Araceli Barajas

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.

Mary Dee Beal

Mary Dee Beal joined Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid in 2022, bringing more than a decade of federal policy experience, including senior roles in the Executive Branch and the Congress. She provides a deep understanding of complex policy and congressional processes to the health care and energy practices at the firm.

Most recently, Mary Dee served on the Senate Republican Policy Committee for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), where she provided analysis and education on issues related to tax, budget, appropriations, and small business. She worked closely with staff across the Senate Republican Conference, as well as Republican leadership and key Senate committees to advance Republican priorities.

Prior to her service in the U.S. Senate, Mary Dee served as Senior Advisor to Secretary Sonny Perdue and Acting Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky at the United States Department of Agriculture. During her time at USDA, she served as the principal advisor to the Secretary on climate, innovation, ag tech, and agriculture research priorities. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the Department’s crisis management strategy to preserve the national food supply chain and worked closely with officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Transportation, and the National Economic Council as the interagency policy lead for the federal food supply chain response.

Mary Dee also spent over seven years in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving as Legislative Director for both Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) and Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA).

Mary Dee is active with a number of organizations in Washington, D.C., including the Georgia State Society. From 2020-2021, she served as the Chairman of the 38th Taste of the South gala, an event that donated $400,000 for non-profit organizations in thirteen states and Washington, D.C.

A native of Statesboro, Georgia, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Mercer University.

Michelle Bouchard

Michelle Bouchard is the first Executive Director of Caltrain serving since April 2021.

Ms. Bouchard has more than 25 years in the transit industry. She also has a long history with Caltrain, having spent more than 20 years in progressively responsible positions. Ms. Bouchard has overseen the implementation of Positive Train Control and completion of the Strategic Business Plan, including a Long Range Service Vision for the railroad. She is currently overseeing a $2.44 billion Electrification project, which will transform Caltrain service as it is completed and in revenue service in 2024.

In 2018, she was named one of Railway Journal’s Women in Rail, in recognition of her experience, leadership skills, contributions to the industry, and her community service. She serves as Chair of the San Francisco Peninsula Rail Program Executive Steering Committee and Vice Chair of the Commuter Rail Coalition.

Ms. Bouchard holds a BA in Economics from Brown University and an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning from the London School of Economics.

Adam Burger

Adam Burger is the Innovative Mobility & Zero-Emission Bus Program Manager for the Valley Transportation Authority. He leads VTA’s Innovation Program, which includes self-driving, AI image recognition and real-time information projects. He also leads the planning for VTA’s zero-emission fleet transition. He has worked at VTA for over 20 years holding many roles in the planning division and has been a VTA transit rider for over 25 years.

Derik Calhoun

Derik Calhoun joined VTA as Chief Operating Officer December 27, 2022, coming from AC Transit, in Alameda County, California, where he was the Director of Transportation for 6.5 years. In that role he managed the delivery of transportation services for all operating divisions, opened the new TEMPO BRT along the international corridor in Oakland during the Pandemic, managed a budget of $238 million, opened a new Operations Control Center, and helped open and manage the Sales Force Transit Center.

Calhoun also spent over 20 plus years in the private sector as a General Manager and Regional Vice President. He was able to see over 100 contracts and was involved and chaired several union negotiations with ATU, Teamsters, IBEW, SEIU, and AFSCME. At VTA, Calhoun provides strategic leadership and day to day oversight to the Operations Division and is responsible for directing all VTA transit operations
including Bus Operations and Maintenance, Light Rail Operations and Maintenance, Accessible Services, and Facilities Maintenance.

Derik was born and raised in Richmond, California. He attended Cal State Hayward majoring in Sociology and is graduate of leadership APTA. He served on the Board of Directors for VCTC and was one of the founding members of Leadership Vallejo. Derik is the current Vice Chair for APTA’s Workforce Development Committee.

David J. Carol

David J. Carol is the Chief Operating Officer for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Carol is responsible for supporting the activities of the CEO, streamlining and integrating internal APTA operations, and leading APTA’s advocacy and support for the industry’s rail services and initiatives.

