“Leadership, to me, is the difference between obligation and opportunity,” said Shea McLaughlin, national account manager for CDL Electric’s Railroad Signaling Division. “Sometimes the way people view life is to get up for work or answer a phone call out of obligation,” he said. “True leaders think with an incredibly strong sense of opportunity. When the alarm clock goes off or the phone rings, leaders always see the potential there.”

McLaughlin has been with CDL Electric for 10 years and in his current role for five. As national account manager, his job is to travel around the country and bring work to CDL Electric within a customer base of short line railroads, but he does so much more.

“The reason I’m passionate about this industry is because of the impact the railroad has on our economy today,” he said. “More often than not, people don’t realize their turkey on Thanksgiving or the clothes they’re wearing got to the store because rail brought it there. That’s why the company I work for, CDL Electric, performs the work it does.”

He is a member of an organization called ASLRRA, or American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, which brings together suppliers and railroaders from across the United States. Three years ago, McLaughlin was named committee chair for the ASLRRA Young Professionals group.

This year, he won an election within the organization to climb through the ranks to board member. His term began April 6, 2019, and will last for two years.

“As a board member, I speak as the voice of other supplier members,” he said. “Some of my duties are to help maintain and regulate dues or costs, enact initiatives that would help bring about better networking opportunities for suppliers, help put together legislation for the federal government to pass positive changes such as those that would improve infrastructure or transportation for railroad companies across the USA.”

In fact, McLaughlin was recently in Washington, D.C., for Railroad Day on Capitol Hill. He spoke with House and Senate members from across the nation about positive initiatives for the railroad.

In his free time, McLaughlin volunteers with Hearts and Hammers of Pittsburg and Operation Life Saver, a program that raises awareness about safety at railroad crossings.

1308 N. Walnut | Pittsburg, KS | 620.231.6420 | www.cdl-electric.com