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April 2010 YP Connection: YP Profile

Luke Christiansen


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Luke Christiansen

Age: 25
Manager - Collaboration Systems, Union Pacific Railroad



I currently serve as the president of Union Pacific Ties. The group exists to attract, develop and retain emerging professionals at Union Pacific Railroad through engagement in the company and community. The need for a group like ours was first identified at the 2008 YPC Summit. I noticed the positive energy that was generated by some of the other YP and non-profit groups. I felt like Union Pacific was missing out by not having its own organized group. Fortunately, I met a co-worker, Jenny Hamlin, that was equally as passionate about creating a group and making a difference at UP.

We spent the remainder of 2008 planning the structure of UP Ties and working through the necessary corporate hoops. The name UP Ties was derived from the multiple meanings for the word “ties”. Ties can refer to neck ties that professionals often wear, rail ties that lay the foundation for our track, and our purpose of tying employees into the company and community. The group is founded on three pillars: corporate development, professional networking and community involvement. We are inclusive in nature and open to all employees of Union Pacific. However, the target audience is employees relatively new to the company.

In January of 2009, we launched UP Ties with a bang. Our inaugural year was filled with rapid growth, valuable company education events, fun networking events and partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Our events provide members with opportunities to learn about company structure and the rail industry, build a cross-departmental network, heighten leadership and communication skills, and donate time and money to local charities. I have personally learned a lot about the company over the course of my tenure as president. I have developed a larger professional network that has both benefited my job and made work more enjoyable. I have been given many opportunities to hone leadership and communication skills.

I am very fortunate to work for a great company that values its employees and gives them the freedom to implement ideas such as UP Ties. Our executive sponsor, Lance Fritz, has been very supportive and helpful. The leadership team for UP Ties has been nothing short of outstanding. Much thanks to Lance and the leadership team. UP Ties is a win for the company, a win for the employees and a win for the community of Omaha.

-end- metroMAGAZINE

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