BNSF Exec Matt Rose Honored with Bob Bolen Civic Leadership Award

Matt RoseMatt Rose, executive chairman of BNSF Railway, has been honored with the Bob Bolen Civic Leadership Award by the Neeley School of Business at TCU. The Neeley School created the award, named for former Fort Worth mayor and longtime civic leader Bob Bolen, to honor a civic or corporate leader of national stature for his or her contributions to the building and stewardship of our communities and nation. The first recipient of the award, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and current president of E6 Partners LLC, presented Rose’s award at the Neeley School’s 75th anniversary gala.

Prior to being named executive chairman at BNSF, Rose served 13 years as chief executive officer and 11 years as chairman, during which time BNSF became a Berkshire Hathaway-owned company in 2010. Under Rose’s leadership, BNSF more than doubled its revenue to over $20 billion annually in recent years, while increasing freight volumes by 24 percent from 2000 to 2013. During that period, the company also invested a total of more than $40 billion in capital to maintain and expand its network. 

Rose joined Burlington Northern in 1993 and was appointed chief operations officer of BNSF in 1997, CEO in 2000 and executive chairman January 1, 2014. He began his railroad career as a brakeman and switchman for Missouri Pacific Railroad during the summer of his college years, and continued with the company after graduating with a marketing degree from the University of Missouri in 1981. He left the railroad industry briefly to work for trucking conglomerates International Utilities, Schneider National and then Triple Crown Services, before joining Burlington Northern.

Rose is a member of the Texas Governor’s Business Council, Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board, Business Roundtable and The Business Council. He serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, AT&T Inc., Association of American Railroads, and Center for Energy & Economic Development. He has served as chairman of the Southwest Region and member of the board of directors for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In 2011, he was appointed to President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a committee of national business and civic leaders that delivered recommendations to encourage job growth and strengthen the American economy.

Under Rose’s leadership, BNSF developed a partnership with the Neeley School of Business at TCU through the BNSF Next Generation Leadership Program, which targets undergraduate business students who demonstrate an ability and desire to be the next generation of leaders. Rose has served on the TCU board of trustees since 2002 and served as campaign chair, leadership gift committee chair and member of the campaign scholarship initiative committee for The Campaign for TCU (2005-2012). He served on the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum renovation committee and received the Honorary Alumnus Award from the TCU Alumni Association in 2012. He is the father of two TCU alumni.

Dean Erekson said: “The Neeley School is pleased to honor Matt Rose with an award named after Mayor Bolen, as we will always refer to him, a man who valued the importance of partnerships between the private and public sectors. If you ever attended a meeting with Bob, you know that he knew everyone in Fort Worth and that everyone admired him as someone who always left things a little better than he found them.”