Crossties

SEP-OCT 2018

Crossties is published for users and producers of treated wood crossties.

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CONTACT RTA WEBSITE BECOME A MEMBER BECOME A MEMBER RTA WEBSITE CONTACT Cahaba Pressure Treated Forest Products Eagle Metal Products East Coast Railroad Gross & Janes Co. Hurdle Machine Works Koppers Inc. CROSSTIES • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 22 CONFERENCE SHOWCASE From Spokane, Wash., and Superior, Wis., to Minneapolis, Minn., and Fort Worth, Texas, John Bosshart has trekked across the country during his time in the industry—and all for the same company. This year's Branding Hammer Award recipient spent the last 40 years working for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). During that time, he served in various positions—director of track standards and procedures, inspecting products and plants, and even building track. In fact, one of his first jobs at BNSF was in Minnesota and Wisconsin doing construction and building tracks and turn outs. "That was a very good foundation for me," Bosshart said. "I was fortunate to be working for good people, and they taught me a lot." Bosshart hadn't planned to spend his entire career in the industry. Prior to joining BNSF, he had never even worked in the railroad industry. Growing up at the base of Mount Rainier in Washington, he spent his summers and holidays logging for a local paper company. "Many people in the small town where I lived were in the logging industry or something related to it," he said. "So, that work was a natural fit for me." After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in civil engineering, Bosshart happened to get a job offer from the former Burlington Northern Railroad. "That started my long career in the railroad industry," he said. "It was never hard for me to want to stay in the industry once I started. I quickly saw that a great career could be enjoyed within the railroad industry." His career with the railroad took him to life in six different cities, and it led him to the Railway Tie Association (RTA). "I first started attending RTA meetings in the late 1980s," he said. "The great thing about the RTA is that it brings together end users and the people who make, treat and ship the products." Though Bosshart has now retired from BNSF—and moved back home to the state of Washington—he continues to stay busy, occasionally doing consulting work and participating on committees. He's particularly involved in working with Habitat for Humanity. Bosshart got involved with the organization decades ago, and he said it has become a serious passion. "In the small community I grew up in, I was always grateful for the people who did volunteer work in our town," he said. "So, for me, supporting Habitat for Humanity has been a way of giving back." While he's now taking time to pursue other hobbies and interests—he and his wife, Colleen, just finished building a house for themselves and he's enjoying downhill skiing—he's still focused on spending much of his time doing what he can to help others through Habitat for Humanity. "Working with Habitat isn't just rewarding, it's also fun for me," he said. "It really means a lot to me to help people be homeowners who otherwise might not be able to own a home." For Derek Douthit, the railroad industry has always been a part of life. When Derek was a kid his father, David, worked for a railroad tie company. Then, when Derek was in his early teens, his father and a business partner bought a one- man sawmill where they did work on the side. Derek would help out as much as possible after school in the afternoons and on the weekends. "As a kid I was always fascinated by how it all worked." In 2003, Derek and his father made the decision to go out on their own. That's when they formed Douthit Tie and Lumber. "As soon as I was old enough to work, I got into this business," Douthit said. "I couldn't see myself doing anything else for a career." Douthit Tie and Lumber is based in Camden, Ark. Today, the Douthits operate two hardwood sawmills manufacturing products such as wood ties, pallet cants and graded hardwood lumber. The company also has a facility to build and produce pipe crating for pipe companies, as well as its own trucking company. "We can ship our own products, and our lumber goes everywhere," said Douthit, who serves as the company's vice president and oversees operations. The company produces approximately 3,400 ties per week. Douthit attributes much of the company's success and ability to produce so many quality products to its employees. "We are a very family-oriented company," he said. "We rely on God first, then family and then our job. We take that mentality with all of our employees. We are successful because of our employees, and we never forget that." Douthit has been named this year's Silver Saw Award winner and gives most of the credit for the recognition to those who work alongside him at Douthit Tie and Lumber every day. "It's an incredible honor to receive the Silver Saw Award," he said. "Everyone here puts in the hard work to achieve the success that we have. I'm extremely honored to be recognized with the Silver Saw Award." Profiles By Paige Townley Branding Hammer Award Winner Loves to Give Back It's All About Family For Silver Saw Award Winner

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