Brad received the Chief of Police’s Commendation for Meritorious Actions.
Brad is an active community member, having been the Chairman of the Okotoks Police Commission (Public Safety & Security), and a coach of High School and Club Rugby, Soccer, and Hockey.
Cst. Dean Solowan
Dean's interest in law enforcement started with being a Constable with the Edmonton SPCA then post-secondary education in Law Enforcement and a total change in education to Telecommunications Engineering followed by a Business Management certificate. Dean found his career with Canadian National Railway Police as a Community Resource Officer, firstly posted in B.C and currently in AB. this position has increased his desire to be an ambassador for Railway Safety. During his career, he has had an opportunity to take many supplemental Law enforcement courses to increase his knowledge of the railway to be a strong keynote speaker. Dean works closely with all first Responders, communities and organizations to share his experiences.
Morris Friske is the Rail Safety Engineer for Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Morris has been with the City of Edmonton nine years, leading ETS Rail Safety for the past three. Working within the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Operations & Maintenance section, Morris is responsible to develop, implement and monitor the systems, policies and procedures to minimize infrastructure and public safety risks associated with delivering safe, reliable transportation to over 100,000 riders each day. The role includes serving as the engineering association (APEGA) Responsible Member, advancing system safety through oversight of the O&M team engineering activities under the City’s permit to practice. This involves ensuring compliance with the most recent standards and best practices, management of system risks and quality assurance consistent with the City’s plans. As an advocate of advancing safety through improved design and process, Morris takes every maintenance and renewal opportunity to reduce hazard exposure.
A mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Alberta, Morris’ has been working in process safety and delivering facilities and process improvement projects for more than 35 years. He has been involved in process design, facilities design, project management, asset management, maintenance and operations. Throughout his varied career experiences, Morris has maintained a theme of creating a positive safety culture shift in each of his roles to improve operations, quality, reliability and maintainability. Morris leads with a belief that effective risk mitigation begins with good design and that risk should be engineered out wherever practicable.
Ports and Shippers Panel
Robert A. Booker
Rob Booker was appointed CEO of Trigon Pacific Terminals Limited in Prince Rueprt BC, (formerly Ridley Terminals Inc.) in January 2020, in addition to leading the transition to private ownership with Indigenous partners, he is guiding the transformation of the terminal to green energy and commodity exports. For over 20 years he has demonstrated success in delivering transformational change and continuous improvement in import/export transhipment operations in BC, having handled virtually all bulk material and bulk liquid products imported or exported from the West Coast. Rob is the current Chair of the Board for the BC Maritime Terminal Operators, representing terminals in all ports in BC, Chair of the Port Users Nominating Committee for the Port of Prince Rueprt. He was recognized by Business in Vancouver in 2021 and 2022 as one of the 500 most influential business leaders in BC.
In 2018, Nick Willcox was appointed as Terminal Manager for G3’s new Vancouver agri-bulk facility, after having held leadership positions at both Global Container Terminals (GCT) and Fraser Surrey Docks (FSD) in the Port of Vancouver. Specializing in terminal optimization and rail performance, under his leadership he has helped established G3 Terminal Vancouver as the most advanced marine agricultural facility in Canada and led productivity enhancements for GCT’s Deltaport rail automation project that increased capacity by 50% through densification.
Nick’s breadth of terminal and rail experience and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Victoria has help shape his operational strategies in support of Canada’s supply chain. He is privileged to contribute to industry associations including the Vancouver Terminal Elevators' Association (VTEA), Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) and the BC Marine Terminals Operators Association (BCMTOA) where he sits as an executive member.