Jeff Acerson

Trustee Jeff Acerson comes to UTA having already served in several UTA board and oversight positions. He began his career with 15 years in the software industry working with WordPerfect and Novell Corp. Trustee Acerson has an extensive track record of public service including serving Lindon City as both City Councilmember and most recently as Mayor. He chaired the Utah Governor’s Coalition on Y2K, served as president of the Utah Jazz 100 Club, and worked with the Salt Lake Olympics and Special Olympics. Trustee Acerson has also taught leadership development courses as an adjunct professor at Utah Valley University for the past ten years. Trustee Acerson joined the Utah Transit Authority on December 2, 2020.

Ehren Bingaman

Ehren Bingaman is a passionate executive leader driven to improve lives, organizations, and communities through collaboration and the development of authentic leadership.

Ehren has served as executive director of the Central Indiana Transportation Authority in Indianapolis and has enjoyed success in the private sector as the Management Principal of TransPro. Prior to joining TransPro Ehren was the Director of Transportation Planning for HNTB Corporation in Atlanta. He has national experience driving public transportation leadership, strategic planning, performance management, organizational development, executive coaching and recruitment, capital programming, innovation, transportation demand management, communications, public involvement, and operations.

Ehren holds bachelor’s degrees in Urban Planning & Development, Political Science; Environmental Design from Ball State University. Ehren is a graduate of the 2015 Leadership APTA program.

Nichol Bourdeaux

Nichol Bourdeaux has over 20 years of experience working in Public Administration. As the Planning and Engagement Officer for the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), she oversees Community Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Innovative Mobility Solutions and Planning.

Before serving in her current position at UTA, Ms. Bourdeaux served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Ralph Becker in Salt Lake City. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director of Housing and Neighborhood Development for Salt Lake City Corporation. She began her career in communications working for sporting and news affiliates. Her passion for sports led her to join the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, where she was the entertainment and leisure coordinator for the Athlete’s Village.

Ms. Bourdeaux has served on the Utah Performing Arts Advisory Board, Utah Nonprofit Association, and NeighborWorks Salt Lake Board of Directors, as well as the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Business and Education Committee. She currently serves on the Utah Museums Advisory Board and Utah College of Social and Behavioral Science Advancement Board. She holds a BA in Communications and an MPA from the University of Utah.

Chessy Brady

As the Transit-Oriented Development Manager at RTD in Denver, Colorado, Chessy coordinates with developers, local jurisdictions, and her RTD colleagues to support transit-oriented development on and around RTD stations. Chessy’s team recently issued a parking report detailing parking utilization in local TODs, and codified RTD’s first Equitable TOD Policy. Chessy is a mom to twin toddlers and an MBA student at the University of Denver. She is a certified planner and holds an M.S. in City & Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and a B.A. from Brown University.

Vince Buzek

Director Vince Buzek was elected to the RTD Board of Directors in November 2018 and took office in January 2019, representing District J. Director Buzek’s District includes several cities in the North Denver metropolitan area with a population of approximately 200,000 residents. In January 2022, Director Buzek was elected to be the Chair of the RTD Board of Directors.

A Chicago native, Director Buzek grew up in a transit dependent family, relying on public transportation for much of his early life. As a Council Member for the City and County of Broomfield, Colorado from 1999 – 2007, Director Buzek was active in transit issues and participated in the decision for Broomfield to publicly support FasTracks – RTD’s large rail expansion effort.

Director Buzek also served on the Colorado Gaming Commission as a Member and its Chair and for 6 years on the Adams County, Colorado Planning Commission as Member, Vice-Chair and Chair.

Director Buzek, an attorney with over 30 years’ experience in Chicago and Colorado, currently operates his own firm in Broomfield focusing on estate planning and mediation. Director Buzek enjoys travelling with his wife, Karen; bee keeping, reading, and attempting to garden.

Carlton Christensen

Carlton Christensen is chair of the board of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), a position he has held since 2018. Prior to his tenure at UTA, he was the Director of Regional Transportation, Housing and Economic Development for Salt Lake County. He was also a Community Development Representative for Zions Bank. He has an extensive background in finance and accounting, with nearly two decades of experience in the banking and property management development industries. Mr. Christensen is committed to public service and spent sixteen years on the Salt Lake City Council. He has been the chair of the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Agency, Salt Lake City Council, and Wasatch Front Economic Development District; president of the Utah League of Cities & Towns and the Associates Board for the Museum of Natural History of Utah; is an ex officio member of the Salt Lake City Airport Board; and served on the board of Shelter the Homeless and as a member of the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council. Mr. Christensen currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Utah Foundation, and on the Board of Governors for both the Salt Lake Chamber and ChamberWest, representing UTA. As a community member, Mr. Christensen serves as a trustee for the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District as well as a board member for Friends of the Salt Lake City Cemetery, the latter of which is dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of an important historical site in Utah.

Robert R. (Rob) Clark

After earning a Liberal Arts undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama, Rob earned a Master’s of Science in Health Care Administration from the University of Mississippi.

In his current role at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as Chief Government Affairs Officer he is responsible for public policy and external affairs for the institution at the federal, state and local levels. He is honored to work with researchers, clinicians and support staff all focused on finding cures and caring for children suffering from catastrophic childhood diseases.

Rob is a leader in the Mid-South through work with many civic and non-profit organizations including being appointed as a Commissioner of the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), and serving on the boards of the YMCA, Rotary International, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Memphis River Parks Partnership, Evergreen Historic District Association, Coalition for a Better Memphis and others.

Rob’s special community interests include health care for the underserved, regional economic development, and sustainable transportation infrastructure.

Auty Dahlquist

Auty has over 18 years of Information Governance and Records Management experience.

She has been with UTA since 2016. Currently, Auty manages UTA’s paper records and electronic records. She also oversees the high volume of public record requests, management of UTA’s Enterprise Records Management system, and assessment of UTA vast legacy records. Her direction and management style relies on creative, and out of the box solutions for large or difficult scenarios.

Prior to working in the public sector, she worked in Records Management in the legal private sector, specializing in large corporate record projects, and providing records management training to Attorneys and staff.

