Marketing and Sales: Who We Are

Union Pacific Railroad has one of the most diversified commodity mixes in the industry, including chemicals, coal, consumer products, food and food products, forest products, grain and grain products, government, intermodal, metals, minerals, waste, and automobiles and parts. The Marketing and Sales group is organized into six major commodity groups, with finance and operational expertise within each group, in order to serve the specialized needs of each customer. The Mexico marketing group offers customers in each of these commodity areas expertise and unique service capabilities in expediting shipments to and from the border.

The Marketing and Sales organization also offers customers the advantage of a dedicated Damage Prevention team and an Industrial Development group for the specialized services related to site and location analysis for business development.

Eric Butler, Executive Vice President - Marketing and Sales

Eric Butler was named executive vice president, Marketing and Sales of Union Pacific in March 2012. In his position, Butler is responsible for Union Pacific's six major business units: agriculture, automobiles, chemicals, energy, industrial products and intermodal. Collectively, the business units account for over $19 billion in annual revenue. He also oversees the railroad's National Customer Service Center.

During his more than 25 years with the railroad, Butler has held a number of positions including Vice President and General Manager-Industrial Products; Vice President-Automotive, Vice President-Supply; Vice President-Planning & Analysis and Director of Corporate Compensation.

Eric received a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1981 and an MSIA in 1986, both from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Eric and his wife Cynthia have three children.

Jason Hess, Vice President and General Manager - Agricultural Products

Jason Hess was named Vice President and General Manager - Agricultural Products in March 2014. Agricultural Products includes grain, grain products, beverages, sweeteners and food. These commodities represent more than $3.0 billion in annual revenue.

Jason started his career with Union Pacific as an Account Representative in 1994, and since then has worked in Ag Products, Industrial Products, and Chemicals. His most recent assignments include Assistant Vice President in Ag Products which led the Grain and Grain Products teams and Vice President of Union Pacific's National Customer Service Center.

Jason has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Coe College. Jason and his wife Kim have two children.

Linda Brandl, Vice President and General Manager - Automotive

Linda Brandl was named Vice President and General Manager - Automotive in April 2011.

She is responsible for managing Union Pacific's automotive business unit, which represents more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The business unit manages all commercial aspects of the automotive business, which includes coordinating the operation of the network to meet the needs of its customers. She is also responsible for the Insight Network Logistics and ShipCarsNow subsidiaries, focused on third-party automotive logistics and used car transportation.

Brandl started her career at Union Pacific in 1988 as a management trainee in Marketing and Sales. She has held various positions during her tenure with the railroad on business teams including automotive, chemicals, energy and Union Pacific Distribution Services, most recently serving as vice president of the National Customer Service Center (NCSC).

Brandl earned her undergraduate degree in business administration and MBA from Creighton University. She is a former president of Union Pacific’s LEAD (Lead, Educate, Achieve, Develop) women’s initiative and serves on the executive board of directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Omaha Children's Museum.

She and her husband Matt reside in Omaha with their four children.

Beth Whited, Vice President and General Manager - Chemicals

Beth Whited was named Vice President and General Manager - Chemicals in October 2012. She is responsible for Marketing and Sales activities within the chemical and petroleum industries.

Whited joined Union Pacific in 1987 and has served in a variety of executive roles in strategic planning, marketing and finance. She also served as President of Union Pacific Distribution Services (UPDS), a subsidiary of Union Pacific. Whited most recently served as Vice President of Union Pacific's National Customer Service Center

Whited is a former president of Union Pacific’s LEAD (Lead, Educate, Achieve, Develop) women’s initiative and serves as a member of the Brimmer College of Business and Information Sciences Advisory Board at Tuskegee University and the Omaha Public Library Foundation Board. She also served as Past President of the Board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure - Nebraska Affiliate. Beth is a 1987 graduate of The University of Iowa, where she acquired her Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting. She and her husband Kelvin have three children.

