Trevor Pusch, senior corporate counsel at Anacostia Rail Holdings (ARH), has been named to Progressive Railroading magazine’s prestigious list of railroading’s Rising Stars for 2022.
Launched by Progressive Railroading in 2013, the Rising Stars program celebrates the industry’s emerging talent. The magazine defines a Rising Star as someone under 40 making a positive impact on his or her company, organization, department, or team, as well as someone held in high regard by peers, colleagues, supervisors, customers, and others in the industry.
Progressive Railroading honored Pusch and 24 other Rising Stars on July 27 in a web-based ceremony.
In reacting to being named to the Rising Stars list, Pusch called special attention to Mark Sidman, Anacostia general counsel and corporate secretary, who nominated Pusch for the distinction.
“I’m honored to be recognized by Progressive Railroading for this award,” says Pusch. “I want to send special thanks to Mark Sidman for providing me the opportunity to join the rail industry and mentoring me over the years. Anacostia is truly a great company with incredible people. Given their sustainable nature, I’m optimistic Anacostia and the entire short-line industry will continue to adapt and play a critical role in the nation’s economy.”
Pusch, 32, joined ARH’s law department as a general attorney in 2017 after working for two years for a Virginia-based law firm, where he practiced corporate and intellectual property law. He was named Anacostia’s senior corporate counsel in 2021. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Stetson University in 2015, followed by a law degree from the Emory University School of Law.
Pusch provides legal services to all five of ARH’s common-carrier railroads, as well as its private switching company and affiliated transloading and warehousing companies, and serves as an assistant secretary for each operating company. His duties include drafting contracts with customers, connecting carriers, vendors, and contractors, as well as advising ARH in its relationships with federal and state regulators.
Although relatively new to the railroad industry, Pusch rapidly mastered its intricacies and traditions, notes Sidman.
“Trevor has quickly learned the basics of regulatory landscape, railroad operations and the vocabulary of railroading,” says Sidman. “Given the small size of our law department, he immediately began interacting with Anacostia personnel at every level, including the presidents of those companies. His mature judgment and professionalism more than made up for his relative lack of experience at the outset. After four years at Anacostia, he is now a fully formed railroad lawyer.”
Pusch has proven to be a versatile member of ARH’s management team. Anacostia CEO Peter Gilbertson appointed Pusch chairman of the firm’s Environmental Working Group, a company-wide initiative to identify opportunities to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint.
Adept with technology, Pusch created a contract management system using Microsoft’s SharePoint software–a web-based collaborative platform–to improve the law department’s efficiency. The system flags agreement termination/rollover dates, improves contract visibility, and helps the organization mitigate risk.
On the regulatory front, Pusch’s initiative enabled ARH to become one of the first in the short-line industry to comply with Section 889. This aspect of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 requires federal contractors and grant recipients to identify telecommunications equipment either manufactured by or including components from specifically identified Chinese companies.