Auty is a graduate of the Paralegal Studies Program from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, holds an active Utah State Records Officer Certification, and has been an ARMA International Member since 2004.

She has 3 daughters and 3 adorable Grandsons. She lives in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, with her husband, and the cutest dog in the world, Olive.

LaShanda R. Dawkins

LaShanda Dawkins is the Assistant General Manager of Labor and Employee Relations at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). She leads and influences the labor strategy and spearheads all activities related to labor negotiations in accordance with the Authority’s strategic priorities and workforce needs. Additionally, Ms. Dawkins leads a centralized team of employee relations professionals that manage employee relations issues, conduct investigations, and serve as a resource to the employees and management members of the Authority. She has the pleasure of driving the strategy at a time when MARTA is focused on being a large-scale project delivery organization, planning for the largest expansion in 40 years.

Dawkins is a graduate of the Benjamin Banneker Honors College and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Prairie View A&M University and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law. She is a member of the State Bars of Texas, Florida, and Georgia, and is also admitted to practice in federal court. She has handled federal civil matters in the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Florida and the Northern District of Georgia and has appeared before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Dawkins is a Certified Retirement Pension Fiduciary. She is the Chair of the Non-Represented DB Plan and a Trustee of the MARTA/ATU Local 732 Employees Retirement Plan. Dawkins serves as the Chair of APTA’s Workforce Development Committee and is a Leadership APTA Class of 2015 graduate.

Robert DeJournett, CDM

Leveraging an experience base of analytics, “best practice” methods and program leadership, nothing excites Robert more than “starting stuff.” Specializing in change management, he is passionate about creating and building programs that encourage culture change. A natural consensus-builder and connector, Robert is known for skillfully guiding teams to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, achieving positive impact with initiatives.

Robert’s career began as a part-time interim Client Services Representative at Goodyear Research Interviewing Center. Simultaneously, he was beginning his career at Summa Health. Over his 30 years at Summa Health, he navigated through several positions, including Senior Secretary in the Human Resources Department, Compensation Specialist, Community Outreach Coordinator, Community and Government Relations Manager for the Community Services department, and finally, System Director for Community Relations and Diversity.

Through these positions, Robert launched or contributed to countless internal and external programs. One internal project of note was initiating, developing, and implementing Employee Resource Groups to further Summa Health’s mission of growing leaders and providing quality professional development for the organization. In his oversight of Summa’s Diversity Advisory Council, he engaged with senior management and provided much-needed employee engagement programs that were focused on overall improved employee advancement and greater retention. Externally, Robert worked to collect and dissect data around community needs, especially related to health and healthcare disparities. That work fed into a larger project at Summa—the design and implementation of a System Diversity Strategic Plan.

From Summa Health, Robert moved to the Greater Akron Chamber where he served as the Vice President of Opportunity Inclusion. During his time there, he led the work of Elevate Greater Akron’s Opportunity Akron strategy, focusing on economic inclusion and opportunity in a collaborative effort with the Chamber leadership, City of Akron, County of Summit, GAR Foundation and the local business community to develop and implement inclusion strategies and best practices. One such strategy Robert organized and led was the inaugural Inclusion Summit of Greater Akron, an event created to advance economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion to accelerate the growth and success of greater Akron’s companies.

Currently, Robert is principle at DeJournett Consulting LLC. The mission of DeJournett Consulting is to assist businesses and organizations in furthering their missions by helping each to connect to appropriate resources, to convene stakeholders and groups in order to attain their respective goals, and to provide coaching in areas of business development with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most recently, Robert is serving as the family spokesperson around the events and tragic death of Jayland Walker.

Rosa E. Diaz-Hernandez

Rosa supports the agency’s CEO, Chair and 8 board members. Her career at METRO has spanned 21 years and three departments, serving in various positions including supporting the Board Office for 15 years and previously being the Executive Assistant in Government & Public Affairs, and Maintenance Support.

Jennifer Ellison

As the Board’s chief advisor, Jennifer works proactively with the Board Chair and Metro leadership to develop and execute Board directives, policies and initiatives. She advises the Board on governance best practices, ensuring the Board’s Bylaws, Procedures and Code of Ethics reflect current needs. Jennifer serves as the chief liaison between the Board, Metro management, Board advisory bodies, stakeholders and the public. She also manages the Board orientation program and the various channels for public input to the Board, including advisory bodies, public hearings and customer correspondence.

Jennifer joined Metro in 2009 as the Virginia Government Relations Officer and then served as the Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing Planning for three years. Prior to her Metro service, she managed community relations for two light rail projects for nearly a decade at the Charlotte Area Transit System in North Carolina.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of South Carolina.

Geisha D. Ester

Geisha D. Ester is a workforce development professional with a passion for developing and leading high-quality, high-impact career development initiatives that positively change lives and help meet the current and future needs of the transit industry. As a transit executive with 25+ years of experience, Geisha currently serves as Vice President of Training and Workforce Development for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), where she leads operations and safety training, along with career and leadership development initiatives for over 11,000 employees. Her work includes strategically building workforce development solutions that attract, develop, and retain talent for the second largest transit agency in the nation.

Geisha is an advocate for underserved youth and returning citizens and is passionate about educating both populations about careers in the transit industry. She creates transit-focused youth development programs and oversees the Authority’s high school and college internship programs, while leading CTA’s Second Chance Program, a nationally recognized program that has become a model in the industry for preparing returning citizens and others with barriers to employment to re-enter the workforce.

Geisha has the honor of serving as the Vice Chair of the American Public Transportation Association’s Education and Career Awareness Subcommittee and as a member of the City of Chicago Mayor’s Interagency Reentry Council.

George Fields

Mr. Fields joined the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority in August 2003 as the Manager of Employment & Recruitment. In June 2012, he was promoted to Director, Training and Employee Development.