Doug Glass, Vice President and General Manager - Coal

Doug Glass was named Vice President and General Manager - Coal in April 2005. He is responsible for managing Union Pacific's coal and petroleum coke shipments.  Coal is Union Pacific's largest commodity representing over $3.5 billion of annual revenue.  The business unit manages all commercial aspects of the coal business, including coordinating the operation of the network to provide coal deliveries to its customers.

Doug joined Union Pacific in 1976.  He holds bachelor of Science and Arts degrees from the University of Colorado, a master's of Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and attended Harvard University's Program for Management Development in 1988.

Brad Thrasher, Vice President and General Manager - Industrial Products

Brad Thrasher was appointed Vice President and General Manager - Industrial Products in March 2012. 

Prior to that appointment, Brad was Assistant Vice President & General Manager at both Union Pacific subsidiaries - Union Pacific Distribution Services and Streamline. Since joining Union Pacific in 1988, Brad has also held numerous positions in Marketing and Sales within the Automotive, Chemical and Industrial Products Business teams.

Brad graduated from Creighton University in Omaha in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Brad and his wife Ann have three children.

John Kaiser, Vice President and General Manager - Intermodal

John Kaiser was named Vice President and General Manager - Intermodal in 2003. He is responsible for managing Union Pacific's intermodal business unit, representing approximately $3.2 billion in annual revenue. John joined Union Pacific in 2002 as Vice President and General Manager - Automotive.

John earned an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech prior to working in the nuclear industry for Westinghouse Electric in Idaho. He then served in a number of positions for International Power Technology, an alternative energy company in Palo Alto, California, concluding with his role as Director of Operations and Business Development. Graduating with an MBA from Stanford University, John joined Emerson Electric in St. Louis. He served as Director of Investor Relations before being named President of SWECO and later became President of Xomox Corporation, both divisions of Emerson Electric.

John and his wife, Felicia Hutnick, have three children.

Bernardo Ayala, Vice President - Mexico

Bernardo Ayala was appointed Vice President - Mexico Markets in December 2008.  In his new role, Bernardo has responsibility for the strategic and tactical management of UP's Mexico Markets, including sales and support based throughout the United States and Mexico.

Bernardo holds a law degree from Universidad Iberoamericana and a Masters in Law and Certificate in Business Administration from Northwestern University School of Law and Kellogg School of Management.  Bernardo joined UP through its Management Development Program and held positions in the Premium Operations and Transportation departments of UP's Western Region.  In his railroad career, he has also worked in Mexico for both the former National Railways of Mexico and Ferromex, one of the most important Mexican railroad concessionaries.

Kate Betsworth, Vice President - National Customer Service Center

Kate Betsworth was named Vice President of Union Pacific's National Customer Service Center in March 2014.

Kate has been with Union Pacific since 1994 and brings a wealth of knowledge from her experience in Agricultural Products, Chemicals, General Director Market Development & Sales Center, Industrial Products, Union Pacific Distribution Services and Operations. Kate most recently served as Vice President Intermodal Operations.

Kate has a degree in Business Administration from Iowa State University. Kate was recognized in the Women Worth Watching feature of the Sept. 2013 edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal. Kate also serves on the Completely Kids Guild Board. Kate and her husband, Jeff, have three children.

Thomas Gehl, Senior Assistant Vice President - Marketing & Sales Operations

Thomas Gehl is Senior Assistant Vice President - Marketing & Sales Operations. He is responsible for several marketing support functions, as well as damage prevention efforts and UP's Market Development and Sales Center. In his prior position, Tom was the Assistant Vice president - Automotive. In this position, he was responsible for the commercial development of the railroad's business relationship with Ford Motor Company.

During his more than 25 years with the railroad, Gehl has held management assignments in numerous Marketing and Sales functions, including the Intermodal, Chemical, Food Products, Consumer Products, Government and Automotive business groups. He has also held positions in executive administration and field sales at the railroad.

Gehl earned a bachelor's degree at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and a master's degree in industrial administrative sciences from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Tom and his wife, Loreen, are the parents of two children.