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Head of VRE to retire
VRE chief executive officer will retire at the end of June.

 Zehner
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Date published: 2/2/2012

BY SCOTT SHENK

Dale Zehner, the head of Virginia Railway Express since 2004, plans to officially retire in June, the commuter-rail company announced Wednesday.

After a 25-year career in the Navy and his "secondary" career with VRE, Zehner is "ready to enjoy life a little bit," said VRE spokesman Mark Roeber.

"He and his wife decided the time was right," Roeber said.

He added that Zehner, 65, had "accomplished the main objectives" he set out to reach when he took over as CEO in 2004.

Zehner's move comes after a year in which VRE set numerous ridership records, totaling more than 4.75 million passenger trips in 2011. Under his leadership, VRE ridership grew 94 percent, Roeber said.

"In these rough economic times, the VRE Operations Board and management team have brought stability and credibility to VRE by making every dollar count, delivering on a promise to complete capital projects on time and under budget, and refusing to settle for anything less than world-class service for our riders," Zehner said.

Zehner joined VRE in 1995 as manager of budget and finance. He became chief of staff in 2001 and eventually chief executive officer. He will remain CEO until June 30. Roeber said VRE would conduct a nationwide search for Zehner's replacement.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com