In May 2018, Mr. Fields was appointed to Acting Deputy General Manager, Human Resources, and promoted to Deputy General Manager, Human Resources in April 2020. Mr. Fields has a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services Administration. He is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) as well as Senior Certified Professional (SCP) through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Mr. Fields serves as a board member of the Friends of Max S. Hayes High School, and institutional liaison on the Tri-C Council for Community Access and Development. Mr. Fields has more than 28 years of experience in human resources, holding progressively responsible human resource leadership positions with organizations in the areas of public transportation, healthcare, biotechnology, executive recruitment, and vocational education.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Human Resources Division includes Talent Management, Training and Employee Development, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), Labor and Employee Relations, Benefits, and Occupational Health functions.

Jen Flores

Jen serves as a liaison and point of contact between the members of the Long Beach Transit (LBT) Board of Directors, LBT President and CEO, Deputy CEO, as well as the public. Jen began her transportation career in 2020 with LBT as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director/VP of Organizational Development and Administration. In November 2021, she was promoted to Board Secretary. Jen obtained an Associate’s Degree in Communications from Santa Barbara City College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration.

Jay Fox

Jay Fox currently serves as Executive Director of the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), a multi-modal public transportation agency spanning more than 1,400 square miles, serving 80 percent of Utah’s population in the nation’s fastest-growing state. Under the guidance and oversight of the UTA Board of Trustees, he oversees the daily operations of UTA’s integrated network of bus, bus rapid transit, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar, paratransit and innovative microtransit services. Fox is also responsible to develop strategy and set the standard for leadership in an organization of more than 2,800 operations and operations support staff.

Fox is a recognized strategic transit leader with substantial experience in transit operations oversight, capital project management, stakeholder relations, and government affairs. He has an extensive knowledge of transit planning and government grant programs. He has built strong relationships with freight and passenger railroads, transit agencies, government entities, and executive leadership across the United States.

Before coming to UTA, Fox was Deputy General Counsel for SEPTA in Philadelphia where he led procurement, grant, real estate, financing, environmental, and corporate ethics programs. He has also served as a Senior Director at Amtrak from 2017 to 2019. Prior to Amtrak, Fox spent seven years with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) both as Regional Counsel for FTA Region 3 and as Acting Assistant Chief Counsel, coordinating the legal work of ten regional offices.

Fox earned a Bachelor of Science and a Juris Doctor degree at Rutgers University.

Carmen Garcia

Results-oriented marketing and public relations executive with a demonstrated record of accomplishment in streamlining operations, increasing profits and maximizing market penetration. Decisive leader promoting operational improvements, market expansion and positive corporate culture as keys to success of minority businesses.

Accomplished state and local community leader with over 25 years of experience in building strategic partnerships with the ability to envision and execute projects by utilizing a team approach for our clients.
Leader in the areas of marketing, public relations, government affairs and minority business outreach.

President/CEO, 01/2021 to Current
ABRAC, LLC – Dallas, TX

  • Develop and implement new strategies and policies in collaboration with executive partners to establish and achieve long-term business objectives, providing company with strong and sustainable organizational leadership.
  • Aligned organizational objectives with company mission, increasing revenue, profit and business growth by collaboratively developing integrated strategies for minority business enterprises.
  • Over 25 years of progressive, responsible experience in the private, small business and non-profit sectors.
  • Relationship builder that fosters cooperation across groups and strives to work toward mutual goals within the minority business community.

Assistant Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, 07/2008 to 11/2020

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) – Dallas, TX

Directed, coordinated and administered DART’s minority business outreach programs related to minority contracting, vendor and business opportunities within the Agency. Administered programs to attract and increase minority and women-owned business contracts. Developed and maintained external strategic partnerships and served as liaison with minority chambers and community leaders to increase economic opportunities.

Gary S. Giovanetti

Gary Giovanetti joined RTD’s Board of Directors on March 18, 2008. A lifelong resident of Stockton, he brings to RTD’s Board many years of political service and civic activity. Director Giovanetti served as the Vice Mayor on the Stockton City Council until 2006, after two consecutive terms. While a member of the Stockton City Council, he served two years as the Chair of the San Joaquin Council of Governments Board of Directors and is still currently an ex-officio member. Immediately prior to his election to City Council, he served four years on the Stockton Planning Commission. Director Giovanetti actively participates in the following community organizations: Italian Athletic Club, Liguri nel Mondo, Pacific Italian Alliance, Children’s Museum, Downtown Stockton Alliance, and the Downtown Comeback Club.

Martin Gombert

Martin Gombert currently serves as the Chairperson for the Access Services Board of Directors. Access Services provides complementary paratransit service in Los Angeles County and is the second largest paratransit agency in the country. Gombert has been a Board Member since 2011.

Gombert also serves as the Administrator of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority. The Authority provides fixed route and paratransit service in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.
Gombert began his transit career as a hostler at Campus Bus Service, Indiana University.

Kenston Griffin

Keynote speaker, best-selling author and a top performing trainer and coach, Dr. Kenston J. Griffin continues to push the boundaries of conformity. His award-winning presentations are renown and throughout the corporate, education, federal and non-profit spaces. He received his bachelor’s degree from Livingstone College and a master’s degree, in just one year, from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Griffin is the Founder and CEO of Dream Builders Communication, Inc., which provides customized consultative services in the areas of Prioritized Pre-Assessments, Process Improvement, Leadership Development, D&I, Academic Enhancement, Organizational Development and Certified Executive Coaching.

James Harper, Jr.

James (Jim) Harper, Jr. is the Director, Office of Acquisition Management within the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Headquarters Department of Transportation (DOT), Washington, D. C.

He provides advice and counsel on acquisition matters to senior officials, inclusive of Governors, general managers of the nation’s transit authorities, officials from industries who provide services and equipment to FTA recipients, and FTA program managers at Headquarters and in the 10 Regional offices.

James has more than 4 decades of varied acquisition/contracting experience: (DOD/State and local governments/Academia/Private Sector); that he uses to foster outstanding client/customer relationship management.

He earned his BS degree from NCA&T State University and his MBA from Central Michigan University.

Jim is also Federal Acquisition Contracting-Certified at Level III by the Federal Acquisition Institute, (FAI). Additionally, he is a Certified Federal Contracts Professional (CFCM) by the National Contract Management Association (NCMA).

