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BNSF, Watco make upper management changes


BNSF Railway Co. recently named Zak Andersen assistant vice president of community and public affairs, effective Jan. 16. He will report to VP of Corporate Relations John Ambler.

Andersen will oversee the public affairs team within the corporate relations department and be responsible for community relations, public policy messaging, and public affairs communication and strategy.

Most recently AVP of federal government affairs, Andersen joined BNSF in March 2006 as director of federal government affairs. He previously was a principal with the Gallatin Group and served U.S. Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) for nine years in such posts as legislative director and chief of staff.

“With [Andersen’s] deep understanding of national public policy issues and how to effectively interact with community interests, we expect to further enhance relationships with our stakeholders and their support for the railroad,” said Ambler in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Watco Transportation Services L.L.C. named Rodney Gordon regional vice president of operations-East Region; Rick Hollis, regional chief engineer-East Region; and Joe Forchione, general manager of the Grand Elk Railroad.

Since joining Watco in 2008, Gordon has been key to the start up of the Grand Elk Railroad, where he served as general manager, and played an integral part in business development opportunities involving the Birmingham Terminal Railway, Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. and Autauga Northern Railroad, Watco officials said in a personnel announcement. He previously served CN for 11 years in various management positions, including division superintendent.

Most recently roadmaster for Watco’s Alabama Warrior Railway, Hollis previously served as superintendent of maintenance for the Columbus & Greenville Railway, and was a roadmaster and trainmaster for the Jefferson Warrior Railway.

Forchione joined Watco in 2009 as senior trainmaster, responsible for the Grand Elk Railroad’s daily operations. He previously served CN for 13 years, including stints as trainmaster, manager of corridor operations and assistant superintendent.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/12/2011