Celebrating the Successes of Ann Arbor’s TSIC

June 2022 — Who’s behind the successful efforts of the Ann Arbor Railroad (AA)? For Watco Sales Manager Peggy Emeis and AA General Manager Ken Morgan, it starts with the members of the Team Safety & Improvement Committee (TSIC).

The TSIC is comprised of seven members from the AA’s car, prep crew, maintenance of way, and rail teams including Car Mechanics Matt Sprayberry and John Weber, Heavy Equipment Operator Mark Adams, Yardmaster Cody Rickman, Track Foreman Art Perez, Prep Crew Christian Gokey, and Conductor Adam Schwarzkopf.

In 2021, the committee enhanced AA operations in many different ways — from adding sunblock shades to locomotives to general site improvements like installing a port-a-potty for team member use. Many improvements are a result of feedback from teammates, made directly or anonymously via a suggestion box.

“The Team Safety and Improvement Committee does a great job building team morale,” Morgan said. “Committee members are always willing to listen to their teammates and do their best to come up with favorable solutions.”

Emeis agreed and said, “Committee members aren’t reactive; they are proactive. Thanks to their hard work the Ann Arbor Railroad has been successful in its commitment to safely improving every day.”

Performing quarterly site audits is another responsibility of the TSIC. Together, committee members examine sites and provide recommendations for customers. Site audits also provide an opportunity for TSIC members to learn from each other.

Emeis said, “Because all of these team members come from different crafts, they share their knowledge with each other. The Team Safety and Improvement Committee takes the opportunity to cross-train each other at site audits.”

The members of the TSIC are also invested in the communities they live and work in. Thanks to the TSIC, the AA elves brought holiday cheer last year by participating in the Christmas in Ida Parade of Lights. In addition, the TSIC also organized a Toys for Tots drive and donated 10 Christmas trees to families in need.

Morgan said, “Not only do they want people to know who we are and what we do, but they also want to lend a hand. They genuinely care about their community.”

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