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16:15 – Dinner Train Bus Picks Up from Saratoga Hilton

16:45 – Dinner Train – NEARS and the Saratoga, Corinth & Hudson Railroad! Board At Main Gate – 9 Railroad Place, Corinth NY 17:00 – Dinner Train Departs

20:00 – Dinner Train Returns to 9 Railroad Place in Corinth 20:45 – Dinner Train Bus Returns and Drops Off at Saratoga Hilton


21:30 – NEARS Speakeasy Hospitality Suite – Rooms 359-360

07:30 – Golf – Saratoga Spa Golf Course, 58 Roosevelt Drive, Saratoga Springs NY 08:00 – Golf Shotgun Start

15:00 – Conference Registration Opens

17:00 – The Joseph & Eileen Gearin Networking Reception Sponsored By American Truck and Rail Audits, Inc

18:30 – Dinner On Your Own in Fabulous Saratoga Springs!

21:30 – NEARS Speakeasy Hospitality Suite – Rooms 359-360


07:00 – Breakfast Starts (Available until 08:15)

07:30 – Conference Registration Re-Opens

08:00 – Welcome to NEARS, Safety Briefing and Housekeeping Mark Ritchey, 1st Vice President, NEARS

08:15 – Northeast Shortlne and System Growth – The Race is on! Michael Miller, CEO, Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Moderator: Jason Seidl, Managing Director, TD Cowen

09:15 – Class 1 Railroads – Finding the North American Growth Potential Rahul Jalali, CIO, Union Pacific Railroad Moderator: Dennis Wilmot, President, Iron Horse Logistics Group 10:00 – Networking Break

10:30 – Promoting Safety in a Growth Market – GX and Trespass Outreach Michail Grizkewitsch, Railroad Trespassing Program Specialist, FRA Norma Jean Griffiths, Inspector, FRA Moderator: Dennis Wilmot, President, Iron Horse Logistics Group

11:00 – Keeping Imports Running Smoothly In The New Year Chris Peckham VP Operations/ Imports OOFOS Moderator: Don Cameron, VP Enterprise Sales, STG Logistics NOON – NEARS Networking Lunch and Vendor Fair

13:30 – Keep on Track! How To Grow A Great Rail Operation in 2024 Mike Cory, EVP - Chief Operating Officer, CSX Moderator: Jason Seidl, Managing Director, TD Cowen

14:30 – What Can We Expect from Intermodal This Year and Beyond? Mark Yeager, CEO, Redwood Logistics Paul Svindland, CEO, STG Logistics Moderator: Don Cameron, VP Enterprise Sales, STG Logistics

15:30 – Networking Break 15:45 – The Highly Acclaimed, Always Informative, and Greatly Entertaining Tony & Jason Show Tony Hatch, Principal, ABH Consulting Jason Seidl, Managing Director, TD Cowen

17:00 – The Joseph & Eileen Gearin Networking Reception Sponsored By American Truck and Rail Audits, Inc 

18:30 – Dinner On Your Own In Fabulous Saratoga Springs!

21:30 – NEARS Speakeasy Hospitality Suite – Rooms 359-360


07:30 – Special Networking Breakfast Starts (Available Until 08:15)

08:00 – Opening/Announcements Mark Ritchey, 1st Vice President, NEARS

08:15 – Rail Asset Manufacturing Panel Jay Medlin, Vice President, Sales, Freight Car America Charley Moore, Chief Commercial Officer, TrinityRail Paddy O’Neill, Consultant/Contractor, The Greenbrier Companies Moderator, Dennis Wilmot, President, Iron Horse Logistics Group 09:15 – Meeting Supply Chain Needs In What We Hope To Be A Growth Market Weston Labar, Cargomatic Moderator: Jason Seidl, Managing Director, TD Cowen

10:15 – Shippers and Short Lines Growing Together Chuck Baker, ASLRRA Moderator: Dennis Wilmot, President, Iron Horse Logistics Group

11:00 – Closing Remarks and William J. Donovan Memorial Drawing

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scholarship golf
Come join us for the NEARS.ORG Scholarship Tournament! Championship Course - This beautiful course is both challenging and golfer friendly. We offer 5 sets of tees, and strongly encourage all golfers, regardless of gender, to choose the tees most appropriate for their golf game. Yardage from the front tees is 5567yds., and from the championship tees the course measures 7141yds. While the course can be quite long, and there are numerous trees and bunkers, landing areas are ample, and the greens are large with moderate pace. The terrain is generally firm and flat, and the rough moderate. Much of the wooded area is kept clear of underbrush, and there are only a couple of water hazards. In addition to taking some of the strain out of the game, this helps to keep play flowing. Thanks to Shale Rail and Curry Rail Services for Sponsoring this event! Many other sponsorship opportunities are available. 

