Regional Operations Realignment Focuses on Network Efficiency and Customer Service
Omaha, Neb., June 23, 2006 Union Pacific Railroad today announced a realignment of its regional operating organization. Effective July 1, the company will establish three operating regions and eliminate the Kansas City-based Central Region.
"This realignment of our regional management supports the train flows on the northern portion of the Union Pacific and the terminal interdependencies in the Gulf/North-South Corridor," said Dennis Duffy, UP executive vice president - Operations. "The Northern Region realignment will provide unified management of all Central Corridor routes to the east, as well as our two highest-volume eastern gateways – Chicago and St. Louis. The Southern Region alignment will result in the key terminals of North Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Houston being managed as an integrated operation.
"This is another step in simplifying our network and improving velocity, efficiency and customer service," Duffy said.
The Kansas City and St. Louis service units will join the Northern Region, based in Omaha, and the North Little Rock and Wichita service units will join the Southern Region, based in Spring, Texas. These service units currently are part of the Central Region. The Western Region, based in Roseville, California, remains unchanged.
As part of this reorganization, Joe Santamaria, 51, is appointed vice president -Transportation, replacing Jeff Koch, 59, who has announced his decision to retire later this year after a 35-year career with the railroad. In his new position, Santamaria will be based in Omaha and will manage the regional field offices. He currently is vice president - Southern Region. Santamaria joined Union Pacific in 1990 and has held a number of positions including director of locomotive shops, North Little Rock; general director of locomotive maintenance; chief mechanical officer and vice president - Central Region. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Replacing Santamaria in the Southern Region is Lance Fritz, 43, who currently is vice president - Northern Region. In this new position, Fritz is responsible for the day-to-day safe operation of trains over the 8,670-mile Southern Region in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and Louisiana. Fritz joined Union Pacific in 2000 as vice president and general manager - Energy. He previously was with General Electric and later with Cooper Industries, a manufacturer of electrical goods, tools and hardware. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University and a master’s in business administration from Northwestern University.
Replacing Fritz is Randy Blackburn, 53, who currently is vice president - Central Region. He is responsible for the day-to-day safe operation of trains over the 12,121-mile Northern Region in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. Blackburn began his railroad career in 1971 with the Missouri Pacific Railroad. He has held various positions in the Operating and Marketing Departments, including service unit superintendent, assistant vice president marketing—Mexico, vice president Intermodal marketing and most recently vice president - Premium Operations. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.
In a related appointment, Rod Richardson, 52, is named general superintendent, Proviso service unit. He currently is general superintendent – Harriman Dispatch Center, supervising the dispatching operations for the Central Region. Richardson has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University and a master’s in business administration from San Francisco State University.
The company also announced that Rick Turner, 47, is appointed vice president -Premium Operations, a position that focuses on the operations of the Intermodal and Automotive business groups. Since joining Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1981, he has held a number of positions in Engineering, Operating and Marketing, including director Engineering Project Management, director - Pricing Services, and general manager - Car Management. He is currently vice president of UP’s National Customer Service Center. Turner attended the University of Tennessee and earned a bachelor’s degree in operations management. He also has a master’s in business administration from Creighton University.
Replacing Turner is Linda Brandl, 39. She is currently assistant vice president and general manager – Union Pacific Distribution Services. Brandl earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Creighton University.
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.
For more information, contact Kathryn Blackwell, 402 – 544-3753
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