|Araceli Barajas is the Senior Executive Assistant and Clerk of the Board at Omnitrans in San Bernardino, CA. A 20+ year veteran of the transit industry, Araceli began her career with Access Paratransit in Los Angeles, then moved on to work for the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, Metrolink. After relocating to the Inland Empire, she joined the Omnitrans team and has been with the agency for almost seven years.
Araceli has been a Member of the APTA Transit Board Administrators Committee since 2017 and is a member of Women in Transportation (WTS) IE Chapter. She is a graduate of Chaffey College, with an associate degree in business and technology, and Business Administration. She is pursuing a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) Designation through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).
Araceli is a Southern California native and enjoys spending time with her family and pets.
|Carrie Butler currently serves as the Executive Director for TARC, the Transit Authority of River City, in Louisville, Kentucky. Her role includes overseeing the agency’s $100 million operating budget and over 750 employees and contractors providing nearly 14,000 trips per day over 30 routes throughout the region. Previously, Ms. Butler served as General Manager of Lextran in Lexington, Kentucky. She is President of the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, serves on the Transportation Policy Committee and has previously served on the Planning Commission and Lexington’s Senior Services Commission.
She has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bellarmine University. She developed her passion for public transportation during her Fellowship from the Florida Department of Transportation where she worked for Miami-Dade Transit and Star Metro in Tallahassee. Previously at TARC in 2010, she managed the Department of Planning and Scheduling. While at TranSystems, her project focus was on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) planning along with a range of transit and urban design plans for transit agencies, local, state and federal projects.
She is a highly motivated, energetic transit executive with 20 years’ experience in the field of transportation and urban planning. Her broad base in the industry ranges from executive leadership and management, service and long-term regional planning, and a current focus on sustainable business practices and high return on investment innovations.
|Charlie is a graduate of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has served in various retail management, information technology, and transportation positions in Central Indiana throughout his career.
He served as the Lead Technology Specialist and Routing Specialist in the MSD of Wayne Township’s Transportation Department in Indianapolis, the Assistant Director of Transportation for Westfield Schools in Westfield, Indiana, and now serves as the Chief Administrative Officer to the President/CEO and Board of Directors at IndyGo in Indianapolis.
Charlie is a lifelong resident of the Westside of Indianapolis, is married to his wife Crista, and they share a daughter, Alexis, as well as their fur-baby, Bentley. In his free time, Charlie enjoys supporting our local sports teams, studying family genealogy, and playing trumpet.
|Cindy Chavez is a current member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and former Vice Mayor of San José. She lives Downtown with her husband Mike, son Brennan, dog Buddy, and cat Jackie.
In the fall of 1982 Cindy moved to San José to attend San José State University, and she has never left. In 1997, Cindy decided to run for San José City Council after a bullet passed through her and Mike’s Downtown San Jose home. She was elected in 1998 and re-elected in 2002, serving as vice mayor during her final two years on the council. During her time in office San José was the safest big city in the nation. Her leadership led to the creation of Santa Clara County’s Children’s Health Initiative, making ours the first county in the nation to provide health coverage for every child. Cindy also launched the city’s Megan’s Law Task Force, doubled the amount of park space in her district, and spearheaded the creation of the city’s first skate park.
After being termed out of office, Cindy returned to the labor movement becoming Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council in 2009 and later Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a progressive policy think tank.
In 2013, she was elected to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. She has been re-elected twice and will be termed out of office in 2024.
|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.
|With over 15 years of operational experience, Paige Coker offers an impressive record of achievement in growing companies. Paige’s professional background spans from transportation management to policy development within local and state governments to operational human resource management. Working with local, state, and federal governments, Paige was a part of contract planning for 16,000,000 dollars for a regional tri-county program. Paige worked with local and state governments in an advisory capacity to develop public policy for best solutions for individuals that sought ADA transportation. Paige played an integral and proactive role in multiple communitywide projects in partnership with public and private sector stakeholders in the restructuring of coordinated county wide transportation projects. Paige serves as Vice Chairman of the BJCTA.
Robert DeJournett, CDM
|Specializing in change management, Robert 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.
A graduate from the University of Akron, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media Communication, Robert also holds a Certificate in Diversity Management in Healthcare, from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Education and the Institute for Diversity of the American Hospital Association. He is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the City of Barberton Community Leadership Institute and of Leadership Akron’s Class of XXI.
