A railway system contractor focused on improving the Signal and Crossing segments of the railroad industry. We do this by implementing a wide array of services, including, but not limited to: Wayside Signal Design, VHLC and ELX Programming, Communications Systems, CAD services, Construction Management, Material Supply, On-Site Engineering and Crossing Design.

The mission of Diverging Approach, Inc. is to build long term relationships with our clients through our organization’s performance. We believe that sustainable business relationships are built on actions, not words. It is ingrained within DAI’s staff that quality and safety are the ultimate goals above and beyond profitability. While profit margin and market share are objectives of any business, DAI believes that the greatest profit is made through long-term satisfied customers.

DAI is comprised of some of the most talented signal engineers and technicians in the industry. To reduce highway grade crossing accidents, the organization has added services that include on-site training for maintainers and supervisors. While many railroads are not liable for the accidents, there are preventable accidents as a result of inadequate trained maintenance personnel. DAI has developed an on-site maintenance training program that is competitive with convention school costs. DAI is also a pioneer in the train safety field. As a company, we are providing training resources for field technicians and maintainers, to make sure that all maintainers, regardless of who employs them, have access to proper testing procedures, to lower the chances of signal failures.

DAI was founded by Joseph Stanko and J. Allan Nicholls in 2010. Both men have an extensive background in business and engineering in the railroad industry. DAI is a certified small business.


  • Joseph Stanko
    Joseph Stanko President and Partner

    Joseph’s business experience is instrumental in the growth of the organization. He spent the vast majority of his career in the rail industry, achieving the role of the President of Diverging Approach. Prior to coming to DAI, he spent 20 years in crossing and wayside design, management of S&C construction, signal house manufacturing, project management over major commuter projects and executive levels in bids and proposals.

  • J. Allan Nicholls
    J. Allan Nicholls E.V.P., Engineering and Partner

    Allan leads DAI in software programming, wayside engineering and commissioning of systems. Allan has extensive experience in design and field installation applications on major transit systems. Allan is approved on every major transit systems in California as a lead signal engineer and holds an electrical engineering degree from New South Wales Institute of Technology.

  • Karsten Grover
    Karsten Grover E.V.P., Engineering

    Karsten has an extensive background in railroad design. His experience includes the design and software for major expansion and PTC projects with Class I Railroads, Transit and Street Car Systems utilizing every major manufacturer’s equipment in grade crossing & wayside system design. Mr. Grover’s experience entails over 10 years as an Engineer and 5 years in management of Design Engineers and is an expert is application software logic. Karsten holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Applied Physics and Mathematics.

  • Ion Nichifor
    Ion Nichifor V.P., Communication Systems

    Ion is one of the industry’s premier communication design engineers in the country. He is an expert in the design & commissioning of fiber optic backbone systems, course wave division multiplexing, SCADA, CCTV, PA, network switching among various other aspects of communication systems. He has been in the communication systems industry over (15) years and has rose to one of the most respected Communication’s System Engineers in the industry. Ion also has extensive signal knowledge in circuits, processors and configuration making him a rare talent to the rail industry to have extensive knowledge in both disciplines. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from the University of Moldova and an Associate’s degree in Computer Science and Electronics Engineering from Technical College of Beltsey.

  • Jami Kupczak
    Jami Kupczak Director of Systems Engineering

    Jami’s experience includes over 15 years in design and design management of large projects located in Seattle, Portland, Chicago and Wyoming. Her accomplishments include management of a large quad track project that utilized split box applications as well as the first application of a frog switch machine. Jami holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin and is an active member of the National Association of Professional Women.

  • Thomas Govea
    Thomas Govea Manager of Field Operations

    Tom has over 23 years of experience in the railway industry. His experience entailed positions with the California Public Utilities Commission as well as management and supervisory positions on many large transit construction projects across the country. During his tenure with DAI, his experience has included Construction Management of Class 1 PTC projects and commissioning of commuter lines.

