Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 10

TRACKSIDE CHAT

A CHAT WITH FORMER ASLRRA-PAC
FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE
CHAIRMAN NATE ASPLUND

10

Photo courtesy of Nate Asplund

I

n early January, Nate Asplund relocated
to Jacksonville, Florida, to join Florida
East Coast Railway as its President
and CEO - after completing his role as
President and CEO for Red River Valley &
Western Railroad in North Dakota. Nate
talks about his career in railroading and his
recent experience as Chairman of the ASLRRA-PAC Fundraising Committee.
Short Line Connector: Congratulations on your new role at Florida East
Coast Railway! How did you get your start
in railroading?
Nate Asplund: I was finishing my
master's degree in agricultural economics at
Ohio State and heard Burlington Northern
Railroad (BN) was coming to interview
MBAs. I called the business school and
was told I could not sign up because I was
an "ag guy." I managed to pry out of them
the date the BN recruiter was going to
be on campus. When that day arrived, I
showed up at the career center before the
noon hour, tailed the BN recruiter over to
the student union and put my résumé on
his tray as he sat down for lunch. BN's ag
commodities marketing group later asked
him to call me for an interview in Fort
Worth, Texas. Funny - I was the only
Buckeye grad the BN hired that year.
SLC: You recently stepped down as
the ASLRRA-PAC Chairman to focus
on your new role at Florida East Coast
Railway, and we thank you for your
service. Will you explain the purpose
of PAC, especially for those of us who
aren't familiar with it?
NA: "PAC" stands for the political
action committee. PACs are organized for
the purpose of raising and spending money
to elect and defeat political candidates and

Nate Asplund is President and CEO of Florida East Coast Railway, the sole provider along
Florida's east coast with direct rail access to South Florida's ports.

are permitted to give $5,000 to a candidate
committee per election. The ASLRRA-PAC
supports elected officials who support issues
critical to our industry. Trade association
PACs such as ours are permitted by the
Federal Election Commission (FEC) to
solicit support from individuals whose
companies are a) members of ASLRRA and
b) have signed a prior authorization form.
The form simply gives the ASLRRA-PAC
permission to solicit funding; there is no
requirement or expectation that employees
of those companies with prior authorizations will or should give to the PAC.
SLC: For the folks who don't know,
what do PACs like ours do?
NA: Running a successful political
campaign is expensive. PACs raise money
on behalf of political candidates they
believe in. PACs often host fundraising

SHORT LINE CONNECTOR // WINTER 2018

events to support candidates and give us
an opportunity to educate them on the
industry, what's at stake and why it matters.
A PAC is an important tool to ensure that
an industry's issues, such as the 45G tax
credit, are well represented in Congress. It
goes without saying that highly supported
PACs are more likely to have an impact on
Capitol Hill.
SLC: How do you spend your
downtime?
NA: Having just arrived in Florida,
I am enjoying being outside in January!
In North Dakota, I joined my youngest
daughter in a youth curling league. We
learned a whole new vocabulary, including
"hog line," "hack" and "bonspiel." It's
really a great game for kids and parents that
teaches patience, persistence and the value
of being neighborly. —



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Short Line Connector - Winter 2018

Keepin’ It Rail
Inside Track
Keeping Track
Welcome Aboard
Traffic Report
Trackside Chat
LOOKING AHEAD IN 2018
ASLRRA RELEASES STRATEGIC PLAN
READY FOR RECOVERY
MARKETING AWARD WINNER: PAN AM RAILWAYS
The Class Act
Legislative Log
Safety Central
Meet the Staff
Ad Index
In Transit
The Last Mile
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover1
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover2
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 1
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Keepin’ It Rail
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 3
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Inside Track
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Keeping Track
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Welcome Aboard
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 7
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Traffic Report
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 9
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Trackside Chat
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 11
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - LOOKING AHEAD IN 2018
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 13
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 14
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 15
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 16
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 17
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - ASLRRA RELEASES STRATEGIC PLAN
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 19
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 20
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 21
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - READY FOR RECOVERY
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 23
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 24
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - MARKETING AWARD WINNER: PAN AM RAILWAYS
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - The Class Act
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Legislative Log
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Safety Central
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Ad Index
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - In Transit
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - 31
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - The Last Mile
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover3
Short Line Connector - Winter 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/annual2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter19
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter18
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/FactsAndFigures
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/winter17
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/fall16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/summer16
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/ASLRRA/spring2016
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com