CHICAGO—May 26, 2021 (James Street Media Services)—This year, the Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) Summer Meeting will be offered both online and in-person July 12–13, 2021 at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The theme for the meeting is "Resurgence—Together We Grow.”

“After taking a year off due to the pandemic, MARS is excited to get back to its regularly scheduled programming by offering the best in-person meetings at a fair price that can be found in the rail industry,” said MARS President Stefan Loeb. “Our executive committee, sponsors, and members look forward to welcoming everyone to Lake Geneva—either in-person or virtually—this summer."

The MARS semiannual meetings include speakers, presentations, and panels focusing on current issues facing the freight rail industry. MARS also provides a forum to educate and inform in the areas of railroad operating practices, new innovations in transportation, and legislative matters.

Highlights of the MARS Summer Meeting will include key transportation executives and experts such as:

• Pat Ottensmeyer, president and CEO, Kansas City Southern

• Ross Corthell, VP of Transportation, Packaging Corporation of America

• Michael Pyle, chief economic advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris

• Dan Mack, EVP Finance, Marketing & Sales, Northern Plains Rail Companies

• Martin Oberman, chairman, Surface Transportation Board

• Dean Piacente, CEO, OmniTRAX

• Jeff Lytle, president, CIT Rail

The Summer Meeting was cancelled last year due to health concerns brought on by the pandemic. This year, the MARS leadership is making the personal safety of attendees paramount by working closely with the Grand Geneva Resort to comply with federal, state, and local requirements and follow recommendations to ensure a safe and enjoyable in-person meeting.

For those who cannot travel to the in-person meeting, MARS is adding flexibility by offering a virtual attendance option. All registrations are final, but attendees will have the opportunity to change between the virtual and in-person options at any time. To change attendance options, simply send an email to

The Summer Meeting starts with the annual Scholarship Golf Outing, a reception, and a networking dinner on Monday, July 12. The business meeting is scheduled for a full day on Tuesday, July 13.


Monday and Tuesday, July 12–13, 2021


Grand Geneva Resort

7036 Geneva Way

Lake Geneva, WI 53147

(800) 558-3417, ext. 5179

Meeting Cost

$325 before June 21

$375 after June 21


Advance reservations are required for the conference. For information or to register:

Online conference information and registration

• Email:

• Phone: (630) 513-6700

About The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers

The Midwest Association of Rail Shippers (MARS) is one of five regional North American associations under the North American Rail Shippers (NARS) national organization. Headquartered in the Chicago area, MARS provides an open forum for discussion and resolution of rail transportation issues by bringing railroads, shippers, receivers, and rail supply companies together twice annually for formal meetings in the Chicago area. To review the most recent meeting presentations, and to inquire about MARS membership, please visit the MARS website at