Ed McKechnie

Ed serves as Executive Vice President and Chief of Global Strategy for Watco Companies, LLC. With the Company’s tremendous growth, Ed now leads Watco’s Global Strategy Team, focusing on growing the business and finding new opportunities in the transportation industry. In addition, Ed drives Watco’s Legislative Relationship Team, focusing on issues that impact the transportation industry. 

Ed joined the Watco team in May of 2000 and previously served for 10 years in the Kansas House of Representatives. He served on numerous committees while in the House, including transportation, appropriations, and the joint committee on Legislative Post Audit – the investigative arm of the Legislature. He also served on the personal staff for Governor John Carlin and U.S. Congressman Dan Glickman in Washington, D.C.

Ed was elected by his rail colleagues to chair the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) Legislative Policy Committee in 2003. In that position he led the legislative effort that passed the short line tax credit, providing $3,500 in annual tax credits for each mile of track that a short line maintains. He also serves on the ASLRRA Executive Committee. In 2007 Ed was appointed to the nine-member Kansas Bio Science Authority, which will direct more than $500 million in research and development grants during the next 10 years. In 2010, he was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents and was named Chairman in 2011. In 2013, Ed was elected to serve a two-year term as Chairman for the ASLRRA.

Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Pittsburg State University in 1986.