4 minutes with… Douglas O. Cochran, Manager, Rail Projects Creative Rail Solutions

March 19, 2015 |

Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

Creative Rail Solutions, LLC helps clients who want to secure the efficiency, economy, and environmental friendliness of rail transportation. In addition to helping our clients with the planning, design, bid and construction phases of new facilities, we also conduct condition assessments and maintenance audits of existing track at ethanol plants.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

I am focused on finding and communicating with individuals who are engaged in the Advanced Bioeconomy and who need help with site selection, planning for efficient layout of tracks, coordination with and approvals from the railroad that will serve their facility, bidding out construction of tracks, and making sure that tracks are constructed in accordance with plans and specifications. My primary role is to meet with the prospect or client, observe the site conditions, develop sketches of possible track alignments, guide the client through the design process, communicate effectively with the industrial development and engineering departments of the serving railroad, develop custom specifications appropriate for the type of rail traffic anticipated for the facility, and observe the contractor’s work periodically to help insure that tracks will serve as intended.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?  

In the next five years, I think the industry must build on the success of E15 and continue to make measureable progress toward blending percentages of 25-30%. I think it would be great if in the next five years, the public begins to demand that custom blending pumps become an essential element in the “industry standard” for all new “C” stores?

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

I would eliminate disinformation about biofuels disseminated by some in the media and by some politicians. Unfortunately, despite the great efforts now underway, many people in America still believe that ethanol harms engines, promotes increases in food prices, and reduces the availability of food in other parts of the world.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?  

I believe that freedom from dependence on foreign sources of oil is essential to the security and prosperity of future generations of Americans.

Where are you from? 

From birth through high school, I lived in Montgomery, AL. My college years were spent in Charlottesville, VA and Atlanta, GA.

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

I attended the University of Virginia my freshman year then transferred to and graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree. Once I settled on the major of civil engineering, Georgia Tech seemed to be the best place for me because of their reputation, location, and great value.

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?

John Maxwell has written many helpful books on Leadership, including “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” I admire Truett Cathy because he built a great business on integrity, excellence, faithfulness, and “service with a smile,” and he continued to be a very generous person.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?  

To live by faith and to persevere knowing that God always has a plan. Starting a business, 33 years into a career in the midst of the worst economic conditions in half a century (first quarter of 2009) did not on the surface seem to be a good idea, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?

Training and riding horses, gardening, and playing a little golf.

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island

The Bible, Noah Webster’s 1828 edition of the American Dictionary of the English Language, and an excellent survival guide that includes a chapter on how to build a raft.

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?  

“God Less America” by Todd Starnes

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?  

My favorite place to visit is Israel. I went there a couple of years ago and it truly was a life-changing experience. Other favorites are northern California, the Rockies in Colorado, , and the Appalachian mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Million Minds

Thank you for visting the Digest.