George Chilson is Chairman of Californians for High Speed Rail. George passionately believes that our planned state-of-the art, high-speed rail system is essential to California’s – and our nation’s – future. Because of this belief, he embraced the opportunity to lead Californians for High Speed Rail as its Chairman. This new responsibility continues 14 years of dedication to making the dream of modern passenger train service a reality in America.
George became involved with rail advocacy when members of National Association of Railroad Passengers (NARP) from Arizona and New Mexico elected him to the board of directors. NARP is the country’s largest citizen-based organization working to improve America’s mobility, prosperity and quality of life though the modernization and expansion of our national passenger train system. He was subsequently elected vice president, president and chairman of the board. During that time, he led a major restructuring of the organization’s governance and planning; increased its credibility, visibility and effectiveness; conducted extensive research, authored numerous white papers and addressed public meetings around the country.
Prior to that, his career spanned 35 years in the private sector – starting in the corporate world and finishing as a business owner. He advanced through marketing positions at General Mills in Minneapolis, the MJB Company in San Francisco and Plus Products in Los Angeles. He owned and managed ventures in the multi-family housing industry in Texas and the hospitality industry in Florida. He served as a volunteer, director and officer of numerous non-profit organizations. He has a record of accomplishment in inspiring creativity, innovation and change.
He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Princeton University in 1963 and a Masters of Business Administration in Marketing from Stanford University in 1965. He served as an intelligence officer in the US Navy Reserve. Born in Kingston, New York, he now lives in San Diego.
Dennis Lytton is the Vice President and Spokesperson of Californians for High Speed Rail and has been an advocate for more passenger trains for many years now. Dennis is on the council of the National Association of Railroad Passengers where he advocates on Capitol Hill for more passenger trains and a sustainable transportation future for this country. He has had articles supporting passenger trains published in newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and is a contributor to the California High Speed Rail blog. After several years at Los Angeles Metro Rail as an operations manager Dennis is now working on his master’s degree at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute in Washington, DC.
As graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, Dennis first started to think about trains and public policy taking the bus around LA and the train home to Orange County. He looks forward to a California where commuter and intercity rail, local rail transit systems like BART, MUNI, LA Metro, and the San Diego Trolley along with buses, bikeways, and sustainable development practices are seamlessly connected by high-speed rail.
Andy Likuski thinks that most cities and towns in the state should be served by local and regional electric train systems that are united by high speed rail. Add in mixed-use urban streets that primarily serve pedestrians, bikes, and surface rail, and California can provide a high quality of life throughout that stops sprawl and protects nature and agriculture. Andy started professional life as a software developer with a computer science engineering degree from UC Davis. He recently completed a masters in urban planning at Tufts University and now combines his two professions to perform future land-use scenario modeling for Calthorpe Associates in Berkeley. Andy acts as secretary for CA4HSR and helps write and manage their software.
Troy Hightower is a firm believer that the HSR system is essential to meet the future transportation needs of California. His company TDH Associates International has been involved with renewable energy and transportation related projects worldwide since 1986. The train is his preferred method to travel throughout the state of California
In addition, he has had the opportunity to ride the French TGV while he was completed is Masters in Industrial Engineering at Marseille Polytechnique. Based in Bakersfield, CA he has been working closely with CalState University Bakersfield and Kern County to support the HSR Initial Construction Section in the Central Valley.