Executive Profiles

Lance M. Fritz

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Lance M. Fritz is Union Pacific chairman, president and chief executive officer. He became chairman of the board effective October 1, 2015. Fritz became president and chief executive officer February 5, 2015, when he also was elected to the corporation’s board of directors.

He previously served as president and chief operating officer of Union Pacific Railroad, a position he had held since February 2014, after serving as executive vice president Operations and vice president-Labor Relations, respectively. He began his Union Pacific career in July 2000 as vice president and general manager-Energy in the company’s Marketing and Sales department.

Before joining Union Pacific, Fritz worked for Fiskars Inc., Cooper Industries and General Electric. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and earned a master’s degree in management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Fritz is a member of the board of directors for the Association of American Railroads. He also serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce board and executive committee. He is a member of the Business Roundtable, the STRATCOM Consultation Committee and the Georgia Institute of Technology President’s Advisory Board.

Fritz is deeply involved with organizations in his local community. He is the Chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He is also a member of the board of directors for Nebraska Medicine and Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

Fritz and his wife, Julie, have two children and are committed to helping women and children at risk in the Omaha community.

Printz Bolin

Vice President-External Relations

Printz Bolin was appointed vice president-External Relations in December 2018. He operates out of Union Pacific’s Washington, D.C., office.

In this position, Bolin is responsible for communicating inside the Beltway about transportation and railroad issues, including economic and safety regulation, passenger rail and Amtrak, security, labor, state-specific and other transportation projects.

Bolin served as assistant vice president-External Relations since 2008. He held various positions since joining Union Pacific in 1991.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi.

Bolin and his wife, Kimberly, have two sons. 

Rhonda S. Ferguson

Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

Rhonda Ferguson is executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary at Union Pacific. In this role, she oversees all aspects of the company’s legal affairs including commercial transactions and litigation, regulatory matters, labor and employment. Ferguson also leads the company’s compliance and ethics program, and risk management initiatives.

Prior to joining Union Pacific in 2016, Ferguson was FirstEnergy Corp. vice president, corporate secretary and chief ethics officer where she led teams responsible for corporate, real estate and compliance initiatives since 2007.

Ferguson previously served as assistant general counsel and assistant secretary with Ferro Corporation. She also served as a partner with Baker Hostetler LLP law firm and began her career with Thompson Hine LLP.

Ferguson has an undergraduate degree in engineering from Northwestern University and a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University. She and her husband, Clayton, have two children. 

Robert M. Knight, Jr.

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Robert M. Knight, Jr. was named chief financial officer of Union Pacific Corporation in February 2004. In his position, he is responsible for all financial activities of both the corporation and Union Pacific Railroad.

Knight began his career with Union Pacific Corporation in 1980 and has held a variety of positions including serving as vice president and general manager – Energy; vice president and general manager – Automotive, and senior vice president - Finance.

In 2014, Knight was ranked No. 2 on the Wall Street Journal’s list of the Top Performing CFO’s in the S&P 500. He was named as No. 1 CFO in the Airfreight and Surface Transportation sector in the Institutional Investor 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 rankings. Knight is a member of the Grupo Ferroviario Mexicano and TTX Company boards of directors.

Knight holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kansas State University, where he also played baseball, and a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Illinois University.

Knight and his wife have three children: a daughter who is an accountant, a son who is in public accounting, and a son who is an investment banker.

Thomas A. Lischer

Executive Vice President, Operations

Tom Lischer was named executive vice president, Operations August 15, 2018. He is responsible for the company's train operations throughout the railroad's 23 states. He is in charge of all transportation services including managing and maintaining locomotives, rail cars, tracks, train dispatching and crew calling.

Lischer most recently led Union Pacific's centralized train dispatching organization, serving as vice president - Harriman Dispatching Center and Network Operations, since April 2017.

He held multiple other executive roles within the company including assistant vice president of Operations - Northern Region, general superintendent of the Houston service unit, and superintendent - transportation services for the Utah service unit. He has worked in all three of the company's operating regions. Lischer joined Union Pacific in 1995 as a National Customer Service Center trainee.

Lischer earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

He and his wife, Emily, have two sons, Will and Charlie.

Scott D. Moore

Senior Vice President-Corporate Relations and Chief Administrative Officer

Scott D. Moore is senior vice president-Corporate Relations and chief administrative officer for Union Pacific. He has companywide responsibility for internal and external communications, public affairs, media relations and all executive services. Moore serves as president of the Union Pacific Foundation.

