BNSF - 2015-16 News Releases - News & Media

BNSF Honors Dilworth, Minn., Employee Tessa Burkle Collins as Transportation Safety Employee of the Year

Apr 14, 2015

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) has named Tessa Burkle Collins its Transportation Safety Employee of the Year. Collins was recognized at BNSF’s annual Employees of the Year ceremony held last night in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Tessa Collins is a true safety champion at BNSF, and I am delighted to honor her with this award,” said Carl Ice, BNSF president and chief executive officer. “Employees like her make a big difference at BNSF, and this award is a token of our appreciation.”

"People gravitate to Tessa because of her compassion and natural leadership abilities."

Collins joined BNSF in 2005 as a conductor in North Dakota, and now serves in Dilworth, Minn., as one of the safety coordinators for the Twin Cities Division. As a safety coordinator, she works with the safety manager and site-safety teams to improve safety processes, reduce risk and facilitate Enhanced Safety Training and behavioral-based safety programs, among other responsibilities. Her most important role is being a leader who influences others, helping to foster a culture of commitment and compliance.

“Tessa is respected at all levels of the organization,” said Richard Woodside, manager, Safety, for the division. “She fosters an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration, getting buy-in and building trust. People gravitate to Tessa because of her compassion and natural leadership abilities. We’ve seen a significant culture change across the division, and she’s been instrumental in laying the foundation.”

The BNSF Employees of the Year event recognizes employees who embody the company’s vision and values. Their achievements positively impact BNSF customers, fellow employees, owners and the communities served by BNSF. In addition, BNSF honors five Safety Employees of the Year, representing Telecommunications, Intermodal, Business Unit Operations and each of its major operations departments. These honorees are recognized for their efforts to improve safety within the industry and their communities.
In 2014, BNSF continued to reinforce its commitment to safety with a best-ever year in employee safety. BNSF’s continued safety improvements – assisted by the efforts of the Safety Employees of the Year – move it closer to achieving the company’s vision of an injury- and incident-free workplace.

For a complete list of honorees, photos and a video of the Safety Employees of the Year, please visit

About BNSF
BNSF Railway is one of North America’s leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states, and also operates in three Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF’s shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at