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Meridian Mayor Smith to Chair Great American Station Foundation

Meridian (MS) Mayor John Robert Smith was recently elected Chairman of The Great American Station Foundation, having been selected for a three-year term by the organization’s Board of Directors.

“Mayor Smith is the perfect choice to lead the Station Foundation’s Board of Directors,” said Thomas Downs, outgoing Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Home Builders, in a February 3 statement. “His experience as the two-term Mayor of a city which has successfully used its train station renovation to spark a downtown revival will provide a leadership example and an inspiration for communities across the country.”

Smith, who is currently a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, is also member of the Board of Amtrak. He leads the work of the nation’s mayors on these issues in his capacity as the Conference’s Vice Chair for Railroads and Passenger Rail.

In other actions at its late January Board meeting, the Great American Station Foundation re-appointed Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation as its Vice-Chairman, and Jeffrey Boothe, Partner at Oppenheimer, Wolff, Donnelly & Bayh as its Treasurer. The Board also appointed three new members: Janette Sadik-Khan, Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Shelley Poticha, Executive Director of the Congress for a New Urbanism were appointed to three-year terms, and Hank Dittmar, President & CEO of the Great American Station Foundation, was appointed to a continuing term.

“I look forward to the challenge of working with the Board and the Foundation’s new President Hank Dittmar over the next three years,” said Foundation Chairman John Robert Smith. “The nation is experiencing a revival of interest in its downtowns, just as passenger rail service is making a comeback. The Great American Station Foundation is uniquely positioned to help communities capitalize on the tremendous assets that are their rail stations.”

The Great American Station Foundation is the national non-profit organization that promotes community economic development by preserving active railroad stations and transforming them into improved centers of transportation and commerce. The Foundation forms financial and technical partnerships with communities to help them rebuild and revive the nation’s railway stations as intermodal hubs, and in the process helping to revitalize downtown areas. For more information about The Great American Station Foundation, contact us at 505-426-8055 or on the web at 


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