Finance & Administration Seminar and General Counsel Symposium Agendas


Finance & Administration Seminar Agenda

Wednesday - November 14, 2018 

 12:00pm - 5:00pm     Registration
 1:00pm - 1:05pm
1:05pm - 1:50pm    Property Access Insurance Considerations – How do I make sure my Railroad
is Protected?

Speakers: W. Burton “Tripp” Salisbury – Vice President, McRail;
John Durante – Senior Vice President, Marsh / Global Rail Practice;
Janet Gilbert – Partner, Fletcher & Sippel, LLC

Description: In this session we will address liability related to railroad property
access for both contractors and the public.  What steps should your Short Line
Railroad take to properly protect themselves from incidents involving either entity,
including and what legal language should apply? 
1:50pm - 2:35pm    Changing the Way You Think about Investing
Speaker: William Kriesel, CPA/PFS, CFP®, AEP®, Partner-in-Charge: B&C Planning

Description: This presentation will give you a new perspective on planning to
meet your goals, and an easier way to understand the long term impacts of
current events and the economy on your plan.
2:35pm - 2:55pm   Networking Break
2:55pm - 3:45pm   What to Consider when Acquiring or Selling a Short Line Railroad
Speakers: Joe Mocciaro, CPA, Partner, Bowers & Company CPAs
Rick Tidd, CPA?ABV/CGMA, CFF, CITP, Partner-in-Charge: B&C Valuation Services

Description: With a high level of buy/sell activity going on in the Short Line
Industry today, many railroads are considering their options.  For most of us, this
is a once in a career event, and we are short on experience on how to proceed to
achieve a successful outcome.
3:45pm - 4:35pm   Considering an acquisition strategy - Key components of bank acquisition

Speakers: Matt Flynn, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, US Bank
Alexander M. Burke, Assistant Vice President, Relationship Manager - Corporate &
Commercial Banking, US Bank 
Description: Given a stable and growing economy,
an available market of assets and shortlines, and a great time for borrowers given
the competitiveness of the banking environment, railroads are inquiring about
how they might use debt financing to grow their businesses and acquire certain
assets/companies. Utilizing current working capital lines of credit that may be in
place too often fall short of what is needed for these transformative transactions.
This creates a need to go back to your bank to determine how to structure the
deal. What is the cost of borrowing? How do I manage my risk? At what level can
I borrow? What is a reasonable amount of equity, if any, to be included?

 4:35pm - 5:05pm     Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
Speakers:  Staff members from the Railroad Retirement Board   
Description: In this session representatives from the RRB will cover two topics: 
First, how do they figure out the unemployment rate charged to a railroad
calculated?  How does unemployment & sickness claims effect the rate? The
second topic that will be discussed is the Independent Short Term Disability.
How can railroads use these plans along with sickness benefits. Are there are
plans like this that are available? If so, how does this effect or compliment
coverage that RRB has in place?
 5:00pm - 6:00pm      Finance & Administration Seminar Reception

Thursday - November 15, 2018

7:00am - 5:00pm   Registration 
7:15am - 7:55am   Breakfast 
8:00am - 8:05am   Welcome & Safety Briefing
8:05am - 9:15am   What's Keeping Your HR Professional Up at Night?
Speakers: Chloé Pedersen, Attorney, Fletcher & Sippel, LLC
Tracey Donesky, Partner, Stinson Leonard Street, LLP
Shae LeDune, HR Manager, Indiana Rail Road Company
The employment landscape keeps changing, thanks to new laws, legislatures and
unions. A recent survey of HR professionals, found that respondents ranked
employee engagement as their number one concern. But two other concerns are
currently right on its tail: retaining key talent in a recovered economy (28%) and
attracting and retaining diverse talent (27%). Join us for a discussion of these topics
and other employment issues directly affecting the rail industry.
9:15am - 10:25am    Best HR Practices / Annual Checklist
William Fountain, Director, Human Resources, Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc.
David Hankins, HR Director, Anacostia Rail Holdings Company
Onna Houck, General Counsel, Iowa Interstate Railroad, Ltd.

Join us for an interactive session led by seasoned professionals of the ASLRRA’s Human
Resources Committee in which HR best practices will be examined. Attendees will walk
away with practical tools
and a checklist to aid in their own year-end HR and employment planning. 
10:30am - 11:00am   Networking Break
11:05am - 12:00pm   Recruiting Struggles: How to Handle Hiring and Retention Issues
David Hankins, HR Director, Anacostia Rail Holdings Company
Jamal Brown, M.A., Regional Network Coordinator (West), Marine for Life Network
Merritt Canfield, Executive Recruiter, Edna A. Rice Executive Recruiter, Inc.
David J. Caleb, aPHR, aPHRi, PHR, Master Sergeant, US Army, Soldier for Life
Join moderator David Hankins and a panel of skilled recruiters and hiring managers for
a discussion on the challenges of recruiting, hiring and retaining skilled employees. 
Panelists will discuss industry-specific hiring challenges and techniques as well as the
importance of attracting and recruiting veterans into the railroad industry.  Attendees will
have an opportunity to ask questions and share stories about their own challenges and
unique / successful hiring strategies.
 12:00pm - 12:55pm   Luncheon: Finance & Administration & General Counsel Symposium 

