Executives & Operational Leadership

Executives

John C. HellmannJohn C. Hellmann
Chief Executive Officer

John C. Hellmann, President and Chief Executive Officer, joined the Company in January 2000 and served as Chief Financial Officer through April 2005. He was named President in May 2005 and Chief Executive Officer in June 2007. Previously, Mr. Hellmann worked in investment banking at Lehman Brothers, Inc., in the Emerging Communications Group, and at Schroder & Co. Inc., in the Transportation Group. He also worked for Weyerhaeuser Co. in Japan and the People’s Republic of China.

Mr. Hellmann is a graduate of Princeton University and received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.



Allison M. FergusAllison M. Fergus
General Counsel and Secretary

Allison M. Fergus was appointed General Counsel and Secretary in October 2006. She joined G&W in November 2005 as Senior Counsel. Ms. Fergus was previously an associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP in New York, where she practiced in the capital markets group. Prior to that, she worked in the treasury group of Omnicom Group Inc. and at JPMorgan Chase, formerly Chase Manhattan Bank.

Ms. Fergus earned a bachelor's degree in finance and international business from Georgetown University and her juris doctorate degree from Fordham University School of Law.



Michael O. Miller
President, North America 

Michael O. Miller was appointed President of G&W's North American operations in October 2018. He joined the company as Chief Commercial Officer for North America in September 2010 and was previously General Manager of Norfolk Southern's Modalgistics Supply Chain Solutions, where he improved customers' supply chain efficiencies through rail, transload and intermodal service. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Strategic Development for Derivion Corp and held logistics-related positions with Georgia-Pacific and Roadway Express.

Mr. Miller holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and a master's in business management from North Carolina State University.



Hedshot of Mary Ellen RussellMary Ellen Russell
Global Human Resource Officer

Mary Ellen Russell was appointed Global Human Resource Officer in February 2017. Prior to that, she served as Chief Human Resource Officer since June 2013. She joined G&W as Vice President of Talent Management in October 2012. Ms. Russell was also an executive recruiter at RSR Partners and served as Chief HR Officer at CMA CGM America and Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management at Jevic/SCS Transportation.

Ms. Russell earned a bachelor's degree in organizational development from Rosemont College.



Thomas D. Savage
Chief Financial Officer

Thomas D. Savage was appointed Chief Financial Officer in May 2020. He joined G&W in 2005 and most recently served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Treasurer, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate finance and was responsible for G&W's global treasury functions. Previously, Mr. Savage worked at a boutique investment bank focused on real estate investments.

Mr. Savage earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Colby College and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business.

 

Matthew O. WalshMatthew O. Walsh
Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Development

Matthew O. Walsh, Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Development, joined G&W in September 2001. From 1996 to 2001, Mr. Walsh was an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. and Schroder and Co., Inc., both in New York and London. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association and previously served on the Board of the Railroad Clearinghouse, which was established to create the administrative systems and banking functions for electronic settlement of all rail industry interline freight systems.

Mr. Walsh is a graduate of Princeton University.

 

Mike Peters
Chief Commercial Officer, North America

Mike Peters was named Chief Commercial Officer for G&W's North American operations in October 2018. He joined the company in April 2013 as Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Industrial Development. Mr. Peters has held supply chain-related positions for more than 25 years, including Chief Commercial Officer for OmniTRAX based in Denver, Colorado. Prior to that, he was First Vice President of ProLogis, the world’s largest developer of industrial real estate, where he was responsible for managing the global account team and working with Class I railroads and ports to identify new locations for industrial development.

Mr. Peters earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Kansas and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

 

Tianbing Qian
Chief Information Officer 

Tianbing Qian joined G&W in September 2019. He was previously Senior Vice President/Chief Digital Information Officer for Ports America, where he modernized IT platforms across terminal operations, safety, equipment management and workforce management, since May 2015. Prior to that, he held senior IT management positions with Celestica International and Freescale Semiconductor.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in control engineering from Huazhong University of Science & Technology and two master’s degrees – one in systems engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University and another in computer science from the University of Iowa – as well as a Ph.D. in operations management from the University of Iowa.



Andrew T. Chunko
Senior Vice President, Operations Support

Andrew T. Chunko was appointed Senior Vice President of Operations Support in February 2020. He previously led G&W's former Coastal Region Railroads since 2015. Prior to that, he served in various leadership roles across G&W, including Senior Vice President of Customer Service, Senior Vice President of G&W's former Mountain West Region, and Vice President of G&W’s former Rail Link Region (now Coastal Region), where he was responsible for a combination of short line railroads and port operations. Mr. Chunko joined G&W in 2002 with the acquisition of the York Railway, where he served as operations manager. Prior to that, he held a variety of management positions with CSX Transportation, Inc.

