The Dispatch October 2022

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Dispatch The newsletter for Watco The Watco landed on Newsweek’s Top 100 List of America’s Most Loved Workplaces.
2 The Dispatch | October 2022 Safety Anniversaries 3 Watco Lands on Newsweek’s List of America’s Most Loved Workplaces 3 October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month 4-5 Cybersafety 6-7 Watco Team Members Make a Difference 8-9 Major Expansion in Houston Boosts Railcar Storage 10-11 Watco Helps Small Town Land a New Manufacturer 12 Don’t Don’t Miss Us on ‘How America Works’ 13 Open Enrollment Save the Date 13 Birth Announcements 14-15 Team Member Anniversaries 16-17 KO Hosts Officer on a Train Event 17 Table
Contents Highlights Don’t delay – Start shopping now on Counting down to Christmas

Congratulations to the following locations who celebrated September Safety Anniversaries:

September 1 – Brooklyn (Hamilton) MTS Dedicated Terminal (NY) – 5 years

September 1 – Louisville Transload Terminal (TBT) (KY) – 8 years

September 8 – Galena Park Switching (TX) – 8 Years

September 15 – Kansas City Car Cleaning (MO) – 1 year

September 21 – Jacksonville Mobile Repair (FL) – 1 year

September 22 – PCA Switching (LA) – 17 years

September 27 – Waterloo Blackhawk Transload Terminal (IA) – 4 Years

September 27 – Middleport Transload Terminal (OH) – 5 Years

September 27 – Great Bend Transload Terminal (KS) – 1 year

September 28 – Port Birmingham (AL) – 1 year

Watco Lands on Newsweek’s List of America’s Most Loved Workplaces

It’s official: Watco landed on Newsweek’s annual Top 100 List of America’s Most Loved Workplaces.

In collaboration with the Best Practice Institute, Newsweek identified the best of the best companies where employee satisfaction and happiness ranked the highest. We’ve always known that our team members set us apart and now they’re getting recognized for it.

Thank you, team members, for making Watco what it is today, and that’s a most loved workplace. See the full list here.

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Safety Anniversaries

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

4 The Dispatch | October 2022

In October we wear pink. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and people wear anything and everything pink to honor survivors, remember those lost their lives to the disease, and to support the progress we are making together to defeat breast cancer. This makes it a good time for a few reminders about this disease, which accounts for about a quarter of worldwide cancer cases.

Breast cancer facts and fiction

According to the organization, there are certain myths about breast cancer that are hard to squelch. One of the biggies: If I don’t have a family history of breast cancer, I won’t get it. That’s incorrect. Most people diagnosed with breast cancer have no known family history. Another myth: Men don’t get breast cancer. The truth is, it’s rare, but it happens. In the U.S., around 1 of every 100 breast cancer diagnoses are in men. Take a moment to review more facts and fiction when it comes to breast cancer.

What’s within my control?

While you can’t alter some risk factors like genetics, age, and certain prior diseases, there are certain things you can do to take preventative steps. For starters, keep up with your annual wellness checks. Watco fully covers wellness exams for team members and their spouses and dependents covered by Watco health insurance.

Mammograms. Mammograms don’t catch all breast cancer, but these low-dose X-rays are the most effective tool for detecting breast cancer, so they’re important. Women are encouraged to get them with this frequency:

Ages 40-44 – option to start annual screens

Ages 45-54 – annual mammograms are recommended

Age 55 and older – mammograms are recommended every two years

Self-exams. Look for any changes: lumps, thickening, dimpling, redness, flaky skin, or nipples that pucker, are sore, or discharge.

Lifestyle. Knowing the following risk factors and making realistic changes could make a difference.

• Alcohol – The breast cancer risk for women who have three drinks a week is 15% higher than for those who don’t drink.

• Excess weight – It increases the risk for 12 cancer types, including breast cancer.

• Being inactive – Women (especially post-menopausal women) who get regular exercise have a 10% to 20% lower risk of breast cancer than those who don’t exercise regularly.

• Taking hormones – This can raise the risk, depending on type and duration.


If you or a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer or you would like more information, there are many free resources available. For further information, these are just some of the organizations that provide breast cancer programming, resources, and research: the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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We want to keep all of our team members and their private information safe from cyber attacks.

