President & Chief Executive Officer, Palmetto Railways
Jeff was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Palmetto Railways (PR) in September 2007 after having served 5 years as the Vice President of Operations & Maintenance. As President and CEO he has led Palmetto Railways to be named by Railroad Age Magazine Short Line Railroad of the Year for 2015. Additionally, Jeff oversaw and spearheaded the rebranding of the railroad so that three railroad entities became known as Palmetto Railways. Jeff also helped launch the plan for one of Palmetto Railways’ most integral projects of its history: the Navy Base Intermodal Facility. This facility is a state of the art intermodal facility to be located on the former Navy Base in North Charleston, SC.
Jeff began his employment with Palmetto Railways in August 1984 as a switchman on the extra board. Jeff also served as a conductor and locomotive engineer before entering management where he served as Supervisor of Operations, Manager of Operations, and later as Vice President. Jeff’s other career while working on the railroad extra board was law enforcement, having served 17 years with the Charleston County and City of Charleston police departments, and as Public Safety Director with Berkeley County Schools. He has also served as a consultant for law enforcement and security issues in the U.S. and Canada.
Jeff is a graduate of the University of South Carolina’s College of Criminal Justice and Southern Wesleyan University where he earned a Master of Science degree in Management.
Jeff is a member of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the CSX Short Line Caucus Committee and the South Carolina Economic Development Association. He serves as Chairman of the Board for the South Carolina Association of Railroads, and serves on the Board of Trustees Executive Committee for the South Carolina Business and Industry Political Education Committee, the Board of Governors for the Propeller Club of the United States – Port of Charleston, the Board of Governors for the Harbour Club and the Board of Directors for the Maritime Association of South Carolina. Jeff also serves on the Joint Base Charleston Honorary Commander Advisory Council and is a U.S. Air Force National Security Forum Alumnus. Additionally, Jeff was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential People of 2012, 2013 and 2014 by Columbia Business Monthly.
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Curtis joined the Palmetto Railway’s team as Vice President & Chief Operating Officer in December 2014.
Curtis came to Palmetto Railways from New Orleans Public Belt Railway where he was Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Prior to working in New Orleans, Curtis was with CSX Transportation. Starting in 2002 as a Conductor he worked his way through the ranks to Terminal Superintendent in 2013. He has managed railroad operations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Tampa, Florida; Manchester, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Birmingham, Alabama, Cleveland, Ohio; and Charleston, South Carolina.
Curtis began a career in law enforcement with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department in Mississippi where he remained until becoming Commander of a multi-jurisdictional major crimes task force. From there he moved on to CSX Transportation where he managed multiple railroad operations ranging from flat yards, line of road territories and hump yards with large customer and crew bases. Curtis’s experience in managing safety, operations, human resources and conducting investigations led to him being asked to be part of a team that had responsibility of managing capital projects across the CSX Rail Network.
Curtis graduated in 1991 from the Mississippi State Law Enforcement Training Academy at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is also a graduate of the CSX Transportation Business Leadership Program at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
He holds a Conductor’s Certification from the Federal Railroad Association where he maintains a membership. He is a member also of The American Railways Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.
Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer
Patrick McCrory transitioned into the Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer role at Palmetto Railways in 2015, where he is responsible for all sales & marketing, business development, strategic planning and intermodal development for the organization. Upon being hired at Palmetto Railways in February 2013, Patrick assumed the role of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to being employed by Palmetto Railways, Patrick held the positions of Terminal Superintendent, Atlanta/Charlotte and Terminal Manager, Northwest Ohio at CSX Intermodal Terminals, Inc.
Patrick began his career in marine terminals and longshoring with APM Terminals in 2005 serving in a number of management positions including operations, training, safety and human resources throughout the APM Terminals North American network. Transitioning into the railroad industry in 2010, Patrick was a member of the team responsible for the operational start-up of CSX’s Northwest Ohio Intermodal Transshipment Hub where he carried a specific focus on lift equipment commissioning & training and terminal operating & automation systems operational integration.
Patrick is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York where he obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation.
Patrick holds a United States Coast Guard Third Mate Oceans, Unlimited Tonnage License for Merchant Mariners and was formerly an officer in the United States Navy Reserve. He holds membership in the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, Intermodal Association of North America and the Propeller Club of the United States – Port of Charleston.
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Sheri Cooper was appointed Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Palmetto Railways in March of 2012. Prior to being appointed to Vice President, Sheri served as Director of Finance & Administration. Sheri also brings experience from her career in Public Accounting, Financial Services, Land Development and Healthcare.
Sheri is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Sheri is a member of the American Short Line Regional Railroad Association, the Propeller Club of the United States – Port of Charleston and the Preservation Society of Charleston. She also serves on the Parent Teacher Organization at Mason Preparatory School in Charleston.
Palmetto Railways Management
Mike Steele - Director of Mechanical Operations
Billy Duttine - Director, Operating Practices
Tarek Ravenel - Director of Facilities and Special Projects
Maureen Miley - Director of Accounting and Administration
Craig Lund - Consultant, Business Development & Sales
Justin Nelson - Director of Engineering & Facilities