As Norfolk Southern Corp. marketing executive Carroll E. Neville looks forward to the 113th anniversary dinner of The Traffic Club of New York, set for Feb. 28, he still finds himself having to explain how come a man whose office is in South Carolina is president of a New York-based professional organization.
“I’m always getting asked, ‘What the heck is a guy from Charleston, South Carolina, doing as president of The Traffic Club of New York?’” Neville told AJOT today [Feb. 7]. “Well, because of the interconnected nature of this business, the scope of the organization is more on a national or even international basis.”
Indeed, while the club began in 1906 with its initial 29 members being from New York’s “community of freight traffic interests,” just about half of the group’s 425 current members are from outside the metropolitan New York area, coming from all corners of the United States as well as Canada, and some have come from as far as Europe and Asia.
For example, Neville, Norfolk Southern’s market manager for international intermodal marketing, has his office at his Class I rail firm’s North Charleston intermodal terminal. NS corporate headquarters are currently in Norfolk, Virginia, with plans recently announced to move those head offices to Atlanta.
The closest Neville has worked to Gotham was in the early 1990s in Madison, New Jersey, as an account executive with Maersk Sealand. Prior to joining NS in Norfolk in 2008, his Maersk tenure found him based in such far-flung locations as Hong Kong, San Francisco and Copenhagen.
“Members of The Traffic Club of New York are scattered all over the place,” Neville said, “and include a broad spectrum of those who are interested in the national and international advancement of transportation.”
Companies represented in club membership span ocean and motor carrier, rail, port operations, third-party logistics, freight and customs brokerage and related sectors, including transportation lawyers and insurers.
Neville said that, over the past year, he has seen membership expand while realizing “the continued strengthening of collaboration, communications and networking among members, where service providers work with customers and other service providers to drive success in our business.”
The Traffic Club of New York also is known for its program providing scholarships to students pursuing transportation industry careers. With the $15,000 to be awarded at the Feb. 28 dinner, the total furnished since 2000 is to reach $200,000.
The dinner, which is expected to draw a gathering of about 800 to the Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal, is to be the final function over which Neville is to preside. After the dinner, he is to become the club’s chairman, with John Gallaher, senior vice president of Dallas-based railcar provider TrinityRail, being elevated from first vice president to assume the president role. However, Gallaher’s office is in Toms River, New Jersey, only about 75 miles south of the club’s office on Park Avenue in Manhattan.