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Senior Counsel-Franchise Access Union Pacific Railroad
Education: Coe College, B.A. with majors in history and political science; University of Iowa College of Law, J.D.
Career highlights: Davies joined UP's law department in 2009 and was recently named senior counsel of franchise access. She provides counsel related to merger conditions and agreements; supports competitive access issues; and recently became responsible for providing legal services to UP's chemical and industrial products marketing teams. Previously, she was a partner at the Koley Jessen P.C. law firm practicing in commercial real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate law. She also served two years at the Maples and Calder law firm in the Cayman Islands, where she qualified as a solicitor for England and Wales.
Why rail? Davies was recruited to apply for a position at UP by Senior Vice President-Law and General Counsel Gayla Thal, who Davies met at a yoga class.
Making a difference in rail transportation: A history major in college, she uses railroad history "as a touchstone to help me analyze today's issues and give guidance on how we can proceed."
Active in: Association of Transportation Law Professionals; Nebraska Humane Society
Her philosophy: "I endeavor to add value to the industry by balancing analysis with judgment. I like to think slowly and deeply, and I strive to make a contribution every day."
Interesting facts: Her elbow appeared in the Patrick Swayze movie, "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar." She has gone scuba diving with whale sharks, and is a volunteer scuba diver at the Henry Doorly Zoo.
Nominator's observation: "Elisa is a change agent, positively altering the dynamics of a railroad lawyer's role in providing legal services. She has become integrated with her many client departments, expanding the traditional role of attorney to an indispensable business and strategic partner. Very few major Union Pacific initiatives proceed without Elisa's input." — Robert Belt, UP