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American Public Transportation Association

 Program

Last updated: February 19, 2014

Sunday, February 23

12 – 6 p.m.
Orleans
Second Floor

Registration

1 – 4 p.m.
Audobon
First Level

Marketing & Communications Committee Meeting
Chair, Jennifer Kalczuk

4:30 – 6 p.m.
Lakeview
First Level
 

Introduction to Transit Marketing & Communications

New to the transit industry or APTA? This kick-off event is intended to acquaint you with the resources and people who can help make your entry into the transit industry easier.

Moderator:
Jennifer Kalczuk,
member, APTA Board of Directors; chair, APTA Marketing & Communications Committee; and external relations manager, The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI 
 
Presenters:
Thomas J. Costello,
member, APTA Board of Directors, and assistant managing director, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Urbana, IL

Rosemary Sheridan, vice president – communications and marketing, APTA

6 – 7 p.m.
French Quarter Bar
Third Level

Welcoming Reception

Mix and mingle with fellow public transit marketing and communications professionals in a relaxed atmosphere that sets the collegial tone for the 2014 workshop. 

Monday, February 24

7 – 11 a.m.
and
2 – 4 p.m.
Orleans
Second Level

Registration

7 – 8 a.m.
Salons I & II Foyer
Second Level

Continental Breakfast

8 – 10 a.m.
Salons I & II
Second Level

Opening Session

We get down to business with the opening session, featuring updates on the state of the industry and host welcome, followed by a keynote address on “Communications as a Strategic Imperative.” Simply defined, this mandate reflects a move from a time when communicators lamented their lack of access to the executive suite to the existence of a chair at the table labeled “Communications” and a desk plate bearing a name. Is your name on it today? Will it be on it a year from now? What will you do with it? Public relations professional Blake Lewis will help you accurately arrive at the answers to these and other questions about your future… and that of the agency you serve.

Moderator:
Jennifer Kalczuk,
member, APTA Board of Directors;
chair, APTA Marketing & Communications Committee; and external relations manager, The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI

Host Welcome:
Patrice Bell Mercadel,
director, marketing and communications, Regional Transit Authority, New Orleans, LA
 
President’s Remarks:
Michael P. Melaniphy,
president & CEO, APTA

Federal Transit Administration Update:
Brian D. Farber,
associate administrator for communications & congressional affairs, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
 
Keynote Address:
Blake Lewis,
APR, principal, Lewis Public Relations, Dallas, TX

10:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Salons I & II
Second Level

Social Media

Social media continues to represent a vital opportunity for the transit industry to communicate with a growing number of customers, the media, and advocates. This session will provide attendees with common-sense, useful social media applications, as well as information on what’s new in the social media arena.

Moderator:
Mary C. Currie,
public affairs director, Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District, San Francisco, CA

Panelists:
John Siqveland,
public relations manager, Metro Transit, Minneapolis, MN

Don Kline, integrated marketing coordinator, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, Ann Arbor, MI
 
Lauren B. Parker, marketing manager, Triangle Transit, Research Triangle Park, NC
 
Erika Shubin, public relations and marketing manager, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT
 
Michael Navarre, group account director, R&R Partners, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT
 

10:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Broadmoor
First Level

Community Outreach

From travel training to construction mitigation to safety education, community outreach of all types plays a critical role in the public transportation industry. Join us as a panel of industry experts discuss outreach programs and initiatives developed to increase awareness, improve relationships, and affect change.

Moderator:
Susan B. Richards,
president, SR Concepts, Charleston, SC

Panelists:
Joyce Rose,
president & CEO, Operation Lifesaver, Inc., Alexandria, VA
Gricel Sato, manager, marketing, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ

Pauletta Tonilas, senior manager, public relations & public information, Regional Transportation District, Denver, CO

10:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Carrollton
First Level

Experienced Professional Workshop: Mind the Gap -- Life Beyond “Get a News Release Out”

This session led by the morning's keynote speaker, Blake Lewis, will focus on increasing awareness, knowledge and readiness for higher leverage professional roles expected by high-performance agencies or needed by agencies seeking to achieve high performance status. Participants will learn how to increase their ability to assimilate personal approaches needed to significantly advance their agencies and their own professional position and value as a communications strategist.

