The Belt Railway Company of Chicago
6900 South Central Avenue
Bedford Park, IL 60638
For Customer Service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please contact the Chief Clerk at 708-496-4117.
Michael Grace counts leading the BRC as the greatest accomplishment of his 42-year railroad career.
Since joining the BRC as President in 2018, his fourth time working in the Chicago area, he has instilled a culture moored in continuous improvement and helped prepare the railroad for the future.
In 1980, Grace joined the railroad that employed his father and grandfather, Norfolk and Western Railway, when he became a track laborer in Roanoke, Virginia.
He continued his career while double majoring at Hampden-Sydney College, earning degrees in economics and French. After graduating, Grace was selected for the railroad’s Management Trainee Program and began a series of leadership roles in Transportation.
In the course of being raised by a railroader and becoming one himself, Grace has moved 15 times and worked in eight different states, adding to his leadership skills at every stop.
He holds an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management and is completing a master’s in behavioral economics at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
He has been married for 29 years and has two children.
Percy Fields III
As General Manager, Percy Fields oversees and supports 24/7 operations of the Engineering, Mechanical and Transportation teams from a safety and service standpoint. He also directs Finance and Human Resources/Labor Relations.
Fields, who followed his father into the railroad industry, started his present role two years ago after working in a similar capacity at Alton & Southern Railway. He worked 20 years for Union Pacific, the first five as a conductor and the rest in management, including three years as Director Transportation Services and one year as Northern Region Superintendent of Dispatching.
Fields earned an MBA from Benedictine University in 2013, becoming the first person in his family to earn a master’s degree. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.
Away from work, Fields enjoys time with his family and supporting his children in their extracurricular activities, including music and sports.
General Counsel, Secretary & Director Human Resources
Christopher Steinway leads the BRC’s Legal, Corporate, Risk Management and Human Resources functions. He aids the company in achieving its strategic goals by providing relevant, accurate and practical advice to his colleagues.
Steinway joined the BRC immediately after completing law school in 2009 as Manager Labor Relations & Human Resources, gaining fundamental knowledge of railroad labor relations and human resources in the process. A 2012 promotion gave Steinway greater autonomy over those functions. He was promoted again in 2016 when he became General Attorney. His focus broadened to include various subjects, including legal, corporate and regulatory matters, as well as government affairs.
While he counts marrying his wife and raising his two daughters as his greatest achievement, he was proud to be promoted to General Counsel in January 2020.
Steinway majored in both history and Spanish while earning a bachelor’s at Purdue University before earning his Juris Doctor from Loyola University Chicago in 2008.
Away from work, Steinway races sailboats, having crewed six Chicago Yacht Club Races to Mackinac, as well as one Bayview Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, and many other smaller regattas and distance races since he began practicing the sport in 2006.
Chief Financial Officer
Brian Dilger oversees finance at the BRC. Focused on continuous improvement for all accounting processes, he’s a valued partner to the railroad’s business departments.
A Certified Public Accountant with over 24 years of experience, Dilger has demonstrated his expertise in accounting, analysis and financial reporting and planning with firms such as CNA Insurance, GATX Corporation, GE Capital and CIT Group. He’s cultivated professional relationships across the globe thanks to his varied work experience.
Dilger was an Academic All-American football player while earning an accounting degree at University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. He’s married and has three children.
As Terminal Superintendent, Terry Hartwig works to ensure that safety, service and value permeate everything Transportation does so it adds value to the lives of BRC employees and customers, as well as members of the communities across the railroad serves. Inspired to be a positive force in people’s lives, he is focused on providing employees with the tools they need to succeed, including professional development.
After taking his present role at age 34 in 2019, Hartwig helped lead Transportation to a 721-day reportable injury-free record and was named an honorable mention by Railway Age Magazine in its annual list of “Fast Trackers Under 40.”
Hartwig has worked his entire career at the BRC, starting as a Conductor in October 2011. He also served as a Trainmaster, Manager of Terminal Operations and Assistant Superintendent of Transportation.
Hartwig holds a sociology degree from Western Illinois University and added a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Columbia Southern University amid full-time duties at the BRC. He also earned a certificate in railway management from Michigan State University.
Hartwig is married with two children. In addition to quality time with his family, he enjoys coaching baseball and playing golf.
Scott Schiemann, a licensed professional engineer, is responsible for the BRC’s infrastructure and leads Bridges & Buildings, Signal & Communications and Track. While focusing on safety and service, he also oversees BRC’s Capital and Operating Budgets.
Schiemann began his railroad career in 2009 after serving six years in the Air Force National Guard while earning a bachelor’s in civil engineering. He later earned a master’s degree in infrastructure and management. Before assuming his present role, Schiemann was a Civil Engineer, Manager of Structures and Assistant Division Engineer.
Superintendent of Mechanical
As Superintendent of Mechanical, Adam Brock leads Mechanical and provides oversight for locomotive servicing and shop operations as well as freight car inspections and repair. Additionally, Brock is responsible for strategic long-term planning to advance the BRC’s key performance indicators.
Brock came to the BRC in September 2020 from Union Pacific where he was a senior manager of terminal operations for the railroad’s Chicago Service Unit. He attended the University of Missouri, where he double majored in agriculture systems management and mechanical engineering.
Brock then began his railroad career with Union Pacific as an operations management trainee (OMT) at the DeSoto Car Shop in 2012. Later, he held various roles in Union Pacific’s Mechanical department, including Mechanical director for the Chicago, Sunset, and Los Angeles service units.
Along with his vast experience in rail operations from around the country, Brock brings a wealth of knowledge in continuous improvement and LEAN principles that have proven results within the industry.
Outside of work, Adam enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, and spending time with his wife and two children.
Director of Police/Risk Management
After three decades of service to Berwyn, Illinois, as a police officer, Gerald Conoboy retired as the force’s Commander-in-Charge of the Detective and Tactical units. In 2012, he brought his talent and dedication as a law enforcement agent to BRC Police and was promoted to his present safety leadership role in 2018.
With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and master’s degree in public safety administration, he counts the relationships he’s made at BRC as some of greatest accomplishments along with making good on his goal to make a positive difference in someone’s day every day.
Director Business Development/Car Operations
In overseeing development and enhancements to the BRC’s train management system (TMS), Michael Martinez has helped modernize the railroad’s cyberinfrastructure by cultivating and guiding a team of railroad technology professionals.
He began his career at the BRC in 1995 as a Car Operations Clerk. After working as a Switchman, Hump Conductor, Yardmaster, Dispatcher and Trainmaster, he became a Manager of Train Operations in 2007. Three years later, he was promoted to Director of Agency and Customer Service. He assumed the Director of Business Technology Solutions role before taking on his present duties.
Robert (Bob) Whitlock
Director of Information Technology
Robert Whitlock manages Information Technology (IT) for BRC, which includes overseeing positive train control (PTC), cybersecurity, Belt Apps and the company’s network.
With professional roots in mainframe computer programming, Whitlock worked for Wabtec from 2010 to 2016, ascending to the role of director of system engineering and earning the nickname “the PTC whisperer.” During his tenure with Wabtec, he helped to install the first PTC system in the world in Brazil for MRS Logística. He worked more than five years with Canadian National as manager of train control systems and senior manager-critical systems operations before joining BRC.
Whitlock has loved trains since childhood; his father was a yardmaster for the Rock Island Railroad for 33 years.
Away from work, Whitlock enjoys time with his wife and three children, as well as fly fishing.