Our team is one of the leading Rail and Transportation recruitment services in the industry
Edna A. Rice, President
Edna began her recruiting career in 1985, when she opened-up a franchise operation of Management Recruiters in Ventura, California. After hiring six recruiters as part of the initial startup of the company, Edna began recruiting herself, placing chemists in the paint and coatings industry.
In 1986, Edna jumped on the opportunity to move back to her home state and manage a Management Recruiters office in Texas. What she didn’t realize was that Houston was devastated by the drop in the oil industry, where most of the existing recruiters were trying to make a living. She led her recruiters to national markets in all of their fields, and the company started making placements again under Edna’s direction.
New to Houston, Edna ran across Trinity Industries, who was seeking a coatings chemist to keep paint on their railcars. She received four job openings, filled all of them, and has never lacked work in the rail and transportation industry since 1986.
Edna’s experience grew alongside her company, which now fills positions in all sectors of the industry. She and her recruiters make placements in Canada, the United States, and Mexico at all levels.
Edna Rice, Executive Recruiters, Inc. is a name synonymous with the personal attention given to employers and candidates alike. We work carefully with employers seeking to upgrade their staff or fill an existing opening in order to find the most qualified candidate available. Similarly, we work with each candidate individually, considering personal and family needs as we seek the ideal work environment.
Debbie Taylor – Executive Recruiter
Debbie is an expert rail, transportation and mobility executive recruiter/head-hunter, passionate business professional, and entrepreneur. She has had great success helping organizations grow by bringing to the table front-line expertise and leadership from large corporate structures, investor-funded start-ups, and professional service organizations. In addition, she provides insight to teams by leveraging experience as an Ad Hoc faculty member at major universities, in community leadership positions and has worked on six different continents.
Debbie, a life-long learner, earned her B.S., Marketing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and her MBA from Loyola University in Chicago. Additionally, she draws on her twenty-five years’ experience leading organizations and her deep network of relationships across the country to help her clients identify and attract current and next generation team leaders.
Debbie’s clients include manufacturing, technology, private equity, finance organizations, shippers, engineering and infrastructure firms, services companies, railroads, transit operators and many, many more. While most of her work is helping North American companies, Debbie has many international clients.
Debbie and her husband have four grown children who are now pursuing each of their individual dreams. As a family they enjoy adventure travel, the outdoors, reading and sailing to remote places on the globe.
Call Debbie to brainstorm your hiring needs. She always loves a challenge!
Lisa Birnbaum – Executive Recruiter
Lisa moved to Houston in 2005. She joined Edna A. Rice, Executive Recruiters shortly thereafter in 2006. She had been recruiting with a national search firm, but decided she wanted to be able to put a more personal touch on her recruiting. She has been with Edna Rice since then.
Lisa has worked on and placed a variety of transit and freight railroad management positions including many CEO’s, COO’s, and General Managers. She has also placed a VP of Commuter Rail, VP of Engineering, Program and Project Managers (civil, electrical, and mechanical), an Assistant Director – maintenance of equipment, Manager of Contracts & Procurement, Manager of Operating Practices, Project Control Manager, Sales Managers, National Rail Director, Rail Engineer, Transportation Planner, Traffic Engineer, and a Director of Mainline Business Segment. She has also worked on several logistics positions in the chemical and oil & gas industries including a Distribution Manager, Fueling Manager, General Manager (locomotive fuels), Transportation Analyst, Customer Service Manager and countless other railroad and related positions during her 15 years working for Edna.
Lisa’s father was in the military, so she has lived in all parts of the country and in Germany, but she is happy to call Houston, Texas, her home now. She has a husband, a daughter who is working in Savannah, a son-in-law who is a Captain in the Marines stationed at Parris Island in South Carolina, and a son who works for Texas A&M University as an IT Professional II in the College of Engineering. Lisa received her B.S. from LSU and her M.B.A. from Loyola University. Lisa had the pleasure of having the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad as a client when she lived in New Orleans, so she already knew how great railroad employees were to work with. She loves specializing in the railroad and transportation niche!
Since 2006, Lisa has thrived on helping her clients and candidates find the best fit! She looks forward to meeting you at industry events such as NRC, ASLRRA, APTA Rail and AREMA this year. If you need help filling a position or finding your next opportunity, call or email her. If it is more convenient for you to contact her after business hours, feel free to call her on her cell.
Tim Lopas – Executive Recruiter
Tim joined Edna A. Rice Executive Recruiters in 2014. He brought a comprehensive, unique, and well-rounded perspective to his recruiting practice, leading to effective long-term placements for his clients and candidates. His ability to connect with and understand people at all levels makes him very a very valuable resource. During his tenure with Edna Rice, Tim has proven to be one of the top leading Executive Recruiters. He has studied all aspects of the Rail and Transportation Industry and has become an industry expert. His placements range from mid-level Production Managers to C-Suite Executives.
