New leader at Tacoma Rail

Paula Henry has been named to lead Tacoma Rail as superintendent beginning Dec. 24. She succeeds Dennis Dean, who will retire after 28 years with the municipally owned freight switching railroad.

Henry has been with Tacoma Rail as assistant superintendent since 1998, with responsibility for railroad transportation operations, economic development initiatives, labor relations, personnel and safety. She previously held a number of administrative, planning, and project management positions within City of Tacoma government.

“We conducted an extensive national search for a railroad professional with short line experience to manage Tacoma Rail and the essential services it provides to Tacoma’s business community,” said Tacoma Public Utilities Director Mark Crisson, who announced the appointment. “Paula Henry’s demonstrated leadership, railroad experience, and commitment to economic development will enable Tacoma Rail to continue to respond to the growing need for rail service in Tacoma and South Puget Sound.”

Henry is a graduate of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington with a bachelor’s degree in regional urban planning. She is a member of the National Association for Railroad Female Executives, the National Association for Female Executives, Bates Technical Foundation Board of Directors, Puget Sound Regional Transportation Planning Task Force, and the Pierce County Regional Council Utilities Task Force.