That’s why, during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we’re sharing a few tips on how you can keep your personal devices safe from harm.

Think before you click

Attackers send individuals hundreds of spam and malicious emails every day. Use caution when opening an email from someone you don’t know.

Consider the following warning signs before responding to an email, clicking a link, or downloading an attachment:

• An offer too good to be true

• Urgent, alarming, or threatening message

• Email contains misspellings and bad grammar

Use strong passwords

When it comes to passwords, longer is stronger. It’s also important to create different passwords for work and personal accounts. Passwords should be changed regularly and contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and symbols, including punctuation.

Update personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices

Updates are necessary to prevent security issues and keep your personal devices running smoothly. When alerted to a new update on your personal smartphone, tablet, or laptop, download it as soon as possible. Or, turn on automatic software updates on all devices.

Turn on multi-factor authentication

Consider multi-factor authentication as an extra layer of protection for your online accounts. With multi-factor authentication in place, anyone trying to gain access to your accounts would need to access two or more verification factors, such as a text message and an email.

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Watco Team Members Make a Difference

Join us in congratulating our newest Be the Difference award winners: Ali Denzel, Bruce Tackett, and Josh Humeston. Each quarter, this award program recognizes team members who represent Watco’s Foundation Principles with the One Watco, Extra Mile, and Safe Performance awards.

“Our team members are our biggest differentiator,” Watco Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Rachael Peterson said. “This quarter’s Be the Difference award winners are a testament to that. Thank you for going above and beyond in everything you do.”

For their efforts, this quarter’s winners will receive a $250 gift card to the Watco Gear store and an exclusive hard hat sticker showcasing they’re an award winner.

8 The Dispatch | October 2022
Accepting Q4 Be the Difference Submissions Through December 9
a Team Member at or email


2022 Be the Difference Winners

One Watco Award - Given to an individual or group of team members whose teamwork generates an exceptional result for Watco or a customer.

What makes Accounting Manager Ali Denzel different? To her teammates, she’s a genuine go-getter who puts others first.

Her work ethic shines through whether she’s overseeing accounting for Watco’s entire rail segment, leading a team, or partnering with other teams on special projects. Read more to discover how she’s making a difference everyday.

Extra Mile Award - Given to an individual or a group of team members who go above and beyond the call of duty at work or in the community.

When there’s a need, Operator Bruce Tackett steps up. That’s just what he did after flooding devastated parts of eastern Kentucky this summer.

Tackett raised money to purchase supplies and traveled more than 150 miles to drop off donations. Read more to learn all the ways he goes above and beyond for his community and teammates.

Safe Performance Award - Given to an individual or group of team members who take action to ensure safety for fellow team members, customers, suppliers, or property.

There’s a memory that Engineer Josh Humeston won’t soon forget: the September night when he suddenly found his train bearing down on a vehicle facing him on the tracks.

Luckily, what could have been the perfect storm was not. Josh saw the vehicle in time and was able to safely bring his train to a stop. Get more details here.

October 2022 | The Dispatch 9 Congratulations
the Q3
Recipient: Josh Humeston Blue Ridge Southern Railroad (NC) Recipient: Bruce Tackett Ghent Marine Terminal (KY) Recipient: Ali Denzel Watco Accounting Overland Park (KS)

Major Expansion in Houston Boosts Railcar Storage

A $16.5 million expansion at Watco’s Greens Port in Houston is alleviating congestion and opening the door to customers seeking railcar storage.

Damien Cantrell is AVP of Rail and Liquids for Division A, which includes all of Watco’s southeast Texas operations. He said growth in late 2018 and early 2019 was a significant driver of the recently completed East Yard expansion project.

“We were focusing on unit trains and throughput at the time and had gotten away from some shortand long-term storage, due to the amount of track needed to facilitate the unit train business.” Cantrell said. “But we had so many requests (for storage) –almost on a daily basis – throughout 2020.” Cantrell said that he and Commercial Sales Manager Jeff Linville “looked at the project and knew that we had to expand to keep up with the growth and get back into the storage market that we’d recently steered away from. Part of our success at Greens Port is our flexibility and the multitude of options we can offer to our current customers and the market. This expansion opens the door for many opportunities.”

