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8/30/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Watco reorganizes regions, shuffles management staff



The Watco Cos. Inc. recently reorganized and made numerous management changes to position the short-line holding company to handle rapid growth.

Owner of 16 short lines operating in 15 states, Watco created a Houston Metro Region that will focus on the greater Houston area and the recently acquired Greensport Industrial Park, maintained a separate Gulf Region, and consolidated the Southeast and Northeast regions into the East Region.

The company also named David Eyermann East Region chief operating officer; Keith LaCaze, Gulf Region COO; Paul Schiefelbein, vice president of service design and system engineering; Randy Bennett, COO and executive VP of business development, Houston Metro Region; Trish Bennett, regional controller, Gulf and Houston Metro regions; Dan Linden, director of mechanical services, Central Region; and Joe Keys, regional controller, East Region.

“Watco has experienced significant growth over the last three years,” said Watco President and COO Terry Towner in a prepared statement. “To sustain this level of growth, it is imperative that we continue to invest in and focus on the development of our people.”

Most recently regional VP of the Lone Star Region for RailAmerica Inc., Eyermann previously served RailTex Inc. and Witherow Locomotive Services in various capacities. During the first quarter, Watco plans to consolidate the Northeast and Southeast regions under Eyermann.

Most recently a general manager at Jayhawk Fine Chemicals, Schiefelbein will be responsible for Watco’s on-time delivery and annual operating plan systems.

A Watco employee since 1984, Randy Bennett most recently served as COO of the Gulf and Northeast regions. He will be succeeded by LaCaze, formerly assistant COO of the Gulf and Northeast regions. Meanwhile, Bennett’s wife Trish — who joined Watco in 1992 — has been promoted from regional controller of the Gulf and Northeast regions.

Finally, Linden and Keys most recently served as director of mechanical and switching services-Central Region, and regional controller-Southeast Region, respectively.


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