PLG’s consultants are multi-modal experts in all areas surrounding the industrial economy’s transportation and logistics. We are made up of senior-level strategists, operations experts, analysts and project managers, a majority of whom have 20+ years of real-world experience.
Graham is the CEO and founder of PLG Consulting, forming the business in 2001 following a career in the railroad and trucking industries. His various operations and business development roles helped to identify the market need for objective, expert consulting services for shippers, transportation companies, financial firms, government entities, and other stakeholders in the world of logistics.
Graham began his transportation career at Burlington Northern Railroad, performing operational and financial analysis in the areas of asset deployment and utilization, network optimization, and yield management. He later served as a Trainmaster at the Chicago, St. Louis, and Ft. Worth terminals, where he developed and implemented new management methods for railroad terminal operations.
Graham went on to serve as District General Manager for America’s largest bulk truck carrier, Quality Carriers, where he started and developed the multi-state Chicago District. In addition to full sales, marketing, operations, P&L, and safety responsibilities, he also started and managed new rail transfer and warehousing operations in Minneapolis and Chicago. Graham also opened and managed Canadian National Railway’s Chicago CargoFlo bulk transfer facility, and he helped CN implement new transload facilities in Detroit and Hamilton, Ontario.
Graham lives in Oak Park, Illinois with his wife and two children. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa.
James is the Executive Vice President for PLG Consulting, bringing over 30 years of experience with Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial startups. His expertise is in developing and executing marketing and sales strategies, constructing new organizations and capabilities and redesigning processes while motivating teams to solve problems in innovative ways. James specializes in implementing core business processes that drive profitable and measurable results.
Most recently, James led GE Transportation’s initiative to provide business solutions enabling clients to leverage data to achieve their strategic supply chain objectives through the use of analytics, optimization and applications. Prior to GE Transportation James was the Vice President of Marketing for RailAmerica, managing all commercial functions to support RailAmerica’s forty-five short line and regional railroads operating in twenty-eight states and three Canadian provinces with over 7,500 miles of track.
As the Director of Sales and Marketing for CSX Transportation, James led their commercial organizations responsible for delivering profitable revenue growth and improving the customer experience. He led market share growth in non-traditional market segments by developing new transportation products, sales channels and sales tools. James began his transportation career at Burlington Northern Santa Fe as a planning specialist, marketing manager and director of finance where he led capital investment strategies and optimization of network capabilities.
James lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife Kelly. He is a graduate of Hamline University.
Larry is a results-driven, thoughtful leader with over 25 years of experience leading, managing, analyzing and developing supply chain and logistics enhancements in the manufacturing industry. As Managing Director, Consulting Services, Larry leads company-wide performance and service initiatives focusing on execution and process improvements. His expertise includes supply chain optimization and transformation with a focus on strategic sourcing, category management, network footprint design and optimization, transportation improvement, S&OP as well as other supply chain related strategies. Holding an MBA from Purdue University and degrees in mathematics and engineering, Larry brings a unique, 360° perspective when setting the strategic direction of PLG’s consulting engagements.
Larry began his career providing integrated IT/IS solutions to customers with a focus on manufacturing and supply chain planning and execution. He then moved to network planning for RR Donnelley, a Fortune 500 integrated communications company, where he was responsible for developing the most economical and efficient way of maintaining their delivery service. After RR Donnelley, he worked for Sara Lee where, as Supply Chain Logistics Manager, he managed a >$50M annual logistics budget/spend. Next, as Supply Chain Optimization Manager for Fonterra USA, he developed and managed two supply chain teams to support the >$1B Fonterra North America dairy business. Before joining PLG, Larry worked eight years for global consulting firms to help clients optimize and transform their supply chain to compete and win in the dynamic market place.
Larry lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two children. He enjoys sports, working out and gardening.
Joe has over 40 years of experience in sales and operations in international supply chain and transportation. He has delivered successful strategies for sales of national and worldwide shipping services for small organizations and large corporations. Joe brings a full understanding to clients on how international supply chains operate across the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean from the first purchase order to the ‘final mile’ delivery.
Joe is seasoned in all import/export multi trade sales, managing sales for one of the world’s largest container carriers based in China. His decades of international sales and marketing experience includes extensive travel in Europe, China, Southeast Asia, Central/South America and the Caribbean.
Don is a seasoned veteran bringing over 30+ years of experience in transportation economics, international trade, logistics and supply chain expertise to some of the largest ports in the world. He specializes in services to public/private port operators, terminal operators and developers on all strategic aspects of operations and program management. He has managed facilities that receive/export dry bulk, containers, neo-bulk, break-bulk and project cargoes.
