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Assistant Vice President-Sales, Intermodal Department Union Pacific Railroad
Shawntell Kroese was introduced to railroading when she was a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and visited Union Pacific Railroad's headquarters as part of UNL's "Omaha Day."
Kroese was so impressed with UP that she applied for a job there shortly after graduating with a degree in business management. She was hired. Seventeen years later, she's still at UP and loving every minute of it.
Over the years, Kroese has held various marketing and sales positions on the Class I's industrial products, coal and intermodal business teams. Earlier this year, she was promoted to assistant VP of sales in intermodal. Among recent accomplishments: She led the rollout of UP's Mutual Commitment Program, which provides customers with predictable pricing and reliable equipment capacity.
Kroese also volunteers as a UP recruiter of young professionals and soon-to-be college graduates. In 2006, she developed a UP class to help UNL business students analyze railroad case studies; 16 of the class's graduates subsequently joined the company. In addition, she is president of LEAD, a UP employee resource group that helps recruit, retain and advance women as UP leaders.
"The thing I love about this industry is that there is so much to learn," says Kroese. "I'm very proud of what we are doing at UP to deliver something that is creating value for businesses in the U.S. and around the world."
Kroese's role models?
"My parents. Starting from when I was young, they always taught me the importance of a strong work ethic."
An interesting fact?
"I'm from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A lot of my job involves meeting people, and it seems that I'm always the only person they know who is actually from South Dakota."
Her backup career choice?
"I probably would be teaching at the college level."
Her favorite pastime?
"I have a husband and four kids. Work and family pretty much sums up how I spend my time."