Facilitator:
Blake Lewis,
APR, principal, Lewis Public Relations, Dallas, TX

11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.  
Salons I & II
Second Level

 

Art in Transit

Transit agencies across the country are incorporating a variety of arts in an assortment of ways to enhance the rider experience and build ridership. From permanent art installations to docent-led art tours to incorporating art and design into bus stops, this session will explore how transit agencies are infusing art into their systems and will explain how you can do it to – no matter the size of your system.

Moderator:
Martin Munguia,
corporate communications manager, Community Transit, Snohomish County, WA
 
Panelists:
Zipporah Lax Yamamoto, Ph.D.,
creative services manager, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority,
Los Angeles, CA
 
Cyndi Raskin-Schmitt, manager of communications, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, St. Petersburg, FL
 
Yaling Chen, manager, Arts for Transit & Urban Design, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York, NY

11:45 a.m. – 1 :15 p.m. Broadmoor
First Level

Crisis Communications

Join us for this annual and always informative session on crisis communications. Last year an EF5 tornado hit the Oklahoma City area and soon after flooding hit the same area. Our first panelist will address the complexity of managing resources, media, and high-profile political visits in the aftermath of the EF5 tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma in May 2013, and the flooding of the region. Whenever a large scale transportation accident occurs, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates and handles the communications. The second panelist in this session will explain what happens when NTSB comes to your system to investigate an accident.  Learn how NTSB will work with your communications department.

Moderator:
Luna Salaver,
communications officer, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Oakland, CA
          
Panelists:
Michael Scroggins,
public information officer, EMBARK, Oklahoma City, OK

Kelly Nantel, director of public affairs, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC

1 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

2:30 – 4:30 p.m. 
Lafayette Ballroom

Second Floor

 

Marketing & Communications Exchange and Roundtables

Meet with your peers at topic-specific, moderated roundtables. Discuss the latest issues and gain new perspectives on transit marketing and communications topics affecting your organization.


TOPICS:
  

  • Non-farebox Revenue
  • Research
  • Sustainability
  • Passenger Information
  • Social Media
  • Digital Advocacy
  • Lessons Learned from Winning Referendums
  • Branding
  • Multicultural Marketing
  • Safety Campaigns

Break sponsored by R&R Partners

3:30 – 5 p.m.
Broadmoor
First Level

 

Advertising Revenue Information Exchange - Sex, Drugs, Politics, and Violence

Have any ads recently posted on your system generated complaints from the public? This session will focus on content guidelines and the First Amendment relating to transit advertising. See for yourself what ads have been proposed for posting across the country. This interactive session will also give participants an opportunity to provide updates on RFPs/contracts, new revenue generating initiatives, and audience measurement.

Facilitator:
Aaron Weinstein,
chief marketing officer, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Oakland, CA

4 – 5:30 p.m.
Carrollton
First Level

 

PIO Shop Talk

This popular media relations session is a chance to meet your peers and share your thoughts and best practices in an informal session. Come and build your network of public transit colleagues.

Moderator:
Cynthia M. Baker,
communications director, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, MO

6 – 7 p.m.  
Davenport Lounge
Third Level 

 

Networking Reception (cash bar)

Join old friends and make new ones at this reception. Talk shop or just shoot the breeze. This reception will help you expand your network of transit industry peers. 

Tuesday, February 25

7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Orleans
Second Floor

Registration

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Lafayette Foyer
Second Level
 

Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 10 a.m.
Lafayette Foyer
Second Level

 

2014 Call Center Challenge Finals 

Don’t miss the finals of the 2014Call Center Challenge Watch call center personnel, representing public transit systems from across the country, face off in a competition to test their customer service skills at this lively and entertaining event. Come see who walks away with this year’s title of public transit’s best call center employee.

