Top 40 Under 40 2013: Julia Quinn

Sept. 13, 2013

In three years at Amtrak, Julia Quinn has quickly progressed from an analyst to group director by demonstrating a commitment to the company, a drive for continuous improvement and the ability to innovatively solve common problems for transit providers.

Despite being a newcomer to transit when joining Amtrak, Quinn quickly learned the business and developed keen insight into what passengers want and expect from service providers. With that knowledge, she has changed the way Amtrak approaches customer and stakeholder engagement.
Quinn has been the driving force in building social media at Amtrak from scratch and has quickly brought it to the forefront within the transit industry. She has built a world-class social media team and established herself as a respected leader and strategist within the company, while raising the bar for other marketing and communications functions at Amtrak.

Because of Quinn’s leadership, Amtrak senior leaders from operations, marketing, government affairs and human capital have gained perspective on what stakeholders want and expect from us. Whether it’s the riding customer, lawmakers on Capitol Hill or state agencies, Amtrak is engaging them differently and more effectively thanks to Quinn and her social media team.

Highlights of her accomplishments since 2010 include nearly tripling annual ticket revenue from social media channels (now close to $1M, launching a new customer service team to monitor social media and respond directly to customers, growing Facebook “Friends of Fans” network to 68.9M (513% growth), increasing Twitter followers by 491%, and driving more than 1 million views of Amtrak videos on YouTube.

These accomplishments not only help build ridership and ticket revenue for Amtrak, they also provide the company with an innovative way to position itself with policymakers at all levels, build Amtrak as an “employer of choice,” and better engage our employees who are spread across 46 states.

Quinn’s success is the direct outcome of her commitment to her job and her loyalty to our company. She is devoted to continuously becoming a better social media professional and creates that same devotion from her team.

“Social allows Amtrak to interact with our customers on a one-to-one basis in real time. We are able to use social to thank our loyal customers and learn from customers who may not have had the best experience aboard our trains. I think that these one-to-one interactions help us build brand loyalty amongst our customers and also provide us the opportunity to turn them from brand loyalists to brand advocates. Our brand advocates are essential in helping to preserve and advance the passenger rail network for this country.

“I am proud to say that I am a part of an industry that understands the importance of connecting people. People are riding our trains not just to get to from point A to point B, but to look out the window and experience the country in between, to meet new people and to spend time with loved ones. With Amtrak we truly connect this country from coast to coast, there is no other form of transportation that does that and we take that job very seriously. It is rewarding to be a part of an organization that plays a vital role in connecting the people of our country.

“I would love to see that as a nation we make the decision to support public transit as a national necessity.”

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Sept. 30, 2011