Carol has spent his entire career in transportation as a lawyer, government affairs manager, advocate and project director. Prior to joining APTA in 2018, Carol spent nine years with WSP, serving as its Market Leader for Passenger, Freight and High-Speed Rail. He led various major passenger and high-speed rail projects across the US, and most recently helped manage design and construction of new light-rail transit projects in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Carol also worked for the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), leading commuter rail, streetcar and multimodal station programs.

He spent 19 years with Amtrak, where he served as Assistant General Counsel, Senior Director of Congressional & State Affairs, and Vice President High Speed Rail. He served on Amtrak’s Management Committee and led the planning and construction of the Northeast corridor Acela High-Speed Rail program.

Carol received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, and master’s and law degrees from the University of Virginia.

Dorval Carter, Jr.

Dorval R. Carter, Jr. is President of the Chicago Transit Authority, the nation’s second-largest transit agency, providing approximately 500 million rides annually and serving the City of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. Overseeing approximately 10,000 employees, President Carter helps to carry out CTA’s mission of delivering quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities. Providing 83 percent of the region’s public transit trips, CTA runs about 1,880 buses over 130 routes for a total of about 160,000 mile traveled per day. With elevated rail service to two major airports, O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport, CTA’s rail system covers eight routes and 224 miles of track with more than 1,490 rail cars.

Prior to becoming CTA President in 2015, Carter served as the U.S. Department of Transportation Acting Chief of Staff to Secretary Anthony Foxx. Carter helped manage a Department with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation while working to ensure that America maintains the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world.

Carter previously served as Acting Deputy Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), leading a staff of more than 500 in the Washington D.C. headquarters office and 10 regional offices throughout the United States, and implementing an annual budget approximating $10 million. Before that, Carter served as the FTA’s Chief Counsel, where he advised the FTA Administrator and his Executive team on a broad range of legal issues including appropriations, emergency operations, procurement, grants, ethics, personal and real property, labor protection, innovative finance, personnel, legislation, regulations, and litigation. He also provided support to the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel on legal matters concerning the federal transit program. During his time as a political appointee Mr. Carter also served on the President’s U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Interagency Task Force for Support of Military Families.

April Chan

April Chan was appointed the General Manager/CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District effective November 1, 2022. The San Mateo County Transit District is the mobility manager for San Mateo County, which operates SamTrans fixed-route buses and Redi-Wheels and RediCoast paratransit. As the GM/CEO for the Transit District, April also serves as the Executive Director for the San Mateo County Transportation Authority which administers transportation sales taxes to fund transportation projects countywide. She is also responsible for shared staff services provided by the Transit District to the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board which owns and operates the Caltrain commuter railroad. Finally, she is part of the executive team that provides support to the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Authority Board which oversees the operation of the newly minted express lanes in San Mateo County.

April has been an employee of the Transit District since April 2000 in positions of increasing responsibility, rising through the ranks from Senior Planner, Capital Programming and Grants to Chief Officer, Planning, Grants and Transportation Authority and Acting Deputy General Manager. April began her transportation career at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in 1992. She holds a JD from Santa Clara University.

Cindy Chavez

Cindy Chavez is a member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors representing District 2, which includes more than half a million people in central, east, and south San Jose and surrounding areas.

She is chair of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority board of directors and represents Santa Clara County on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

She has long been a steadfast advocate for rail infrastructure, spearheading pivotal projects like the BART Silicon Valley Extension and the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector. The former is the largest public infrastructure project in Santa Clara County history, and when completed will significantly enhance regional transit in the San Francisco Bay Area. The latter aims to extend light rail service in East San Jose, fostering vital connections that drive economic growth and social progress.

Supervisor Chavez took decisive action against the fentanyl crisis by championing the deployment of Narcan across buses, light rail, and transit facilities in Santa Clara County. Currently in its pilot phase, the project will be fully deployed by next year, increasing the safety of public transit riders and employees.