Host:
Thomas J. Costello,
member, APTA Board of Directors, and assistant managing director, Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District, Urbana, IL

Contestants:
Kathryn M. Ekstrom,
Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL

Peg Hadley, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority-DART, Des Moines, IA

Jessica Lanier, Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte, NC

Celia Mejia, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX

Nancy Saia, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA

Natalie Solorio, Southern California Regional Rail Authority, Los Angeles, CA

Dominic White, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Lafayette Ballroom
Second Level

 

The Insiders’ View of a Transit Call Center

This interactive session will feature many of the finalists of the 2014 APTA Call Center Challenge, as they share with the audience details of their agencies' call centers, including challenges and opportunities they face daily. Bring your questions and comments and be ready to share.

Moderator:
Bambi L. Miller,
director of customer services, METRO Regional Transit Authority, Akron, OH

10:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Fountainbleau
First Level

 

How to Handle Challenging Reports, Difficult Media Relations, and the 24/7 Media Pace

This panel will share their stories on how they dealt with demanding and challenging reporters and the 24/7 pace of the media. From dealing with reporters on sensitive topics, like a strike, to request for immediate access to video after an accident, to national media on an untruthful allegation, come learn how your colleagues have dealt with these difficult media situations. 

Moderator:
Patrick Wilmot,
manager of media relations, Pace Suburban Bus, Arlington Heights, IL

Panelists:
J.C. Vannatta,
director of communications & corporate outreach, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Portland, OR

Hillary Foose, director, communication& marketing, Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ

Stephanie A. Creech, manager, corporate communications, First Transit, Cincinnati, OH

12 – 2:00 p.m.
Lafayette Ballroom
Second Level

 

Lunch & Learn: The Public Transit Industry's New Outreach Campaign

APTA’s President and CEO Michael Melaniphy will kick off this session discussing the importance of building support for public transportation at the local and federal level. Then you will hear an update about plans for the launch of the industry’s new outreach campaign. This campaign is being planned to help educate policymakers, opinion leaders, and the general public about the importance of public transportation. You will also learn ways to garner broad community support for public transportation. Come and share ideas of how you can use these new template materials as part of your local advertising, social media, and public relations outreach.

Opening Remarks:
Michael P. Melaniphy, president & CEO, APTA

Moderator:
Jennifer Kalczuk,
member, APTA Board of Directors; chair, APTA Marketing & Communications Committee; and external relations manager, The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI

Presenter:
Aaron Guiterman,
vice president of digital strategy, DDC Advocacy, Washington, DC

Next Steps/Questions & Answers:
Morgan Lyons,
vice chair, APTA Marketing & Communications Committee, and assistant vice president, communications and community engagement, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX
 

2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Broadmoor
First Level

 

Technology

Technology is forever changing the way public transit agencies communicate with their passengers. Come hear about the latest technology tools that agencies are embracing to better serve, engage, and communicate with riders.  

Moderator:
Felicia Friesema,
director of marketing and communications, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA

Panelists:
Nevin Grinnell,
vice president/chief marketing officer, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX

Pierre Bourbonniere, director of marketing, Societe de Transport de Montreal, QC

Cynthia Lucas, marketing manager, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, TX

Linton Johnson, manager, strategic programs - office of external affairs, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Oakland, CA 

2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Fountainbleau
First Level

Hot Topics in Transit Research

This session will offer information relevant to all transit professionals with an interest in conducting research, both with existing and potential customers, either in-house or through an outside vendor. Topics will include: conducting a community attitudes survey; the pros and cons of creating online research panels for transit; how to select a marketing research vendor; and using mobile technology to collect survey data.   

Moderator:
Carol G. Smith,
director, research & analysis, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA

Panelists:
Tim E. Healy,
marketing & creative services director,
Sound Transit, Seattle, WA

Michael Bulthuis, public outreach coordinator-community engagement, The Rapid, Grand Rapids, MI

Dr. Robin Salter, senior performance analyst, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA

Ivelisse Matos, manager, transit research, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA

Cynthia M. Baker, communications director, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, MO

2:15 - 2:45 p.m.
Carrollton
First Level

“Fruitvale Station” – Movie Discussion

Before viewing “Fruitvale Station,” BART Communications Officer Luna Salaver will discuss the four months that she worked with the movie director, Ryan Coogler. The challenge was juggling the media – both during and post production – and filming without interruption from the media, star struck fans, or the protesting public. In the end, the movie brought BART staff and the movie people together to produce Ryan Coogler's vision and it started a conversation throughout the nation.