Mr. Chunko earned a bachelor's degree in business management and economics from Empire State College.



Sarah Greene
Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller 

Sarah Greene was appointed Senior Vice President and Controller in May 2020. She joined G&W in 2006 as Controller of Financial Reporting & Analysis and served as Vice President and Corporate Controller from 2016. Prior to G&W, Ms. Greene served in a variety of accounting roles with increasing responsibility at First Union National Bank, Eastman Kodak and PAETEC Communications since beginning her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

She is a Certified Public Accountant and earned both her bachelor’s degree in professional accounting and an MBA from Michigan State University.

 

Tony Long photoTony D. Long
Senior Vice President, Operations Support

Tony D. Long was appointed Senior Vice President of Operations Support in November 2008 and is responsible for car management and service design. He joined G&W in March 2005 as Vice President of Customer Service and was named Vice President of Customer Service and Car Management in January 2007. Previously, Mr. Long spent 25 years with CSX Transportation in a variety of roles in operations, customer service, technology and car management.

Mr. Long earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Lincoln Memorial University and is a certified Six Sigma "Master Blackbelt."

 

Marty Pohlod
Senior Vice President, Corporate Commercial

Marty Pohlod was named Senior Vice President of G&W Corporate Commercial in February 2020. He previously led G&W's former Midwest Region railroads since 2017. He joined G&W in 2008 as Marketing Manager with the acquisition of the Ohio Central Railroad System, where he had been since 1996, and thereafter served in roles of increasing responsibility. Mr. Pohlod began his railroad career in marketing and sales roles at the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway and Southern Pacific Railroad.

He holds a bachelor's degree in transportation and logistics management from Kent State University.

 

Jerry E. Vest
Senior Vice President, Government & Industry Affairs

Jerry Vest was appointed Senior Vice President of Government & Industry Affairs in April 2014. He joined G&W as Vice President of Government & Industry Affairs in July 2005. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Vest worked in the rail freight industry for 20 years in marketing, sales, customer service, strategic planning, operating and development positions. Mr. Vest worked for three Class I carriers--Conrail, CSX and CN--and was Vice President and General Manager at Great Lakes Transportation, where he was responsible for the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad and Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock company.

Mr. Vest graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in business administration and earned his MBA from Indiana University.



Mike Webb
Senior Vice President, Distribution Services

Mike Webb joined G&W in May 2013 as Senior Vice President, Distribution Services. He leads the sourcing and establishment of distribution services operations throughout North America, with responsibility for expanding G&W’s bulk and liquid transload, warehousing and material-handling businesses. Mr. Webb also manages the corporate national account sales team, which is primarily project development-driven and is responsible for selling G&W’s services portfolio to the corporate headquarters of major companies across North America in all industries and for all product lines. He previously spent 24 years with Norfolk Southern, where he held a variety of management positions within its marketing department in the coal and industrial products groups. 

Mr. Webb has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Virginia Tech and an MBA from Old Dominion University.

 

Michael E. WilliamsMichael E. Williams
Vice President, Corporate Communications

Michael E. Williams joined G&W in November 2006. He has broad communications management experience, including nine years in the chemical industry. Mr. Williams was previously responsible for brand and marketing communications at BASF Catalysts LLC (formerly Engelhard Corporation), a division of the BASF Group. Prior to that, he held marketing and communications positions at Union Carbide Corporation and Todd Combustion Inc. after beginning his career as an advertising and public relations account executive.

Mr. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in public relations and journalism from Utica College of Syracuse University.

 

North American Operations

James E. Irvin
Senior Vice President, Southern Region Railroads
Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc.


James E. Irvin was appointed Senior Vice President of G&W's Southern Region railroads in October 2017 after previously serving as Senior Vice President of the company's Coastal Region companies and its former Pacific Region and Oregon Region railroads, as well as Vice President of Industrial Switching for the Coastal Region and Vice President of New Business Operations for G&W Australia. Prior to joining G&W in 2008, Mr. Irvin, who has nearly 30 years of railroad experience, held a variety of management positions with CSX Transportation, including General Manager of Network Operations.

Mr. Irvin earned his bachelor's degree in transportation from the University of Alabama.

 

Rick McLellan
President
Genesee & Wyoming Canada Inc.


Rick McLellan was appointed President of Genesee & Wyoming Canada Inc. (GWCI) in January 2020. He joined G&W in 2013 as General Manager of the company's Southern Ontatrio Railway and St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad and was promoted to Vice President of Operations for GWCI in 2016. Mr. McLellan began his rail career with Canadian Pacific and, in the 36 years since, has held a variety of rail operations roles.



