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AITX Bolsters Leadership Team – Ushers In Next Phase of Growth

September 29, 2021 • By ITE Management

ST. CHARLES, Mo., Sept. 29, 2021
We’re pleased to announce that Kurt Higginbotham is named President, effective October 1, 2021.

ITE Management, a leading asset manager, acquired ARI in 2018, divested its manufacturing business, retaining the leasing and repair, maintenance, and service operations. It was rebranded as American Industrial Transport, Inc., with a vision and focus around a customer centric, flexible railcar services provider. Following this trajectory, in August 2021, AITX expanded it platform with its acquisition of The Andersons’ leasing business. Today, AITX and its affiliates manage ~60,000 railcars and growing, have 16 repair facilities throughout North America, and a focus on data and technology to enhance railcar productivity.

As President, Mr. Higginbotham has a clear vision to drive growth through enhanced products and services, data innovations, and responsive teams. With over thirty-year’s experience as an entrepreneur, innovator, and owner of railcars and railcar services, Higginbotham brings a tested ability to anticipate and lead in the ever more dynamic market of rail and industrial transport. He served as Founder, President, and CEO of Appalachian Railcar Services (“ARS”), a pioneering solution-provider across repair networks, railroad operations, transloading, and logistics. Through Higginbotham’s leadership, ARS and its business entities scaled its offering to over 30 locations, an average of 25% year-over-year growth.

Joining Mr. Higginbotham is Sean Hankinson as Chief Commercial Officer. AITX welcomed Mr. Hankinson with its acquisition of The Andersons’ leasing business. For over thirty-years, Hankinson has developed and executed railcar customer programs across leasing, fleet operations, financing, and life cycle optimization. As Chief Commercial Officer, he manages customer relationships and AITX’s position in the marketplace. Most recently, Hankinson was Vice President and General Manager for The Andersons’ Rail Group. Before that, he worked for almost twenty-five years at FreightCar America and its predecessors, culminating as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

They join Melanie Connellee, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer of AITX. Mrs. Connellee is an accomplished financial and operational executive who is on the forefront of process management, implementing operating platforms that maximize systems, data, and organizational efficiencies. Throughout her thirty-year career, Connellee has specialized in the transportation and industrial sector, holding key roles at Meridian Waste, a vertically integrated waste management company and Direct ChassisLink, Inc. the largest provider of marine and domestic container chassis to the U.S. intermodal industry. Prior to that, she focused on large scale acquisitions, strategic planning, and IT integrations at EY, JP Morgan, and McKinsey & Company.

“It is an honor to join AITX. We are changing the business to be razor focused as the best-in-class, customer centric, railcar leasing and services provider in the world, through the use of talent and technology,” said Kurt Higginbotham, President of AITX. “We have a great and growing team that has the rare opportunity to build a dynamic business that truly partners with customers, seeing around the curve and delivering what they need.”

SOURCE: American Industrial Transport, Inc.