Port of Brownsville Recognizes Norma Torres with 2023 Chairman’s Award

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — December 15, 2023 –Former Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway (BRG) President & COO Norma Torres Norma Torres received the prestigious 2023 Chairman’s Award in recognition of her exemplary career during the Port of Brownsville’s Annual Customer Appreciation Luncheon held Dec. 14, at the Ambassador Event Center.

The event highlights the achievements of port tenants and customers throughout the year.

After working as a bookkeeper at the port, Torres joined the BRG in 1989 as a contract laborer.  In 2001, she assumed leadership of the BRG becoming the first female president of a Texas shortline railroad. Under her direction, the BRG experienced remarkable growth, from 26,000 annual railcar loads in 2001 to more than 85,000 estimated in 2023. Since 2019, annual volumes have grown exponentially, a trend that is expected to continue.

Torres has played a pivotal role in the shortline’s success, fostering key partnerships, and navigating significant increases in the movement of commodities serving industries across North America.

“On behalf of the Brownsville Navigation District Board of Commissioners, I am pleased to congratulate Norma Torres as the honoree for the Port of Brownsville 2023 Chairman’s Award. She has led an exceptional career and made a tremendous impact on the port,” said Brownsville Navigation District Chairman Esteban Guerra. “Norma’s leadership and dedication have set a standard of excellence, and we are proud to recognize her achievements with this award.”

“Thank you to the Port of Brownsville for their support over the years,” said Torres. “I have been blessed to work with an amazing rail team and will treasure the successes we have shared.”

Since 2014, OmniTRAX, Inc., under agreement with the Port of Brownsville, has managed the BRG enhancing services for port rail users and connecting shippers and the port with three Class 1 railroads for access across North America. OmniTRAX honored BRG with the 2019 Railroad of the Year Award for exceptional performance. In August 2023, Shariff Gonnella succeeded Norma Torres as the President of BRG.

During the luncheon Chairman Guerra also recognized Port Director and CEO Eduardo A. Campirano with the Brownsville Navigation District’s first Legacy Achievement Honor, for 16 years of service to the Port of Brownsville. Campirano will leave the port on December 31.

“Mr. Campirano has not only steered the Port of Brownsville to new heights of success but has exemplified the highest standards of dedication, innovation and integrity,” said Chairman Guerra. “The Brownsville Navigation District thanks Mr. Campirano for his guidance and the profound legacy he has left on the Port of Brownsville and our community.”

About the Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville is the only deep-water seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border and encompasses 40,000 acres – the largest land-owning public port authority in the country. The port transships more steel into Mexico than any other U.S. port. As the major multimodal transportation hub serving the Rio Grande Valley and northern Mexico, the Port of Brownsville supports investment opportunities and jobs. Activity at the port is responsible for adding more than $2 billion to the regional economy, $3 billion to the Texas economy, and the creation of more than 51,000 jobs statewide. For more information, visit www.portofbrownsville.com

Brownsville Navigation District Chairman Esteban Guerra presented Norma Torres with the 2023 Chairman’s Award for her exemplary leadership throughout her career at the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway, at the Port of Brownsville’s annual Customer Appreciation luncheon held Dec. 14, at the Ambassador Event Center in Brownsville.