Julie Hile

As founder and President of the Hile Group, Julie contributes to the APTA mission of strengthening public transportation by drawing on 30+ years of expertise in safety performance consulting to support APTA members’ in reducing incidents and eliminating injuries within their agencies. Julie’s practice asserts safety’s place at the center of operations and her work has improved operational performance and profitability in railroad, general and marine construction, and maritime companies large and small.

Julie draws out people’s best safety intentions and puts them to work at all levels of an organization from the Executive suite to the morning safety meeting. Her facilitation is known for leveraging shared values to support culture change and establish broad-based, lasting commitment to safety without compromise.

Beth Holbrook

Trustee Holbrook brings a wealth of experience to UTA. She began her career in the financial sector, established a real estate firm in 2002 and in 2010 went to work for Zion’s Bank as the Director of the Business Resource Center in Salt Lake City. Trustee Holbrook would go on to become the Public Sector Solutions Manager for Waste Management of Utah. Trustee Holbrook was first elected to the Bountiful City Council in 2007 and has served on several boards including the Bountiful Power Commission, Planning Commission and the Utility Facility Review Board. She is the outgoing President of the Utah League of Cities and Towns; having served there since 2011. Trustee Holbrook joined the Utah Transit Authority on November 1, 2018.

Kevin J. Holzendorf

A lifelong resident of Jacksonville, Kevin J. Holzendorf is an Executive Account Manager at Emtec, Inc. Holzendorf has spent his professional career in both the private and public sectors working in the accounting, financial services and technology industries.

Holzendorf holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Florida. Holzendorf is active in the community serving as a “Big Brother” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Cultural Council Board Member, Wolfson Children’s Hospital Development Council Board Member, Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVI, and YMCA of Florida’s First Coast Regional Board, to name a few.

Holzendorf was appointed to the JTA Board by Mayor Alvin Brown in August 2013 and reappointed by Mayor Lenny Curry in September 2017.

Nancy K. Johnson

Nancy is retired but previously she was the primary liaison and coordinator between staff and the DART Board of Directors, responsible for coordination of committee and Board meetings, special projects, workshops and retreats, accumulation and preparation of Board mail-out materials, coordination of the Board agenda process and maintenance of official Board records. She also serves as secretary to the Trial Board and the administrative law judge secretary.

Length of Service:  1999 – April 15, 2022

Business Management, University of Texas in Arlington
Associate of Arts, Business Administration, Tarrant County Junior College

Arezou “Ari” Jolly

Ari Jolly is an Assistant General Counsel for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (Florida Blue). In this role, Ari is responsible for providing primary legal support to Florida Blue on governance and mergers and acquisitions, as well as counsel to Investment and Corporate Development operations of the mutual holding enterprise. Ari also provides board governance support related to the various GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation subsidiary and joint venture companies.

Ari joined Florida Blue in 1993. Prior to joining Florida Blue, Ari practiced with the law firm of Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones and Gay in Jacksonville, Florida. Ari also served as an Officer in the United States Navy in the office of the Judge Advocate General from 1983 to 1990 and was the recipient of a Navy Achievement Medal (1987).

Throughout her career, Ari has been active in community and professional organizations. She is a member of both the Florida Bar and the Jacksonville Bar Association and serves on the boards of the Greater Jacksonville Area USO and the Naval Continuing Care Retirement Foundation, Inc. (Fleet Landing). Ari also currently serves as the Chair of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville.

In 2015, Ari became a gubernatorial appointee to the board of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and currently serves as the Chair of that board. That year, Ari was also named as one of Northeast Florida’s Most Influential Women. In 2019, she was elected to the American Public Transportation Association’s Board of Directors. Ari also earned a seat on the Board of Directors for the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization in 2020. In 2022, Ari was selected as an awardee of the Women Who Move the Nation award by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

Ari graduated from Jacksonville University (1983) and the Florida State College of Law (1990), with Highest Honors. While at the Florida State College of Law, Ari was an Associate Editor on the Law Review as well as a member of the Order of the Coif. Ari is also an honors graduate from the Naval Legal Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island (1984). Ari previously spoke on the topics of “Doing Blue Plan Alliances: Tales from the Front Lines” at the 2006 40th Annual BCBSA Lawyers Conference and “Doing Plan Alliances: Lessons Learned” at the 2007 41st BCBSA Lawyers Conference. She has also presented on the topics of Women Veterans and the Multicultural US Armed Forces.

Francis Julien

Francis Julien joined the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) in November 2019 as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. In his role, he leads a diverse range of agency departments, including Fixed Route Transit, Paratransit and Specialized Services, Human Resources, Safety & Security, Technical Equipment, Fleet, Transit Amenities and Customer Care.

Francis and his extensive team manage a budget of more than $367 million annually and incorporate the best practices of the private sector with those of the public sector, utilizing statistics, analytics, and monthly as well as annual benchmarks to ensure the agency’s fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers.

A 2017 leadership APTA alumn, most recently, Francis served as vice president of western region operations for Keolis Transit America, where he managed operations for four transit agencies. He oversaw a multi-million dollar annual budget and managed a culturally diverse staff of approximately 1,000 employees.

Michele Wong Krause

Michele Wong Krause was appointed in 2014 by the Dallas City Council to represent Dallas on the DART Board of Directors.

DART Committee Participation:

  • Member, Economic Opportunity and Diversity Committee
  • Member, Budget and Finance Committee
  • Chair, Mobility Service, LGC Board of Directors
  • Chair, Regional Rail Right-of-Way Company Board of Directors
  • Member, Regional Transportation Council
  • Member, Transit Coalition of North Texas


  • The Wong Krause Law Firm, Dallas, Texas, October 1991 to present
  • Former Associate Municipal Judge, City of Dallas, Texas, August 2006-August 2008
  • Former Associate Hearing Officer, Dallas Municipal Court No. 9, August 2005-August 2006

Dr. LaVerne Lewis

Dr. LaVerne Lewis currently serves on the Board of Directors, of Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet), Portland, OR and has a range of experience in business, civil rights, public safety and education. In addition to Board duties, her committee assignments include the Crash Advisory Committee and the Reimagine Public Safety Advisory Committee. Dr. Lewis also serves as an elect-Board Member, on the Mt. Hood Community College Board of Education and Vice President of the NW United Methodist Foundation Board.

