Our Leadership

Photo by Zane Craig

Our Team

Bob Bryant

Bob Bryant

Chair, Board of Directors

Bob Bryant is founder of the Buckingham Branch and Chairman of the Board of Directors. Bob started his railroad career in 1953 as a messenger for the C&O Railway in Richmond, Virginia. He worked his way up through the C&O and its successor railroads finally retiring as Market Manager, Planning & Analysis for CSX in Baltimore in 1987. In 1988, together with his wife Annie, he founded the Buckingham Branch and was instrumental in establishing the BB's customer and commodity base and in bringing the right people into the organization to ensure its success. Bob has very much enjoyed his over 60 years in the railroad industry and remains active in the management of the company and continues to provide the vision and the principles that guide the Buckingham Branch. When not railroading, Bob enjoys working on the farm.

Annie Bryant

Annie Bryant

Vice Chair, Board of Directors

Annie Bryant is Vice Chair of the Buckingham Branch Board of Directors. She was a career educator and teacher prior to co-founding the Buckingham Branch with Bob Bryant in 1988. In her early days with the railroad she helped set up the accounting and financial systems, handled freight agent and customer service responsibilities, and like everyone else in the early days, did whatever was needed to help run the railroad. She remains active in the corporation and is an inspiration to all Buckingham Branch employees. When not at the railroad, Annie enjoys helping with the farm and spending time with her grandchildren.

Mark Bryant

Mark Bryant

Chief Executive Officer and Corporate Treasurer

Mark Bryant is the Chief Executive Officer and Corporate Treasurer of the Buckingham Branch. He has been with the BB since its inception and knows the railroad inside out having worked in all major areas of the business including Transportation, Track, Mechanical, Safety, Customer Service, Information Technology, Accounting & Administration, Finance, and Corporate. Mark's personal interests in the railroad include social and environmental responsibility, business ethics, and the human side of railroading.

Lois Bryant Frank

Lois Bryant Frank

Corporate Secretary

Lois Bryant Frank serves as the Corporate Secretary of the Buckingham Branch Railroad. She works primarily in matters related to corporate governance and business strategy. Lois’ personal aspiration in the railroad is maintaining the integrity that the Bryant Family has created and upheld in running its business.

Steve Powell

Steve Powell

President

Steve Powell is President of the Buckingham Branch. He joined the BB in 1998 and moved up quickly becoming Senior Vice President in 2009 and advancing to President in 2011. Steve oversees all aspects of railroad operations including transportation, engineering, accounting, and administration. He is also integrally involved in strategic planning, finance, and marketing, and in maintaining cooperative relationships with partner railroads, government entities, and the communities we serve. When not railroading, Steve enjoys farming and spending time with his family.

Gale Wilson

Gale Wilson

Senior Vice President

Gale Wilson serves as Senior Vice President of the Buckingham Branch. As SVP he oversees customer relations, business development, train operations, rail traffic control, and locomotive maintenance. Gale joined the BB in 2004 advancing to Vice President in 2009 and Senior Vice President in 2011. Prior to joining the Buckingham Branch, Gale served in the U.S. Army, including service in Viet Nam, and then worked for more than 25 years in management in the poultry industry, including his last two employers, WLR Foods and Pilgrim's Pride. Additionally, prior to joining the BB, Gale served as General Manager of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. Gale lives in Rockingham County, Virginia with his wife Debra and is an avid fisherman and motorcyclist.

Philip Lachniet

Philip Lachniet

Director of Finance and Administration

Philip Lachniet is the Director of Finance & Administration for the Buckingham Branch. Philip joined the BB in 2011 and has oversight of finance and accounting, information technology, human resources, compliance, safety and training. Prior to joining the BB, Philip served as Controller at American Press in Gordonsville, Virginia. He is a Certified Public Accountant and when not railroading enjoys sports and spending time with his family.

Bill Mitchem

Bill Mitchem

Superintendent of Operations

Bill Mitchem is the Buckingham Branch’s Superintendent of Operations and directly supervises train crew operations, rail traffic control and locomotive maintenance. In 1990, after a four year tour in the U.S. Air Force as a helicopter mechanic, Bill began his railroad career with the Indiana Rail Road Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. With the Indiana Rail Road, Bill worked both in mechanical and transportation services. In 1994 Bill took a job opportunity with Conrail at the Big Four Yard in Avon, Indiana as a locomotive machinist. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Goshen College, in Goshen, Indiana, Bill continued to take on more challenging roles with Conrail and eventually with CSX in Richmond, VA. In 2010 Bill joined the Buckingham Branch family and has held a number of positions in both the mechanical and transportation departments. In his non-railroading time Bill enjoys spending time engaged in outdoor activities with his wife and three daughters.

Bill Hamilton

Bill Hamilton

Director of Business Development

Bill Hamilton is Director of Business Development for the BB. He is directly responsible for marketing and sales directed toward new freight customers, business development communications, and public relations. Bill joined the BB in 2014 after serving as Director of Economic Development for the City of Staunton, VA. Prior to that, Bill was a partner in Aslan Associates, an economic development consultant at The Urban Institute, project manager at the National Association of State Development Agencies, a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Wendell Ford, and assistant appointments secretary for Kentucky Governor Wendell Ford. Bill is active in the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), the Virginia Railroad Association, where he currently serves as Treasurer, and the Virginia Economic Developers Association, and is a member of the Virginia Bar Association. Bill has a B.A. from Eckerd College and a J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University. He lives in Staunton, VA. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/billhamiltonbbrr

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