The NARS 2023 Annual Meeting — we are returning to Chicago over May 24-26, 2023


NARS Honors Award Recipients

Award Recipients Honored at Annual Meeting

At this year’s annual meeting, three individuals were honored for their contributions. The NARS Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ed Hamberger, while the Edward R. Hamberger Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Allan Roach, and the Person of the Year Award was presented to Tony Hatch.

“I cannot think of anything more touching than to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from NARS,” Hamberger said. “You are not a bunch of shippers; you are our customers. We can work together, which is why this award means so much.”

Now retired, the honoree’s career spanned more than 40 years of combined experience with private legal practice, as well as the executive and legislative branches of government. He presided 20 years as Association of American Railroads (AAR) president and chief executive officer, while his involvement with NARS surpasses a decade.

During his acceptance speech, Hamberger articulated deep gratitude to those in attendance, recalling many years of collaborating to deepen connections and resolve differences.

“Thank you for helping to educate Congress about the importance of extending the Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline, as well as reaching an agreement about the Surface Transportation Board (STB) authorization bill,” he said. “These things indicate how we can work together, which is why the award not only means so much to me personally, but it is an industry symbol for how far we’ve come.”
A 20-year NARS member, Roach, received the first renamed Lifetime Achievement Award to honor the leadership Hamberger demonstrated for more than 30 years in the rail industry. He said he was deeply moved by the honor.

“I didn’t expect it, but I appreciate it very much,” said Roach, who currently serves as senior vice president of business development for Watco Cos. “All of these folks are my peers, and we learn and benefit from one another in the industry.”

Roach’s impressive career includes roles with the U.S. Civil Service and BNSF. He also served as president for NARS and SWARS. One of his proudest achievements is developing the new crude-by-rail unit train terminals in the U.S. Bakken Shale oil fields.

“I was one of the younger people when I first got involved in NARS,” he said, offering advice to newer members. “It really helped me understand the shippers’ side of the equation, identify their problems and grow opportunities, as well as figure out what we could do better together, which helped my own career a lot.”

Hatch, a 31-year senior transportation analyst, said involvement with NARS helps people know what’s happening in the industry.

“You need all the different parts to add to your overall knowledge,” he said, indicating the information is for rail employees and shippers alike. “I would encourage anyone in the business to become more involved and dabble in sister organizations. I’ve made great friends and professional contacts. These folks I’ve come to know for the past 15 years are crucial to my career success.”

Hatch said receiving the Person of the Year Award is the best professional honor he has ever received. His other notable achievements include founding ABH Consulting, having 15 years of Wall Street experience, as well as co-sponsoring and leading “RailTrends,” an annual comprehensive railway conference in New York City. During a panel discussion during this year’s meeting, he emphasized investment in a railroad’s network as key to a healthy company and happy customers.

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