Retiring in 2014 as a sworn-deputy, she served 18 years in law enforcement, with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department, Portland OR and 8 years as a training instructor at the Oregon Public Safety Academy’s Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, Salem, OR. Dr. Lewis has 38+ years as a credentialed tax accountant and is principal owner of LaVerne Lewis LLC, a full-service tax/accounting firm including IRS audits and representation. She is currently an adjunct faculty in the Business Department at Portland Community College.

Dr. Lewis holds BS degree in Accounting from SUNY, a MS in Education and Human Resources from Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO, a Doctorate in Education from Northcentral University, Prescott, AZ.
Dr. Lewis is passionate in creating positive social change in the lives of women and girls, she is founder/CEO of Women-SEW Global Foundation, a non-profit that works across the globe raising awareness to a ‘theory of change’ with intended outcomes of economic and leadership empowerment, focusing on immigrant and refugee women and girls.

Tracy Hadden Loh

Dr. Tracy Hadden Loh was appointed to the Board as a Principal Director in November 2021. Dr. Loh is a Fellow with the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking at the Brookings Institution. She is a graduate of DC public schools and holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Loh served two years representing Ward 1 on the Mount Rainier City Council in Prince George’s County, Md. She is currently a member of the board of directors of Greater Greater Washington.

Valarie J. McCall

Valarie J. McCall is an award-winning, community-driven leader who delivers results and transforms organizations by leveraging her experience as a political powerhouse and coalition- builder. She is the founder of the Valarie McCall Consulting Agency, a strategic advisory firm equipping business and political leaders with the necessary resources to navigate today’s complex government, business and board management landscapes.

As the former Chief of Communications, Government and International Affairs for the City of Cleveland, McCall served as a trusted advisor and cabinet member in the administration of the city’s longest serving mayor, Frank G. Jackson. She is now a renowned expert in business, government, board dynamics, leadership and strategy.

McCall is a Past Chair and Current Board Member Emeritus for the American Public Transportation Association, where she helped the organization examine and change its internal and external policies and created a scholarship for deserving transit oriented students.

McCall is concluding an impressive nearly two decade appointment to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA term ending, March, 2023).

Barbara McManus

Barbara is a strong, effective, and forward-thinking leader. In her role in the RTD Board office over the last 12+ years she has developed and grown the Board office culture to be proactive, empowered, productive and collaborative and customer service-oriented team and an example to all departments within the Regional Transportation District as a whole. Her focus on training, continued education, personal growth, procedural development, and cross training have proven to be key factors towards growing the team not only to advance within the Board office but agency wide. Currently a number of past board staff have moved forward into key and leadership roles within the Regional Transportation District, some of which are today part of the ENO leadership program through APTA.


  • College of St. Elizabeth
    • Bachelor of Science, Business Management
    • Master of Science, Organizational Change Management with multiple focus’ in HR Management and IT Management of Information
  • Raritan Valley Community College
    • Associates of Science, Management and Marketing

Ms. McManus Enjoys her family and friends, loves to travel, cook, and entertain, work in her garden, visit art galleries, botanic gardens, loves architecture, live music and being at home with her 6 ½lb yorkie, Mr. Brody.

Raymond Melleady

Raymond Melleady joined the USSC Group in 2012 serving as the Executive Vice President of Global Sales for Transit, First Responder, Military and School Bus Markets. His primary duties include the oversight of sales, customer service and corporate development initiatives for seating, safety and fire detection and suppression technologies. In addition, he currently serves as Chair of the RCA Council and is a member of the Executive Board of Directors at the American Public Transportation Association in Washington DC. Prior to joining the USSC Group, he served as Chief Executive Officer for the Capital District Transportation Authority in Albany, NY.

He began his career fueling and cleaning buses for SEPTA in Philadelphia working his way into senior leadership positions in bus and facilities operations with both SEPTA and New Jersey Transit. With 30+ years of experience, he understands the industry at its core and is a tireless advocate for the socio-economic benefits associated with a long term national public transportation program. He is an ASE Master Certified Technician and has instructed executive leadership programs for Dale Carnegie, NTI Rutgers and the Eno Foundation.

Timothy G. Merrill

Mr. Merrill graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and received his Juris Doctor from the J. Reuben Clark Law School. Mr. Merrill has considerable experience in the areas of land use, government law and criminal justice. Prior to his current assignment, he was a Partner and Shareholder at a private law firm and served as a Special District Deputy Attorney and as a Prosecutor. He is a soccer dad with five children.

Marlon Moore

Marlon is the President of Marlon Moore Consulting, LLC, a strategy development firm for organizations interested in accelerating their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). A nationally recognized DEI consultant, Dr. Moore has worked with organizations across multiple industries and has trained thousands of business professionals on the principles of DEI throughout Virginia, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Ohio.

He has authored several articles for Savoy and Kaleidoscope magazines and received recognition from Black Enterprise Magazine, National Diversity Council, Forbes magazine, and Fortune 100 magazine. He is the author of Diversity Starts with You: A strategy development guide for DEI and host of Moore DEI Discussions, a podcast series that addresses DEI topics with C-Suite executives.

Marlon earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Virginia State University, a Master’s in Diversity Management from Cleveland State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership from Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Jeffrey A. Nelson

Jeff Nelson is a seasoned public transportation leader who specializes in urban design, land use planning and economic development. During his over 35 years at MetroLINK (Rock Island County Mass Transit; “Metro”), his strategic focus has been on implementing cutting edge programs with an emphasis on economic growth, environmental sustainability, enhanced technologies, and workforce development – separating MetroLINK from other transit districts of comparable size. Under his guidance MetroLINK was awarded the American Public Transportation Association “Outstanding Public Transportation System Award”. Other notable leadership recognition’s include the Federal Transportation Administration’s “State Leadership Award”, numerous APTA “AdWheel” Awards, the NAACP Business Image Award, Quad City Chamber of Commerce Multi Modal Award (twice), and various community and civic sustainability awards for excellence in environmental planning.

