Michael P. Melaniphy
President and Chief Executive Officer
Michael P. Melaniphy is president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Melaniphy’s entire career has been in public transportation, with more than 26 years of both public and private sector leadership experience.
Active in the industry, Melaniphy proudly serves on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, as well as on the boards of both RailVolution and the Transportation Learning Resource Center. He is a commissioner on the Alliance to Save Energy’s Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy and president of the American Public Transportation Foundation. He also serves on the boards of the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University and the National Center for Transit Research at CUTR - University South Florida.
Previously, Melaniphy served as vice president public sector for the bus manufacturer, Motor Coach Industries, Inc., where he worked for more than 10 years and was responsible for operations in the United States and Canada. During this time he was very active within APTA, having served as chair of the 2011 International Expo Committee, chair of the Awards Committee, and vice chair of the Business Member Board of Governors. He is a 2005 graduate of Leadership APTA. Additionally, he served as vice chair of the Transportation Research Board's TOPS committee and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Transit Museum.
Prior to his work in the private sector, Melaniphy was honored to have led four public sector transit agencies. He was general manager of Charlotte Transit, which successfully passed the state's first dedicated transit tax, and was also twice recognized as the Safest Large Transit System in North Carolina. Melaniphy also served as vice chair of the North Carolina Public Transit Association.
Melaniphy previously served as general manager of Wichita Transit where he also graduated from the inaugural class of the City/County Executive Leadership program while also serving as vice chair of the Kansas Public Transit Association. Prior to that, he was general manager of The Bus Company in Hamilton, Ohio, which received the National Safety Council’s Most Improved Safety Record Award as well as the ATE Innovation Award. In 1993 the Bus Company became the first system in the country with 100% Braille/tactile bus stop signs. Melaniphy began his transit management career as assistant general manager of El Metro in Laredo, TX where the first small system dedicated transit tax in the state was approved.
While in college, Melaniphy interned for two years with the DuPage County DOT in Wheaton, IL. In order to put himself through school at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, he worked as a bus driver for the university basketball team coached by Bobby Knight. Having served as president of the IU Transportation Club, Melaniphy graduated with a BA in business administration, transportation management and studied under the legendary transportation professor George Smerk.
Chief of Staff
Petra Mollet is chief of staff for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). Her responsibilities include APTA's governance, strategic planning and annual business planning, as well as overseeing human resources.
Before she joined APTA in February 2008, Mollet was director of corporate development in the corporate office at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) based in Brussels, Belgium. She led UITP’s worldwide expansion and its external relations, as well as supporting the launch of UITP’s Sustainable Development Program in 2001.
Mollet earlier was executive director of POLIS, an association of European local and regional transportation authorities. She began her professional career as a writer, researcher, and editorial assistant for the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA).
She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds a master’s degree in natural resources from Virginia Tech.
Pamela L. Boswell
Vice President-Workforce Development & Educational Services
Pamela Boswell is vice president-workforce development and educational services for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Boswell, who came to APTA in 1999, oversees APTA’s strategic, comprehensive, and diverse workforce development and educational services program for association members and staff; There are several programs, managed by the department, including Leadership APTA; Early Career Program; and the American Public Transportation Foundation, APTA’s educational arm. Boswell oversees and develops strategic partnerships with key stakeholders to promote standards-based training and educational programs for the full range of the industry’s diverse workforce.
She has more than 26 years in the transportation field, beginning in 1985 as a management trainee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. After her year in the training program, Boswell held several positions of ascending responsibility at the Port Authority in transportation policy, planning, government and community relations, and public participation initiatives for highways, transit, aviation, maritime, and waterborne transportation services. At the time she joined APTA, Boswell was manager, government and community relations, for the agency’s interstate transportation operations. During her tenure with the Port Authority, Boswell received two Executive Director’s Citation Awards, as well as the Exceptional Service Award for efforts in support of the World Trade Center following the February 1993 attack.
Boswell received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Clark Atlanta University and a master’s in public policy from Duke University.
Chief Financial Officer
Mary Childress is Chief Financial Officer for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Childress, who joined APTA in 2012, has more than 25 years experience leading the financial and administrative functions of associations and nonprofit organizations. Before coming to APTA, she was chief operating officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Previously, she held senior-level finance positions at the American Wind Energy Association, Optical Society of America, National Association for Home Care, and Partnership for Democracy.
A graduate of the University of Maryland, Childress holds designations as a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Association Executive.
Art Guzzetti, vice president-policy for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), is a 32-year veteran of public transportation at the local, state, and national levels.
Among other things, Guzzetti is responsible for APTA’s extensive policy research agenda, policy analysis and development, transportation information, and statistics. He and the APTA team work with the legislative and executive branches of all levels of government and with other national associations, think tanks, and interest groups to cultivate the ideas, relationships, and advocacy initiatives that will propel public transportation forward.
