Crew

Alan Maleig
Support Crew

Alan was born and raised in New Orleans and played on 745 while it was at Audubon Park.  Many years later, he had heard about SteamFest and decided to go over and see what the locomotive looked like since it had been restored. Alan was
impressed that the engine was operational and joined that orginization on the spot. 

With his 30+ year experiece as a auto mechanic, Allan has been instrumental in keep things moving at the yard.

Volunteer Spotlight Alan Maleig (2012)

Alison Schenk
Director

Alison has been a long-time volunteer and joined the Board in 2013.  Her professional background includes the medical industry and private investigations.  

Barry Keegan
Director

Barry answered a call for volunteers in August, 2003 becoming the LASTA spray painter in support of the 2005 state tour. This included the refinishing and painting of the inside of the Jefferson car and the outside of all of the LASTA cars. He traveled with 745 for the first leg of the state tour. 

Following this trip, he organized a number of the Steam Fests held at Audubon Park and coordinated 745 at Gretna Fest for many years. He is on the LASTA Board of Directors and is currently working on our collective effort to secure both a new home for 745 and funds for the engine rebuild. 

Volunteer Spotlight Barry Keegan (2009)

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Bill Morris
Director / CMO

Bill was elected to the Board in 2008. Currently serving as our Cheif Operating Officer (COO), he is responsible for the LASTA's rail operations. 

Before joining LASTA, Bill spent many years working as a locomotive engineer with a Class 1 railroad.  

Bruce Brown
Founder

Bruce is the former President and founder of LASTA. He remains an active volunteer and recently completed a Thru-Hike of the Appalachian Trail (2,000 miles), spreading the news of 745 along the way. Bruce is previously worked with our membership and relocation committees.

Carl Gustafson
Engineer
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David Bartee
Director

David is a long-time volunteer. and was elected to the Board in 2012.  He served on the engine crew during our 2005 state-wide tour and in 2006, he operated the first revenue passenger train in Pittsburg, Kansas in over 75 years.  

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Ed Ernewein
Support Crew

Ed Ernewein was one of the founding members of the Old Kenner Railway Association  (OKRA) , and was involved in the transfer of SP 745 from Audubon Park.  Since retiring from the Federal Railway Administration official ( FRA ), Ed has assumed a greater role in operations and served on the LASTA Board from 2016-2019.

Ed Hennisen
Engine Crew
Erich Lendermon
Director / Engineer
Gewn Stryon
Director / Secretary

Gwen has been involved with LASTA for a number of years. She is currently the Secretary and a newly elected Board Member. She handles the food concessions for special events and  is known to provide lunch for the crew on occasions.

She handles the cleanup of the interior of the Jefferson and Hankins cars and recently assisted with yard cleanup. She is currently working with stocking of the gift shop.

Jacob Stryon
Support Crew
James Guilbeau
Electrician

James Guilbeau (aka Sparky) became involved with LASTA in 2004 when he helped obtain a handheld radio for the statewide tour.  He later worked with Al to rewire the former south-yard.  Since then, he has continued to work on documenting and safely improving LASTA’s electrical systems.  He also maintains various electrical & electronic systems in the consist.

Jim Bellmyer
Operation Lifesaver Liaison

Jim "Bigfoot" has been with LASTA since 2006 and is the Director of Rail Safety Education and serves as the Liaison for Operation Lifesaver and LASTA and is an NSC certified Defensive Driving Instructor. 

He is retired from many years in the Transportation Industry, he is very active in rail grade safety educating.  Jim served on the Board of Directors from 2011 to 2019.

Volunteer Spotlight Jim Bellmyer (2012)

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Karl Smith
Support Crew

He is a fireman, electrician all-around handyman and comes all the way from New Jersey when we move SP745.

Lewis Doherty
Membership Director

Lewis currently serves as the Membership Director and the Editor of the 745 Journal.

LJ Jordan
Support Crew
Matt Anderson
Director

Matt became involved with LASTA in late 2004 when he learned about SP745’s and its crew’s radio troubles during a test run of the locomotive. Matt was successful in solving SP745’s radio equipment issues prior to the Bicentennial trip. Since then, he has continued to work on expanding and improving LASTA’s communication systems. Matt also helps maintain various electrical and electronic systems around the yard.

He has also volunteered his time to renovate LASTA’s website as well as creating a Twitter account to keep train enthusiasts updated on SP745 and LASTA events. Matt currently works in the telecommunications industry, providing technical services for broadcast and the wireless data industry.

Volunteer Spotlight Matt Anderson

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Mike "Nitro" Herbert
Support Crew

Mike “Nitro” Herbert enjoys working on equipment large and small. “Nitro” works as an equipment operator for Jefferson Parish. He first met former LASTA President Bruce Brown when he was working on the reclaimed oil project at the Parish.

His first job as a volunteer was to change the water pump on Rock Island 745 (“Agnes”). Since then he has worked on or operated all of LASTA’s maintenance-of-way machinery including the big Orton crane and smaller motor cars.  

Volunteer Spotlight Mike Herbert

Nathan Hull
Support Crew
OJ Williams
Yard Supervisor
Richard Jacobs
Director / CMO

Since the early 80’s, Richard has been involved in the preservation of SP 745 and other historic railroad equipment.

Richard became acquainted with SP 745 when the locomotive was on static display at Audubon Park. Sometime in 1983 or 1984, he heard a rumor that the locomotive was going to be scrapped. Of course he went straight to the park to protest. However, when he arrived he found a group that was actually working to move and save the engine! It was then that he was hooked, and his energies turned toward assisting with the restoration effort.

His mechanical expertise has provided many valuable contributions to LASTA. He currently serves at the Cheif Mechanical Officer.  Richard also currently serves as the director of the Louisiana Railway Heritage Trust. 

Volunteer Spot Light (2010) - Richard Jacobs

 

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Robbie Jacobs
Support Crew
Ron Goldman
Support Crew

During the 1920s, Ron's Grandfather worked as a foreman in the Algiers Southern Pacific boiler shop. He was part of the crew that "built" 745. 

Ron has been a member of LASTA for 20+ years and has been currently training as a Fireman.

Sam Chanove
Support Crew
Walt Pierce
President

Walt is former broadcast journalist that now works as a media
and public relations consultant.  Walt says he got his love of all things trains from his father who worked for the Southern Railway as a car knocker (inspector) and clerk at Southern's old Bernadotte Street coach yards.  Walt became involved with LASTA shortly after SP 745 was rebuilt.

Walt joined the LASTA Board of Directors in 2014 and often works with the media to bring the public’s attention to our organization.  In November 2017, he was elected as the President of LASTA. 

Volunteer Spotlight Walt Pierce (2014)

Wayne Babovich
Board

Wayne was elected to the Board in 2017 and currently serves on our relocation committee.   

Wayne Minnick
Treasurer

Wayne is currently serving LASTA’s Treasurer and is employed by the USDA as an Information Technology Specialist.

Volunteer Spotlight Wayne Minnick