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 to attain their respective goals, and to provide coaching in areas of business development with an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Most recently, he is serving as the family spokesperson around the events and tragic death of Jayland Walker.
Through his work and volunteer activities, Robert has received numerous awards and recognition. He was one of three to receive the 2018 National BMe Genius Award for the city of Akron. Others of note are the 2016 Distinguished Leader Award and the 2015 Dorothy O. Jackson Society Community Leader Award from the United Way of Summit County; the 2015 Multicultural Leadership Award for outstanding contributions to the mission of the American Heart Association through the lens of Diversity and Inclusion; the 2011 Spirit of Fair Housing Award; the 2008 Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award in the category of business; the 2007 Virgil E. Collins Diversity Award from Summa Health; and many others through his work at Summa and as a volunteer with the American Heart Association.
Robert is married to Charlene and their blended family consists of four daughters, one son and five grandchildren. He received a calling into the ministry in 1997 and was ordained as a Minister in 1998. Since 2015, Robert has served the greater Akron community as the Senior Pastor at St. Ashworth Temple COGIC.
|Ed serves as the Manager of Board Relations at Cap Metro in Austin, Texas. He joined the agency in 2007 after nearly 20 years working in the field of cartography, working both for the National Geographic Society and for a mapping firm in London, England where he helped create printed at-stop information and maps for transit authorities across the U.K.
A native of North Carolina, Ed holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas.
|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.
|Jeremy Fine was named the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in February 2016. Prior to joining the CTA, Mr. Fine served as the Deputy Comptroller for the City of Chicago, overseeing the debt and credit portfolios. He previously worked as a Public Finance Officer at ABN AMRO / LaSalle Bank Capital Markets, where he was involved in underwriting bonds for various municipal issuers throughout the Midwest. Mr. Fine received a B.S. in International Relations/Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Wytangy Peak Finney
|Wytangy’s journey began in 2004 when she joined the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority, starting as an intern before becoming a full-time employee. Within a year, she transitioned to the planning department, assuming the role of a transit clerk responsible for recording daily manifests from the operations division. Her commitment and skills led to subsequent advancements, progressing from transit clerk to planning manager, and currently serving as the Senior Planning & Development Director.
Throughout her 19-year tenure with the agency, Wytangy has been fortunate to contribute to numerous projects and collaborate with various teams.
Wytangy’s journey has been far from easy, but she has faced challenges head-on. To those following in her footsteps, she imparts the advice to never give up, even in the face of adversity. One of her guiding mantras has always been “Wytangy, failure is not an option,” driving her to persist, strive, and never lose faith in herself. Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Wytangy holds a Baccalaureate of Leadership and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Along her journey, she graduated from the Leadership APTA program in 2022, an experience that has profoundly impacted her. The program provided an opportunity to meet exceptional friends and form valuable networking connections. Wytangy eagerly looks forward to acquiring new knowledge and embracing innovative ideas to revolutionize the Transportation industry.
Samuel K. Ford
|Sam Ford is a partner at Petway, French & Ford, LLP in Birmingham, Alabama. His practice focuses on the litigation of personal injury cases and handling of all legal matters pertaining to the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority and Housing Authority of the Birmingham District. Before joining the firm, Sam served as a Deputy District Attorney for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, representing the State of Alabama in jury trials for felony criminal cases. After graduating from Tulane School of Law, Sam served as a law clerk for now Presiding Judge of the 10th Judicial Circuity Elisabeth French. Sam has served in numerous leadership roles with the Alabama State Bar, including Co-Chair of the Long Range Planning Task Force and Chair for Diversity and Inclusion. Sam also serves as the current President of the Alabama Lawyer’s Association.