As CEO for the Mississippi State Port Authority, Don exercised total management responsibility for the 3rd busiest container port in the US Gulf of Mexico. He produced record revenue, tonnage and TEU-throughput figures. He has served on numerous marine/port authority transportation boards, including the American Association of Port Authorities and USDOT Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council.
Jean is an accomplished career logistics executive with over 40 years’ experience in the rail, distribution, and transportation consulting industries. She has in-depth expertise in a wide variety of disciplines, including logistics/railroad network operations and transportation analysis; problem solving and process simplification; systems design, and development and implementation. She is PLG Consulting’s lead Project Manager for rail and petroleum related projects.
A superior project manager, Jean provided executive sponsorship and direction to development of call center technology and related business process design for BNSF’s Service and Crew Calling Support Centers, resulting in a $23 million labor cost reduction. She has also utilized her engineering degree as project lead for railcar fleet optimization and North American distribution network optimization and benchmarking, improving operations and reducing costs.
Russ has over 30 years of broad business experience with a focus in logistics and supply chain strategy and performance. His primary focus has been on U.S. rail freight negotiations, distribution strategy, manufacturing/packaging site evaluations and benchmarking.
In his career, he held commercial and strategic responsibility for rail operations, including rail freight negotiations and railcar sourcing. Russ implemented metrics to track progress and identify new opportunities and streamlined contract language and payment processes. He also supported federal regulation advocacy on rail issues.
His expertise includes the strategic sourcing of transportation services including bulk liquid terminals, intermodal facilities and global container services and management of transportation for bulk liquids, plastics and packaged goods. (NAFTA and US Export).
Chris is a supply chain expert bringing a broad perspective derived from working in and analyzing multiple transportation modes over the course of 20 years. His areas of expertise include site selection and lease negotiation of logistics-related facilities; the acquisition of railroads, railroad property and railroad assets; port and railroad strategy formulation; industrial real estate portfolio management, research and entitlements; plastics packaging facilities; Foreign-Trade Zones, business continuity; grant writing; media relations; and crisis communications. Chris has concluded nearly $200 million worth of purchase and lease transactions involving supply chain assets.
His long tenure at the Port of New Orleans and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad led to major industrial and business development focused on contract management and nurturing investment opportunities by railroad and its customers along the rail network. Chris brings significant experience in business strategy, data analysis and assessment along with client project management and building team consensus.
Jim is a seasoned logistics executive with a history of innovation, leadership and business development. His experience at Yellow Transportation makes him one of the nations’ leading experts on LTL freight, helping them expand their product portfolio by $150MM. He has broad experience helping companies improve their shipping operations through lean logistics processes and technology implementation.
Following his tenure at Yellow, Jim has been involved in multiple logistics industry ventures, including matching commercial shippers to LTL carriers, assisting with lead carrier recruitment, and process design and benefits for all parties in freight transactions. A proficient negotiator and marketer, among multiple career accomplishments Jim expertly established new transportation segments and boosted revenues by +$15MM in one year via business development reengineering.
With nearly forty years of experience in engineering, construction and project management for both domestic and international clients, Tom’s multi-disciplinary roles have included coordinating permitting, legal, insurance, environmental, safety, operations, transportation and accounting for world scale bulk logistics terminals. During his career, he has developed new markets and sold multi-million turn-key projects to facilities in engineering, procurement and construction including; aggregate, pulp and paper, coke, marine, industrial, civil, water treatment, utility, infrastructure, ports, docks, rail and truck transportation, fertilizer and other industries.
Tom coaches industry leaders on trends in construction, project, facilities and engineering management techniques, specifically related to commercial, railroad, transportation, energy, marine infrastructure, environmental control, and civil industries.
Ron is a deeply-tenured, industry professional with 36 years of experience in upstream, crude oil & gas, mid-stream/NGLs, refinery processes/fuels, and petrochemical feedstocks/derivatives. His span of responsibilities and expertise includes engineering, operations, commercial, thought leadership and P/L. He has worked for some of the largest brands in the hydrocarbon market, including Dow Chemical, Dow Pipeline, Sunoco, and Chevron.
Most recently Ron served as senior advisor to Contanda Terminal Company, LLC’s growth initiative into bulk hydrocarbons storage, building upon the firm’s success during its first seventy years with food and agribusiness liquids at seventeen terminals in the US and Canada. He is President and board member of the Southwest and Northeastern Chemical Associations.