The 800-acre Greens Port terminal is on the Houston Ship Channel and features seven deep water docks, nine barge docks, and direct access to three Class I railroads. With the expansion of its East Yard, Greens Port went from an overall railcar storage capacity of 1,500 railcars to 2,000 cars. The development not only gets the location back into the storage game but also provides track space to be used for transloading and moving unit trains. Companies producing chemicals, plastics, and refined petroleum products are among those benefiting from the buildout.

Cantrell praised the Watco Design and Development group, as did SVP of Sales for Terminals & Ports

Marc Massoglia. “The team is a great asset that gives Watco a leg up on our competitors,” said Massoglia. He said they deserved a lot of credit “for the speed to market, their attention to detail, adherence to budget, and the creative ways they overcame technical obstacles all while meeting these challenges of minimizing impact in a busy port environment.”

Director of Project Management Hamid Jadali said the 12 months of construction were broken into five phases to avoid interrupting rail and material handling operations. Project crews installed nine new tracks, extended six existing tracks, reconditioned multiple tracks, and realigned one track (8.5 miles in all). In addition, crews installed 27 new turnouts.

As with all projects, this one had its unique features. The team encountered underground obstacles such as deep abandoned foundations, concrete corridors, and old utility pipes that were once used by a steel mill that formerly stood on the property.

The total project area includes about 36 acres. To cover drainage for an area this size, 2.8 miles of drainpipe were installed. About half was installed under the tracks. Also part of the project: demolishing old structures, resurfacing over 110,000 square feet of roadway, enhancing about 10 acres of storage in adjacent storage yards, and relocating power and communication poles and lines.

Len Crescenzo, vice president for Houston sales, called the expansion at Greens Port “a great Watco story, because it shows our commitment to deploying growth capital, our focus on serving the customers of Greens Port and the shipping community in general.”

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October 2022 | The Dispatch 11
This view of the East Yard expansion at Greens Port shows the west end of the yard. The expansion includes about 8.5 miles of new, extended, reconditioned, or realigned track and new turnouts on 36 acres.

Watco Helps Small Town Land a New Manufacturer

In a small Kansas town, there’s a big business coming alive, and several Watco teams have had a role in helping it come to pass.

Watco is part of the North American expansion of Sicut Enterprises Ltd., a London-based manufacturer of railroad ties made of recycled plastic waste such as bottles and food packaging.

Through a property-search website, Sicut found Neodesha, in southeast Kansas, as a potential U.S. manufacturing location. Neodesha’s connections with Watco, and Watco’s experience with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), came together to satisfy Sicut’s requirements, which included having a rail-served site.

Sicut ultimately committed to Neodesha because of a KDOT economic development grant of $343,000 that Watco helped secure. The grant funded a Watco-designed rail spur connecting the plant to the nearby South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL).

“We used our relationships and assets to help attract this company,” said Chris Goodwin, a sales manager for several Watco operations, including the SKOL.

Jeri Hammerschmidt of the Neodesha city administrator’s office adds, “We may not have been successful with our business recruitment without the efforts of the Watco team.”

From operations to design and development, the Watco team came together to support our new customer. The SKOL team was involved in laying out how operations would look, including service days and times. Watco’s Design and Development team planned the engineering of the 468-foot rail spur, provided project management, and oversaw construction of the spur using 499 composite ties manufactured and supplied by Sicut. Watco Purchasing managed the transportation of the ties, shipped from Pennsylvania and Ohio, through Watco Logistics.

The Neodesha plant is Sicut’s first manufacturing facility in North America. The operation should bring about 135 jobs to the southeast Kansas area over the next five years.

