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Union Pacific ranks as top healthy lifestyle-promoting employer; Knight lands on top CFOs list

Union Pacific Railroad recently was named one of the 2012 “Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles” by the National Business Group on Health — the only railroad to attain the honor, UP officials said in a prepared statement.

The award recognizes employers’ efforts to improve their workers' health, productivity and quality of life. UP has received the honor each year since the award's inception in 2005.

The railroad promotes Union Pacific Wellness, an initiative that encourages employees to lead a healthy lifestyle. The program assesses and provides intervention support for 11 health-risk factors: asthma, blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, diabetes, fatigue, inactivity, nutrition, smoking, stress and weight. UP also offers employees risk identification and reduction programs, such as those involving wellness assessments and biometric screenings, lifestyle management, tobacco cessation, system health facilities, education programs and injury prevention.

“Enjoying good health lets our employees spend quality time with families and friends, and makes for a safer work environment,” said Barb Schaefer, UP’s senior vice president of human resources.

UP also announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Robert Knight was named one of the best CFOs of 2012 by the Wall Street Journal. He is the only transportation sector CFO to make the list, UP officials said in an award announcement.

The Class I’s CFO since 2004, Knight is considered by analysts to play a strong role in the railroad’s cost management, especially non-operating expenses, UP officials said. He also provides high-quality disclosures and excels at setting expectations, according to analysts.

Prior to becoming CFO, Knight, 54, was VP of finance. He previously held several operational roles at UP, including VP and general manager of energy, and VP and GM of automotive.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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