J. Bradley Ovitt
Senior Vice President, Western Region Railroads
Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc.


J. Bradley Ovitt was named Senior Vice President of G&W’s Western Region railroads in October 2017 after serving as Senior Vice President of the company's former Mountain West Region railroads since January 2013. He began his railroad career in 1987 on the former Central Vermont Railroad and went on to hold several positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as  Regional Vice President of RailAmerica’s Northeast Region.

Mr. Ovitt studied criminal justice at Castleton State College and earned four certificates in business from the University of Notre Dame.

 

Len Wagner
Senior Vice President, Northern Region Railroads
Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc.


Len Wagner was named Senior Vice President of G&W’s Northern Region railroads in February 2020. He previously led G&W's former Northeast Region railroads since 2017. He joined G&W with the 2008 acquisition of the former Ohio Central Railroad System and served as Vice President of Operations of the Ohio Central Railroad and for the East division of G&W's former Midwest Region railroads. Prior to that, he held positions with Conrail in operations, customer service and sales.

Mr. Wagner earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

UK/Europe Operations

Gary Long
Chief Executive Officer 

Gary R. Long was appointed Chief Executive Officer of G&W's UK/Europe Region companies in June 2017. He was previously Senior Vice President of G&W's Midwest Region railroads since May 2014 and President of G&W's Atlas Railroad Construction subsidiary from April 2013 to May 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Long was President and Chief Executive Officer of OmniTRAX, Inc., a transportation holding company, since 2009. Mr. Long has spent nearly 35 years in the transportation industry, including roles related to rail, motor carrier, port, maritime, intermodal terminals and transload and switching facilities.

Mr. Long earned a bachelor's degree in finance from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Denver.

 

Neil McNicholas
Managing Director - Rail Services

Neil is Managing Director – Rail Services for G&W’s UK/Europe Region companies with additional responsibility for the Region’s Middle East operations. When Mr. McNicholas joined G&W's Freightliner In October 2015 as Business Development Director, he brought with him 20 years’ experience from Direct Rail Services (DRS), where he managed the company’s operations and engineering functions before serving as Managing Director for 17 years. Prior to DRS, Mr. McNicholas worked for British Nuclear Fuels Limited, overseeing numerous projects involving new plant design, infrastructure maintenance, waste management and plant decommissioning.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Salford University.

 

Shaun Allen
Managing Director - Road Services

Mr. Allen was named Managing Director - Road Services of G&W's UK/Europe Region companies in February 2018. Since 2012, he had previously managed G&W's Pentalver operations and also led the company’s road services function. He began his logistics career in 1993 as depot manager for W. Carter (Haulage) Ltd and was appointed managing director in 2003. W. Carter was acquired by Wincanton PLC, another logistics services leader, in 2008, and Mr. Allen joined Wincanton’s management team for four years before coming to Pentalver.

 

Chris Lawrenson
Managing Director - Terminal Services

Mr. Lawrenson was named Managing Director - Terminal Services for G&W's UK/Europe Region companies in February 2018. Previously, he had served as Managing Director of G&W's Pentalver since January 2010. Prior to that, he held numerous roles within the Maersk group for 29 years, starting as a clerk in the liner shipping division and progressively working up to senior operational roles.

 

Tim Shakerley
Engineering & Operations Services Director

Tim Shakerley was appointed Engineering & Operations Services Director of G&W's UK/Europe Region companies in February 2018. He joined G&W's Freightliner in 1999 and was appointed Group Engineering Director in 2005. Tim is the executive lead on safety and Freightliner maintenance as well as a member of the Freightliner Group board.

Mr. Shakerley has 25 years’ experience in the rail industry, including passenger operations and leasing.

 

Geraint Harries
General Counsel

Geraint Harries joined G&W's Freightliner in March 2013. Prior to that, he was a Corporate Partner in the London office of Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Mr. Harries graduated in history from the University of Bristol before completing his post-graduate legal studies at The College of Law, Guildford, qualifying as a solicitor in March 1997.

 

Glynis Appelbe
Human Resources Director

Glynis Appelbe joined G&W UK/Europe Region companies in March 2016 as HR Director. Prior to G&W, she was the Head of HR for a FTSE-listed global diversified mining company, Eurasian Natural Resources PLC, spanning Europe, South America, Africa and Kazakhstan. Before that, she spent 16 years working in financial services environments in subsidiaries of Barclays, ABN Amro and Hitachi Capital.

Ms. Appelbe earned a business degree from University of Limerick in Ireland and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.