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Railroad Safety Advisory Committee
Safe Kids Worldwide, with the help of corporate sponsor Union Pacific Railroad, is taking on the challenge of railroad safety. We are grateful for the members of our Rail Safety Advisory Committee who generously share their expertise with us.
Coordinator, Safe Kids Chicago
Amy Hill is Executive Director of the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. In this role, she is Director of Safe Kids Illinois and Chicago and project coordinator of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Chicago. She has managed Injury Prevention programs at Lurie Children’s since 2002. Amy is a member for the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children Board and a member of the Knowledge and Community Committee of the Illinois Partnership for Safety.
Prior to joining Lurie Children’s, she was a staff member at several Chicago-area nonprofit organizations. In addition, she served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Hungary from 1993-95.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University of Chicago and a Master of Science in Public Administration from DePaul University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and a Certified Playground Safety Inspector.
She currently volunteers as a mentor for an Eritrean refugee family at Refugee One in Chicago and is active in her church and community. She is also the proud mom of two school-aged kids (who always wear their bike helmets) and has been married to Mark for 18 years.
Coordinator, Safe Kids Utah
Cambree Applegate is the Director of Safe Kids Utah which is housed in the Utah Department of Health. She is very involved with Child Passenger Safety efforts in the state and works with partners across Utah and the U.S. Cambree has a passion for keeping kids safe and working with other partners and organizations to make sure that Utah has the safest kids around.
Nebraska State Coordinator, Nebraska Operation Lifesaver
Carol is a retired employee of the Union Pacific Railroad. She has 35 years of experience working with the BNSF and the UPRR. She started her railroad career at BNSF Gibson Yards in Omaha, NE as a Relief Wire Chief and Train Order Operator.
She started with the UPRR in 1975 working various positions in the Communications, Engineering and Superintendent offices. She was promoted to Assistant Manager of Labor Administration, handling all time claims and the placement of the M/W employees on the former Nebraska Division. Through reorganizations, she was responsible for the consolidation of the entire timekeeping and bulletin system at the Harriman Dispatch Center in Omaha, NE. This included the Maintenance of Way, Mechanical, Trainman, Engineer and Yard crews, Clerical crafts along with the Non/Agreement payroll into the Gang Management System (GMS).
While working on special projects for TE&Y and GMS, this provided valuable experience for the position of Manager Administration & Purchasing (Office Manager) on the Council Bluffs Service Unit. She was in this position for 19 years at which time she retired.
During her years in the Service Unit, she became aware of the importance of grade crossing safety and became actively involved with Operation Lifesaver in 1991. She is presently the Nebraska Operation Lifesaver Executive Director and has held this position for 10 years.
Former NTSB Chairman, Metrorail Safety Commission, Board Chairman
Christopher A. Hart is the founder of Hart Solutions LLP, which specializes in improving safety in a variety of contexts, including the safety of automation in motor vehicles, workplace safety, and process safety in potentially hazardous industries.
Until February 2018, he was a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). In March 2015, he was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be Chairman, which he was until March 2017. Prior to that he was Vice Chairman of the NTSB, after being nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009 and 2013. The NTSB investigates major transportation accidents in all modes of transportation, determines probable cause, and makes recommendations in an effort to prevent recurrences. He was previously a Member of the NTSB in 1990, having been nominated by (the first) President Bush.
Mr. Hart’s previous positions have included: Deputy Director, Air Traffic Safety Oversight Service, Federal Aviation Administration; Assistant Administrator for System Safety, Federal Aviation Administration; Deputy Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); Deputy Assistant General Counsel to the Department of Transportation; Managing partner of Hart & Chavers, a Washington, D.C., law firm, and Attorney with the Air Transport Association.
Mr. Hart has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a Master’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree (magna cum laude) in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, and he is a pilot with commercial, multi-engine, and instrument ratings.
Assistant Vice President, Public Affairs, Union Pacific
Clint Schelbitzki is the Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs – Western Region for Union Pacific Railroad located in Roseville, CA. In this position, he leads a team that represents America’s largest class one freight railroad before the legislatures and communities in California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Idaho, and Montana. Prior to this role, Clint was Senior Director, Network Development where he was responsible for leading franchise growth opportunities, public-private partnership project development, and strategic initiatives across Union Pacific’s Western Region.
Clint started with Union Pacific Railroad in 2005 in the Marketing and Sales department where he first managed a wide range of industrial products and customers, then served as a shipment quality manager in Texas. In 2008, Clint became Union Pacific’s Director – Public Affairs for Oklahoma and Texas where he managed governmental affairs and was responsible for the railroad’s external relationships at the city, county and state levels.
Clint holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Texas and an MBA from the University of Houston.
Coordinator, Safe Kids Nebraska
Jason Kerkman earned his Master in Public Health in 2009 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He has worked for the State of Nebraska for 13 years and with the Department of Health and Human Services in the Injury Prevention Program for the past 8 years. Currently he is the Safe Kids Nebraska coordinator and coordinates the injury prevention efforts of the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. As a Child Passenger Safety Technician he participates in check events, trainings and serves as a community resource for other child passenger safety technicians and the community at large. He is in charge of the development and statewide implementation of the Safe Kids Nebraska Child Care Transportation Training.