Gary Stephen Giovanetti
|Married, Jan. 12, 1985, Joyce Sannella Giovanetti. AA San Joaquin Delta College, 1968. Bachelors of Architecture, University of California at San Luis Obispo, 1972. Architectural Practice 1972 to 1980. Giovanetti’s Delicatessen, Catering & Webbs Bakery 1980 to 1992. Financial Service and Employee Benefits 1992 – current. Stockton City Council 1999 to 2006. Stockton Vice Mayor 2005 to 2006. San Joaquin Regional Transit District 2008 – current. Chairman 3 times. San Joaquin Council of Governments, Ex-officio 2008 – current. Rotarian 1980 – current. APTA, Vice Chair Transit Board Members Committee 2020 – current. Italian Athletic Club, Vice President, 1982 – current. Associazione Liguri nel Mondo, President, 2009 – current. Pacific Italian Alliance, Vice Chair, 2007 – current. “Cuchina Giovanetti” zoom cooking classes for Pacific Italian Alliance and San Joaquin Delta College. Festa Italiana Executive Committee. Eucharistic Minister for Cathedral of the Annunciation. Fire House Gang, Wine Master.
|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. Julie’s practice asserts safety’s place at the center of operations and her work has improved operational performance in railroad 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. Her facilitation is known for leveraging shared values to support culture change.
|Trustee Holbrook brings a wealth of experience to UTA. She began her career in the financial sector, established a real estate firm, and went back into the financial sector working in business development. Trustee Holbrook would go on to work with the Public Sector for a private company. 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 with the Public Service Commission. She is a former President of the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
Since being appointed to the UTA Board of Trustees, Trustee Holbrook has worked to increase community engagement throughout Davis, Weber, and Box Elder Counties. She serves on the EDCUtah, Envision Utah, Utah Association of Special Districts Boards, Chair of ULI of Utah Advisory Committee, as well as the Affordable Housing Commission and Chair of Olene Walker Housing Fund as TOD specialist. She also works with APTA-the American Public Transit Association as a Transit Board Member as well as Chair of the Transit Board Members Legislative Sub-Committee.
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 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.
Honorable Doug Jones
|In 2017, Doug Jones shocked the political establishment by winning a special election to fill a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama – the first Democrat to do so in the state in 25 years. As a member of the Banking and Housing Committee, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Committee on Aging, he quickly built a reputation as a well-regarded and effective legislator. He passed more than two dozen bipartisan bills into law in just three years, including legislation to end the military widow’s tax, provide permanent funding for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), shed light on Civil Rights-era cold cases, and expand access to broadband in rural communities.
Senator Jones began his career in 1979 as staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for Senator Howell Heflin (D-AL). Following his stint in Washington, Senator Jones served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1980-1984. He left government service in 1984 and was in the private practice of law in Birmingham, Alabama, until President Bill Clinton nominated him to the position of United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He served as U.S. Attorney until June 2001. While serving in that position, Senator Jones successfully prosecuted two of the four men responsible for the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed four young girls, finally bringing full justice and closure nearly 40 years after the attack.
|The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency (Metro) unanimously voted to appoint Collette Langston as Metro’s Board Clerk on April 8, 2021. She manages numerous unique departments including the Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library, Records Management Center, Legal Services, and Electronic Archives and Systems at Metro.
Prior to her current role, she was the Board Secretary at Metrolink for 18 months, responsible for implementing an agencywide legislative management system and bringing the organization from a paper board reporting process to an electronic one.
Before joining Metrolink, Ms. Langston directly supported multiple departments at Metro, including the Office of the CEO and the Office of Board Administration. Her tenure spanned over 10 years and included spearheading, implementing, and training the agency on an electronic legislative management system for the board reporting process.
She holds a master’s degree of public administration from California State University, Northridge.
|With more than 25 years of Public Administration experience, Rosa Medina-Cristobal has significantly impacted the public sector and public transportation.
Rosa began her career as an intern in the human resources department at the City of Grand Prairie and has progressed through the same channels in various positions from Human Resources Generalist to Vice President of Human Resources at Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Rosa has professionally stamped numerous cities and transportation authorities such as the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
Mass Transit Magazine selected Rosa as one of their Top 40 Transit Professionals under 40 in 2013. She has participated in the ENO Mid-Level Manager Seminar, the National Transit Institute (NTI) Transit Academy, and the Texas Transit Institute Leadership Class. She is currently a member of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Leadership class of 2023.
Rosa earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.
Rosa is married to her husband, Alfredo, and has three grown children and three beautiful grandchildren.
|Brad Miller Is the Chief Executive Officer of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA), the regional transit authority serving the Tampa Bay region on the west coast of Florida with more than 200 buses and 630 dedicated employees.
