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2024 Shortline Conference: Laura McNichol

Laura McNichol, Senior Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer, WATCO

Laura McNichol is Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at Watco where she leads the company’s government relations, grant-writing, sustainability, Indigenous relations and stakeholder engagement work. Prior to joining Watco in 2017, she worked at R. J. Corman Railroad Group, at GoRail, and the National Association of Conservation Districts.  

Laura represents Watco on the boards of directors for the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association and the Association of American Railroads. At Watco, she has helped lead the industry effort to make the federal 45(G) tax credit permanent, developed similar state short line and economic development credits, authored multiple successful state and federal grant applications, and created a leading sustainability portfolio. 

Originally from New Jersey, Laura is a graduate of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She lives in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, with Birdie, a happy Golden Retriever, and Squiggy, a sweet Silver Persian.