Courtesy Nate Beal, Wikimedia Commons
The Metra board of directors unanimously selected Donald A. Orseno, a lifelong railroader who has worked at Metra for more than three decades, as the next executive director/CEO of the commuter rail agency.
Orseno, 59, has served as the interim executive director/CEO since last August. Board members said he was the clear favorite among three other candidates who were interviewed last week.
“I am humbled by the board’s faith in me,” Orseno said. “I want our riders to know that nothing will be more important to me — and to Metra — than providing safe, dependable and comfortable trains and the best possible customer service.”
Tackling Metra’s huge capital funding needs and restoring the public trust in Metra are among his other priorities, he added.
Orseno has worked for the railroad industry for 40 years. A native of the Chicago area, he began his career as a Rock Island Railroad trainman. Since joining Metra in 1984, he has risen through the ranks based upon his stellar performance and no-nonsense work ethic, according to Metra.
Orseno has held progressively responsible management positions throughout his career at Metra, including senior trainmaster; director of mechanical; director of suburban operations; director of safety & rules; chief customer service officer, chief transportation officer and deputy executive director/chief operations officer.
Orseno is an active participant and member of the Safety and Operations Management Committee of the Association of American Railroads, the senior management committee for the North American railroads. He served as VP and then president of the American Association of Railroad Superintendents for the U.S. and Canada. He is an active member of the Chicago Railroad Superintendents Association, having served 10 years as its president.