To facilitate the growing needs of Watco and to address the increased regulatory environment in the rail industry, Vaughn's new position will allow him to be able to focus primarily on the many regulatory changes in the rail industry and be an advocate for the industry as a whole, while continuing to support the company's safety teams and develop implementation plans for regulatory compliance.
Vaughn joined Watco in 2003 as senior vice president of safety and implemented safety programs that lead to a 300 percent improvement in safety in just the first year alone. For seven years straight that number has continued to show improvement year over year. He won the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's first Safety Professional of the Year Award in 2011, along with numerous other safety honors.
Watco Transportation Services hired Joe Via as director of switching for the West Region. As director of switching, Via will be responsible for the overall safety and operations for the West Region switching and mobile repair, which includes Thunder Basin, Solvay, OCI, TXI, Ventura Foods, Boise-Wallula, Condon and Hermiston Mobile Repair.
Before joining the Watco Team, he spent one year with the Union Pacific and 13 years with Utah Railway/G&W Company, holding various positions of conductor, assistant Trainmaster, trainmaster and most recently, the director of safety.