When former Metrolink CEO John Fenton left the agency in May 2012, to assume the top job at Patriot Rail Corp., board members and other agency officials were caught off guard. They weren't ready to depart with their leader of two years, who has been credited with helping the agency begin to adopt a total safety culture, improve morale and empower employees following the deadly Chatsworth crash that sent the agency into a tailspin. But Fenton's departure gave the board an opportunity to find a new leader who could not only build on Fenton's initiatives, but bring a sense of stability to the agency. They believe they've found their guy in Michael DePallo, the longtime Port Authority Trans-Hudson chief who has, as Metrolink Board Chairman Richard Katz puts it, a "quiet and strong competence." Katz and the rest of the board are counting on DePallo to create and begin to carry out a long-term strategic plan for the agency. For more on DePallo and his goals, read this web-exclusive article posted on ProgressiveRailroading.com.