He has led his agency to be known as one of the most innovative transportation systems in the United States with partnerships between public transit and transportation network companies, while increasing transit ridership and overseeing one of the most cost effective, customer‐oriented transit systems in the Southeast.
With a 25‐year transit career, Brad is known as a leader in the industry, currently serving on the Executive Committee of the American Public Transportation Association. Previously he chaired the Florida Public Transit Association as well as several National Academies of Sciences transit research committees.
Prior to PSTA, Brad served as the General Manager of the transit system in Des Moines, Iowa. He has also implemented light rail, commuter rail and other innovative transit services both in Charlotte, North Carolina and in the Washington D.C. area.
He has a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University and an undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary. He and his wife Abby have two active kids, Charlie, 16 and Ellie, 14.
Marlon Moore, Ph.D.
|Dr. Marlon Moore is Chair of the Central Ohio Transit Authority, and president of Marlon Moore Consulting, LLC. Under his consulting agency, Dr. Moore assists organizations with developing strategic objectives designed to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces and communities.
A nationally recognized Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) consultant, Dr. Moore has trained thousands of business professionals on the principles of DEI throughout Virginia, 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 also the author of Diversity Starts with You: A strategy development guide for DEI.
Dr. Moore 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.
He serves on the Board of Directors for the Lincoln Arts Theatre, and was appointed to the Central State University Board of Trustees by former Ohio Governor John Kasich.
|Morrison is President of the Board of Trustees and represents Sylvania. Morrison came to TARTA with an extensive background in management and community engagement. She currently works in Faculty Affairs at The University of Toledo, and previously held leadership posts at Bowling Green State University and The Toledo Hospital Foundation. She is past president of the board of the Sylvania Prevention Alliance and currently serves on the board of the Gracefield Foundation and the University of Toledo Federal Credit Union.
Morrison has been a TARTA board member since 2019.
|Sam O’Connell, AICP (she/her), is the Director of Community Relations for the Metropolitan Council. Sam works closely with the Metropolitan Council Chair and Council Members in stakeholder engagement and understanding of emerging local issues. This includes building relationships with business and civic leaders throughout the metro area. Prior to serving as the Director of Community Relations, Sam served as the Assistant Director of Community Affairs for Metro Transit.
Sam has directed the community outreach and communications activities for the Green Line Light Rail Extension and had served as Metro Transit’s Project Lead for the Blue Line Light Rail Extension. Sam has 30+ years of experience with stakeholder engagement, infrastructure development and transportation planning at the county, regional and statewide level. Her projects include light, commuter, high-speed rail and bus rapid transit development, and visioning for Downtown Tampa infrastructure. Sam serves as the Second Vice President of the MN Chapter of Conference of Minority Transportation Professionals and has served as the Chair of the Minnesota Design Team and is a past President of WTS Minnesota.
|Samantha has been with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) for nine years. She quickly distinguished herself with her resourcefulness and good judgement, and she was promoted to Assistant Board Secretary.
As Assistant Board Secretary, Samantha is responsible for the accurate distribution of materials for board subcommittees that meet prior to the monthly board meetings, as well as materials for the board meetings. She has mastered Civic Clerk, KCATA’s agenda management system, and is responsible for training – and often retraining! – all users. She has created an online storage system that has made the entire agency able to access executed documents easily and efficiently.
|Sam Parker is a native of Birmingham. For most of his career as a Certified Public Accountant he worked as a controller and chief financial officer for several different companies in the Birmingham area. Presently Sam works for a local accounting company wherein he provides both accounting and tax services for small businesses.
After earning a Bachelors Degree from Auburn University Sam also received a commission in the United States Navy Reserve through the Navy ROTC program at Auburn. Sam proudly served at sea as Gunnery Division officer where he led his division and ship to earn fleet excellence awards in gunnery during his two years of active duty.
After completing active duty service and working for Safeco Insurance Company in its Southern California regional office for a couple of years, Sam and his wife, who is also from Birmingham, returned home to raise a family and pursue a career in accounting. To achieve that goal Sam worked in a family business during the day and attended UAB at night for a year to complete the course work required to sit for the CPA exam. After completing his courses, Sam worked for a local public accounting firm. There he performed audits of several local and statewide companies and prepared corporate and individual income tax returns. After a few years he left public accounting to work in corporate accounting.
|Luis Ramos is the Senior Executive Administrator to the President & CEO of Hampton Roads Transit and serves as Commission Secretary to the Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads.
