Legendary Leader Honored

When former President Pat O’Brien died in November 2022, leadership team members immediately knew they wanted to honor his memory.

After weeks of planning, Engineering employees got to work adding his name to what’s now known as the Patrick J. O’Brien General Office Building. 

Members of O’Brien’s family and numerous employees attended a June 17 unveiling ceremony and found the honor fitting as O’Brien worked inside the GOB’s bricked walls as president for 16 years.

Director of Business Development Michael Martinez credits O’Brien with aiding his personal development and others while setting the company up for success.

“He brought the BRC to a new level,” Martinez said. “He was the brightest light in any room, and there was a sense of security when he was there.”

O’Brien began his BRC career as an accounting clerk in 1986. He later went on to hold roles as manager of Engineering and Valuation Accounting, controller and vice president before becoming president in 2002. He retired in 2018 with 32 years of railroad service.

Martinez and General Counsel, Secretary and Director of Human Resources Chris Steinway agree that O’Brien’s lengthy time at the helm was an achievement in and of itself, and was indicative of a unique skill set and temperament. 

“He had an impressive track record of consistent, effective management,” Steinway said. 

President and General Manager Percy Fields addressed attendees, remarking on O’Brien’s legendary commitment.

“He always was more concerned with his people than his own personal achievements,” Fields said.