Nelson has a unique ability to artfully maneuver through a multitude of environments and leverage a variety of resources to meet economic development expectations. Recognized as a progressive leader of exceptional skill and foresight, he brings strong vision and leadership in the disciplines of sustainability, community growth, infrastructure and planning, creative public/pri¬vate partnerships, and economic development. Nelson was an early adopter of alternative fuels, implementing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) transit buses into the Metro fixed route fleet in 2002. Since that time the Metro CNG fleet has expanded to make up the majority of the fleet, and in 2018 Metro introduced zero emission buses to the fleet, which will encompass 30% of the fleet in 2021. His experience in creating sustainable communities using transportation investment as a catalyst for future development include transit multimodal facilities in the downtowns of Moline, East Moline, and Rock Island. Additional projects include the construction of a state-of-the-art 150,000 square foot “Operations and Maintenance Center” built to LEED Gold standards for the purpose of supporting a sustainable bus fleet and an energized workforce, as well as the planning, development, and construction of a $30 million public -private historic redevelopment in downtown Moline. This multi-use property, otherwise known as the “Q” Multi Modal Station, consists of a 105 room “Element” brand hotel, with retail and restaurant space that will serve as the passenger rail hub for the Moline to Chicago passenger rail corridor.

Nelson has served on a variety of community boards and committees throughout his professional career. Currently he is the Chairman of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab, a Board Trustee for Two Rivers YMCA, 2nd Vice President of the Illinois Public Transportation Association, Chair of the National Transit Institute at Rutgers, serves on the Moline Planning Commission, the Moline Police and Fire Commission, and is a Board Member for the Quad City Chamber of Commerce Regional Opportunities Council.

Nelson holds a B.S. in Political Science from Western Illinois University, a M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University, and is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Business “Creating Collaborative Solutions” program.

Luis Ramos

Luis has been with Hampton Roads Transit since 2004, including serving in a supervisory role in the Customer Service Call Center.

Luis works closely with the President & CEO, the Deputy CEO, and numerous Directors in the execution of the Board’s agenda. He serves as the primary contact for the Commission.

Luis served as TBA Membership Chair, and TBA Secretary.

Prior to working in the transit community, he served 20 years in the United States Navy. Luis lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with his wife.

Dan Renberg

For more than 30 years, Dan has worked in Washington, DC either in public service or as an advocate before the Congress and Executive Branch.  A former Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff to a Republican Senator, and a former Presidentially appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank, Dan has helped numerous corporate, association, and nonprofit clients since joining Arent Fox as a partner in 2003. Recognized as a top federal lobbyist, one of Dan’s advocacy efforts was included as one of the “Top 10 Lobbying Triumphs of 2009” by The Hill and he has been listed annually since 2014 for his government relations work in The Best Lawyers in America.  In addition to APTA, he represents numerous corporate clients, trade associations, and nonprofit organizations on a wide variety of public policy matters, including securing federal funds, and has assisted clients in resolving issues before Congress and Executive Branch agencies. When serving on Senate staff, he helped develop the Reverse Commute Pilot Program and he has represented individual transit systems as well.

Suzanne Reyes

Suzanne has provided support to the Board of Directors for SolTrans since the agency assumed operations in July 2011. As the current Transit Board Administrator/ Office Manager she manages two administrative staff, administers board and committee meetings, manages SolTrans records and information, serves as the human resources point of contact, and is the agency’s internal auditor for various state laws governing access to public meetings and records. She also serves as the co-chair of the APTA Transit Board Administrators Seminar Planning Committee. Suzanne has a B.S. degree in Organizational Leadership and Management. She completed her Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation in 2016 through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), and in October 2020, she completed her Master Municipal Clerk designation. She also enjoys mentoring others and is currently helping two clerks in her area attain their CMC designation.

Jaron Robertson

Jaron Robertson leads the Innovative Mobility Solutions (IMS) department for the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). He has effectively grown the IMS department by building partnerships with local and regional stakeholders, private mobility providers, and public officials to transform public transportation throughout the Wasatch Front. Jaron joined UTA in 2007 and has been focused on advancing the agency’s initiatives, improving transportation solutions, and strengthening public-private relations. Since 2018, Jaron has been successfully overseeing and expanding IMS projects and pilot programs that are measurably well-received both internally and externally.

He has been instrumental in testing innovative transit technologies, improving mobility service equities, and cultivating new public-private partnerships. During his tenure as the IMS Director, Jaron has successfully led the department to implement and operate four on-demand microtransit zones, pilot an autonomous vehicle project, develop partnerships with Lyft and Uber, and expand UTA’s role in transit signal priority solutions across the Wasatch Front. With a 15-year professional commitment to transit and lifelong Utah resident, Jaron understands the regionally significant need of improving access to opportunities, providing accessible public transportation options, and advancing innovative transit services.

Rita Scott

Chair MARTA Board of Directors / 2021-current
Appointed to the MARTA Board of Directors in 2019 Representing the DeKalb County, GA Jurisdiction
Retired from Avaya Communication
Chairwoman MARTA Board Directors
President the CWA / Communication Workers of America Retired Members Council 30901
Political Director CWA / Communication Workers of America Local 3204
Member / Trustee Atlanta CBTU / Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
Member CLUW / Coalition of Labor Union Women

Kim Shanklin

Kim Shanklin is currently the Chief People Officer for the Utah Transit Authority. Ms. Shanklin began her career in human resources at UTA, and then spent several years with Dallas Area Rapid Transit managing its day to day human resources functions. She returned to UTA in 2007 to manage labor relations and performance improvement and was promoted to the Chief People Officer position in January of 2017. Ms. Shanklin has extensive experience working in a public transit environment, applying continuous improvement strategies, working with public transit unions, and managing labor relations. She also has strong experience designing human resources strategies in the areas of workforce planning, staffing, benefits and retirement, training, and organizational development. She served as the chair of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Labor Relations Subcommittee from 2010-2017 and completed APTA’s leadership development program. She has served on the Board of the Transit Labor Exchange as the Financial Secretary since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in public administration, with an emphasis in human resources management, from the University of Utah.

