Meet the STARS Staff

WENDY J. BUCKLEY
President & Founder
Hazardous Materials, Transportation, Hazardous Waste,
& Environmental Compliance

When Wendy made the decision to volunteer at a local fire department while in college she had no way of knowing that this decision would change the course of her life. She developed a passion for the hazardous materials field during her 10 years with the fire department. She started out as a fire fighter but later became a member of the hazardous materials response team.

Wendy continued to volunteer at fire departments in both Virginia and Maryland for ten years before accepting a job with the Federal Railroad Administration as a trainee hazardous materials safety inspector and for the State of New Jersey as a journeyman hazmat inspector. She went on to work for Amtraks’ Inspector General as an investigator. Wendy also served as an instructor for a premier hazardous materials training firm. She eventually took a job as the sole hazmat specialist for North American Regulatory Affairs with a global laboratory supply distributor.

Drawing on the knowledge and experience that she has gained over the years Wendy founded her own hazardous materials and hazardous waste consulting firm. Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services (STARS) ensures that various hazardous materials are safely transported around the United States and Canada. Wendy started this company with one goal in mind. She wants to help companies develop cost effective ways to comply with both state and federal regulations in a safe and efficient manner. Wendy also travels around the country speaking on various topics related to the transportation and management of hazardous materials for numerous organizations that include National Industrial Transportation League (NITL), Bureau of Explosives (BOE/AAR), Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC), and Dangerous Goods Symposium (DGS – formerly DGIS) by LabelMaster. She holds several degrees from private and public Universities.

Awards: Elite Business Leader & Featured in Women of Distinction Magazine (Fall 2014), National Association of Distinguished Professionals (NADP), 2014 Woman of the Year, National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), 2014 Pinnacle Professional of the Year, Continental Who’s Who, 2016 Top Professional of the Year in Environmental Services, International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP), 2016 Top Female Executive, Worldwide Who’s Who

Published: “Boxes and Bottles and Jars, Oh My!”, Packaging World Magazine (November 2013), “Rail Safety and Regulatory Perspective”, Focal Pointes Magazine (May 2014), “HM-251 – It’s Not Just For Crude Oil Anymore!”, Packing World Magazine (September 2015)

JOE CONNELLY
Senior Consultant & Operations Manager
Hazardous Materials & Transportation 

Joe has been in the hazardous materials industry for over 30 years and has been an invaluable member of the STARS Team since its inception. Joe began his hazardous materials career as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Specialist with the U. S. Army, assigned to Escort and Disposal Team 3 of the U. S. Army Technical Escort Service. Team 3 responded to military and civilian hazardous materials problems and was responsible for all of the chemical munitions in the U. S. Army inventory.

After leaving the military, Joe joined CECOS International as a Hazardous Materials technician, responding to hazardous materials emergencies nationwide. He specialized in PCB mitigation, participated and supervised Superfund site clean ups along the eastern seaboard and responded to railroad accidents involving hazardous materials at Amtrak and Conrail. Joe joined the Federal Railroad Administration in 1982 as a Hazardous Materials Inspector, working over 20 years as a field inspector before accepting a position as a Supervisory Specialist. He finished his federal career as a professional staff member for the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Upon his departure from the “Committee” Joe was cited in the Congressional Record for helping to instill a “culture of safety” into all the federal agencies that he dealt with and for making safety his life’s work.

Joe has extensive experience in railroad and hazardous material regulatory compliance, safety audits, training, plant and railroad security along with intermodal and transloading operations. While a member of Congressional Staff Joe also conducted investigations into liquid and gas pipeline failures and accidents involving cargo-tank motor vehicles.

