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 Children’s Hospital, Creighton University and Seventy Five North boards and was previously Chairman of the Lutheran Family Services Audit Committee and served on the NorthStar board.

He and his wife, April, have four daughters. 

Jason Hess, Vice President - Bulk

Jason Hess was named vice president - Bulk in March 2021. 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, Vice President - Industrial

Jacque Bendon was appointed vice president - Industrial in September 2019. Industrial encompasses numerous commodity areas, including construction, forest products, metals and ores, specialized markets, minerals, industrial chemicals, plastics, soda ash, sand, petroleum and LPG.

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, Vice President - Premium

Kari Kirchhoefer was named vice president - Premium in March 2021. 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.

Linda Brandl, Vice President - Marketing & Sales Operations

Linda Brandl was named vice president - Marketing & Sales Operations in January 2020. She is responsible for managing Strategy, Planning & Communications; Economic and Industrial Development; Short Line & Interline; Shipment Quality and Technology for the department.

Brandl has held various positions during her tenure with the railroad including recent assignments as vice president - Energy, vice president - Coal, vice president - Automotive and vice president of Union Pacific’s National Customer Service Center. She was also president of Union Pacific Distribution Services (UPDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad, and held management positions in Chemicals, Coal, Automotive and Premium Operations.

Brandl earned her undergraduate degree in business administration and MBA from Creighton University. She currently serves on the board of directors for The Women’s Center for Advancement, which assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and is Union Pacific's executive sponsor for the Diversity Scholars program at Creighton University. She is a former president of Union Pacific’s LEAD (Lead, Educate, Achieve, Develop) women’s initiative and has served on the board of directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Omaha Children’s Museum.

She and her husband, Matt, have four children. 

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.