Leadership Views: Gary Crowther, Canadian National
Name: Gary Crowther
Position: Director of Marketing, Intermodal Consumer Product Supply Chain Growth, Canadian National
Years with DTI: 3.5
DTI Alumnus: Cohort 15/Graduated 2018
Number of DTI Students Sponsored by CN: 7
Canadian National (CN) is known for its innovation in precision scheduled railroading. What safety or sustainability innovations is the company pursuing now?
Safety is our No. 1 priority at CN, and it is part of our culture at the railway. Moving forward, technology is key to enabling us to operate in a far safer environment than we ever have in the past. The active deployment of autonomous track inspection cars, as well as automated inspection portals across our network help us proactively find issues and resolve them before issues occur. These are long-term benefits that enable safe train operations today and into the future. From a sustainability standpoint, CN freight trains move on average one ton of freight 470 miles, on one gallon of fuel. With up to 350 containers moving on each intermodal train, that is a lot of congestion off of our interstates and highways, moving with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions. CN is currently the only class 1 railroad on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.
You are a graduate of the Transportation Institute at the University of Denver. How did the program help with your career?
The DTI executive master’s program was a turning point for me. It was such an incredible learning experience and helped me improve critical skill sets, especially in the finance portion of the program. But most importantly, it created friendships with my cohort, an outstanding group of people that I keep in touch with regularly. That networking with my cohort continues to this day; in fact, we hold regular Zoom calls to keep in touch, talk about industry, and reminisce of experiences we shared during our 18 months together. It is an outstanding program.
You’ve been with CN for 24 years. What makes CN not only a place to work but a place to stay?
The great thing about CN is its culture. We call it the “CN Way.” There is a high level of engagement at all levels of the company to promote open communication and to share ideas. We listen more than we speak. With the many different roles we have at the railroad, there are so many opportunities for your career to go in multiple directions: sales and marketing, operations, real estate, technology, and many other roles that one can pursue as an employee. It was a great career choice for me. I have enjoyed my years at CN.