Prior to joining Edna Rice, Tim spent twenty-five years in Hotel Management and Workforce Development. With a background in Hospitality Management and Workforce Career Development, he cultivated his ability to be very diverse in his recruiting career. He studied Hospitality Management at the University of Houston. He also sees his past training as a Certified Workforce Expert and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as cornerstones of his background.
He takes pride in being genuine, honest, and goal oriented. He acts as a trusted resource, and he enjoys working with his clients and candidates to assist them in achieving their goals. He will take on your most challenging search at any time. Making people’s lives better through business is his ultimate goal and career reward.
When not recruiting, Tim enjoys fishing the Texas gulf coast, everything that involves the outdoors, cooking, and watching movies. He takes pride in spending time with his daughters, helping them achieve their educational and personal goals.
Give Tim a call to see how he can make your life better through business today.
Julie Hall – Executive Recruiter
Lisa is a seasoned executive with a 30+ year background in multiple service industries. Her experience has allowed her to work with individuals in all levels of multitudes of businesses.
She enjoys partnering with hiring managers to bring them best-in-class candidates to join their team.
Candidates appreciate Julie’s ability to confidentially communicate and guide them to new opportunities, knowing she will continue with them through the transition process.
A true entrepreneur, she started her own successful business focusing on helping her clients with organization and downsizing. Julie graduated from the University of Houston in 1990, with a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Originally from Indiana, she moved to Texas in 1982. She has one daughter who attends Texas A&M University. She enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, golfing, keeping up with current events and volunteering within her church and community.
Julie truly enjoys working with client companies by helping them grow their teams with people who add value. Feel free to reach out to Julie directly.
Steve Laufer – Executive Recruiter
Steve joined Edna Rice in 2021 with over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and higher education. He has a PhD in religion from New Orleans Seminary and an MBA with a Human Resources emphasis from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Much of his professional career has been spent teaching and lecturing, as well as counseling, mediation, team leadership, and project management. He has lectured at institutions in the U.S., Honduras, Thailand, South Africa, Russia, Colombia, and Mexico.
Steve is a lover of music, sports, pop culture, food and drinks, travel, and the great outdoors. He spent three years owning and operating a vinyl record and home audio store in Houston as a side business, plays in local volleyball leagues, and escapes to the mountains for hiking, backpacking, and fly fishing as often as possible.
Maria Flores-Harris – Recruiter
Maria began her career in executive search, then transitioned into higher education and spent more than 20 years in faculty and administrative/staff search for university, community college, and K-12 charter school organizations. She is a native of Galveston, TX and served in the U.S. Army as a tactical intelligence officer prior to entering the civilian workforce.
Maria is a graduate of The University of Texas (B.A.), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (S.M.), and Rice University (Ph.D.) and has taught history and political science at the community college level. She joined Edna Rice Recruiters in July 2021 as a recruiter.
Jackie Sullivan – Our Team Research Assistant
Jackie is a native Houstonian who started her career in the Oil and Gas business. In 1979 she went to work at the Kerr-McGee Corporation, in Human Resources for their refining division, Kerr-McGee Refining Corp. for 19 years. Later she moved up to a Credit Analyst/Supervisor in the Retail Credit Department. Kerr-McGee made a change in their business direction and closed their refining division at which time she was laid off.
Jackie landed on her feet and went to work in the waste hauling business for Browning Ferris, Inc., at which time was the world’s largest waste hauler. She started in the Credit Department and later moved to the Sales Department as a Broker/National Account Representative. BFI was sold to Allied Waste Corporation, and later to Republic Waste Corporation. After 13 years of service, Jackie was again met with layoffs leaving Republic Waste Services, in 2010.
Jackie came to work for Edna Rice Executive Recruiters, Inc. in 2012, where she continues to work until the time comes that she retires.
Amy Roch – Presidents Assistant
Amy started her career as the Assistant Director of the Harris County Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission. She then decided to change direction and got a teaching certificate in Music. She worked for Alief ISD and Houston ISD as a Music Teacher.
Amy joined Edna Rice in 2017 as a Research Assistant. Now, she is the President’s Assistant while also doing the Research Assistant duties. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Lutheran University.
When not working, Amy enjoys time with her husband and two children. She also teaches music part time at Faith Lutheran Day School. She enjoys scrapbooking, singing, and dancing.
Chandra De – Our Team Research Assistant
Chandra has been with Edna Rice Executive Recruiters, Inc. since May 2018. She earned her MBA in Management Information Systems from the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, after which she worked at Shell Oil Company as a Systems Analyst.
She lives in Bellaire, TX, with her husband and two children. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, beading, and quilting. She is also involved in several community organizations as an active volunteer and event coordinator.
Daniel van Arkel-Priest – Our Team Research Assistant
Daniel grew up in The Netherlands and here in Texas where he calls home. He went to school at the University of Texas at Austin where he studied the natural sciences. After living in Austin for a few years Daniel moved back to his hometown of Houston in the fall of 2018 where he later discovered a passion for research. Daniel has interests in computers and an affinity for the great outdoors. He has gone on, and even lead, many hikes while in the Boy Scouts of America where he achieved the highest honor of Eagle Scout.