Kelly is a filmmaker and creative contractor with an extensive background in railroad preservation, operations, and marketing. He has served in a variety of capacities for short line, regional and Class 1 railroads including the Ohio Central, RJ Corman, and Norfolk Southern. Trained in film production at Columbia College Chicago and the New York Film Academy, Kelly has been the owner of digital marketing firm Lynchpin Creative in Northeast Indiana since 2008 and serves as railroad transportation coordinator for Film Indiana. Previously, Kelly has worked for Apple and NBC/Universal in development and production roles.
He is best known in the railroad preservation community for his marketing and development work with the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc and has participated in numerous rail and steam locomotive preservation projects throughout the country. Kelly has received numerous community accolades and awards in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and serves as project manager for a railyard park redevelopment project along the city’s riverfront.
A fireman on restored steam locomotive Nickel Plate Road no. 765, Kelly was recognized as one of the “Under 35 Leaders in Railroad Preservation” by TRAINS Magazine in 2006. Kelly is also a qualified conductor and locomotive fireman.
Terry Coats, is the past president of the NC&St.L Railway Preservation Society, he is an author and lecturer.
Terry was born in McKenzie, TN. a short distance from the tracks of the NC&St.L Ry. In his formative years, he lived a short distance from the NC&St.L depot in Dresden, Tennessee. He spent hour upon hour in the company of the station agent there and developed a great love of the railroad and its lore. Though he never worked for any railroad, he has had a life long love of railroading and especially the NC&St.L
Terry is 30-year veteran of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and a 1973 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.
In 2010, after five and one-half years of research and writing, Terry published, “Next Stop on Grandpa’s Road, History and Architecture of Nashville Chattanooga and St Louis Railway Depots and Terminals”.
Davidson Ward is a railroad consultant, preservationist, author, and photographer. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Davidson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where, while in school, he became an active volunteer with the Friends of the 261.
Following graduation in 2010, Davidson joined the railroad consulting firm R.L. Banks & Associates, Inc., with which he has developed expertise in railroad infrastructure and equipment appraisals, business plan development, transaction support, and strategic planning.
In 2011 Davidson worked with preservationists and practitioners to found the 501c(3) not-for-profit Coalition for Sustainable Rail, where he serves as president. Working with the University of Minnesota, CSR is dedicated to: 1) Innovation – supporting and advancing sustainable modern steam, fuel, energy and transportation technologies; 2) Preservation – promoting the safe and efficient operation and preservation of historic rail equipment; and 3) Education – conducting informational activities to increase awareness of those technologies.
In addition to designing the logos and graphic standards of NSPS, Davidson has been involved in negotiations with Metro Parks regarding 576, has served as a strategic advisor to matters ranging from fundraising strategy to facilities designs, and is involved in many of the strategic planning matters undertaken by NSPS.
Justin Strickland was born in Charleston, South Carolina where his family cultivated what has become a life-long passion for all things railroading. At the age of 12, his father was transferred to Georgia where Justin graduated in 2001, a stone throw away from the former NC&StL mainline in Acworth. At the age of 15, Justin was introduced to his first railroad related position as a Commissary Attendant and later Car Host aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. He later affiliated himself as an employee, volunteer or contractor for several noteworthy entities, including the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Hiawassee River Rail Adventure, Southeastern Railway Museum, Six Flags Over Georgia Railroad, Delta Queen Steamboat, along with others.
In 2006, Chattanooga became his adopted home as he took a position at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel & Vacation Complex as the Resident Historian. During his tenure, he assisted with the 2007 National Railway Historical Society Convention and furthered his research for his book entitled ‘Chattanooga’s Terminal Station’. In 2009, the book debuted as the only publication dedicated to the world-famous depot. One of his greatest passions is the history and culture behind our nation’s passenger rail system. Justin continues to reside in North Chattanooga, where he is the Director of Sales for Marriott on the Chattanooga riverfront.