VIA to Get New CEO

VIA Rail Canada has taken a page from Amtrak’s playbook and looked toward the skies to find a new CEO.

Cynthia Garneau

Cynthia Garneau, currently President of Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, will become VIA President and CEO for a five-year term beginning May 9.

The appointment was announced by Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau, himself a a former NASA astronaut. Cynthia Garneau is not related to Marc Garneau.

Amtrak’s CEO, Richard Anderson, joined the passenger railroad after serving as head of Delta Air lines.

Cynthia Garneau became the president of Bell in January 2016, a company she had worked for since 2004.

Before coming to Bell, she worked for Bombardier Aerospace.

Garneau earned Bachelor of Specialized Education and Bachelor of Law degrees from Sherbrooke University.

She has been a member of the Québec Bar since 1994. Garneau is also a board member of AIAC (Aerospace Industries Association of Canada) and Aero Montreal.

Three others were named to the VIA board of directors for four-year terms. They include Grant Christoff, Miranda Keating Erickson and Viola Ann Timmons.

Christoff is a lawyer who has served as counsel for the First Nations Health Authority and Saulteau First Nations since 2015.

Keating Erickson has been vice president of Alberta Electric System Operator since 2010.

Timmons has been president and vice chancellor of the University of Regina since 2008.

Marc Garneau lauded outgoing CEO Yves Desjardins-Sicioliano for his service to VIA in the past five years, which included ridership growth, renewing the carrier’s rolling stock and developing a proposal related to high frequency rail.

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