Jeff Silvestrini

Jeff Silvestrini is serving his second term as the first mayor of Millcreek. Millcreek was the first settlement outside of Utah Fort in 1848, but did not incorporate until 2017. With a population of about 62,000, it is Utah’s 12th largest city. Jeff is working to form a new, transparent and technologically advanced city and appreciates creativity and initiative in local government. Jeff believes that having solid representation at the decision-making table is important to residents of our city. Jeff has involved himself lobbying the Utah Legislature on local government issues affecting Millcreek and has volunteered to serve the city on various boards whose operations affect our residents. Jeff graduated from the University of Utah College of Law and before that the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Leslie, have two grown daughters. Jeff practiced law in Salt Lake City for 37 years and served as a volunteer on the Mount Olympus and Township councils before becoming mayor.

Paul P. Skoutelas

Paul P. Skoutelas is president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). His entire career has been in public transportation, serving in both the public and private sectors.

Skoutelas is a champion for the power of public transportation to create personal and economic opportunities for all and to connect and build thriving communities. He testifies often before Congress and is a frequent speaker on public transportation issues as APTA leads the industry’s transformation in the new mobility era.

Prior to joining APTA in 2018, Skoutelas served as senior vice president for WSP USA, one of the world’s largest architectural and engineering firms and national director of WSP USA’s Transit & Rail Technical Excellence Center. He also was chief executive officer at the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX), Orlando, Florida.

Skoutelas serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Transportation Research Board, Mineta Transportation Institute, ENO Center for Transportation, Transportation Learning Center and the Alliance to Save Energy’s 50×50 Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency. He is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Executive Advisory Board on Smart Mobility and Carnegie Mellon University’s Mobility 21 Advisory Council.

He is also a long-time member of WTS International and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO).

Skoutelas received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a licensed professional engineer.

Skoutelas and his wife, Denise, are residents of Washington DC, and he commutes to work on Washington’s Metro system and the DC Circulator.

Paul C. Smedberg

Paul C. Smedberg was elected Chairman of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Board in June 2019. He first joined the WMATA Board as an Alternate Director in January of 2016 representing the City of Alexandria and was appointed Principal Director in January 2019 representing the Commonwealth of Virginia. He served on Alexandria City Council from 2003 to 2018, the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board from 2006 to 2018, serving as Chairman in 2013 and 2017, and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) from 2006 to 2018, serving as Chairman in 2014 and 2018. Professionally, he has served as a government affairs officer for numerous professional associations in the medical field. Mr. Smedberg earned degrees in economics and history from Allegheny College and is a Fellow, Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. In 2010 he was named an Outstanding Virginian by Equality Virginia.

Katie Smith

Katie Smith is the Board Administrator of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. In her role she oversees all matters related to the seven member Board, meetings, retreats, speaking engagements and other matters that may arise. In addition, she supports the CEO and Executive Leadership Team. She has been in this role for over nine years.

She serves as the Chair of the Transit Board Administrators Committee and is a member of the Transit Board Member Executive Council. She was recently selected to join the UITP Organizing Authorities Committee, a worldwide network to bring together all public transport.

Theodore “Ted” Smith

Theodore “Ted” Smith serves as the Board Chair of the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA), also known as MAX (Metro Area Express). The City of Birmingham appointed Chair Smith as 1 of 4 representatives in 2017. After his appointment, he served as Vice-Chair and, in September 2018, was elected Chair of the Board.

Before joining the BJCTA Board of Directors, Chair Smith served on the Parks & Recreation and the Economic Development Board for the City of Birmingham. His service on these boards helped him see the gaps and understand the needs of how to develop complete communities. As a minority business owner and a retired fireman, who 30 years with Birmingham Fire & Rescue, Chair Smith is committed to being a faithful servant to the City of Birmingham.

Developing and leveraging community partnerships allows Chair Smith to advocate at the state and local levels. His goal is to ensure that BJCTA provides efficient transit to enhance the quality of life for every citizen within the Metro Birmingham-Jefferson County area, to have safe, timely connectivity to critical necessities such as appointments, work, and food access.

By the end of his term on the board, Chair Smith would have worked with partners to advocate for public transit funding within Alabama and Chaired the Board during the Birmingham Xpress (BRT) delivery. Since 1952, the constitution has prevented the use of funds garnered through taxes or fees for public transportation. If BJCTA could achieve these goals of state funding and a successful BRT project, this would be an excellent accomplishment for transit throughout the state. It would also catapult development along the transit corridor within the city’s revitalization boom.

Troi Taylor

At age 34, Troi Taylor – President, along with his wife, Kelley Taylor – CEO, started Taylor Construction Management (TCM) – a facilities project management consulting firm.  In 8-years, the company grew from 1 to more than 15-associates and 3-offices in Texas.  TCM is currently responsible for managing more than $1B in active construction projects in Texas alone.  The company maintains a strong presence in Mainland China and also has an expanding office in Dallas, Texas.  Troi is passionate about project management because he connects the mega capital improvement assignments down to the simplest components: people must understand the big picture and be motivated to exceed their own expectations.  His dedication and success has garnered acclaim on the national and international platform.

Troi received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University.  He received an MBA degree from the University of Houston-Victoria.  Troi is a native Houston – graduating from Milby Sr. High School in the Houston ISD.

Under the leadership of Kelley and Troi, TCM is currently managing projects across various industries: Education, Transportation, Life Science, and Healthcare.  Some of their noteworthy clients include Houston ISD, Texas A&M University System, Houston Airport System, Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority, and several others.

In addition to his METRO Board appointment by Mayor Sylvester Turner, Troi also serves on the Houston Mayor’s Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) Advisory Board as well as on the Board of Directors for the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC).

Through philanthropy, diligence, and maintaining a spiritual compass, Troi has been recognized by several organizations in recent years:

  • Emerging 10 Award (HMSDC) 2012
  • Upstart Award (Greater Houston Black Chamber) 2013
  • International Rising Star (International Trade Development Council) 2014
  • Med-Week 2014 MBE Company of the Year
  • Top 40 Under 40 Award (Houston Business Journal) 2015
  • Minority Contractor of the Year (Houston Area Urban League) 2015.

