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2023 Board of Directors

The directors and managers of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society are both veterans in the rail preservation and transportation industries among others. Directors each hold a two-year term and elections are held each November.

Joe Knapke, President

Bio pending.

Kelly Lynch, Vice President

Kelly handles marketing, development and event administration for the Society. He has served as Vice-President since 2016 and previously held the positions of Secretary and Communications Manager and been a board member since 2007.

Brian Christophel, Treasurer

Brian has over seven years of experience in the financial services industry and an MBA from Baldwin Wallace College. He is currently employed by Do it Best Corp.

Rich Brinkley, Secretary

Rich has a masters degrees in both education and music and has been a Lutheran teacher and church musician for 40 years.

Zach Hall, Operations Manager

Zach has worked in the railroad industry for 15 years and has been employed by numerous short lines, tourist and mainline operations. He is the current Steam Foreman for the Everett Railroad and Chief Mechanical Officer for Soo Line 1003. A qualified engineer for over 12 years, he leads the Operations Committee in planning and executing excursions with the 765

Steven Winicker, Mechanical Manager

Steve has been a District Forester for the Department of Natural Resources since 1974. He oversaw the 765’s 2000-2005 rebuild and has previously held the office of President and Secretary and has been a member of the Society since 1975.

Wayne York, Senior Excursion Manager

Wayne works in management and civil engineering in the public and private sectors and oversees a variety of the 765's excursions. One of the Society's founding members, York engineered the removal of the 765 from Lawton Park in 1974.

Rick Popp, Merchandise Manager

Rick is a veteran of the sales and marketing industries and a classic toy train collector.

Bill Otter, Director

Retired from the industrial food industry, Bill grew up within sight of the Nickel Plate Road outside Cleveland, Ohio and served as Society President for eight years.

Ex Officio Managers