Chair of the Board, Operation Lifesaver Inc. – Senior Vice President Safety and Regulatory Policy, American Short Line
Jo Strang has been a railroad industry leader for over 20 years. She currently holds the position of Senior Vice President Safety and Regulatory Policy with the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association. In this position, Ms. Strang advises and represents the short line industry nationally in safety and regulatory matters. Prior to joining the Association in 2013, Ms. Strang held the highest career office with the Federal Railroad Administration serving as the Association Administrator for Railroad Safety/ Chief Safety Officer. In that capacity, for which she was the longest serving in the agency history, she was responsible for railroad safety in the United States. She has testified before the Congress many times on both safety and security issues. She is a Presidential rank award holder along with numerous other awards. Prior to joining the Office of Safety, she held the position of Deputy Associate Administrator for Railroad Policy and Development where she oversaw the Research and Development Office and the financial assistance programs. She also was the Chief of the Railroad Accident Division of NTSB and the Deputy Regional Administrator for Region 4 for the FRA. She holds a Master of Science in Applied Economics from Marquette University.
Coordinator, Safe Kids Greater Houston
Kristen Beckworth, MPH, CHES, CPST-I has worked in the field of injury prevention for over a decade and currently serves as the Manager of the Center of Childhood Injury Prevention at Texas Children’s Hospital. She has vast expertise in educating the community, creating strategic partnerships, and training other advocates in the field. Ms. Beckworth is a contributing member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Board of Directors, as well as the Texas Heatstroke Prevention Taskforce Board. As a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor, Ms. Beckworth works with other instructors to train almost 50 new Child Passenger Safety Technicians each year, as well as mentor the over 300 currently in the greater Houston area. Ms. Beckworth works collaboratively with injury prevention colleagues from across the state via the Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance, and the Texas Injury Prevention Leadership Collaborative. As Manager of the Center for Childhood Injury Prevention, Ms. Beckworth supervises seven Health Education Specialists who are responsible for the majority of pediatric unintentional injury across five counties (Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Montgomery counties) in the greater Houston area. The Center for Childhood Injury Prevention at Texas Children’s Hospital serves as the proud lead agency for Safe Kids Greater Houston.
Coordinator, Safe Kids Central California
Kristina Pasma is a Registered Nurse and mom of three beautiful children. Her experience in pediatric emergency and trauma nursing care has led her to be passionate about preventing unintentional injuries. She works for Valley Children’s Hospital, the only pediatric tertiary hospital between San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA.
Senior Program Manager, Safe Kids Worldwide
Kristin had just turned 19 when she was hit by a car and hospitalized for three weeks. After six months of physical therapy, she returned to Michigan State University with a renewed focus on injury prevention. She now holds a Master’s degree in health education, and having worked on both a grassroots and national level, Kristin has extensive expertise in keeping kids safe on the road. At Safe Kids, she is the primary liaison between the organization and its various corporate funders for domestic road safety programs.
Director Public Safety, Union Pacific
Larry Wenko joined Union Pacific in January 2014 as the Director of Public Safety upon retiring from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Wenko is responsible for managing and overseeing Union Pacific’s grade crossing compliance program system-wide for the purpose of preventing grade crossing and trespasser incidents. Prior to joining the FBI, Mr. Wenko held three Postdoctoral Research Fellowships at the Beltsville Agriculture Research Facility in Beltsville, MD, and had obtained a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Miami University, Ohio.
Coordinator, Safe Kids San Antonio
Mandy Fultz is the Safe Kids Project Coordinator for Safe Kids San Antonio, led by University Health System. Mandy has a degree from Baylor University in child and family studies and is a certified child passenger safety technician. Mandy is a passionate advocate for children and families. She has spent her career working to support healthy child development and family support in times of crisis. She started her career as a certified child life specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, where she provided families and children with the emotional, social and bereavement support they needed during their hospital stay. She has also worked with youth who were at risk for failing or dropping out stay in school and has spent countless hours advocating for victims of impaired driving. Today, she educates patients at University Hospital and the community on a variety of injury prevention topics including road safety, home safety, burn and scald prevention, water and sports safety. Mandy enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, loves running, cooking and watching college football.
Director of Research, Safe Kids Worldwide
Morag has worked in child injury prevention and control for more than 25 years. Her contributions to the field have been in the areas of injury surveillance, research, education, policy, program planning and evaluation. At Safe Kids, Morag manages research projects and maintains up-to-date data from government agencies and partners on medicine safety.
Vice President Knowledge Transfer & Stakeholder Relations, Parachute
As the VP, Knowledge Transfer and Stakeholder Relations, Pamela leads Parachute in translating evidence to action through strong relationships with key stakeholders and organizations across Canada. With almost 20 years of experience in the health care/injury prevention sector, Pamela has focused on knowledge mobilization resulting in behavior change, the impact of good public policy and the importance of collaboration to further the impact on social change.