  • Jonathan Hamilton
    Jonathan Hamilton Program Manager

    Jonathan has 10 years of electrical experience. As a Program Manager, he has managed a vast amount of transit, commuter & Class 1 system projects during his tenure with DAI.  He has also holds 4 patents with his former employer Eaton Corporation  and holds an Electrical Engineering Degree from Penn State University.

  • Kenneth R. Dodge
    Kenneth R. Dodge Senior Signal Engineer

    Ken’s experience includes 40 years with the Canadian Pacific and Delaware and Hudson Railroad. Ken’s experience included S&C Manager of Construction for the Northeast US and well as various other signal management positions. His talents include design review and extensive knowledge in construction and commissioning of  signal and crossing systems.

  • Timothy L. Lyon
    Timothy L. Lyon Senior Engineer

    Tim  has over 40 years in the railway signal industry. Prior to joining the DAI group, Tim was a grassroots employee and  spent his entire professional career with the Canadian Pacific & Soo Line Railway (Class I). His experience  include supervisory roles in maintenance and construction of grade crossing and wayside systems.

  • Kathryn Lindsay
    Kathryn Lindsay Comptroller

    Kathryn has over 17 years of accounting experience  in the private and public agency markets. Prior to joining the DAI team, she held senior accounting positions and managed yearly budgets exceeding $73 million dollars. Kathryn is a degreed accountant from James Madison University and volunteers as a PTA Treasurer at local schools.

  • Andrew Nicholls
    Andrew Nicholls Senior Signal Engineer

    Andrew is one of the organization’s top engineers with extensive experience in software programming, plan design and field commissioning.  His roles have included CTC and PTC testing on the Austin Capital Metro System utilizing the Alstom ELXS, testing on VTA Berryessa project that entailed cab signaling speed commands and interlockings utilizing iVPI microprocessor. He has also commissioned the M1 Rail Project in Detroit, Michigan and performed commissioning functions on NCTD, MUNI, MTA and various other railways.  Mr. Nicholls has written hundreds of software programs for Class l railways as well as streetcar and commuter systems. Previous roles have included Signal Construction Foreman, Signal Maintainer, Signal Inspector, Signal Supervisor and Signal Engineer.

  • Mark Stemple
    Mark Stemple Senior Project Manager

    Mr. Stemple has an extensive background in signaling, OCS and the management of personnel & projects. His experience includes the management of large scale signaling projects in the railway industry.  His past experience includes the Director of Maintenance, Resident Engineer, Project Manager, Director of Technical Services for the construction of the Tide Passenger System through revenue service.  Additional experience included engineering functions for the largest railway electrical contractor in the US performing traction power systems, train control, communications as well as lift bridges. His previous employment has also included three positions with public transit agencies in managerial roles of train control signal systems. Mark has over 37 years of railroading experience with a Bachelors in Business Administration from Pfeiffer University and an electronics technical degree from Arundel Institute of Technology.



One of DAI’s founding partners was sponsored to the United States from Australia to the development and roll out of the original Electrologics. His work on the microprocessor became one of the first microprocessor based interlockings. His work entailed training all major Class I Railroads in programming software as well as creating operational, troubleshooting and maintenance manuals for the roll out product. He is one of the original contributors to the development of the wayside microprocessor.


DAI personnel have experience utilizing Alstom’s latest release of the iVPI in mass transit systems. DAI has spent over 2 years reviewing application logic and development of iVPI software on a large transit project, application development included the removal of large relay rooms through converting operations into a microprocessor from traditional relays. Additional experience includes writing software applications for Chicago area shared asset lines between mass transit and freight properties.


DAI’s top software personnel were previous employed with an organization specialized in the utilization of the Microlok applications. Karsten Grover, DAI’s Vice President,  has personally design and written over 50 applications utilizing Ansaldo’s microprocessor. Some of his projects include Northstar Project — a commuter line upgrade project that involved updating 15 separate control points/intermediates with split box MKII applications. These locations were connected using MKII Peer remote links and NV Peer remote links for HD circuits between locations, and connected to the office via Genesis remote ports.

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