He 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.
M. Elizabeth Reich
|Elizabeth Reich began her service as Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer on July 18, 2022. She oversees financial policy and analysis, treasury, accounting, risk management, fare revenue, statistical reporting, and information technology. DART has an annual budget of $1.7 billion, $3.5 billion in municipal debt, and $1.2 billion in investments.
Elizabeth is a strategic CFO, accomplished at leading organizations through financial and operational crises to stability. Prior to joining DART, she served as CFO of the City of Dallas. In that role, Elizabeth was instrumental in brokering a compromise that saved the Dallas Police and Fire Pension and helped the City emerge on strong financial footing from a devastating tornado followed closely by the COVID-19 crisis. Before joining the City, Elizabeth spent 16 years with the Social Security Administration, including serving as its CFO in 2015.
Elizabeth loves clear communication and excels at sharing complex financial information in ways that resonate with elected officials and members of the public. Additionally, she invests in employees and the organization so that success is not measured simply by managing current issues, but by achieving long-term effectiveness and financial sustainability.
The Bond Buyer honored Elizabeth as a Trailblazing Woman in Public Finance in December 2021. D CEO Magazine included Elizabeth in its 2022 Dallas 500 List of the Most Powerful Business Leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth. She serves on the board of Broadway Dallas, is active in Women in Public Finance, and enthusiastically supports numerous mentoring programs.
Bernard Robinson, Jr.
|Bernard Robinson Jr. is born in Southeast Washington D.C. where he was raised by Carolyn Robinson and Bernard Robinson Sr. Early on in life Bernard’s talents with a basketball were clear, as he became a successful student-athlete throughout middle school and high school, displaying promising leadership skills and dedication to the game. Robinson led his middle school (Winston Educational Center) to their first ever boys basketball championship in 8th grade. He later led the prestigious Dunbar high school (Washington DC) to a city title championship and won MVP honors his junior year in 1999 before transferring to New Hampton Prep school in New Hampton, NH his senior season. After scoring over 1,800 points in high school, Bernard signed a letter of intent to become a student-athlete at the University of Michigan in fall of 2000. Robinson earned a BS in Kinesiology focusing on Sports Management and Communication while also having a successful four years on the basketball court. His success resulted in being drafted 45th overall in the 2004 NBA draft by the Charlotte Bobcats. After a 9-year professional career that included 5 years in the NBA and 4 years overseas (Brazil and Argentina), in 2013 Bernard founded C.A.S.T. Group, a Creative Solutions and Sports Technologies company focused on strategic product placement and indirect marketing campaigns for Sports related entities. Bernard transitioned to working for Bell Management International Sports Agency in 2014 as Assistant to President and Director of International Client Affairs. In 2016, Bernard became a Strategic Sports Affairs Consultant with The Exigency Group Crisis Management firm. After 2 years as an insider consultant, Bernard founded Exigency Sports and Entertainment in 2018, a Strategic Life and Business consulting firm where he affiliated his company with The Exigency Group. Bernard has since spread his methods and tools for current and former sports athletes, as well as any entity that is ready for a change in the efficiency in which they go about achieving their goals and reinventing themselves. Bernard has also entered the public platform through speaking engagements, workshops, and seminars like his excellent think tank with Howard University Business School, and his passionate engagement with the entire University of Michigan athletic department and teams in the fall of 2023. Bernard hopes to leave a legacy of what he calls “True Help” as he continues to learn and grow in the Strategic Life and Business advising, coaching, and consulting space.
|Kirkwood Russell is the President and CEO of The Russell Group, which provides professional services for Environmental, Governments, Cities, Water, Transportation, and Commercial/Residential clients.
Mr. Russell has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Clark Atlanta University and was a former student athlete. Kirkwood’s primary expertise involve the setup and delivery in large scale Transportation and Water/Waster programs, which assist his clients with the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closeout of multiple projects within a program.
Mr. Russell takes an organization’s vision and turns it into reality through sound strategic development. With over two decades of professional experience, Mr. Russell has established a diversified background, which allows for a unique approach in problem solving that is data driven.
