The Metra Board of Directors unanimously selected Donald Orseno, a lifelong railroader who has worked at Metra for more than three decades, as the next executive director/CEO of the Chicago suburban rail agency.
Orseno has served as the interim executive director/CEO since last August. Board members said he was the clear favorite among three other candidates who were interviewed.
“It is a difficult balance to find an individual who has an understanding of railroad operations, customer service delivery and local and national advocacy, but we have found that individual in Don Orseno,” said Acting Board Chairman Jack Partelow.
“I am humbled by the board’s faith in me,” Orseno said. “I want our riders to know that nothing will be more important to me, and to Metra, than providing safe, dependable and comfortable trains and the best possible customer service.”
Tackling Metra’s capital funding needs and restoring the public trust in Metra are among Orseno’s other priorities, he said.
Orseno has worked for the railroad industry for 40 years. A native of the Chicago area, he began his career as a Rock Island Railroad trainman. Since joining Metra in 1984, he has risen through the ranks.
Orseno has held progressively responsible management positions throughout his career at Metra, including senior trainmaster, director of mechanical, director of suburban operations, director safety and rules, chief customer service officer, chief transportation officer and deputy executive director/chief operations officer.