Formed in 2011 by Managing Partner Frank Patton, Great Lakes Basin Transporation, Inc. (“Great Lakes Basin” or “GLBT”) has spent the past several years becoming familiar with the freight rail marketplace, Chicago’s unique physical plant constraints, and future rail traffic projections. For GLBT, understanding each of these factors revealed a unique opportunity to improve the operation of the Chicago railroad terminal by adding new capacity for through freight traffic.
Frank Patton, Founder and Chairman
Frank Patton, founded Great Lakes Basin in 2011 and is the Managing Partner. His initial goal is to develop a new railroad connecting the six Class 1 railroads around Chicago. Frank is a graduate of the University of Iowa, and a Past President of the Union League Club of Chicago. Frank founded, owned and managed Portfolio Dynamics, a portfolio development software company during the years 1970 - 2002.
Mike Blaszak, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer
After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, Mike Blaszak went to work for the Santa Fe Railway, where he advised management regarding operating and regulatory issues including common carrier service obligations, rail line construction and abandonment, railroad mergers, trackage rights and joint facilities. From there, Mike joined TTX Company as its assistant general counsel, before entering private practice to represent Class 1 and short line railroads and state Departments of Transportation dealing with rail issues. Mike has also represented four engineering and consulting firms in drafting and negotiating contracts for professional services, design/build projects and public-private partnerships. In addition, Mike has co-authored two books and authored numerous magazine articles about the railroad industry and its history.
William Miller, Chief Commercial Officer
William Miller began his railroad career with Santa Fe Railway after graduating with a degree in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University. At Santa Fe his 12 year career spanned Industrial Engineering, the System Operations Center, Service Design and the Carload Business Unit, achieving significantly improved shipment performance levels and reduced operating expenses, while having roles in the design and implementation of improved railway management systems. After Santa Fe, William spent 16 years in consulting with Accenture and as an independent consultant advising railroads, 3PLs, and shippers in supply chain operations performance, logistics network design and technology, and organizational change with clients in the U.S. and Canada, South Africa, Australia, South America, and Europe. More recently, William comes to Great Lakes Basin after 4 years as Vice President Transportation for Cliffs Natural Resources, a major customer of Class 1 railways and Great Lakes steamship lines, as well as owner and operator of short line railways and port facilities in the U.S. and Canada.
Tim Befort, Chief Operating Officer
Tim Befort was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Great Lakes Basin Transportation in September 2016. Most recently, he was Vice President Yield Management at Kansas City Southern Railway focusing on intermodal and network operations, asset management, marketing and strategic planning. Tim began his career in 1988 with APL, Ltd working across each of its subsidiaries covering rail operations, logistics, business development and strategic studies. After joining KCS in 1998, he served in a variety of management positions, including Assistant Vice President Financial Planning & Analysis. Tim graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in economics. He also graduated from DePaul University, earning an MBA in operations management.
Greg Frezados, Counsel to the Chairman
Greg Frezados, is an Attorney, Wealth Manager, Project Fund Raiser, and licensed Real Estate Agent. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Chicago Community Trust, People for the American Way, Chicago Bar Association, National Public Housing Museum, and Middlebury College Alumni Association. He has presented and/or published 22 papers on Estate Planning, Wealth Management, and Family Business Management. Greg prior to joining GLBT held positions at Robert W. Baird and Company, Handler Thayer, LLP, Locke Lord, LLP, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Harris Trust and Savings Bank. In addition, Greg has provided private legal services to clients regarding financial and estate planning. Greg has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and a minor in English, graduating cum laude from Middlebury College and a Juris Doctor from Tulane University.