With over 17 years of business ownership, Mr. Russell has acquired strong business acumen, with strong leadership skills which provides him the opportunity to consistently achieve goals.
|Charlotte Shaw serves as the Executive Director/CEO of Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA). Ms. Shaw has over 25 years of experience in various industries in both private and public sectors including her extensive background in Public Transit. She has held various leadership roles in A/E and Construction Contracts, Operations, Capital Improvement Planning and Program/Project Delivery.
Prior to her role as CEO, she was appointed by the Mayor of Birmingham as the Deputy Director of Special Projects to deliver the city’s first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which recently launched and is known as the BX Birmingham Xpress. She was also recently credited with the successful design and implementation of public transportation for national dignitaries, visitors and spectators during The World Games 2022 while maintaining regular services.
Ms. Shaw is known for being a compassionate and passionate leader who is also insightful and innovative. Charlotte possesses verifiable strengths across various multi-functional disciplines including budget management, contracts & procurement, strategic planning, supply chain, negotiations, operations management, and project engineering. She was a 2019 ENO Fellow from the renowned Eno Transportation Leadership Program out of Washington DC. As a Fellow, she was exposed to Transit Authorities across the United States in various regions. She also achieved her Certification in Asset Management (1AM), which is a well-respected certification held by few in the United States.
Paul C. Smedberg
|Paul Smedberg was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to serve as a Principal Director in January 2019. He previously served as an Alternate Director from January 2016 – January 2019.
He was elected Chairman of the 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 a biopharma company and 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.
|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.
Kendra N. Smith
|Kendra Smith is vice president of community health at Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) where she is responsible for strategic leadership and oversight of community health programs and investments for the health system. Throughout her career, Smith has been an advocate for affordable health care and housing. She has extensive experience in community engagement, community development and urban planning designed to address economic, infrastructure and equity issues in metropolitan communities, and in implementing community health needs assessments.
Prior to her role with BSMH, Smith worked at ProMedica as the director of social determinants of health, helping to revitalize Toledo’s core neighborhoods by looking at areas such as housing, financial stability, safety, workforce development, education and transportation in addition to health equity and health and wellness.
She has also worked in the nonprofit sector in executive roles with Preferred Properties, Inc. and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, advocating for affordable and accessible housing opportunities, especially for seniors and people living with developmental disabilities, equitable approaches to comprehensive planning and zoning, and community led engagement processes to identify community needs.
Smith is a member of the Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, and Leadership Ohio. She also serves as vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA).
Smith received her Bachelor of Arts from Ohio University in political science and Spanish; a Spanish language and culture certificate from La Universidad Pública de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain; a Master of Science from Cleveland State University in urban studies with a focus in neighborhood and community development; a graduate certificate in local and urban management from Cleveland State University; a Master of Public Health from Kent State University; as well as a certificate in executive education in leadership, organizing and action from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Theodore “Ted” Smith
|Theodore “Ted” Smith is currently serving his fifth term as the Chairman of the BJCTA Board of Directors. Mr. Smith was born in Detroit, Michigan graduated from Cass Technical High School and matriculated to Birmingham to attend UAB to study Mechanical Engineering. Loving the weather and his civic involvement in the Birmingham area, Mr. Smith decided to make Birmingham his home.
Mr. Smith retired from the Birmingham Fire & Rescue Service as Fire Captain. While serving the Fire Department for a 30yr. career, he was able to start several businesses and obtain a Home Builders License, and currently owns a Home Building Business. In addition to his service on the BJCTA Board, he has served on the Birmingham Park & Recreation Board and the Birmingham Commercial & Economic Development Board. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alabama Home Builders Association and is a member of the Leadership Birmingham Class of 2012.
Since joining the BJCTA Board, Mr. Smith’s focus has been working with committed leaders to grow the system and ensure transit in the Birmingham-Jefferson County region meets the needs of the citizens.
|Gardner is a 35-year veteran in the railroad and transit industries, serves as Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority or CapMetro’s Executive Vice President, Systemwide Accessibility and Chief Safety Officer. His career has been diverse. Over the years, Gardner has served in various operations and safety roles with Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority or MARTA, Valley Metro, Saudi Railway Company, and New Jersey Transit.
