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 three 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 Shipment Quality team and an Industrial Development group for the specialized services related to site and location analysis for business development.

Kenny Rocker, Executive Vice President - Marketing and Sales

Kenny Rocker was appointed executive vice president Marketing & Sales at Union Pacific Railroad in August 2018. He is responsible for the company’s three major business units: Bulk, Industrial and Premium, along with Marketing & Sales Operations, Commercial Strategy and Union Pacific’s Mexico business. He also oversees the railroad's 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 Creighton University board and the National Association of Manufacturers board and was previously Chairman of the Lutheran Family Services Audit Committee and served on the Children’s Hospital, NorthStar and Seventy Five North boards.

He and his wife, April, have four daughters. 

Jason Hess, Sr. Vice President - Bulk

Jason Hess was named vice president - Bulk in March 2021 and later named senior vice president - Bulk in May 2023. Bulk encompasses numerous markets including coal, coke, grain, grain products, food and refrigerated products and fertilizer.

Hess started his career with Union Pacific as an account representative in 1994 and since then has worked in Agricultural Products, Chemicals, Intermodal and Industrial Products. His recent assignments include vice president - Premium, vice president - Intermodal, vice president - National Customer Service Center and vice president - Agricultural Products. 

Hess has a bachelor's degree from Coe College. He is also a graduate of Union Pacific’s Leadership Development. Jason is an active member in several Union Pacific organizations and currently serves as a member of the March of Dimes Nebraska/Iowa Market board.

He and his wife, Kim, reside in Omaha with their two daughters.

Jacque Bendon, Sr. Vice President - Industrial

Jacque Bendon was appointed vice president - Industrial in September 2019 and later named senior vice president - Industrial in May 2023. Industrial encompasses numerous commodity areas, including construction, forest products, metals and ores, specialized markets, minerals, industrial chemicals, plastics, soda ash, sand, petroleum and LPG. She also serves as Chairperson of the Advisory Committee for MHX LLC, a transload company Union Pacific acquired in 2023.

Most recently, Bendon was assistant vice president - Industrial, a position she held since February 2018. Bendon began her career with Union Pacific in 1998 as a corporate auditor. Since then, she has held a number of roles within the Marketing & Sales department, including positions at UPDS, a previous wholly owned subsidiary of Union Pacific that is now part of Loup Logistics, as well as roles in the Chemicals, Industrial and Energy teams.

Bendon graduated summa cum laude from Creighton University with a BSBA in Finance. She and her husband, Mark, live in Omaha with their three children.

Kari Kirchhoefer, Sr. Vice President - Premium

Kari Kirchhoefer was named vice president - Premium in March 2021 and later named senior vice president - Premium in May 2023. Premium includes automotive and intermodal business.

Most recently, Kirchhoefer had been vice president - Loup. During her career, Kirchhoefer has served as vice president - Industrial, vice president - Customer Care & Support, vice president - Chemicals and president of the company's former subsidiary, Streamline. She has more than 28 years of experience with Union Pacific including positions on the Automotive and Agricultural Products teams.

Kirchhoefer currently serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board and was previously a board member for the Child Saving Institute. She is also a former executive director for Union Pacific's LEAD women's initiative. Kari earned a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Northwest Missouri State University. She and her husband, Dave, have two daughters.

Humberto Vargas, Vice President - Mexico

Humberto Vargas was named vice president - Mexico in December 2020. 

Vargas leads Union Pacific’s international business strategy in all commodity areas traveling across all six rail gateways to Mexico. He will be responsible for working with customers, other railroads, suppliers and multiple governmental agencies. Vargas is based in Mexico City. 

Vargas joins Union Pacific from Werner Mexico, where he spent eight years leading commercial relations with customers, Mexican transportation carriers and intermodal service. He also served as assistant vice president of intermodal sales and marketing for Ferromex, Mexico’s largest railway, where he worked for seven years. Prior to joining Ferromex, Vargas worked for Intermodal Mexico/Texas Pacifico Transportation, LTD.

Vargas is the president of the Mexican Association of Intermodal Transportation, an organization representing intermodal industry leaders that focuses on promoting and facilitating intermodal business in Mexico. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

Dan McLaughlin, Asst. Vice President - Marketing & Sales Operations

Dan McLaughlin was appointed assistant vice president - Marketing & Sales Operations in May 2022. In this position, McLaughlin is responsible for overseeing strategic planning, customer communications, short line and interline relationships, shipment quality, network, economic and industrial development and technology functions within the Marketing & Sales department.

Dan joined Union Pacific in 2001 as a corporate auditor and then worked in the Strategic Planning department. Since 2007, he has held a variety of roles in the Marketing & Sales organization with increasing responsibility in Bulk, Industrial Products, Union Pacific Distribution Services, Intermodal and Customer Communications. Most recently, Dan served as assistant vice president - Bulk where he was responsible for leading the marketing and sales efforts for grain, grain products, coal and fertilizer.

McLaughlin is the current board chairperson for the YMCA of Greater Omaha and he is also active in youth sports. Dan received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Creighton University. He and his wife, Carrie, reside in Omaha with their three sons.

Joshua Perkes, Vice President - Loup Logistics

Joshua Perkes was named vice president - Loup in March 2021. Loup provides innovative transportation and logistics solutions, including door-to-door shipping, logistics and other specialized services.

Perkes has been with Union Pacific since 2002 and has held leadership positions including assistant vice president - Customer Experience, senior director - Customer Communications, senior director - Automotive Marketing and most recently as assistant vice president Workforce Resources.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He and his wife, Brooke, have two sons and two daughters.