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Senior Vice President, Investment Banking Wolfe Research Securities
Education: Creighton University, bachelor's degree in business; Dartmouth College, M.B.A.
Career highlights: From 1997-2006, Kelehan worked for Union Pacific Railroad, serving as a corporate auditor; senior project manager for cost and profit planning; business manager, construction products; and senior business manager, lumber and panel products. From 2008-2012 he was vice president-investment baking at J.P. Morgan Securities L.L.C. He joined Wolfe Research in 2012.
Why rail? Kelehan attended college in Omaha, Neb., home of UP, and landed a job there soon after graduation. He never intended to go into rail, but "in hindsight it's the best thing career-wise that could have happened to me."
Making a difference in rail transportation: "We (Wolfe Research) are dealing with clients in the lower middle market (short lines, rail suppliers, etc.) that have tremendous businesses. ... I feel like we are helping smaller firms in the rail industry think through strategic options without feeling forced into doing something just so the banks can extract a fee."
Five-year goal: "What I know with a certain degree of confidence is that in five years, I will be involved in the transportation industry."
His philosophy: "Having a job is a privilege, not a right, and you need to treat it as such. ... Don't compromise your morals and values, just work hard."
Interesting facts: Kelehan grew up in Germany and as a child worked as an actor. He landed a small role in the 1984 movie, "The Never Ending Story." He says: "If you paused the movie at 21 minutes and 47 seconds, you'll see me in an orange wig standing next to an elephant head." Also, he collects vintage lunchbox art.
Nominator's observation: "Throughout his time at UP, Mark worked to make existing processes more efficient and brought new ideas to the table. He has a unique combination of creativity, analytical ability and personality." — Bradley Moore, UP