Senior Manager Corporate Relations, Union Pacific
Ranae Keckeisen became the Director of Corporate Giving for Union Pacific Railroad in June 2014. In her role, she oversees Union Pacific’s Community Ties Giving Program, which includes the Union Pacific Foundation, National and Regional Key Partnerships, corporate contributions and charitable giving, employee matching gifts programs, and the annual employee United Way campaign. Prior to her work in corporate giving, Ranae held various positions within Union Pacific’s Finance department, both in Omaha and Chicago. She spent three years in Corporate Audit and five years managing the accounting for Union Pacific’s Commuter Rail division in Chicago.
Ranae has volunteered with a number of organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ronald McDonald House, Chicago Lights tutoring program and By the Hand, as well as served on the Advisory Board of her church in Chicago. She traveled to San Lucas, Guatemala, three times to serve at a local orphanage. Ranae served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Chicago chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, an organization dedicated to advancing women in transportation. She recently became passionate about and involved with the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands after having a son with Down Syndrome in May.
Originally from Michigan, Ranae holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Michigan State University.
Vice President & Chief Safety Officer, Union Pacific
Rod has been with Union Pacific for nearly 16 years, where he started as a Management Trainee in the Operating department. He has held a series of safety and operations specific roles throughout his tenure with Union Pacific, including being the General Superintendent – Transportation Services for Southern California where he was responsible for safe railroad operations with service to 600-plus customers, along with service design and maintenance involving track infrastructure, locomotives and railcars.
He has held his current position since December 2015. He is responsible for developing and implementing safety-related, risk-reduction programs for the company’s employees, customers and communities served throughout a network spanning the western two-thirds of the United States. Under Rod’s leadership Union Pacific has been named the safest U.S. Railroad for back to back years (2016 and 2017).
Prior to joining the railroad, Rod started his career as a Joint Facilities Auditor for the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1987. In 1990, he worked for Caterpillar Tractor (CAT) in a pilot company known as Generation II Locomotives (GenII). This company rebuilt older locomotives with new CAT Diesel engines, alternators and components.
Rod graduated with a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration from Hamline University and earned his MBA from Arizona State University with a concentration in Logistics, Operations and Purchasing.
Rod will provide strategic oversight specifically in regards to safety and the specific practices and regulations that Union Pacific abides by.
Transportation Safety Advocate, National Transportation Safety Board
Stephanie Shaw joined the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 1997. As a transportation safety advocate in the Office of Safety Recommendations and Communications, she promotes the NTSB’s Most Wanted List and safety recommendations issued to the states. Ms. Shaw is considered a national resource on child passenger safety and is a certified child passenger safety technician. As a Safety Advocate, Ms. Shaw has represented the NTSB at national conferences presenting on vehicle occupant safety, youth safety and impaired driving, and has provided testimony in support of state legislation related to child occupant protection and primary seat belt enforcement. She has served as an NTSB technical panel member on forums on child occupant protection, impaired driving, aging drivers and tire safety.
Regional Administrator Region VI, Federal Railroad Administration
Steve is a native of Omaha, Nebraska. He began his railroad career with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Company in 1977. In 1987, he accepted a Railroad Safety Inspector position with the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s Railroad Division. In 1990, he began his career with the FRA as a Railroad Safety Inspector. He has served in numerous leadership capacities within the FRA and US DOT and in November of 2011, was appointed Regional Administrator (RA). In January of 2017 he was appointed to the FRA Safety Board.
His leadership responsibility as the RA in Region 6 is to direct organizational policy, practice and operations. He has previously served as the Chairman of the US DOT Midwest Leadership Team and on the Board of Directors of the Colorado and Wyoming Operation Lifesaver organizations. He has performed numerous special functions as a designated representative on various US Department of Transportation (USDOT) multi modal projects including the US DOT’s Cross Modal Efficiency Team. He has also been selected to participate on many internal FRA special projects, initiatives, and technical committees. He has served on the FRA Strategic Planning Team, Human Capital Strategic Planning Team, the Risk Reduction Program Development team and he managed the first ever Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS) pilot project on the Union Pacific Railroad in North Platte, NE.
He is a Senior Fellow and graduate of the Council for Excellence in Government Fellows Program and the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership on a Democratic Society Program.
Steve has received recognition and numerous performance awards including the National Inspector of the Year Award in 1995, the highest honor conferred by the agency for railroad safety achievements. He has also received numerous Secretarial Awards for contributions to the Department of Transportation.
Steve devotes his leisure time to his family and he is a physical fitness enthusiast.
Manager Public Safety, Union Pacific
Todd has worked at Union Pacific for 20 years. His jobs have always focused on the safety of employees and the public.
President, Safe Kids Worldwide
With more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit management and program development, Torine leads a team at Safe Kids Worldwide focused on protecting kids from preventable injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the U.S. and a global epidemic. Her 19 years at Safe Kids have given her a deep understanding of how to work with funders, legislators and key stakeholders to create meaningful partnerships, change behavior and save lives.