Home » R.J. Corman posthumously recognized with Rotary Club Humanitarian Award

R.J. Corman posthumously recognized with Rotary Club Humanitarian Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2014) — The Rotary Club of Lexington posthumously last week presented R.J. “Rick” Corman, founder of R.J. Corman Railroad Group, with its Humanitarian Award.

R.J. “Rick” Corman
R.J. “Rick” Corman

Jim Richardson, 2000-2001 president and 2011 President’s Cup recipient — the highest honor the club can bestow upon one of its members — introduced Corman’s life-long friend Luther Deaton, who related story after story of Corman’s generosity, leadership and vision.

“We spoke every day until he could no longer speak,” Deaton said.

April Corman-Coyler, Corman’s youngest daughter accepted the Humanitarian Award on behalf of her father, and eloquently thanked all who had participated, complimenting Rotary on its community work and promised to follow her father’s legacy of ethics and generosity.

The railroad entrepreneur was known for his colorful personality and a deep and quick laugh, and for being a demanding boss who was especially insightful and strategic in growing the business, Craig King, the recently appointed president of R.J. Corman Railroad Group, said in a press release. A pilot and running enthusiast, Corman founded a railroad construction company in 1973, the same year he graduated from Jessamine County High School in Kentucky. Through his hands-on approach and exemplary customer service, he built the business into R.J. Corman Railroad Group, a diversified service provider and short-line operator that has more than 1,200 employees and operates in more than 24 states, King said.

Today, R.J. Corman Railroad Group is a privately owned holding company that operates R J. Corman Railroad Construction, R.J. Corman Derailment Services, R J. Corman Material Sales, R.J. Corman Railroad Co., R.J. Corman Railpower, My Old Kentucky Dinner Train and Lexington Dinner Train. The short line company, R.J. Corman Railroad Co., was named Railway Age’s 2007 Short Line of the Year.

Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2001, Corman established the R.J. Corman Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation at Harvard. He also provided the lead gift that helped make the St. Joseph Jessamine, R.J. Corman Ambulatory Care Center a reality in 2009. In 2013, Corman made another contribution that funded the Sandra J. Adams Digital Mammography Suite at the medical center.

“Mr. Corman will be remembered for his character, energy, determination, generosity and vision,” King said.