Christensen enters transportation world

John Christensen’s motto for life: We all have the ability to make things better and help one another.

During his 15 years in the Mechanical Department, he stressed the importance of speaking out and teaching fellow employees best practices. Now as a trainmaster, he continues to watch for little things that potentially can cause bigger incidents and keeps everyone working for a common cause through good job briefings.

Christensen joined Transportation May 1 as a trainmaster. It has proven to be an exciting and rigorous change. While he learns the rules and their applications, he continues to adjust to the transition from a 30-employee department to a team of more than 200.

His current challenge is meeting deadlines while operating in a safe, efficient and productive manner. He appreciates the help he has received during the transition, especially from Mike Paras, general manager-transportation.

“It is a privilege to work for him,” Christensen said. “I don’t think there is anything he hasn’t seen or couldn’t figure out. It is amazing to have the opportunity to work with a man like that with some 40 years of experience. He has been gracious.”

Christensen made the switch to Transportation because his family situation has changed as his children have grown older. For years, he and his wife, Elizabeth, worked opposite shifts at their jobs so one could be home with children Bobby, 15, and Emma, 13.

“It seemed like the time was right now that the kids are reaching young adulthood,” he said. “It is a great opportunity for me to expand my responsibility.”

Christensen considers his time with his children as they grew up priceless.

“They are fantastic kids,” he said. “It has been a privilege to be with them and spend that quality time with them — that was some of the best manager training I could have had.”

As he continues to transition into his new role, Christensen looks forward to expanding his knowledge and experience.

“It is all interesting,” he said. “I hope to grow and learn so I can become a positive impact.”