Portland Conference onDemand

You can now watch all panels onDEMAND, use the same password you were provided at the conference!
Portland onDEMAND
NEARS.ORG Education Series - Railcars 101
Why nears?
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In the past 6 months, I’ve used my NEARS connections to:

§  Do reference checks on a new TMS with folks who actually use the software

§  Find a location to stage railcars near a customer to reduce our lead times and better manage inventories

§  Facilitate a transload operation

§  Ask dozens of questions on railcar maintenance, repair, and design

§  Find a specialty provider for cleaning and refitting of tank cars

§  Collect estimated costs to support multiple logistics feasibility studies

§  Help me train my employees into new roles

§  Recruit new team members

§  Locate railcar capacity for short term logistical support

At the last conference, I met:

§  4 of my Railroad Account Managers and their Directors

§  Director and VP level executives from multiple leasing companies

§  2 Investment Analysts who provide insight into the transportation industry as a whole

§  20 new peers (shippers who manage rail for their companies)

§  2 Transportation Software providers, who provide services that I am in the market for

§  2 government officials that act as consumer advocates or shipper resources

As a result of my attendance, I got:

§  Updates on the rail market place from all the speakers and contacts I made

§  Access to a full list of attendees to be able to network with them in the future

§  Access to the presentations of the speakers and permission to contact them regarding the content that I used in

   business presentations

Past Attendees
Become a Member!

There are many organizations to choose from, so why choose NEARS?

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View our on demand content.  Both Video on Demand and Podcasts, our conferences are eligible for ASCM Points.


We have awarded over $100k to students from all over the United States, one of the many benefits of being a NEARS member.


Honoring those who serve our industry, the NEARS Hall of Fame and Transportation Person of the Year are awarded annually.


Our conferences offer plenty of networking opportunities. View Past Attendees!

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Our Board of directors

Our BOD represents all aspects of the shipping community.  As we are a shippers organization, our bylaws restrict railroad employees from becoming officers.

Carl Citelli 


mark r
1st VP
Mark Ritchey

Curry Rail Services

rob pisani
2nd VP
Rob Pisani


Past President
Dennis Wilmot

Iron Horse Logistics

Executive Director
Scott McCalla
Board of Directors

Scott McCalla -  NEARS Executive, Director

Carl Citelli  - Cargomatic, President

Mark Ritchey -  Curry Rail Services, 1st Vice President

Rob Pisan - i CIT Rail,  2nd Vice President

Dennis Wilmot -  Iron Horse Logistics Services, Advisory Committee Chair

Mike Barbato -  Retired,  Board Member

Don Cameron -  Uber Freight, Board Member

Michael Clements -  CSX,  Board Member

Thomas Coleman -  Shale Rail, Board Member

Chad Grinnell - Norfolk Southern, Board Member

Todd Hunter - North Shore Railroad Company & Affiliates, Board Member

Perry Martel - Vermont Rail System,  Board Member

John Meyers  - D.M. Bowman,  Board Member

Stacy Ossenfort -  Northeast Freight Transfer,  Board Member

Erica Ray -  SMBC Rail Services,  Board Member

Roger Reynolds -  Omya Inc, Board Member

Jason Seidl - TD Cowen, Board Member

Brian Smalley -  National Steel Car LTD,  Board Member

Past Presidents

2022 - 2023      Erica Breiterman

2020 – 2021      Dennis Wilmot 

2018 - 2019       Jason Seidl

2016 - 2017      Don Cameron 

2014 - 2015      John Meyers 

2012 - 2013      Scott McCalla 

2010 - 2011      Dana Burleigh 

2008 - 2009      Tammy Baker-Silver 

2006 - 2007      Gerald Racette 

2004 - 2005      Diane El-Hakim 

2002 - 2003      Michael Cella 

2000 - 2001      Kathy Dalrymple 

1998 - 1999      Paula Mehan 

1996 - 1997      Michael Calabucci 

1994 - 1995      Joe Gearin 

1992 – 1993      Brenda Horne 

1990 - 1991      Joe Gearin 

1988 - 1989      Kenneth Enzor 

1986 – 1987      Ruth Gale 

1984 – 1985      Kenneth Enzor 

1982 – 1983      Ken Bowers 

1980 – 1981      Gene Bernard

Past Executive Directors

2017 – Present                                       Scott McCalla

·       2004 – 2016                                             Joe Gearin

·       1986 – 2003                                             William Donovan

·       1980 – 1985                                             John Morton