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AAR names Kristin Smith to head communications

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced that Patricia M. Reilly, SVP – Communications, will be leaving at the end of the year. Reilly will be succeeded by Kristin Smith, who was recently promoted to VP – Communications.
Reilly has been spearheading the Communications efforts at the AAR since 2008, and was instrumental in establishing the long-running and award-winning “Freight Rail Works” branding/advocacy ad campaign as the face of the freight rail industry inside Washington, DC. During her time at the AAR, Reilly has expanded the scope and reach of the industry’s efforts to raise awareness about freight rail’s many benefits and contributions, with an emphasis on all the industry does in the name of safety. Reilly will be launching a strategic communications consultancy, Cabin8Communications, in the new year.
Smith has been with the AAR since 2010, directing the multi-year “Freight Rail Works” campaigns, spearheading research initiatives and overseeing the AAR’s many advocacy campaigns. Prior to joining the AAR, Smith was with Ogilvy Washington and managed the AAR account. Her previous experience includes McDonald’s, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), and Snap-on Tools.
“Patti Reilly has been an invaluable asset to the AAR and the rail industry,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. “Her sharp insight and innovative approach to communications has changed how we tell the story of railroading in America both inside and beyond the Beltway. One of the most important legacies she leaves the AAR is the team she has built, which is fully-prepared to carry the torch forward with Kristin Smith at the helm.”