Beth Whited Featured at Next-Gen Freight Rail 2024

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Building the UP of the future - conference session announcement

Beth Whited, the first female President in Union Pacific’s (UP) history, is among the featured speakers at Railway Age’s Next-Gen Freight Rail 2024 Conference, to be held March 12, 2024 at the Union League Club of Chicago. She will not only discuss how the railroad is positioning itself for the future, but also her new role at UP—the first Class I railroad to recently split the CEO, President and Chair posts.

Also on the lineup at Next-Gen Freight Rail 2024 are UP CEO Jim Vena; Railway Age’s 2024 Railroader of the Year and CN President and CEO Tracy Robinson; Railway Track & Structures’s 2023 Engineer of the Year and CN Vice President of Engineering Brent Laing; Genesee & Wyoming CEO Michael Miller; and Norfolk Southern AVP Enterprise Data & Analytics Mabby Amouie. They will engage in informal “fireside chat” style conversations with Railway Age and Railway Track & Structures editors.

This year’s conference will include an extra-special luncheon honoring Railway Age’s 2024 “Fast Trackers” 25 Under 40 award winners. Established in 2016, this annual award is presented to railroaders under the age of 40 in the United States, Canada and/or Mexico for making an impact in their respective fields or within their company. Nominations are still open! Submit your candidate now.

Meet Beth Whited

Beth Whited, President, Union Pacific

Since being elevated to President on Aug. 14, 2023, Whited has been responsible for strategy, workforce resources, sustainability, law, corporate relations and government affairs functions. She reports to Jim Vena.

Previously, Whited served as Executive Vice President, Sustainability and Strategy and Chief Human Resources Officer. In this role for 18 months, she helped lead the development and implementation of UP’s strategic vision and oversaw its sustainability initiatives, guiding efforts to reach net zero by 2050. She was named one of Railway Age’s Women in Rail honorees in 2021.

Whited joined UP in 1987 and has held a variety of executive roles in Strategic Planning, Investor Relations, Finance, and Marketing and Sales, including President of subsidiary Union Pacific Distribution Services. She has also served as Chief Human Resource Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, and Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Additionally, she led the Chemicals business for four years and was Vice President of the railroad’s National Customer Service Center.

Whited is a member of the Board of Directors of RPM International Inc., where she serves on the Compensation Committee. She is also a member of the Humanities Nebraska Board, the Omaha Symphony Board, and the Aksarben Foundation Board of Governors. She was a founding member and former President of UP’s LEAD (Lead, Educate, Achieve, Develop) women’s initiative.

Whited graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa. She and her husband Kelvin have three children.

Supporting Organizations

In addition to its speakers, Railway Age’s Next-Gen Freight Rail 2024 Conference is supported by the following sponsors: Piper (gold), RECO (gold), TrinityRail (gold), 4AI Systems (case study), Amsted Digital Solutions (bronze), the Michigan State Center for Railway Research and Education (bronze), and The Greenbrier Companies (bronze).

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