Tony is a career supply chain and logistics professional with demonstrated expertise in warehousing and transportation management. Tony has led teams in cost reduction initiatives in warehouse operations, transportation, customer service, and inventory control. He has driven teams in development of SOP’s, productivity standards, and KPI’s to highlight cost and service opportunities in supply chain and distribution operations.
As a senior logistics executive, Tony has managed global transportation processes in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Tony’s recent projects include warehouse audits, process analysis and optimization, SC strategy, facilities planning and layout, WMS evaluation, benchmarking and KPI design, project management and new warehouse implementation.
Larry is a respected leader in the rail transportation industry with expertise in sales, marketing, strategy development and risk management. In his 40+ years of engagement across multiple business lines, including the chemical, energy, industrial and petrochemical market segments, Larry has assisted major shippers in improving operations and creating competitive strategies to support market leadership and low cost distribution.
Following a 20 year career in marketing leadership at CSX, Larry became the chief commercial officer at the Paducah & Louisville Railway, one of America’s largest regional railroads. Larry helped to grow the P&L to nearly 200,000 annual carloads through innovative customer solutions, including leveraging multiple rail-barge terminals serving coal, minerals, grain, fertilizer, and other bulk commodities.
Phil began his career in refinery construction and engineering before moving on to commercial and engineering leadership roles for Chevron’s byproducts business unit. He led sales for all of Chevron’s US refineries advanced to include refinery operations planning, capital investment strategies, investment analysis, cap and ops budgeting and contracting. Further, he managed the sale of fuel grade and calcineable pet coke, sulfur and ammonia covering bidding and negotiating spot and term contracts, and price negotiations.
Following his time at Chevron, Phil has led an independent coke consulting business that has advised shippers, consumers, and investors in the optimal commercial terms and logistics for the global coke trade. He has extensive experience in bulk materials logistics planning, ports evaluation, terminals contracting, and supply chain optimization.
Sean has over thirty-five years working in the marine industry with extensive knowledge of marine transfer operations and movement of hazardous liquid product on the inland river system. He has both tactical and strategic experience in developing and running terminal and barge operations, including; strategic planning, auditing, safety training, and customer relations. Sean’s expertise includes the loading, unloading, vapor control, spill containment, and emergency management of a wide range of hazardous liquid cargoes.
Jon is an expert in operations improvement, transportation, logistics and supply chain management. He has over 30 years of experience in truck freight, small package logistics and supply chain. Jon has strategically sourced over $150 million in dry van, TL, LTL, bulk, rail, and specialized logistics spend. He has also designed comprehensive logistics models for major global and domestic retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.
Jon’s breadth of experience spans global manufacturing, transportation and logistics services, upstream and downstream oil and gas, industrial and specialty gases and railroad companies helping them reduce spend, improve operating performance and drive efficiency.
Jeannette is a site selection professional with experience in the North American aerospace, automotive, energy and chemical industries. Jeannette’s background spans more than 20 years in site location consulting, incentive negotiations, and economic development consulting. Her specific experience includes a heavy focus on manufacturing (specifically, aerospace, logistics, advanced materials and automotive sectors), as well as office sectors.
Chase brings 10 years of diverse experience in consulting, business start-up, and trading with specialties in quantitative data analysis and modeling, financial reporting, forecasting and risk management and technology development. He was the lead analyst on Shale Gas Industrial Expansion Logistics Database (SHIELD), a subscription data service delivering market intelligence for the North American industrial expansion driven by the shale gas boom.
As an entrepreneur, Chase founded and financed the largest organic beef cattle herd in Iowa along with a start-up meat processing company. He modernized and programmed applications to analyze production, streamline shipping processes and regulatory compliance using Excel, Visual Basic and SQL. He has managed all due diligence, financial analyses for M&A activity leading to the successful deal completion of multimillion-dollar company acquisitions/sales.
Ben is a registered Professional Engineer with over 40 years of experience in the rail industry. Ben has been the principal engineer on hundreds of rail projects, providing design guidance and construction oversight through the United States on a range of projects including industrial parks, manufacturing sites, new mainline corridors, build-in/build-outs, ports, and transloading facilities.
Ben’s vast experience extends beyond design and engineering to operations planning and the leveraging of relationships at all Class I railroads and major short line holding companies.
Daniel is an experienced railroad professional with over twenty years of project management experience. He is responsible for railroad project scoping, due diligence, design, plan production, permitting, and construction execution.
