While most people outside the railroad industry might not be familiar with the National Steel Car Company, it remains the nation’s top tank car and railroad freight car manufacturer. 100 years after it was founded, the company continues to innovate and much of that success is due to the presence of long-time CEO Gregory James Aziz.
Aziz joined the company in 1994, following more than two decades at his family’s wholesale food business, Affiliated Foods. Gregory James Aziz helped grow that company to become one of the largest wholesale food businesses in Canada and that experience helped make him a good fit for the role as National Steel Car CEO.
When James Aziz joined National Steel, the company had been a successful rail car manufacturer since its founding in 1912. He quickly focused on the task of continuing the company’s reputation for excellence and that resulted in company being the only North American rail car manufacturer to be certified for ISO 9001:2008. That certification has been renewed each year and the company has qualified for the past 18 years. National Steel Car has also been awarded the prestigious annual TTX SECO award for each of the past ten years.
As the quality of National Steel Car products continues to be recognized, the company has also expanded production to meet its customers growing needs. Annual steel car production rose from 3,500 cars a year in 1994 to more than 12,500 a year currently. At the same time, the number of employees has grown from around 500 to more than 3,500. That expansion comes at a time when most of the remaining Canadian rolling stock companies have either shut their doors or been acquired by rival companies based in the United States. See This Article for related information.
As CEO of the National Steel Car, Aziz heads up the company’s extensive philanthropic efforts, centered around the Hamilton, Ontario area. The company contributes heavily to the United Way, Salvation Army, the Hamilton Opera and the world-renowned Aquarius Theatre. National Steel also sponsors the annual Christmas party, which draws thousands of current and former employees and their extended families.
On a personal level, Gregory James Aziz and his wife Irene are also sponsors of Canada’s most prominent agricultural fair, the annual the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.