Thursday, May 13, 2021
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Golden Boot Award: Garin makes BNSF, community a better place

BNSF Railway

2650 Lou Menk Drive

Fort Worth 76131


What is the Golden Boot award?

The Golden Boot award honors an individual, group or organization that has a long history of business success as well as a long record of service to the community.

The Golden Boot award may be new, but when it comes to its recipient, Dave Garin, when it comes to success.

Whether it’s with his company, BNSF Railway, or in his community, Garin consistently stands out. For this reason, he is receiving the Golden Boot Award as part of the Fort Worth Business Press’ Top 100 honorees.

“It’s a very nice honor. I’m very please, humbled,” Garin said. “It speaks a lot to what BNSF allows its leaders to do in the community. Having that company support is a big thing.”

And Garin, 56, is doing big things. His community service includes:

· National trustee, Boys & Girls Clubs of America;

· Executive sponsor, Stay on Track – Stay in School Program with Fort Worth Score a Goal in the Classroom;

· Executive board and past president, National Freight Transportation Association.

“Serving in the community makes you better, makes your company better,” Garin said.

Garin was born in Minnesota and went to work for BNSF in 1983 as a management trainee in Saint Paul, the home of the original Burlington Northern Railroad. He said the company was already preparing for its move to Fort Worth, which is where he and his family relocated in 1992.

“The company was already putting its roots there when I started,” he said. “If you feel like you want to be a part of a company for the rest of your life, you have to make a decision. Do you want to be a Minnesotan or move?”

They moved and he wouldn’t live anywhere else now, he said. Easing the transition was the move to Dallas of his beloved North Stars hockey team, which won a Stanley Cup in 1999.

“I’ve been a Stars fan since I was a kid,” he said. “I wish we could have won one in Minnesota, but it was nice winning that one here.

“I did get a couple of World Series championships from the Twins before we left (1987, 1991).”

Garin has held a variety of leadership positions in audit, corporate accounting, financial reporting, strategic planning, and marketing and sales. In 1999 he was appointed group vice president, industrial products, with sales and marketing responsibilities for the $5 billion carload segment including chemicals, crude oil and petroleum products, building products, construction products, beverages, perishables and canned goods.

“I am so incredibly proud to work for Dave. I’ve learned so much about leadership, looking at things through different lenses and professionalism in general,” said administrative assistant Beth Galvan. “He’s such an intelligent, kind man who has worked hard and given back his entire life.

“I’ve heard many leaders at BNSF say that industrial products would definitely not be the same if it hadn’t been for Dave and all his efforts, and I couldn’t agree more.”

Garin received his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. He receive a degree in advanced management program from Harvard Business School.

Garin said a highlight of his long career with BNSF was getting promoted to the position he’s now held for nearly two decades.

“That’s one of my most proud achievements, leading this group of people for so long,” he said. “Being able to adapt and adjust mid-career is a good feeling.”

So is helping the community around him. It began with his work with United Way.

“It’s easy to write checks. To get out there and visit the shelters, to see the need, that is much more,” he said.

On his work with the Boys & Girls Clubs, he said, “I knew school-aged children were a challenge, but to see the numbers, then, you look at the value of the clubs and the difference they make.”

As for Score a Goal in the Classroom, he said he would often tell youngsters, “If we keep you in school, keep you drug-free, you can come work for BNSF one day. Their eyes get real big.”

Ernie Horn, who has worked with Garin on Score a Goal, said his friend has “helped change history in a positive way.”

“He was instrumental in having the vision to encourage North Texas high school students to ‘Stay on Track – Stay in School,” Horn said. “We have been able in the last seven or eight years to bring that message to about 30,000 high school students.”

Stay on Track – Stay in School is a program supported by BNSF to encourage students to continue their education.

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