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Don’t Miss Us on How America Works

Tune in to Fox Business channel on October 17, 8 p.m. (EST)

Save the Date

Open Enrollment | Oct. 24-Nov. 20, 2022

Don’t miss the opportunity to make changes to your benefits:

 Medical plan election – Required

 Re-elect your annual FSA or HSA contribution –Required

 Add, cancel, or change your coverage

 Add or remove eligible family members

Changes for 2023

 New Plan: Spousal Incentive Health Reimbursement Account (SIHRA)

 New pharmacy, dental and vision providers –New I.D. cards issued

 Two networks available for vision care

 New voluntary benefits and virtual health providers

 No medical questionnaire requirements for shortterm disability, long-term diability, and life insurance elections – Up to the guaranteed issued amount

Watch for future emails and text messages with additional information

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Birth Announcements

Ainsley Grace Sullivan

Austin and Brianna Sullivan announce the birth of their daughter, Ainsley

Grace Sullivan, born September 9, 2022. Ainsley weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and was 19 1/4 inches long.

Austin is a track laborer at the Vicksburg Southern Railroad.

Brantley Dean Horton

Wyatt and Tya Horton announce the birth of their son Brantley Dean Horton born September 19, 2022. Brantley weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and was 20 3/4 inches long. He was welcomed home by his big brother Brange.

Wyatt is a railcar repairman at the Coffeyville (KS) Repair and Maintenance Terminal.

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Birth Announcements

Henry Charles Day

Aaron and Ashley Day announce the birth of their son Henry Charles Day born September 23, 2022. Henry weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 21 inches long.

Aaron is a railcar repairman at the Coffeyville (KS) Repair and Maintenance Terminal.

Please share your birth announcements

To submit your new arrival send a photo and information to

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Team Member Anniversaries

Congratulations to the following team members celebrating October anniversaries:

1 Year:

Maynard Annas, Zachary Armas, Graham Askew, Christopher Baker, Steven Banning, William Berry, Jackson Breitenbach, Keaton Campbell, Andrew

Carmack, Jeffrey Chadwell, Carlos Chavez-Balderas, Justin

De Clemente, Dylan DotsonKarcsak, Abram Dudley, Adreon

Eiland, Jerrett Faires, James Field, James Garcia, Justin Griswold, Colyns Harry, Bradley Hay, Edward

Hensley, Joshua Hill, Anthony

Hipes, Christopher Hunley, Kyle

Jacobson, John Jansen, Jose

Jimenez, Tywon Johnson, Dwarren Jones, Johnathan

Jurkovich, Cameron Lawrence, Jean Lebron, Albert Lierz, Austin

Lott, Tobias Martinez, Alonzo

Mason, Michael Massey, Dominique Merchant, Angel

Nelson, Trace Nielson, Ida Oliver, Thomas O’Rourke, Kyle Peterson, Joe Pittman, Antonio Reyes, Daniel Riddick, Justin

Rivera, Christopher Ruffino, James Sloan, William Stickney, Timothy Swauger, Zachary Toye, Joseph Wilcox, Christian Williams, John Wolfe

2 Years:

Chob Ajak, Cody Barrett, Mike

Bartle, Joseph Bastianon, Dennis Beckham, Jeremy Benson, Jennifer Berard, Joseph Buck, Julian Campos, Saturnino

Cardenas, Michael Clapper, Nicholas Coco, Dakota Coppinger, Ryan Doll, Blake Dooley, Donald Elmore, Bradley Fanning, Nicholas Gerdes, Chase Hantz, Jeremiah Herman, Mitchell Hess, Tom Hunter, Joshua Jenner, Andrew Kilpatrick, Kirby Kirsch, Mackenzie Lucas, Weston

McGough, Victor Olivo, Jesus Pedraza, Anna Peterson, Callum Robertson, Cory Sims, Keith Snowden, Brian Steinkuehler, Jonathan Thompson, Eric Valdez, Jackson Vandeventer, Zachariah Wedel, Andy Williams

3 Years:

Jasson Aguilar, Michael Alcorta, Adrian Arcos-Marron, Andrew Bennett, Brent Booth, Christopher Brown, Scott Butler, Jose Castillo Rivas, Micheal Comeaux, LaDarius Crenshaw, Chadrick Daniel, Halen DeCoteau, Kale Fishler, Tyler Gilliam, Angela Gray, Rick Hencye, Jeffrey Hillabrand, Joseph Hines, James Hollahan, Joshua Humeston, Ray Jenkins, Regina Millenheft, Lamar Mitchell, Alejandro Olsen, Ridge Parisien, Kegan Payne, Tyrance Richardson, Corey Ring, Raymond Sepulveda, Carter Shelton, Troy Sickle, Justin Stenback, Matthew Terry, John Thurman, Troy Vacala, Brittney Ward, Matthew Whitman, Thein Win

