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Union Pacific brings PSR vet out of retirement to lead transition

January 08, 2019 / Edwin Lopez

The hire isn't just a seasoned industry veteran, but an even stronger signal Union Pacific is dedicated to implementing PSR and reaping the benefits in full. Vena started his career as a brakeman in 1977, but would rise to leadership roles at CN at a pivotal time for the Canadian railroad. When Vena first became a district vice president for CN's Champlain region in 2005, the late Hunter Harrison was President and CEO of the railroad, helping usher in PSR as an operating model at a Class I railroad for the first time in history.  As a result, Vena had a front-row seat to railroading transformations. Later, he would be responsible for sustaining the operating model's success at CN, first as a regional vice president in 2009 before becoming COO in 2016. The hire is a boon for Union Pacific, which is gaining true PSR experience without needing to poach from another railroad. Prior to hiring Vena, the PSR talent at the railroad was limited to Cindy Sanborn — a CSX ve...