Mississippi Export Railroad (MSE) announces Kate C. Luce as President and CEO. At age 29, Luce is the youngest female CEO in the railroad industry.
MSE is a freight railroad and transportation services company facilitating the flow of goods between the Gulf Coast and broader North American rail infrastructure.
Luce began her tenure at MSE in customer service, working her way through the ranks of the transportation department; training as Conductor, serving as Trainmaster, and ultimately managing the department. When asked about the new, young CEO, board member Jim Bridges talks of a dynamic and energetic Luce.
“Kate has been key to the long-term succession plan of MSE for several years,” Bridges said. “She has a strong history of achievement in all her endeavors and I have complete confidence that she will be equally as capable as CEO. Her leadership skills combined with a drive to create and recognize new opportunities will assuredly increase our shareholders’ value.”
After cutting her teeth at MSE, Luce left the company to broaden her business and industry perspective. Her outside experience includes working in General Electric’s Transportation division under the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program and as a consultant with Bain & Company in Atlanta. Luce returned to MSE as Chief Operating Officer in 2016.
Luce’s education, experience and integration in the MSE business provide her with a refreshingly comprehensive perspective on the rail industry and a vision for taking MSE into this next era.
“We are at a turning point in the rail industry,” Luce said. “I’m most excited about the focus on determining the product and service mix of the future in rail and finding new ways to better serve the customer.”
Her energy is matched by an innovative spirit and a strong desire to see the rail industry fully realize its potential in today’s transportation climate.
“I love the problem-solving nature in what we do and I truly believe in rail as the safest transportation option for our citizens. Additionally, rail is far more environmentally friendly,” Luce said. “I’m lucky to be surrounded by a talented team of people who share my desire to serve a larger customer base by converting more long haul traffic from truck to rail.”
The young CEO speaks of her vision with a focus on MSE’s core values and an eye toward the bigger industry picture.
“I look forward to playing an even greater role in helping our customers find meaningful solutions to their problems and growing in our success together,” Luce said.
Luce holds a BSBA in Supply Chain Management from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, with emphasizes in both Financial Analysis and Leadership and Ethics. During her time at Duke, Luce served as SGA President and a Fellow at the Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics. She is a recipient of the Keohane Leadership Award for exceptional leadership and currently serves on the Board of Advisors at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business.