Breakthrough Appoints Members to New Board of Directors

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Breakthrough is excited to announce Daniel R. Elliott, a leader in the transportation economic and railway labor industries, and John A. Schmidt, longtime recognized industry leader and philanthropist, have been appointed to the organization’s Board of Directors. Elliott and Schmidt join Craig Dickman, former Breakthrough CEO, who serves as the chairman of the newly instated Board of Directors, and Doug Mueller, Breakthrough CEO and president, who also serves as a board member.

“It is both exciting and an honor to welcome Daniel and John to Breakthrough’s Board of Directors,” Mueller said. “As true leaders in the transportation industry, these gentlemen have reputations of being innovative, creative and industry disruptors, all things Breakthrough strives to encourage and embody.”

Having served on the Surface Transportation Board for two terms, Elliott was designated chairman twice by former President Barack Obama. During this time, he not only managed the agency, its staff and its budget, but also drafted and ruled on case decisions involving rate challenges, rail construction projects, mergers and acquisitions and a variety of other matters. He now works as a partner at Conner & Winters law firm and represents clients in rail economic regulatory matters, including policy issues and litigation, before the Surface Transportation Board.

As president and CEO of U.S. Venture, Inc., Schmidt is responsible for the strategic vision, talent development, culture building and financial performance of the synergistic organization. Comprised of U.S. Oil, U.S. AutoForce, U.S. Lubricants and U.S. Gain, U.S. Venture, Inc. is a group of distribution services that has been serving the transportation industry since 1951 with Schmidt at the helm since 2007. Schmidt is also widely recognized as a philanthropist in the local community and in 2010 created Riverview Gardens, a financially self-sustaining social enterprise that utilizes urban farming to provide job training and placement for those in need.


Breakthrough is a groundbreaking energy management company, helping shippers around the world achieve transparency and remove distortion from their transportation supply chains. Using patented strategies and expert industry insights to improve supply chain efficiency, Breakthrough cuts energy costs and consumption while reducing emissions. In 2017, Breakthrough helped its clients eliminate more than 8.9 million gallons of diesel fuel from their supply chains and reduce their collective carbon footprint by more than 90,000 metric tons of CO2. The firm has received the prestigious “Winning Through Innovation” award from Unilever and is a five-time recipient of Procter & Gamble’s “External Business Partner Excellence Award.” Learn more at

For more information, contact:

Tara Brzozowski, Director of PR, Element
Phone: (920) 983-9700