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Episode 19 – Kari Gonzales

Kari Gonzales – President and CEO TTCI

“The best leading you can do is listening and following the advice of your people.” – Kari

Kari Gonzales is the President and CEO of the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI). Headquartered in Pueblo, Colorado, TTCI is a world-class transportation research and testing organization, providing emerging technology solutions for the railway industry throughout North America and the world. TTCI was established to support the development and deployment of innovative technologies to increase the railroad industry’s safety, reliability, and efficiency. Today, Kari shares all about TTCI and how they are shaping the future of the railroad industry.

Standout Quotes:

“Conversations can really shape an individual. As leaders, teachers, and mentors, we need to be careful about the conversations that we have with people.” – Kari

“We continue to put technology to work and put the right people in the right places to meet today’s challenges and tomorrow’s solution.” – Kari

“The best leading you can do is listening and following the advice of your people.” – Kari

“It has been a blessing in disguise for us to have to send people home. It taught people that we don’t have to be centrally located daily to be effective.” – Kari

“You can do anything you want to do as long as you put your mind to it.” – Kari

“To get involved in your community, you just have to find something even if it’s something you’re not going to stick with. Just go there and start doing something.” – Kevin

Key Takeaways:

  • As a mentor, leader, or teacher, our conversations with our students will significantly impact how they view themselves. A simple comment from a leader or mentor will shape an individual.
  • Technology has significantly helped the railroad industry to develop. Technology has improved the fuel efficiency and the monitoring of the overall health and safety of rail networks.
  • Most of TTCI’s great ideas start with their team. They have become a stronger organization because they have the opportunity to listen to their team members.
  • TTCI showed great resilience and adaptability from the Pandemic. The organization came up with creative solutions in transitioning from working from home and continued to provide excellence in customer service.

Episode Timeline:

[01:41] What is TTCI?

[02:29] How did you become interested in the railroad industry?

[06:22] What’s the drive behind your passion?

[07:14] Kari’s Journey from BNSF to TTCI

[12:46] Were there any challenges throughout your career?

[13:34] What shaped you to be so excited about problems and seeing problems positively?

[15:05] What does TTCI do that impacts your everyday life?

[18:04] What are some of the challenges that the railroad industry is facing?

[20:00] How is technology impacting the railroad industry?

[22:21] How will EVRAZ’s rail mill expansion impact TTCI?

[23:50] What are your daily duties?

[25:29] Breaking stereotypes and Kari’s involvement in the League of Railway Women

[28:32] TTCI’s recent milestone

[31:17] Does TTCI have any involvement in futuristic railway projects?

[34:38] Will there be any opportunity for tours for TTCI’s Hyperloop facility?

[37:36] How does TTCI support climate-friendly transportation?

[40:33] How does TTCI maintain a productive working environment?

[44:57] What are your thoughts on the passenger rail that is coming to pop up?

[47:33] Where do you see yourself and TTCI in the future?

[49:14] What is your favorite hidden gem in Colorado?

[51:57] What advice would you give to somebody who’s moving to Colorado?

[54:19] Other Remarks

[57:24] What is SERTC?

Learn more about TTCI and Kari Gonzales at:

Kari’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kari-gonzales-35a2a259/

TTCI: https://www.ttci.tech/

TTCI Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreTTCI/

TTCI Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEd8yLzKr-KHwWCXU6q6aEw

Colorado Railway Museum: https://coloradorailroadmuseum.org/

SERTC: https://sertc.org/