FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (Davis, California; December 15, 2014)The Sierra Northern Railway board of directors has named Kennan H. Beard III as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Ken, a seasoned industry executive with over 20 years of experience in railroad operations, will lead the California railroad’s growth and expansion plans across all its business divisions.
Ken, a fifth generation railroader, was most recently the Chief Operating Officer for the Modesto & Empire Traction Company and Beard Land Improvement Company located in Modesto, California. Starting with the railroad in 1994, Ken spent time working with all its divisions. His experience includes track design and construction, Genset locomotive design and operation as well as intermodal operations. In 1999, Ken was brought into the M&ET’s sister company, the Beard Land Improvement Company, to oversee the industrial development division. Ken was instrumental in the design, permitting and construction of River Bluff Business Park as well as the ongoing leasing, maintenance and construction of over 4 million square feet of company owned, rail served warehouses.
Ken has served as the President of the California Short Line Railroad Association since 2006 and as such has worked extensiviely with both federal and state regulators as well as the legislators within the state of California.
He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.
Ken’s initial focus will be to grow existing freight rail operations and launch the company’s new industrial warehouse ownership and leasing division. Says parent company CEO, Mike Hart, of the decision:
“Sierra Northern is excited to have Ken on our team. In particular, we look forward to benefitting from his hands-on expertise with how railroads are an integral part of a much larger economic development engine. Ken's experience on the M&ET — where he assisted with the development and management of millions of square feet of space for customers — will be instrumental as we help to develop a plan for our own rail-served customers in Mendocino, Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Yolo counties.”
Sierra Northern is looking forward to an exciting future as the organization continues to expand its existing businesses and further identify strategic growth opportunities.
About Sierra Northern Railway
Sierra Northern Railway is the freight division of privately-owned railroad, Sierra Railroad. Sierra Northern currently operates approximately 75 miles of track in northern California, through the heart of a number of California's prime industrial areas, serving a wide variety of customers, and interchanging with both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad.