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Union Pacific Railroad yesterday announced 18 appointments in the Marketing and Sales, Operating and Finance departments.In the Marketing and Sales Department:• Jason Hess now leads the agricultural products team as vice president and general manager, succeeding Paul Hammes, who retired after 10 years with the railroad. A 19-year UP veteran, Hess most recently was VP of the National Customer Service Center.• Kate Betsworth succeeds Hess as VP of the National Customer Service Center. A 20-year UP veteran, she most recently was VP of intermodal operations.• Kari Kirchhoefer now leads subsidiary Streamline as president, succeeding Tom Brown, who retired after four decades in the rail and transportation industry. During her 22 years with UP, Kirchhoefer has held several marketing and sales positions in agricultural and industrial products, and at the Market Development Sales Center.• Kenny Rocker now is assistant VP of chemicals, succeeding Jon Panzer, who was appointed VP of planning and analysis. Most recently, Rocker was AVP of industrial products marketing.• Michelle Gerhardt succeeds Rocker as AVP of industrial products marketing. Prior to the appointment, the 24-year UP veteran was AVP of investor relations.• Mike Parker now is general manager of Union Pacific Distribution Services, succeeding David Giandinoto, who was appointed AVP of operations for the Northern Region. Most recently, Parker was senior director of customer communications and resource planning.In the Operating Department:• Ed Weber now leads the network planning and operations team as VP, succeeding Cameron Scott, who recently was named executive VP of operations. A 34-year UP veteran, Weber most recently was VP of the Finance Department's planning and analysis team.• Paul Borseth succeeds Betsworth as VP of intermodal operations. Prior to the appointment, Borseth was AVP of intermodal marketing.• David Connell now is VP of engineering alongside Joe Santamaria. Most recently, Connell was regional VP of transportation for the Northern Region. He has held multiple operating posts during his 31-year career at UP.• Greg Garrison succeeds Connell as regional VP of transportation for the Northern Region. Prior to the appointment, he was AVP of operations for the Southern Region.• Brian McGavock succeeds Garrison as AVP of operations for the Southern Region. Most recently, he was AVP of locomotive distribution and network operations at the Harriman Dispatching Center.• Tom Lischer succeeds McGavock as AVP of locomotive distribution and network operations. An 18-year UP veteran, Lischer most recently was general superintendent of the Houston Service Unit.• Jack Huddleston succeeds Lischer as general superintendent of transportation services for the Houston Service Unit. Most recently, Huddleston was superintendent of transportation services for the Roseville Service Unit.• James Rawlinson now is general superintendent of transportation services for the Roseville Service Unit, succeeding Huddleston. A 34-year vet, Rawlinson had been director of transportation services for the Roseville Service Unit.• David Giandinoto now is AVP of operations for the Northern Region. Prior to the appointment, he was general manager of Union Pacific Distribution Services.In the Finance Department:• Jon Panzer now is VP of planning and analysis, succeeding Ed Weber. Most recently, Panzer was AVP of chemicals.• Mike Staffenbeal now is AVP of investor relations, succeeding Michelle Gerhardt. During his 25-year UP career, Staffenbeal has held finance positions in planning and analysis, accounting, corporate treasury and corporate audit.• Jim Lusk now is AVP of insurance, succeeding Warren Beach, who is retiring. During his 34 years with UP, Lusk has held finance positions in planning and analysis, corporate audit and accounting.Meanwhile, UP also announced it's carrying out a $4.5 million trackwork project on a line between Omaha, Neb., and near Missouri Valley, Iowa.Work began March 5 and is scheduled for completion by May 31. Crews will replace 31,700 concrete ties, install 16,670 tons of ballast and renew surfaces at 29 grade crossings.The project is one of nearly 1,500 UP plans to complete across its 32,000-mile network this year. The Class I has budgeted $3.9 billion for capital spending in 2014, including $1.73 billion for infrastructure replacement work, and $680 million for capacity and commercial facility projects.