While Chief Engineer for Fort Worth & Western Railroad, a 287-mile short line railroad, he was responsible for a $4MM CAPEX and maintenance-of-way budget in addition to management of public projects. He has managed the railroad portions of the front end loading stage for the world’s largest propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol plant, including railroad geometric design and permitting, utility mitigation support, and other railroad consulting support for civil engineering and plat plot plan design.
Daniel is a Track Safety Standards and Railroad On-Track Safety trainer.
Dr. Hutchins has more than 40 years of experience in transportation engineering, urban planning and environmental management helping companies to direct operating and investment decisions within the private and public sectors. He has an extensive record of identifying and implementing freight programs for industrial facilities, railroads, coastal and inland ports integrated with economic development and employment growth.
Dr. Hutchins has combined international leadership and board of directors experience with industrial infrastructure development. He has a track-record of delivering revenue growth, ROI and cost-savings by spearheading strategic plans and optimizing existing operations, as well as repurposing existing facilities for changing conditions.
Phil is a senior level executive in supply chain management, asset sizing, strategy and network optimization achieved by working over 30 years with Canadian Pacific Railway. He has specific experience in developing crude by rail supply chain solutions including asset optimization and terminal development. Based in Calgary, AB, he brings special expertise in Canadian oil sands crude and the associated transportation, terminal, production and refining needs.
While at CP Rail, Phil managed a team of 130 overseeing an operating plan that governed all shipment/train movements, delivering planned revenues of $5B. He successfully lead the design and execution of a multi-year $250MM program to rebuild yard locomotives, delivering improved fuel efficiency and productivity, meeting new environmental standards and capitalizing on new technology.
John brings more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of bulk truck operations, marketing, pricing, and safety. With increasing levels of responsibility, John has led management teams to improve safety, increase loaded miles, reduce freight claims, introduce new technologies, and reduce driver turnover for some of the industry’s most respected carriers, including the two largest bulk carriers in North America. While at Quality Carriers, John led all major contract negotiations for a network of over 100 terminals in the US and Canada. In addition, his safety and operational leadership at Trimac and other carriers helped lower accident rates and improve ratings by CSA and USDOT for operations that encompassed highly sensitive HSSE environments and commodities such as NGLs, chemicals, and crude oil.
John is an oilfield transportation expert. He has developed large carrier bases where he improved service levels by 45%. He has actively managed operations and rig movement, safety, marketing, and operations for organizations with full P&L responsibility.
For over 20 years, senior executive Eric Johnson has been analyzing, developing and managing rail-based transportation services for bulk and liquid commodities, including fertilizers. Eric’s experience in supply chain and project management includes developing and managing a $200M portfolio of import/export business for CSX Transportation. In that capacity, his history with rail, barge and terminal shipping of chemicals have helped him recognize and correct supply/demand imbalances throughout his clients’ transportation value chain.
Eric began his career managing the global supply chain and logistics for two major fertilizer shippers, followed by operational leadership roles at Pakhoed Dry Bulk Terminals (Kinder Morgan). He has worked extensively in rail, barge, vessel, and truck transportation of various bulk commodities.
With extensive experience in railroad operations and commercial rail negotiations from his 37 year tenure at ExxonMobil, Doug is an expert in all aspects of rail operations, fleet planning, maintenance, storage and rail accessorials management.
During his time at ExxonMobil, Doug formed and led the rail group that served multiple business units across the organization, and he led all commercial and operational negotiations and activities through the recent significant expansion of the company’s chemical production capacity. Working with cross-functional teams, Doug actively negotiated rail contracts that have saved over $12M annually and provided key support for numerous railcar business initiatives.
Pat is a strong leader with 35 years experience in the rail industry, including various executive level positions in operations with responsibilities for safety, transportation, maintenance, engineering and track design, with service in multiple railroad business units in addition to positions in sales and marketing working with a variety of commodities.
As General Superintendent for Union Pacific, Pat managed a $135 million annual operating expense budget for a service unit in addition to the execution of diverse capital budgets. He was also responsible for 1,650 employees and 1,750 miles of territory in the physically challenging Pacific Northwest, including staff overseeing all transportation, engineering, and mechanical maintenance functions.
Pat also served 20 years as a United States Naval Officer with domestic and international experience.
Roger is career freight railroad executive with over 50 years of experience in Class I, short line, and regional railroad management and ownership. Prior to joining PLG, Roger was the founder and managing partner of North American RailNet, Inc. (NAR), a privately owned short line railroad holding company with six railroads operating in ten U.S. states and the Province of Alberta, Canada.
