News & Reviews News Wire Patriot Rail names Port of New Orleans leader as its next CEO

Patriot Rail names Port of New Orleans leader as its next CEO

By Bill Stephens | May 15, 2024

Brandy D. Christian will replace the retiring John Fenton in June

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Short line railroad and transload operator Patriot Rail Co. has named Port of New Orleans CEO Brandy D. Christian as its next chief executive officer.

Christian will join Patriot Rail on June 17, the company said today. She’ll succeed CEO John Fenton, who is retiring after 12 years at the helm.

Brandy Christian will become Patriot Rail’s CEO in June. Port of New Orleans
“Brandy is an exceptional global supply chain and freight rail executive with the vision, perspective and expertise to lead Patriot Rail in its accelerating growth and development,” Deb Butler, Patriot Rail board chair, said in a statement. “We are grateful to John for his exemplary contributions in guiding the company through significant expansion for more than a decade, establishing an unparalleled culture of safety and employees first while delivering top customer service and value.”

Christian brings more than 25 years of freight transport, infrastructure development, and rail
sector experience to Patriot Rail.

“I’m thrilled to join Patriot Rail, a stellar industry pacesetter committed to safety excellence,
teamwork, and delivering value for customers,” Christian said in a statement. “Patriot Rail has an admirable culture of employee-first collaboration. I look forward to working with the team to build on their achievements and guide Patriot’s continued growth as a freight logistics and supply chain leader and the partner of choice for rail-focused strategic infrastructure investment.”

The Port of New Orleans announced Christian’s departure yesterday and praised her leadership, which also included heading the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad.

Man with white hair, goatee and glasses
Patriot Rail CEO John Fenton speaks at the MARS Winter Meetings. David Lassen
Since Igneo Infrastructure Partners acquired Patriot Rail in 2019, the company has grown from 31 railroads from 13, including the acquisition of Salt Lake Garfield & Western Railway in 2021 and Pioneer Lines, Inc. in 2022. In 2023, Patriot Rail acquired Delta Southern Railroad, Hydra Distribution & Rail Services and Hydra Transport, and what is now the Granite State Scenic Railway in New Hampshire.

“It has been a privilege heading up Patriot Rail over the past 12 years,” Fenton said in a statement. “During that period, we expanded to more than 30 railroads in 24 states and built an industry-leading reputation for safety, value, and partnership with our customers. I am thankful to the team and confident that the company will shine under Brandy’s management.”

One thought on “Patriot Rail names Port of New Orleans leader as its next CEO

  1. Congrats Miss Christian on your new role. Probably will run into you at the Town Center one of these days.

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