Jeff Rasmussen joined Mitsui Rail Capital as a Director of Sales and Marketing in 2020 with more than 30 years of rail industry experience. With MRC, Jeff covers territories including the Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest and Western Canada. Whether it’s helping customers, his Chicago Blackhawks fandom or turning a $2 bet on the Belmont Stakes into a huge payday, Jeff has got plenty of good stories. You can reach out to him at email@example.com.
What got you into the railcar industry and, more importantly, what has kept you in the railcar industry?
I started with an interesting opportunity immediately after B-School to have large revenue responsibility in a commercial role at a railroad. I moved to leasing when our railroad was sold because leasing gave me an opportunity to continue to be a “dealmaker.” I enjoy learning what customers need and why they need it.
What duties do you perform to help Mitsui Rail Capital be the company it is?
Marketing our brand and selling our ability to execute better than our competition.
Other than the cliché answer “The people,” what’s your favorite thing about working at Mitsui Rail Capital?
At MRC we’re surrounded by a team of highly competent people with well-defined roles who have an appropriate level of customer focus. Customers are impressed when they see the whole organization pointed in the right direction. I experienced this on my very first transaction in 2021 where we made a strong positive impression on a large shipper.
In what ways do you feel the railcar industry has changed over the years?
There’s been so much downsizing at various companies that many of the people we call on are doing what used to be two or three jobs. They’re incredibly busy, and they often have other responsibilities besides handling a rail fleet. If you take it personally when these people don’t or can’t call you back, you’ll end up in a bad frame of mind.
It can’t be all work, work, work. What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m an avid golfer with a 5-handicap but my game runs hot and cold. In 17 years belonging to a club, my best round is 72 and worst is … 100. For most golfers, if you can hit either of those numbers, you’ll never hit the other.
I’ve been attending World Series of Poker since 1992 and love to play in poker tournaments. I won a tournament in 2014 in Las Vegas with a field of 234 players and have made numerous final tables in smaller events.
In terms of sports, I’m a lifelong Blackhawks fan – I grew up going to Chicago Stadium with my dad. I needed Kleenex when the Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, although my wife did not understand.
I love to read non-fiction about famous world events, often catastrophic or criminal (Chernobyl, the Zapruder film, Charles Ponzi, Jimmy Hoffa, Alcatraz prison breaks, and much more). I’ll occasional read fiction, especially Jack Reacher series and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. My all-time favorite TV Show is Homeland.
Are there any words/principles that you live by?
1) “Fortune favors the bold.”
2) “If you think you can or think you can’t, either way you’ll be right.”
3) “One appealing aspect of taking the high road is there’s less traffic.”
4) “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were ??”
5) “The best things in life aren’t things.”
What is something that you’re most proud of, either personally or professionally?
Professionally, it would be consummating almost $1 billion worth of rail freight and railcar lease transactions over a 30-year stretch.
Personally, running a 3:20 marathon and correctly picking the trifecta in the 2011 Belmont Stakes –$8,268 on a $2 wager!