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Russack to retire as BNSF's corporate communications chief; Keating to assume his VP post


After heading BNSF Railway Co.’s internal and external communications for more than 15 years, Dick Russack is ready to pass the baton. Earlier this week, he announced plans to retire on April 30, 2007.

BNSF named Mary Jo Keating to succeed Russack as vice president of corporate relations. She will join the railroad on Nov. 13 and assume the position at January’s end. Russack will continue to serve as president of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation through 2007.

“Dick has played an instrumental role in raising the external reputation of BNSF as an industry leader and in building an internal communications program that is uniting our company’s workforce around business strategies and initiatives,” said BNSF Executive VP of Law and Government Affairs, and Secretary Jeffrey Moreland in a news item posted on the “BNSF Today” Web site.

Prior to joining BNSF predecessor Burlington Northern Inc. in 1991, Russack served as managing director of Adams & Rinehart Inc., managing partner/president of Jeffcoat, Schoen & Morrell Inc., executive VP of Gavin Anderson & Co. Inc. and general manager of corporate communications for the former Continental Can Co. He also was owner/president of his own communications consulting company, Richard A. Russack & Associates, and a reporter for Electronic News, and held various marketing and communications management positions at IBM Corp.

Keating has served Northeast Utilities as VP of corporate communications since 1995. She previously held various corporate communications and public affairs positions with Campbell Soup Co., Pioneer Hi-Bred International, The DuPont Co. and Kaman Corp.