Colo was safe and on time, not to mention under budget.
Chief Executive Officer
Mike joins Colo Railroad Builders from Anacostia Rail Holdings where he worked for almost ten years and where he served most recently as the President and CEO of the Louisville and Indiana Railroad. He brings tremendous rail and leadership experience to Colo, with over 20 years in the railroad industry, and prior to that, a successful 11-year career in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer and decorated war veteran in Operation Desert Storm. He shares our dedication to safety and standards, knows our business well from the customer side, brings tremendous industry contacts and connections, and is ready and eager to join us to help lead the next phase of Colo’s growth.
Mike started his career with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad (CNW) as a Trainmaster working in Chicago and the surrounding areas before rising rapidly through the operating ranks after the merger with the UP, serving as Corridor Manager, Terminal Superintendent, and District Director for the Gulf Coast. In 2000, Mike joined CANAC, where he worked as Vice President for U.S. Industrial Operations, overseeing 32 industrial operations in 18 states including metro Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Detroit. Mike moved to Anacostia in 2005 to head the Pacific Harbor Line (PHL), first as the General Superintendent and eventually President. While there, Mike reduced the reportable injury ratio from almost 10% to 0%, almost tripled revenues, and helped PHL go from 665,000 to over 1.6 million cars processed annually. While at PHL, Mike also took on leadership of the Gulf Coast Switching Company (GCSC) with equal success, before finally assuming the role of President of the Louisville and Indiana Railroad (LIRC) in 2012. At LIRC, helped almost double revenues and negotiated an industry landmark joint facility and joint venture agreement with CSX for system upgrade and maintenance.
Mike’s career has been marked by operational excellence resulting in superior customer satisfaction and outstanding safety results as evidenced by his Railroad winning the “Shortline of the Year” (2009) and the Harriman Award for Safety Excellence (2011). He is a former Director/Treasurer for the California Shortline Assn. and Director for ASLRRA Western Region. Finally, Mike is veteran having served as an Officer in the U.S. Army Artillery in the continental U.S., Western Europe, Korea and the Persian Gulf. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor for his service. Mike is married to his beautiful wife Natalie and has four daughters and a son.
Chief Operating Officer
Frank Condurelis has 7 years of railroad construction and maintenance industry experience. His background includes extensive M&A work and previous executive positions with IncLabs. City Search.com/TicketMaster, MedStat Group, Nortel, HCA, and AT&T. He is presently a partner in Iron Rail Group and serves on the board of Railcomm and Colo Railroad Builders.
Mr. Condurelis holds a BS from the University of Tennessee and while at AT&T completed its Informational Studies at MIT.
Vice President, Project Development and Estimating (Northern Region)
Terry Benton is the present Chairman of the Board for the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC).
He joined Colo Railroad Builders in 2000 and has worked in the rail industry for almost 40 years, starting with the Rock Island as a relief agent/operator. Mr. Benton developed extensive skills through various positions in the contract rail construction industry, later he held a leadership position with the Iowa Interstate Railroad.
Vice President, Project Development and Estimating (Southern Region)
Cene Cooley joined Colo Railroad Builders in January, 2012 with almost 25 years of leadership experience in the railroad industry. Mr. Cooley has worked with shortline railroad carriers and contract construction service providers. Previous positions include Chief Engineer, Gulf Region Watco and General Superintendent for Balfour Beatty.
Vice President Operations, Northern Region
Mark Jansen joined Colo Railroad Builders in August of 2011 with almost 40 years of experience in the railroad construction industry. His career started with the Norfolk and Western Railroad and led to opportunities in the contract rail construction industry in 1979. He has held various positions including foreman, supervisor, superintendent, general manager, and director of operations. He has led operating divisions for Annex, Railworks, and Associated RR Contractors.
Mr. Jansen attended the University of Indiana.
Vice President Operations, Southern Region
Michael Payne was appointed Director of Health and Safety for Colo Railroad Builders in April of 2012. Michael has more than 20 years of railroad experience. He has held various positions including Terminal Superintendent, Division Road Foreman, Director of Operations, and Manager of Safety and Operating Practices.
Mr. Payne served in the United States Air Force as a flight officer and flight instructor of 11 years before returning to a career in the railroad industry in 1992.
Dave Leehy has over 25 years of railroad and construction experience. He is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the Construction Financial Management Association. His previous experience includes positions with JF Electric, Railworks, and Merit Railroad Contractors.
Mr. Leehy holds a BS in Accounting from Eastern Illinois University.
Corporate Health, Safety and Compliance Director
Joe Colgan was appointed Director of Health and Safety for Colo Railroad Builders in December of 2013. Joe has 15 years of railroad experience. He has held various positions in the rail industry and chemical plant industry, including Site Manager, Safety Coordinator, Mechanical Supervisor, Trainer, and Manager of Safety and Operating Practices.
Mr. Colgan has a passion for employee development and helping those become something they never thought possible.
Director of Human Resources
Shelly Hitzler joined Colo Railroad Builders in 2011 as an office manager and was appointed Director of Human Resources in January of 2012. She has over 13 years of experience in executive support and organizational culture development.
She proudly served in the United States Army Reserves from 1986 through 1992.
Mrs. Hitzler holds a BA in Organizational Management from Ashford University and the PHR designation from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Director of Operations, Northern Region
Conrad McMillin has 34 years of railroad construction experience beginning in 1979. He began his career in railroading as a laborer, and through a series of promotions, worked his way up to Vice President of Operations, where he managed up to 120 field employees with Merit Railroad Contractors.
Before assuming his role as Director of Operations for Colo Railroad Builders, Conrad was the Director of Engineering with Hulcher Services.