General Counsel Symposium Agenda

Credit Hours for CLE will be as follows: 7.0 CLE for 60 minute states and 8.0 for 50-minute states.
CLE for the ASLRRA General Counsel Symposium is provided by:


Thursday, November 15, 2018

11:00am - 5:00pm
12:00pm - 12:55pm   Joint Luncheon for Finance/Administration Seminar & General Counsel Symposium
1:00pm - 1:10pm
  Safety Briefing and Opening Comments
1:10pm - 2:25pm
  Hot! Hot! Hot! Employment Litigation Topics
Speakers: Chloe G. Pedersen, Fletcher & Sippel, LLC
Tracy Donesky, Stinson Leonard Street

This session will cover a review of the Hot! Hot! Hot! employment law cases
involving the rail industry. Our employment litigation panelists will walk through
recent whistleblower claims under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (“FRSA”) and
provide an update on other railroad-related employment litigation, including recent
class action litigation being pursued under the Americans with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”) and other employment statutes.

 2:30pm - 3:30pm
  Making the Best of the Railroad's Obligations Under RRB - RRB Annuity
and Taxes
Speakers: David B. Schneidewind, Boyle Brasher, LLP

This topic will explore the effect of an RRB Disability Annuity, RRB taxes, and
Medicare obligations on a FELA judgement and a settlement.  Our presenter will
address time-lost claimed by a plaintiff, presumed time-lost in a judgment, payment
of RRB Tier I & II taxes, Medicare obligations, taxes that a railroad is obligated to
pay on a FELA judgement versus a settlement, and repayment and suspension of RRB
Disability Annuity. This topic will highlight the use of the payment of these taxes and
obligations to demonstrate the benefit to a plaintiff for settling for a lower amount.

3:30pm - 3:50pm   Networking Break
3:55pm - 5:00pm   Federal Update: Surface Transportation Board / Department of Transportation
Grant Programs
Speakers: Justin J. Marks, Associate, Nossaman LLP
William A. Mullins, Partner, Baker and Miller PLLC

The Surface Transportation Board (“STB”) is authorized to conduct economic
regulation of railroads and to adjudicate railroad-related disputes.  Recent
vacancies have left the agency slow to act on pressing regulatory matters. 
Soon, the STB will have a full complement of commissioners.  This panel will
provide a biography of the new members and review what we may expect from
the STB in 2019.  Despite the vacancies, the STB has been busy exercising its
new authority to mediate disputes. This panel will provide experience and
insights into the STB’s new mediation procedures. In addition to regulating
safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation administers federal grants.  This
panel will provide one railroad’s experience navigating the requirements for
obtaining federal grants and loans.
5:00pm - 6:00pm   General Counsel Symposium Reception

Friday - November 16, 2018  

7:00am - 10:30am   Registration
7:00am - 7:55am   Breakfast
8:00am - 9:00am   Get Your 4-R Act Together: Understanding Railroad Taxpayer Protection
Speakers: Robert Wimbish, Fletcher & Sippel
Joel Pangborn, CSX Transportation

Before the Staggers Act, Congress delivered to the industry the Railroad
Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (“4-R Act”). Among other
things, the 4-R Act offered railroads protections against tax discrimination.
While the 4-R Act has thwarted unfair statewide taxing schemes, its use to
protect against smaller-scale taxing schemes unfair to railroads is sometimes
overlooked. This presentation will survey the 4-R Act’s taxpayer protections
generally, address cases of note, and then will discuss the extent to which the
4-R Act may shield against lower-profile taxing schemes that, whether
intentionally or not, unfairly burden railroads, particularly smaller carriers.
9:05am - 10:05am   Insurance Requirements for Rail Contracts
Moderator: Asim S. Raza, Terminal Railroad Ass’n of St. Louis
Speakers: Jeremiah White, AON
Thomas V. Seifert, Seifert Law, PLLC

Railroads partnering with vendors or other organizations should be aware of
the insurance requirements that are commonly utilized in Contracts.  In this
presentation we will provide an overview of the common terms and insurance
coverages that you will find in the Insurance Section of a Rail contract.
10:05am - 10:30am   Networking Break
10:30am - 12:00pm   What’s the Over/Under? – Dealing with RR Crossings and Underground
and Overhead Utilities

Moderator: Kim R. Bongiovanni, Assistant General Counsel, CSX Transportation
Panel/Presenters: Michael J. Barron, Fletcher & Sippel, LLC
Kevin W. Baldwin, Daley Mohan Groble

Railroads are being inundated with new utility crossings these days;
in many cases without proper notice and precautions taken by the
utilities. Learn from two seasoned attorneys who have significant
experience in utility-crossing matters and learn about their strategies
and what recommendations they may have going forward to
address the key safety issue. 
12:00pm    General Counsel Symposium Adjourns

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