New Executive Appointments Support Operational Excellence

By Jim Vena, CEO

March 22, 2024 Jim Vena Main | MR

Team, I am pleased to share organizational changes celebrating leaders who’ve made significant contributions to our company and elevating leaders to new posts in our pursuit of growth as we advance our Safety, Service and Operational Excellence strategy.

Sometimes announcements mention retiring employees last, but it is important to remember the possibilities we are pursuing today are grounded in the hard work of people who came before us. With that, I announce the retirements of Shane Keller, senior vice president-Operations, Northern Region; David Giandinoto, senior vice president-Operations, Southern Region; and Lee Myers, assistant vice president-Risk Management, Law.

Shane began his career as an Operations Management Trainee (OMT) 33 years ago and has touched nearly every part of the railroad, with leadership roles in Transportation, the Harriman Dispatching Center (HDC), Network Operations, Engineering and Mechanical. Known for always speaking up and asking questions to drive us forward, he has been instrumental in changing how we understand railroading as our industry evolved.

David also joined UP as a management trainee after serving as a Marine for 6 years. In his 30-year run, he traversed nearly every part of Transportation, working and living in major parts of our network including Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Omaha. He also spent time on our Marketing and Sales team, gaining a different perspective of what our customers expect from us. Throughout his three-decade journey, he gained invaluable experience and contributed significantly to the growth and success of our railroad.

Lee dedicated 34 years to our Law Department on the Risk Management side. He also lived across our network, including time in St. Louis, North Platte, North Little Rock and Roseville before finishing out his last decade in Omaha. Lee was an advocate through and through for Union Pacific, often in some of the most challenging circumstances – we are grateful for his service.

With these retirements, the following leaders will take on new roles on the Operating leadership team effective April 1:

  • John Turner, senior vice president-HDC and Network Planning, is appointed senior vice president-Operations, Northern Region, succeeding Shane. John has been with UP more than 22 years, starting out as a TE&Y craft professional. His experience in Transportation and network management is essential for leading a large and diverse operation, which encompasses grades, geographic differences and weather extremes.
  • Steven Bybee, assistant vice president-Network Resources, HDC, is appointed senior vice president-Operations, Southern Region, succeeding David. Steven has been with UP for 19 years, spending most of his career in Transportation in nearly every key position. He also started out as a TE&Y craft professional before working and living across our network in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Idaho and Washington. Similar to John, he has great and varied experience.
  • Carl Garrison, assistant vice president-Labor Operations, is promoted to vice president-Network Planning and Operations, adding Network Planning and Operations, Interline and Joint Facilities to his existing Labor Operations responsibilities.
  • Erin Batt, vice president-HDC, will become the first woman to lead the HDC. She adds Customer Care and Support and Crew Management Services to her responsibilities. Erin knows and understands the requirements to manage the movement of thousands of trains daily, and her experience is required to manage this complex position.

Additional executive level appointments include:

  • Mike Santa Maria, general manager-Transportation, Los Angeles Service Unit, succeeds Steven as assistant vice president-Network Resources, HDC.
  • Ryan Curtis, general superintendent-Transportation, Mid-America Service Unit, succeeds Mike as general manager-Transportation, Los Angeles Service Unit.
  • Mike Shults, general superintendent-Transportation, Chicago Service Unit, succeeds Ryan as general superintendent-Transportation, Mid-America Service Unit.
  • Luke Slawson, prior general director-Intermodal Operations, Premium Operations, succeeds Mike as general superintendent-Transportation, Chicago Service Unit.
  • Naomi Deines, assistant vice president-Crew Management Services, HDC, succeeds Lee as assistant vice president-Risk Management, Law.

These changes demonstrate the power of the UP team – and our talent management pipeline. They recognize the contributions of retiring leaders who served us well and celebrate their impact. They also reflect our vibrant talent pipeline, with a 90% retention rate, developing leaders who serve as TE&Y, complete OMT training, work across key hubs in our 23-state network and continue making us stronger.

The collective experience of our Operating Leadership spans 190 years across Union Pacific. Please join me in congratulating them all!

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