4 Years:

Oscar Ahumada Perez, Brenden Backes, Todd Callahan, Lacey Dotson Spears, Rodney Dunner, Gregorio Fernandez-Reyes, Tyler Geissen, Christopher German, Dexter Gonzales, Jeffrey Grafton, Titus Hines, Travis Ingalsbe, Reginald Jackson, Corey Jaynes, Brandon Jensen, Tyler Kadrmas, Anthony Kopec, Garret Long, Mark Mazur, Patrick McKinstry, Aspen Olson, Christian Parpart, Joe Roberts, Joseph Roberts, Anthony Sapp, Giovanni Soto, Kevin Sumpter, Chandler Watson, Joseph Workman

5 Years:

Jonathan Anderson, Brayton

Beck, Keith Bowman, Joe Burkett, Steve Campbell, Oscar Carrillo, Richard Collier, Juan Escutia, Andrew Fleming, Kelli Frazier, Eric Henderson, Joseph Hudson, Jacob Langbecker, Devon

Lindquist, Jamison Mathews, James McDaniel, Kareem

Meawad, Nathan Melton, Pedro Moreno Varela, Daniel Munoz, Kevin Neihaus, Eric Poore, Robert Ramirez, Joseph Riley, Joel

Santana, Robert Scoggin, Richard Scott, Caleb Scrivner, Casey Sink, Brannon Smith, Cj Stremick, Braxton Thompson, Salomon Torres, James Trammell, Luis Trevino, Daniel Willoughby, Carol Young

6 Years:

Nathaniel Burke, Daniel Casey, Jake Gandy, Calvin Jonas, Vance Kirkpatrick, Samuel Radzak, Ethan Sailor, Carlos Torrez, Ken Womble

7 Years:

Jorden Johnson, Brandon Layton, David Miller, Preston Nelson, Benito Nickles, Raul Orta, Steven Sowers, Anthony Starrett, Brian Thierauf

8 Years:

Richard Bost, William Cammack, Wesley Edouard, Thomas Frey, Joshua Garrett, Don Goff, Kody Gray, Torrance Hendrix, Tyler Pirelli, Andrew Prochazka, Andrew Ross, Jered Ruback, Charles Staley, Jermaine Woods

9 Years:

Merlin Bridge, Nicholas Burnham, Kylie Collier, Robert Llewelyn, Tommy Terrell

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Team Member Anniversaries

10 Years:

Tyler Crawford, Javon Exum, Michael Galligan, Larkland Linton, Rodney Pickett, Richard Wheeler, John White

11 Years:

Peter Bercier, Jeffrey Buck, McKenzie Green, Brian Manning, Arturo Perez, Salvador Sanchez

12 Years: Randall Chaney

13 Years: William Hill, Elvis Johns, Brian Pitt, Michael Toler

14 Years:

Lucas Conrad, Michael Harris, Albert Perez

15 Years:

Jana Austerman, Elizabeth Newberry, Amanda Santana, Jason Seger

16 Years: Teri Kinyon

17 Years: Scotty Presley, Delia Winegarner

18 Years: Bo Fox, Travis Herod

19 Years: Kyle Kozman

20 Years: William Czapla

21 Years: James Wren

23 Years: Randy Hartley

25 Years: Donald Brau, Heath Morgan

26 Years: Ivan Ferrin, Silvio Gomez, Phillip Lee

27 Years: Steven Korell

28 Years: Lori Magee

30 Years: Brian Daentl, Craig Stansbury

31 Years: Anthony Clark

35 Years: Ralph Ferrebee

37 Years: Keith Lacaze

38 Years: Mark Turner

42 Years: Kimberly Bourgeois

45 Years: Mario Marghella

KO Hosts Officer on a Train Event

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As part of Operation Lifesaver’s Rail Safety Week last month, the Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad (KO) hosted an Officer on a Train event. For this, officers from the Wichita Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol joined the KO to educate the public on rail crossings and safety.
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