All Aboard Wisconsin

Posted by Anthony Dimond on January 10, 2017

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January, 2017
Happy New Year!!
From the Officers and Board Members of All Aboard Wisconsin.
Moorman Announces Realignment of Amtrak Management Responsibilities, Reporting Chain.
  After having been on the job as Amtrak President and CEO for about one calendar quarter, veteran railroader Charles “Wick” Moorman has opened the New Year by announcing a reorganization of Amtrak’s senior management responsibilities and a realignment of the “reporting chain” for subordinate managers and supervisors.  In a January 4 letter to all Amtrak employees – (a .pdf copy of which is attached to this newsletter) – Moorman laid-out “five key objectives” for the reorganization, which will become effective on February 1, 2017:
  • Building a world-class safety culture with a relentless focus on training, risk reduction, positive reinforcement and personal accountability;
  • Developing and consistently providing competitive products and services;
  • Creating the teams and processes necessary to serve and grow our customers across all business segments;
  • Gaining support for and delivering on investments that sustain, improve and grow our business; and
  • Harnessing innovation, technology and partnerships to enhance and accelerate our business.
  To facilitate his stated goals, Moorman is reorganizing Amtrak’s Senior Management into six “direct reporting” business groups to “streamline decision making, increase alignment between departments, and establish clear areas of accountability.”  The six business groups announced, and the Executive Vice President in charge of each are as follows:
  • Operations – Scott Naparstek, Chief Operating Officer
  • Marketing and Business Development –  Jason Moffetas
  • Finance – Jerry Sokol, Chief Financial Officer
  • Law – Eldie Acheson, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • Administration – D.J. Stadtler, Chief Administrative Officer
  • Planning, Technology and Public Affairs, Stephen Gardner
   Moorman’s letter goes-on to detail the subordinate managers assigned to each of the Business Groups and promises additional information and details on the specific  changes and responsibilities of each.  In his closing remarks, Moorman specifically calls attention to the priority importance safety improvements and calls for a “continued focus” on that area. 
Gottleib Resigns, Ross Announced as New WisDOT Secretary.  Mark Gottleib, who has served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation since January 2011, has resigned that post effective on January 6, 2017.   Gottleib, a Civil Engineer by training, first entered political life as Mayor of his hometown of Port Washington, and later ran-for and served several terms as State Assembly Representative prior to being named Secretary of Transportation by the then-new Walker Administration in January 2011.  He inherited his boss’ decision – already announced during the campaign – to turn-back over $800 Million in federal funds for the expansion of passenger rail service from Milwaukee to Madison; but worked quietly, somewhat “under the radar” of publicity, to support passenger rail projects such as the $22 Million renovation of the Milwaukee Intermodal Station’s passenger concourse which opened last summer, the continued operation and proposed expansion of the highly successful Milwaukee – Chicago “Hiawatha” service with station improvements at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport and Sturdevant.  Continuing studies for other expansion of passenger rail service, specifically the “TCMC” or “Second Train Study” for additional service between the “Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago”, over the same route as the Empire Builder and service to Superior as part of Minnesota’s proposed “Northern Lights Express” also continued forward during his term in office.  In addition, the Secretary conducted a statewide campaign during his tenure to seek public input on the needs and priorities for the State’s transportation system, and made clear that funding to meet those needs whould have to be a priority.  Despite recently announced support for transportation funding enhancements by legislative leaders, the Governor has made it clear that he opposes any transportation tax increases without corresponding decreases elsewhere. Gottleib’s future plans have yet to be announced. 
Current Professional Services Secretary David Ross was announced as the new Transportation Secretary by the Governor’s office concurrent with the announcement of Gottleib’s resignation/retirement.   Ross, the former Mayor of the City of Superior, has indicated his support for the Governor’s position on Transportation funding.  Announcement of the state’s Transportation Budget proposal for the 2017-2019 biennium is still pending. 
Kane Retires from AAW Board.  Dan Kane, LaCrosse resident and representative of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) State Conference Board, has announced his retirement from the Board of Directors of All Aboard Wisconsin.  The action comes concurrently with Kane’s retirement from both his “day job” at the LaCrosse Municipal Transit Utility, and his position as the Chairperson of the ATU State Conference Board, which coordinates operations and policy among all of the ATU Local unions in Wisconsin.  Dan’s interest, contributions and wise counsel while a member of the AAW Board has been greatly appreciated.  On behalf of the officers and other Board members, we wish him all the best in a well-deserved retirement. 
Look for AAW Booth at “Mad City Model Railroad Show”.  Following a positive experience at Milwaukee “Trainfest” last November, All Aboard Wisconsin will have a booth at the 50th Anniversary “Mad City Model Railroad Show and Sale”, held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on February 18-19,  2017.  Like the Milwaukee show, the Madison event attracts thousands of members of the public who have some interest in trains; whether they be scale models or “the real thing”.  It’s an excellent place to share information about what’s available now for passenger rail service in our region, and our mission to expand passenger rail and connecting public transportation and intercity bus service in Wisconsin.  As with the Milwaukee show, we will be looking for volunteers to help staff our booth at the Mad City show.  If you can help with set-up on Friday, or help staff the booth on either Saturday or Sunday, please let either Vice President Mark Quam or me know.  Watch for additional AAW events this spring, including an appearance at the Titletown Train Show in Green Bay on April 29 and 30.  
Goyke to Continue as AAW Legislative Director.   All Aboard Wisconsin is pleased to announce that Gary Goyke will continue as Legislative Director for the organization for the coming year.  While Gary has reduced his consulting practice to spend more time with his family and other pursuits; he has retained several clients, including AAW.  We are indeed fortunate to continue to be able to take advantage of his years of experience, great skill, and many contacts on our behalf.  Gary will also continue as Corporate Secretary and a member of both the 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 Boards of AAW.   
Housekeeping Details – Keeping the “Home Fires Burning” at AAW:
  • Mailing Address Change:  Please note that effective immediately All Aboard Wisconsin’s “official” mailing address has changed.  Please send all future mailings to 5302 Lighthouse Bay Drive, Madison, WI  53704.  Mail already sent to the 754 Williamson Street address will still be collected there until January 31, 2017; so if you recently sent us mail there we’ll still receive it.  
  • Have You Renewed??  Thanks so much to everyone who’s renewed their All Aboard Wisconsin memberships for 2017 so far!  Oops!  What’s that you say – you forgot to renew??  Well, everybody’s busy over the holiday season, so maybe it’s just possible that our appeals last month to renew your All Aboard Wisconsin membership for 2017 got overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the season.    Yes, we got a nice “payoff” from the Fall Conference again this year, but “every little bit helps” – and remember your dues not only help us pay our day-to-day operating expenses, they also demonstrate our members’ support to foundations and other donors that we approach for additional funding.  So, if you haven’t renewed your membership for 2017 yet“Why Not Do It Today”?!  Just fill out the membership form attached to this e-mail, and pop in your check for the level of membership you desire (please consider becoming a “Sustainer” for just $75), and mail it off to:  All Aboard Wisconsin, 5302 Lighthouse Bay Drive, Madison, WI  53704.
  • Recruiting Board Members:  With one open board position coming into the end of this year, and the just announced retirement of another Board member, Corporate Secretary Gary Goyke is recruiting for volunteers to serve on All Aboard Wisconsin’s 501(c)(3) Board which manages the day-to-day affairs of the Association.  Have questions?  Just give Gary a call at (608) 219-5237.  Then send him a letter indicating your interest and a brief resume to:   All Aboard Wisconsin, 5302 Lighthouse Bay Drive, Madison, WI  53704.

Last modified on January 10, 2017

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