Roger spent over 25 years with Burlington Northern Railroad and BNSF Railway, where he held various management and executive management positions in operations, engineering, marketing, and safety. He provided executive management of Burlington Northern’s largest operating division with $500 million annual operating budget, $100 million in capital expenditures, and annual revenues of $2 billion.
As PLG’s lead analyst on energy and bulk commodities, Jay plays a key role in research, analysis and market forecasting in the flows of crude oil, NGLs, coal, petcoke, refined products, biofuels, and natural gas in North America. Jay is a mechanical engineer with direct experience managing the transportation of energy products. He has coordinated the distribution of millions of gallons of ethanol via rail and truck, as well as related terminal activities.
Jay’s experience also includes network optimization, ton center analysis, mapping of commodity origin/destinations and traffic flows, and market research and analysis.
A solutions-driven logistical operations executive, Ed brings almost 40 years of practical experience from the shipper side with rail and truck procurement and operations. A veteran with chemicals, plastics and coal transportation, among other industrial products, Ed’s broad experience in rail fleet acquisition, commercial negotiations, management and maintenance delivers outstanding returns and improves complex and sophisticated logistical operations for enterprise organizations.
Other logistics experience includes hazmat management, ocean container and parcel tanker commercial negotiations, bulk liquid/solids warehousing and terminaling.
With a 40-year career at Eastman Chemical spanning energy, materials, logistics and chemical procurement, David is an expert in driving procurement and supply chain value. Experienced in raw material and energy global forecasting, he managed over $1.3B in procurement of NGLs, olefins and ethylene at Eastman. David established himself as the resident expert in oil and chemicals commodities forecasting and planning, helping to set corporate strategy and growth initiatives.
David’s business strategy experience includes market analyses and evaluations of energy and commodities, transportation operations, negotiation of logistics contracts and supply chain execution.
Roberto is an expert in the petrochemical and plastics industries with 20+ years of experience in marketing, strategy and sales development. His business experience spans the globe with specific expertise in the Latin American market, having worked for one of the largest petrochemical companies, Braskem, S.A. Roberto is well-versed in providing market analyses, pricing, trends and market drivers for petrochemical products and applications around the world.
Roberto’s leadership has helped clients implement international business growth, performance optimization, and business integration strategies that have led to increased revenue and profit, delivering +20% IRR. He has orchestrated merger and acquisition deals in the billions. Roberto is multilingual, with proficiency in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
With over 30 years of pipeline operations expertise, Bill has planned and managed tactical and strategic planning related to pipeline development. His expertise includes contract negotiations, engineering and construction services, field producer services, and the overall operations of gas control, technical services, pipeline operations, processing plants, liquid storage, and gas storage fields. He has developed and administered multi-million dollar budgets and negotiated billion dollar natural gas take-or-pay claims.
Bill has senior-level experience evaluating potential acquisitions and partnerships. He has developed programs with the aim of minimizing exposure to deficiencies and litigation and has administered gas purchase contracts, gathering exchanges, processing and operating agreements.
Mike is an accomplished career supply chain and logistics executive with over 35 years’ experience in petroleum, chemicals and metals distribution. As a hands on industry veteran, Mike has been responsible for a $200 MM annual spend in the metals industry and $150 MM annual spend in the petrochemical industry. He has an in-depth knowledge in a wide variety of disciplines, including diagnostic evaluations, customer service, logistics operations, warehousing, commercial negotiations, and performance metrics across various modes of transportation(rail, trucking, private truck fleets, international shipping).
As a consultant, Mike has worked with shippers, carriers, consumers, and private equity. His projects include rate negotiations, organizational assessments, supply chain optimization, and technology selection and utilization.
Lon is a railroad veteran with over fifty years of experience in rail operations, logistics, marketing and labor relations.
Beyond all aspects of railroading, including a focus on safety and certification programs, Lon established trucking for transload customers and directed terminal and warehousing operations for more than a dozen years. This experience combined with his 20+ years of Class I marketing and sales experience have provided Lon with a unique vantage into all aspects of railroading which he bring to his clients, pinpointing areas for improvement and strategies for growth.
Jim is an accomplished bulk terminal executive with over 25 years experience in operations management and terminal development. He has managed the transportation of over one million tons of materials annually by barge along the Illinois River and across ten terminals.
Jim has expertise in transloading in the barge, rail and truck modes. With experience in contract negotiations, site development, start up operations, operations training, and facility management, Jim brings PLG clients broad industry experience.
We are a bulk logistics and supply chain consulting firm who delivers customized and practical solutions to the industrial economy. Over 200 of the world’s most admired shippers, transportation service providers and PE firms trust us to help solve their complex logistics and supply chain challenges.
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