Introduction:
Bonnie L. Arnold,
public information officer, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (Tri-Rail), Pompano Beach, FL

Presenter:
Luna Salaver,
communications officer, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Oakland, CA
 

2:45 - 4:15 p.m.

“Fruitvale Station” – Movie Viewing

Come watch “Fruitvale Station,” which is based on a true incident that took place at BART in 2009, when a transit officer mistakenly shot rider Oscar Grant.

Note of Caution:  This movie is intense and may be disturbing to some people.

7 p.m.

 

PIO Dinner (Dutch treat)

Come to dinner and enjoy the company of your fellow media relations colleagues.

Sign up for the dinner on site in the APTA registration area before 12 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25.

7 p.m.

APTA Research Task Force Dinner(Dutch treat) 

Dine and network with those in the know to learn “everything” you ever wanted to know about transit research.

Sign up for the dinner in the APTA registration area before 12 p.m. on Tuesday, February 25.

Wednesday, February 26

7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Audubon Foyer
First Level

Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Broadmoor
First Level

 

How to Plan and Work with the Media for Large Special Events

Large-scale community events provide great opportunities and significant challenges for public transportation systems. Learn from your colleagues how they worked with the media and stakeholders to execute successful high- profile events. From promoting Mardi Gras here in New Orleans, to planning the Senior Olympics for thousands in Cleveland, to hosting international jet setters at a Formula 1 event in Austin, the panelists will share how each public transit system played an essential role in ensuring the event’s success. Join in on the fun and receive key takeaways!

Moderator:
Meg Kester,
marketing &communications manager, Intercity Transit, Olympia, WA

Panelists:
Patrice Bell Mercadel,
director, marketing and communications, Regional Transit Authority, New Orleans, LA

Mary Shaffer, public relations, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Cleveland, OH

Francine Pares, communications manager, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Austin, TX   
 

8:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Audobon
First Level

Rider Conduct Programs

With more than 10.5 billion trips taken on public transit in the United States in 2012, “incivilities” at stations, stops, and onboard are a major concern for transit agencies. Join us as transit agency representatives share campaigns that encourage passengers to behave properly to help ensure the safety, security, comfort, and convenience of all.
 
Moderator:
Wendy Williams,
director of marketing, OMNITRANS,
San Bernardino, CA

Panelists:
Jennifer Jinadu-Wright,
director of marketing & communications, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta, GA

Lyle Miller, senior manager creative services, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX

Jawauna M. Greene, director, Office of Marketing & Advertising, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC

10 – 11:15 a.m.
Audobon
First Level

 

Segmented Marketing

Whether you are trying to reach school-age children, families, millennials, seniors, college students, or another demographic, there is a message for each. Our panel of transit communicators will share successful, effective campaigns that were directed at specific segmented markets.

Moderator:
Liliane M. Finke
, Ed.D., marketing & community affairs manager, Palm Tran, West Palm Beach, FL 

Panelists:
Bobbie C. Crichton, marketing programs coordinator, advertising & media relations, Miami-Dade Transit, Miami, FL

Richard Maxwell, immediate past chair, APTA Marketing & Communications Committee, and assistant vice president of marketing, Fort Worth Transportation Authority, Fort Worth, TX

Wendy Williams, marketing manager/PIO, Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Lancaster, CA

Erin Scheel, youth education coordinator, Intercity Transit, Olympia, WA 

11:15 – 11:45 a.m.
Audubon
First Level

 

Closing Session: That’s a Wrap!

This is your chance to voice your opinions about APTA’s 2014 Marketing & Communications Workshop and make suggestions for next year’s workshop.

Moderator:
Morgan Lyons,
vice chair, APTA Marketing & Communications Committee, and assistant vice president, communications and community engagement, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Dallas, TX

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