Iowa Interstate Railroad Announces Leadership Transition

The Iowa Interstate Railroad today announced the promotion of Joseph ”Joe” Parsons to the newly-created position of General Manager, concurrent with the retirement of Jerome P. “Jerry” Lipka from the position of President.

IAIS Chairman Henry Posner III commented, “The Board has been focused, second only to Safety, on the creation of an environment conducive to the evolution of a Next Generation of leadership. With the promotion of Joe Parsons to General Manager, this completes a succession plan that has been underway for some time and reflects the emerging leadership role that he has held within the company”.

Joe Parsons joined Iowa Interstate in September of 2013 as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining the Iowa Interstate, he had 10 years of railroad management experience at both Class I and short line railroads. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

Posner added, “At the same time, Jerry closes out a distinguished railway career spanning 27 years, including 10 years at Iowa Interstate, the last 6 of which he has served as President. Jerry’s leadership has brought unprecedented levels of stability, safety, investment and growth, and he leaves the company well-positioned for the Next Generation.”

Mr. Parsons commented, “I look forward to the future here at Iowa Interstate and am committed to maintaining Jerry’s legacy- the promotion of safety for IAIS’ employees as well as the general public, and great service to our customers.”

Contact: Bobbi Allen, Director of H.R.
Telephone: (319) 298 5402

Al Satunas Accepts Position of Chief Operating Officer

The Iowa Interstate Railroad is pleased to announce that Al Satunas has accepted the position of Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Joe Parsons, General Manager effective immediately. The COO is responsible for the overall management of the Transportation, Engineering, Locomotive and Mechanical departments. Al will be headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Al began his employment with us in October of 2008 as Illinois Superintendent and was promoted to Chief Transportation Officer in 2010. Al began his railroad career with the Southern Pacific Railroad in Train Service in 1992. He then progressed in his career to the Terminal Manager for the Union Pacific Railroad. Al has held the positions of Terminal Superintendent for Peoria & Pekin Union, General Manager and Assistant Regional Vice President for Rail America’s Heartland Region. Al also worked for Omni Trax – Illinois Railway for one year as General Manager overseeing all departments before he took the position of Manager of Special Projects for H & H Trackworks, Inc.

Mike Stuver will take on the responsibility of Chief Transportation Officer reporting to Al. Mike will have the responsibility for the safe and efficient movement of freight across the entire system.
As a result of the aforementioned promotions, the system will be realigned into the Iowa and Illinois Divisions.

Derek Mead has accepted the position of the Iowa Division Superintendent. Jim Keatts has accepted the position of the Iowa Division Road Foreman of Engines.

Darby Destromp has accepted the position of the Illinois Division Superintendent. Brandon Pregler has accepted the position of the Illinois Division Road Foreman of Engines. As a result, we will begin recruiting for the position of Trainmaster in Silvis.

Scott Woodward Retires

Scott Woodward

Scott F. Woodward retired as Chief Engineer from the Iowa Interstate Railroad on December 16, 2016. Scott joined the Iowa Interstate in 2004 as an Engineer, Maintenance of Way; he was rapidly promoted to Asst. Chief Engineer and subsequently appointed as Chief Engineer on January 1, 2012.

Scott began his railroad career as a Trackman in 1973 working summers at Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad while attending college. He has held various Engineering Management Positions including the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, Wisconsin Central, Estonian National Railroad, and the I&M Rail Link, presiding as the Chief Engineer.

During his career, Scott maintained thousands of miles of track and was responsible for many multi-million dollar capital improvements. His experience with track maintenance, budgeting, planning, structures, and governmental regulations made him an indispensable asset. One of his best attributes was his sense of humor; his presence could lift the spirits of all around him. 

Mr. Woodward graduated with his bachelor’s Degree in 1978 from Michigan Technical University. He and his wife, Suzanne, are avid golf players and enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.


Rob Wolfe Retires

Rob WolfeRob Wolfe began his railroading career with the Rock Island Railroad in 1977 as a clerk/operator in West Liberty, Iowa and recently retired from IAIS in November 2016 as a Customer Service Representative.  Rob’s railroading career included working for the Iowa Railroad Company and the St Louis Southwestern Railroad before coming to Iowa Interstate Railroad.  Some of the jobs Rob held during his 39 years of railroading:  Train Order Clerk, Yard Clerk, Interchange Clerk, Intermodal Clerk, Freight Agent, Demurrage Clerk, Crew Caller, Train Desk Clerk and Manager of Customer Service.

Rob’s genuine concern about his customers and company was apparent by how well he took care of them.  Rob’s knowledge was sought after by customers, co-workers and “old heads” who got know him very well; he played a very critical role in training many new hires that came through our doors.

Looking back at Rob’s initial resume’ he had experience on equipment such as teletypes and typewriters, electric and manual.  On his last day, he commented that his advice to those who continue to work in the railroad industry is to always expect change.    Times have certainly changed and we’re lucky to have had Rob as a member of the Iowa Interstate family for 30 years and are delighted he is now enjoying a well-earned retirement. 


Chris Urban Retires

chrisOn March 31, veteran railroader Chris Urban retired from the Company. Chris’ railroad career spans 48 years with six railroads: Milwaukee Road, Soo Line, BN, Wisconsin Central, CN, and the Iowa Interstate. As Director of Safety Rules and Training, Chris updated our safety rule books, timetables, and GCOR books. But Chris’ main and lasting contributions were in conducting training classes, especially those for new train service employees. Chris’ hands-on style in combining classroom training with field exercises has set the next generation of railroaders on the solid path of safety. Chris has trained over two thousand individuals who remember well his impact on their lives. Merci and bon chance, Chris.


Commitment to Safety

As the Company upholds its commitment to safety, it is only through each and every one of our employees’ efforts that we protect the public and assure we all return home intact. Although safety is an integral part of everyone’s job, we would like to specifically recognize Adam Haynie and Zach Larue this month for their recent conscientiousness in reporting a rough spot while driving their train on March 20. Our MOW crews speedily fixed the issue.

Adam and Zach join a number of their colleagues for excellent, professional performance. They are part of a select cadre that lead our safety efforts by example.