Troi and Kelley live in Spring, Texas.  They have (2) children: Joshua & Laila Taylor.  He is an active presence in his neighborhood.  He serves on the steering committee for the Houston Chapter of the National Forum of Black Public Officials (NFBPA).  Additionally, he is an active volunteer at The John Cooper School as well as the Star of Hope Homeless Shelter.  Finally, Troi can often be found facilitating leadership discussions for at-risk inner city youth at various Greater Houston school districts.

Doug Tisdale

is the Chair of APTA’s Transit Board Members Committee. Doug was elected to the Regional Transportation District–Denver Board of Directors in 2016 and then re-elected in 2020. Doug served two terms as the Chair of the RTD-Denver Board. He is a member of APTA’s Executive Committee; the APTA Board; the APTA Finance Committee; the Co-Lead of APTA’s TBM/Business Members Joint Advocacy Plan Task Force; former Chair of the TBM Legislative Sub-Committee; among other APTA leadership positions.

Doug served as Mayor of Cherry Hills Village, Colorado and was Chairman of the State Board of Registered Psychotherapists at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. He has chaired numerous healthcare industry and other nonprofit boards. A University of Michigan Law School graduate, Doug is President of Tisdale & Associates LLC and was formerly a partner in several global law firms. He has practiced law and consulted in Africa, Asia, Australia, China, Europe, New Zealand and throughout North America.

Reginald Townsend

Reginald Townsend, of Raymore, was appointed to the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority by Governor Mike Parson. Townsend has been dedicated to improving the roads of Missouri through strategic municipal partnerships. He campaigned on transportation issues unique to the North Cass County region and has since used his position as Raymore City Councilman to elevate said projects to the State level. Townsend’s role on the Mid-American Regional Council’s Total Transportation Policy Committee has expanded his insight on the multimodal transportation system at-large.

When he is not behind the dais, he can be found presiding over the not-for-profit youth organization Raymore-Peculiar Sunrise Optimist Club as their chapter president and the Lieutenant Governor of the Western Missouri Optimist District.

A 22-year retired officer of the United States Marine Corps, where he now works as a federal employee, Townsend is a devoted husband and father of two.

Jeffrey Travillion

Jeffrey W. Travillion was elected to the Travis County Commissioners Court representing Precinct 1 in November 2016 and took office on the first day of 2017. He had spent the previous 16 years working for the city of Austin, retiring as team lead for the Code Department’s Neighborhood Enhancement Team. He was responsible for developing protocols to address compliance issues within the city’s health, safety and welfare codes. His term will expire in June 2024.

He has more than 30 years’ experience providing management solutions in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Travillion has conducted extensive operational reviews of state agencies and city departments, and worked on teams that produced recommendations adopted by the Texas Legislature and which saved the state of Texas more than $8 billion.

A graduate of Jackson State University’s W.E.B. Dubois Honors Program, Travillion also was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Heinz College School of Public Policy and Management, as well as a fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He has a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Travillion is involved in a number of civic activities, including serving as a deacon at the Abundant Life Community Baptist Church. He is a graduate of Leadership Austin, chairman of the Communications Committee for the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a member of the board of directors of the Austin Project. He and his wife, Perri, have 3 children: Jeffrey Jr., Paige and Andrew.

Craig P. Treneff

Craig P. Treneff is a graduate of the Ohio State University and Capital University Law School, where he was elected to Law Review. Prior to entering private practice, he was judicial law clerk to Justice William B. Brown of the Ohio Supreme Court and served as chief legislative assistant to Rep. Myrl Shoemaker, then Chairman of the Finance-Appropriations Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives.

He is a practicing attorney with offices in Westerville, Ohio. He was peer rated by Ohio Super Lawyers as one of the Top Ten lawyers in Ohio for 2016-2022. He is also listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Treneff is actively involved in the central Ohio community and has been a member of the Westerville, Ohio, City Council since 2004 and has served as Chair of Council and Mayor of Westerville. He has served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) since 2013 and is in his third term as Chair. He has previously served as President of the Board of Trustees of Directions for Youth and Families, Chairman of the Capital Campaign Planning Committee of Directions for Youth and Families, Member and Chair of the Westerville Planning Commission, and Member of the Westerville Board of Zoning Appeals.

Katie Valenzuela

Katie Valenzuela is a Councilmember for the City of Sacramento, District 4. She represents the City on the Sacramento Regional Transit Board of Directors. Katie was born and raised in Oildale, California and has over two decades of community organizing and advocacy experience.

Katie helped form the Sacramento Urban Agriculture Coalition and the Sacramento Community Land Trust. Her community organizing experience led her to be the first Sacramento appointee to California’s AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, where she became co-chair during the 2030 Target Scoping Plan process. She was selected to be the first consultant for the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies, and then became Policy & Political Director for the California Environmental Justice Alliance. Katie currently consults for environmental justice groups on state legislation.

Katie holds a bachelors and masters degree in Community Development from the University of California at Davis. She is a renter and spends her spare time with her two dogs, Chevy and Kevin.

Caitlin Vargas

Caitlin Vargas leads passionate entrepreneurs as the Startup Community Director for Onward Eugene; an economic development organization that endeavors to make prosperity more inclusive.

After spending a decade in public relations and communications at nonprofit organizations in workforce development, affordable housing and homelessness, Caitlin transitioned to focus on strategic partnerships and community collaboration to help underrepresented entrepreneurs launch their startups. This year, Caitlin pioneered a new pilot in Oregon that provides respite childcare for women entrepreneurs and is the co-host for the Women’s Innovation Network.

Caitlin was elected President of Lane Transit District’s Board of Directors in her second year of board service and recently spearheaded the agency’s first-ever Strategic Business Plan. Caitlin has a lengthy list of volunteer committees and boards that she serves on, including the Leadership Board for Relief Nursery, Board of Stewards for Looking Glass, and she is one of the founders of the Eugene Young Professionals program.

In 2005, Caitlin received her Bachelors in Anthropology from Sonoma State University in California before heading to New Mexico State University for graduate school in Medical Anthropology. In 2015, Caitlin graduated at the top of her class from Bushnell University with her MBA. A resolute sports mom, you can find Caitlin on the weekends coaching her four children (ages 5, 7, 9 and 12) in either soccer, basketball, or tennis.

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