Gardner has been with CapMetro since July 2018, and is responsible for research, development, implementation, management and/or maintenance of its safety, public safety, emergency management, systemwide access, and transit police department related programs.
Gardner is a Certified Safety Executive and is APTA’s Commuter Rail Safety & Security Subcommittee immediate past chair.
|Jeffrey W. Travillion, Sr. was elected Travis County Commissioner of Precinct 1 on November 8, 2016 and took office on January 1, 2017. He currently serves as Chair of the Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority (CapMetro).
He has more than thirty years of experience providing management solutions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. During his career, he has conducted extensive operational reviews of State agencies and City Departments, and worked on teams producing recommendations adopted by the Texas legislature that saved the State of Texas more than $8 billion. He has analyzed, designed, and implemented organizational improvements that have enhanced the effectiveness of several non-profit organizations. He has also developed and presented policy recommendations at the local, state, and national levels.
Jeffrey received his undergraduate degree with honors from Jackson State University and participated in the University’s W.E.B. Dubois Honors Program. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow who studied at the Carnegie-Mellon University Heinz School (formerly the School of Urban and Public Affairs), the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and received his Masters Degree at the University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Jeffrey is involved in a number of civic activities, including Deacon at the Abundant Life Community Baptist Church, Graduate of Leadership Austin, and Chairman of the Communications Committee for the Texas State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He is married to the former Perri McKinney and they have three children, Jeffrey, Jr., Paige, and Andrew.
Mayor Randall L. Woodfin
|Mayor Randall L. Woodfin’s philosophy of “putting people first” has guided his leadership. Revitalization of the city’s 99 neighborhoods is his top priority. He is focused on enhancing education for young people, fostering a climate of economic opportunity for all residents and leveraging public-private partnerships to make the city the best version of Birmingham it can be.
His vision to create new education and career opportunities for students led to the Birmingham Promise, a public-private partnership that provides apprenticeships and tuition assistance to cover college costs for Birmingham high school graduates. Mayor Woodfin led a regional effort to invest in the renovation and expansion of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex making the city an emerging destination for sports and entertainment. Through Pardons for Progress, he removed a barrier from employment opportunities and offered a second chance with the mayoral pardon of 15,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession charges dating back to 1990.
He entered his second term as Birmingham’s 30th mayor on November 23, 2021. A graduate of Morehouse College and Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, he previously served as president of the Birmingham Board of Education.
|Joel Young, an East Bay attorney, was appointed by the AC Transit Board of Directors in February 2009 to fill one of the District’s two At Large positions and was subsequently elected to the seat in 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022. Director Young was Vice President of the Board in 2021 and 2022 and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors.
As a senior member of the Board of Directors, Director Young helped raise funds for AC Transit’s hydrogen fuel cell bus program, voted to allocate over $200 million of AC Transit’s contracting dollars to local businesses to support good paying local jobs, and secured funding to support local bus service and maintain affordable fares. Director Young also supported the development of a Climate Action Plan for the District, advocates for zero emission bus technology and funding, and spearheaded the Freedom Bus Project, a collaborative effort between the Alameda County Office of Education, Alameda County Arts Commission, and AC Transit to commemorate the anniversary of Rosa Parks historic bus ride through arts education, public transit, and the history of the civil rights movement.
Director Young earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
Charles A. Zelle
|Charles A. Zelle is the Chair of the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities. The Metropolitan Council is the regional policy-making body, planning agency, and provider of essential services in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. Our mission is to foster efficient and economic growth for a prosperous region.
The 17-member Metropolitan Council is a policy-making board that guides the strategic growth of the metro area. We partner with 181 cities and townships, 7 counties, other government entities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and others.
Zelle is also the chairman of Jefferson Lines, an intercity bus company with scheduled passenger routes in 14 heartland states from Minnesota to Louisiana. He held the position of president and CEO for more than 20 years until 2012, when he was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In that capacity, he oversaw a multimodal state transportation agency with an annual budget of more than $4 billion.
Zelle has served as a board member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), served on its executive committee, and was chair of its Public Transportation Council. In addition, he has served as a member of the executive committee of the Transportation Research Board and past president of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO).
Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Zelle received a B.A. from Bates College and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.