Moore previously served as vice president – Public Affairs for Union Pacific’s nine-state western region. His responsibilities included state government relations, public partnerships, port affairs, community relations, and philanthropic programs across the nine-state region. Prior to that, he was assistant vice president and general manager – public partnerships. Moore joined Union Pacific as director – government affairs in 2000.

Prior to joining the railroad, Moore twice was elected Nebraska’s secretary of state, following eight years as a state senator from Nebraska’s 24th legislative district. His political career began when he was elected to Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature in 1986.

Moore is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Manufacturers, GoRail, Abraham Lincoln Library Foundation, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Durham Museum, and the US Bank Omaha Advisory Board.

A rural Nebraska native, Moore earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Nebraska. He is married to Danene J. Tushar.

Clark J. Ponthier

Senior Vice President-Supply Chain and Continuous Improvement

Clark Ponthier was appointed senior vice president-Supply Chain and Continuous Improvement in May 2018. In this position, Ponthier is responsible for purchasing, strategic sourcing, warehousing, fueling and continuous improvement. He also leads the environmental organization for the company.

Prior to joining Union Pacific, Ponthier spent eight years with Ingersoll Rand in several supply chain executive positions. In his last role, Ponthier served as vice president, Operations and Integrated Supply Chain for the Residential HVAC and Supply business, with responsibility for manufacturing, distribution, planning and operational excellence. From 2001 to 2010, Ponthier held significant manufacturing and supply chain executive positions at Dell. From 1988 to 2001, he held various technical and leadership positions with General Electric and Dow Chemical.

Ponthier holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He currently serves on the board of directors for the United Way of the Midlands, and previously served on the board of directors for APICS.

He and his wife, Lisa, have two daughters, Sydney and Victoria.

Kenny Rocker

Executive Vice President, Marketing and Sales

Kenny Rocker was appointed executive vice president Marketing and Sales in August 2018. He is responsible for the company's four major business units: Agriculture, Energy, Industrial and Premium, including Union Pacific's Mexico business. He also oversees the Loup Logistics subsidiary.

Previously, Rocker served as vice president - Industrial, a position he held since August 2016. Since joining Union Pacific in 1994, he has held various Marketing & Sales positions including assignments in Automotive, Chemicals and the Market Development & Sales Center.

Rocker graduated with a bachelor's degree in Finance from Tuskegee University. He currently serves on the Seventy Five North board and was previously Chairman of the Lutheran Family Services Audit Committee and on the NorthStar board.

He and his wife, April, have four daughters.

Small | Jim Vena Profile Photo

Jim Vena

Chief Operating Officer

Jim Vena was named chief operating officer in January 2019. Vena will lead all aspects of Union Pacific’s operations, including Unified Plan 2020 implementation, the company’s new operating plan that launched in October 2018.

Prior to joining Union Pacific, Vena served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Canadian National (CN) until retiring in June 2016 after a 40-year CN career. His career started on the ground as an operating employee, with experience as a conductor and locomotive engineer. He then held progressively increasing responsibilities in CN operations as well as Sales and Marketing, including leading all of CN’s operating regions.

During Vena’s tenure as executive vice president and chief operating officer, CN generated the North American rail industry’s best operating ratio and achieved the best safety incident ratio in the company’s history.

Vena has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta and post-graduate degree in business management from Athabasca University. He served on the boards of TTX Corp., the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) and Belt Railway of Chicago.

Vena and his wife, Karen, have two sons, Michael and Joseph.

Beth F. Whited

Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer

Whited was appointed executive vice president and chief human resource officer in August 2018. In this position, she is responsible for the human resources and labor relations functions and will lead the company's employee engagement culture initiatives.

Whited served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer since November 2016. She previously led the Chemicals business for four years and served as vice president of the railroad's National Customer Service Center. Since joining Union Pacific in 1987, she has held a variety of executive roles in Strategic Planning, Investor Relations, Finance, and Marketing and Sales, including president of subsidiary Union Pacific Distribution Services.

Whited is a member of the Humanities Nebraska Board, Lauritzen Gardens Board and the University of Denver Transportation Institute (DTI) board. She was a founding member and former president of Union Pacific's LEAD (Lead, Educate, Achieve, Develop) women's initiative.

She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. She and her husband Kelvin have three children.