RAY KASEY
Consultant
Hazardous Materials & Transportation

Ray is a railroad safety specialist with more than 45 years of experience. He worked on the Erie Lackawanna Railroad and Conrail as a locomotive engineer, Road Foreman, and Trainmaster. He then worked for the Federal Railroad Administration spending the last 20 in FRA headquarters. During his tenure at FRA headquarters Ray served on the DOT Secretarial Hazardous Materials Program Evaluation Team, served the Secretary of Transportation as a volunteer advisor in times of national emergencies, as well as served as liaison with the Association of American Railroads’ Bureau of Explosives Committee. Ray has bachelors and masters degrees in business administration and public administration from state Universities.

JIM BLAZE
Consultant 
Railroad Economics & Logistics

Jim’s dynamic career in the multimodal and rail transportation industry began more than 40 years ago. During that time, he spent 21 years in management at Consolidated Rail Corporation so he has a thorough understanding of how railroads operate. Jim is very experienced in rail accident safety investigation. He’s an experienced railroad economist and has worked on strategic planning projects, public policy analysis, freight logistics, intermodal competitive analysis, business restructuring, senior management culture change and marketing/operations analysis all over the world, to include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Mongolia, Brazil, England, Germany, France, Netherlands, Russia, Hungary and Africa.

Jim has been published in more than 40 major rail technical reports and papers. Over the years, Jim has played an important role in many projects relating to freight logistics, rail accident safety, and crude oil railway service capacity and risk analysis.

LARRY EWING
Consultant 
Motive Power & Equipment

Larry has more than 42 years of experience in various sections of the railroad industry. He began his career as a carman’s helper. His responsibilities included inspecting and repairing railroad freight cars and locomotives for FRA compliance and to clear derailments. The bulk of his career was spent as a Railroad Safety Specialist Chief Inspector for the FRA. As a Chief Inspector, Larry was required to train new FRA and State Inspectors on FRA regulations, review violation reports for technical accuracy, investigate high profile accidents for probable cause and perform special inspections of wreck damaged equipment to ascertain if the equipment is safe for the proposed movement for disposition and in compliance with FRA mandated requirements. In addition, Larry is the co-author of the FRA Freight Power Brake Regulation.

HARRY HOPES
Consultant 
Hazardous Materials & Transportation

Harry’s long and distinguished railroad career began 40 years ago. He spent over a decade working in a variety of positions in the engineering department before shifting his focus to hazardous materials. Harry’s hard work and dedication helped him advance to Regional Environmental Manager and finally Manager of Hazardous Materials. Throughout his career Harry completed numerous hazardous materials certification and training courses including, but not limited to, Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, Highway Emergency Response Specialist, Advanced Hazardous Materials Technician, OSHA Instructor, WMD Tactical Commander and Site Safety Officer. Harry’s professional goal has always been to provide training and guidance to ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials throughout North America.

STEVEN RIFE
Consultant 
Rail Car Construction & Repair

Steven began his railroad career over twenty years ago building insulated railcars for Hardcore DuPont. He went on to become the supervisor for the production crew. When he joined Dana Rail Care in 2014, he received intensive training and was qualified to perform inspections and repairs to rail cars in compliance with AAR and FRA guidelines. During that time, he was also certified to perform MIG welding and brake testing. Steven joined the STARS team several months ago and during his time with us he has worked closely with Joe Connelly, one of the nation’s highest regarded tank car specialists. Steven has proven himself to be a valuable asset to our STARS family.

SIMON DUFFY
Consultant 
Hazardous Materials & Transportation

Simon’s long and distinguished career in the railroad industry spans 34 years. He began working as an Engineer, Conductor and Locomotive Fireman. During the years that Simon performed those duties he was able to develop skills in high tonnage train handling in heavy grade territory. He was later promoted to Manager of Operating Practices, a title that he held until his retirement in 2011. Once promoted Simon focused on classroom presentations, reading and understanding FRA regulations and developed a training program that included hazardous materials handling for the railroad’s transportation department. When the operating rules were changed at the Buffalo and Pittsburg Railroad from NORAC to GCOR in 2010 Simon was responsible for the classroom rule changes for all departments. Due to his efforts the changeover was accomplished with little interruption of service.