The Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) today celebrated the 100th birthday of its founding Chairman Dr. Paul H Banner with a reminder to the railroad community of his numerous contributions to the industry. This was commemorated with the naming of its most recently purchased locomotive, Wabtec ES44AC #519, the “Paul H Banner” upon its delivery in December of 2019.
IAIS Chairman Henry Posner III commented, “I have been honored to follow in Paul Banner’s footsteps, and am proud that we are in a position to commemorate his contributions to the industry in such a manner. It is easy to forget the audacity of the formation of our company from the abandoned main line of the Rock Island in 1984: the fact that new locomotives are being bought by a railroad that began under such dire circumstances is testament to many things, including the remarkable story of railroad deregulation. But on this day we focus on the vision and tenacity of its founders, Paul Banner being the first among equals, and celebrate the fact that he is alive and well in retirement.”
Dr. Banner’s service to the industry prior to IAIS includes leadership roles at Southern Railway and the Rock Island.
IAIS President Joe Parsons added, “The Iowa Interstate Railroad survives today as a critical part of the nation’s freight rail network because of a few key railroaders who saw something in our footprint that many others did not. Dr. Banner is one of those visionaries.”
The Iowa Interstate Railroad is a Cedar Rapids, IA based freight railway company operating in the Midwestern region of the USA between Chicago, Peoria and Omaha. Further information is available at: www.iaisrr.com.
The Iowa Interstate Railroad is pleased to announce that Allen Polfer has accepted the position
of Chief Financial Officer effective June 1, 2021 reporting to Joe Parsons, President / CEO. As
CFO, Allen is responsible for the overall management of the Accounting department.
Allen began his career with us in March of 2017 as Controller. He started his finance and
accounting career with GMAC Mortgage as a Loan Counselor. After receiving his B.A. in
Accounting at the University of Northern Iowa and successfully becoming a Certified Public
Accountant he began auditing at Deloitte & Touche LLP and worked there for two years before
accepting a position with BerganKVD, working there as a senior auditor before accepting
employment with us in March of 2017.
Cathy Smith, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has announced she will retire effective
May 31, 2021, after an 18-year career in railroading. Over the years she held various management
positions within IAIS including Controller, VP of Finance and Accounting, and most recently, V.P. and
Chief Financial Officer. Cathy also served as the Secretary for Iowa Interstate’s Board of Directors since
2012. Her contributions to Iowa Interstate’s success during her career were many and she is to be
commended for her years of hard work and dedication.
Cathy began her accounting career in 1986 working for a start-up company which would
eventually become McLeod*USA. She held various management positions in Accounting, Production
and Sales Operations where her primary responsibilities included performing the due diligence process
to analyze the viability of over 60 company acquisitions during her 15 year tenure. She held the position
of VP of Sales Operations when she left the company.
Cathy graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA degree in Accounting and achieved her goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant in 2003.
Cathy is looking forward to spending time with her daughters and their families, fishing with her
husband, Bert and some much-needed quiet time in her “She Room”.
Allen Polfer has served as our Controller since he was hired in March of 2017 and he has accepted
the promotion of Chief Financial Officer as of June 1, 2021.
All of us at IAIS wish Cathy the best in retirement!