Prior to coming to APTA in June 1997, Guzzetti spent 16 years in management at two of the nation’s leading public transportation systems—New Jersey Transit Corporation and Pittsburgh’s Port Authority of Allegheny County—along with two years at New Jersey DOT. His duties focused on transportation policy, government affairs, capital programming, grants development, and grants management and advocacy. In short, the focus of his career has been on generating support for public transportation and the benefits it provides to communities and regions.
Guzzetti has a political science degree from Edinboro State University and a master of public administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Vice President-Government Affairs
Rob Healy is vice president-government affairs for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Healy manages APTA’s lobbying efforts on federal legislative issues that affect the transit industry on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. In that capacity, he oversees industry efforts on the federal budget, the annual appropriations process, multi-year authorization bills, transit security, tax, energy and environmental legislation, and measures that affect commuter and intercity passenger rail service, including high-speed passenger rail. He also serves as a staff advisor to APTA’s Legislative Committee.
Since coming to APTA in 1989, Healy has worked on a variety of legislative issues, including four multi-year surface transportation authorization bills, the Clean Air Act Amendments, transportation and homeland security appropriations, development of a National Transportation System, tax legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, climate change and energy legislation, and commuter and high-speed intercity passenger rail issues.
Recently, in conjunction with APTA’s Policy and Communications & Marketing departments, he has managed APTA’s effort to develop and advocate for industry recommendations on legislation to replace the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act-A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which expired Sept. 30, 2009.
Before joining the APTA staff, Healy worked at the Democratic Study Group (DSG), in the U.S. House of Representatives, for 13 years. He also worked as a research director for the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis in 1988.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Massachusetts.
Chief Counsel & Vice President – Corporate Affairs
James LaRusch is chief counsel & vice president-corporate affairs of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). He joined APTA in 2005, was promoted to chief counsel in February 2007, and named vice president-corporate affairs in December 2007.
As APTA chief counsel, LaRusch provides internal legal support; general member support; management of the Legal Affairs Committee and its annual seminar; and regulatory advocacy. As vice president-corporate affairs, he oversees corporate compliance and management of the APTA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
LaRusch previously served as an attorney/advisor in the Federal Transit Administration, responsible for third-party contracting matters. He received the Secretary’s Award while serving in that post.
He is a retired Army officer. As a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, he served as a staff judge advocate, deputy staff judge advocate, branch chief, combat developments officer, and trial defense counsel. His decorations include the Legion of Merit and five awards of the Meritorious Service Medal.
LaRusch is a summa cum laude graduate of Buffalo State College and a magna cum laude graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. He holds a Master of Laws degree from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School, where he was appointed class leader and a member of the Commandant’s List.
Vice President-Communications & Marketing
Rosemary Sheridan is vice president-communications & marketing for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Sheridan joined APTA in March 1998 and has 25 years experience in communications and marketing and public transportation. She oversees the development of APTA’s message and communicates key transit industry information to its members, the media, and the public.
The Communications & Marketing Department is responsible for implementing the Research, Communication, and Advocacy program, in conjunction with the Government Affairs and Policy departments. The department also undertakes media relations efforts in support of APTA positions and activities and writes and develops print and electronic communications vehicles, including Passenger Transport and PT Express, to tell the industry’s story and promote the benefits of public transportation.
Prior to joining APTA, Sheridan served as assistant executive director of marketing and communications for New Jersey Transit Corporation. She oversaw all communications, media relations, marketing, community relations, customer service, and sales for the statewide public transit system. She previously worked as a newspaper reporter and editor.
Sheridan holds a bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University and a master’s degree from American University.
Executive Vice President-Member Services
Kathryn Waters is executive vice president-member services for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
She came to APTA in November 2007 from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) in Baltimore, where she was senior deputy administrator, responsible for all public transit operations departments as well as transit police.
Waters has more than 25 years experience in the transit and railroad industry, serving in positions of leadership including vice president-commuter rail and railroad management with Dallas Area Rapid Transit. She worked for 20 years with MTA’s MARC Train Service, ultimately serving as manager and chief operating officer. She began her career at the Maryland Department of State Planning before joining the Maryland State Railroad Administration as a freight rail planner in 1980.
Before joining the APTA staff, Waters chaired the APTA Commuter Rail Committee and was vice chair-commuter & intercity rail on the APTA Executive Committee. She has represented APTA for more than 10 years on the Rail Safety Advisory Committee of the Federal Railroad Administration. She has served in a volunteer leadership capacity with numerous transportation industry programs and organizations, and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Denver Intermodal Transportation Institute. In 2009, she received the W. Graham Claytor Jr. Award for distinguished service to passenger transportation, presented by Railway Age magazine.
Waters is a planner by training, earning bachelor of arts and master of community planning degrees from the University of Maryland.