She successfully mobilized the effort to stop selling leaded aviation gas at Reid-Hillview Airport after a lead study revealed the airport was poisoning residents, particularly children. This effort initiated a growing national movement to end the use of leaded aviation fuel in the United States.

She is responsible for the majority of new affordable housing in Santa Clara County after crafting a $950 million housing bond passed by voters in 2016. The county is ahead of schedule in building the projects, having so far funded more than 4,400 homes, many of which are now in operation or nearing completion.

Her visionary policies include bringing improved services for physically and sexually abused children to the new Children’s Advocacy Center; comprehensive help and resources for foster youth; bringing expansive, structural changes to digital and broadband services for students in disadvantaged areas; and health care for all children.

She is a graduate of San Jose State University. Cindy is married to Mike Potter and they have a college-age son.

Brandi Childress

Brandi Childress is a 24-year transportation industry professional specializing in strategic communications, community outreach, and stakeholder engagement. After spending two decades in public service, Brandi joined the private sector to build a public engagement practice, bringing a wealth of knowledge and a true passion for unifying communities around new ideas and mobility solutions.

Before joining Kimley-Horn, Brandi served as Chief of Staff to the General Manager at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), supporting and implementing time- and resource-management strategies. She also co-created a renewed agency vision and plan alongside a newly hired General Manager. Before her appointment to Chief of Staff, Brandi served as Public Affairs Manager and Chief Media Spokesperson, responsible for building strong community partnerships and telling VTA’s story for 22 years.

Brandi has a master’s in Transportation Management from the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State. She is a fierce advocate for women’s career advancement and serves as the Communications Chair for the WTS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Her passion for leadership and professional growth also resulted in her graduating from Leadership APTA in 2010, Leadership San Jose in 2015, and the WTS Mid-Career Leadership Program in 2018.

She gives her blossoming career in the transportation industry credit for her wonderful family because she met her husband while working at VTA which resulted in two awesome children: her 13-year-old daughter Kennedi and 10-year-old son Miles!

Ilyssa DeCasperis

Ilyssa DeCasperis is the chief people officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA), also known as LA Metro.

DeCasperis earned her JD from Brooklyn Law School. She has extensive experience as a human resources leader, having worked on both the union and employer sides. Her previous roles include chief people officer at Metrolink, system director of labor and employee relations at the Greater Hudson Valley Health System (now called Garnet Health) and executive director of the American Association of University Professors at the Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey, which included Rutgers and Rowan medical schools.

A native New Yorker, she left New York City for southern California in 2017 to get away from the snow. Her first role in southern California was the VP of human resources at the Doctors Hospital of Riverside/Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center. In 2021, she returned to transportation at Metrolink and in 2024, accepted her current position as Chief People Officer for LA Metro.

She is an active member of the National Association of Railway Business Women of Southern California, and was named “Woman of the Year” by the organization in 2022 and 2023.

Outside of work, she is dedicated to helping others. A cardiac patient, she is passionate about educating people on taking care of their hearts. In 2022, she was nominated as one of six “Women of Impact” by the American Heart Association of Southern California for raising $26,501 for the organization in nine weeks without a corporate sponsorship. She is the co-founder and vice-president of Compel America, an organization with the mission of helping people overcome mental health challenges and work toward eradicating bullying for both children to adults.

Additionally, she is a classic and antique car collector. The current cars in her collection are a 1956 Pink Cadillac, a 1971 Baja Beetle and a 1972 Dodge Charger and, most recently, a 2003 convertible Ford T-bird.

Ilyssa lives by the mantra that in HR, we need to be “Human and Resourceful.”

Rosa Diaz

Rosa supports the agency’s CEO, Chair and 8 board members.  Her career at METRO has spanned 25 years and three departments, serving in various positions including supporting the Board Office for 18 years.

Rosanna Dominguez

Rosanna Dominguez is the Executive Assistant for Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority (ECCTA), doing business as Tri Delta Transit, in Antioch, CA. In her role, she coordinates all aspects of events and meetings for the 11-member Board of Directors. In addition to these responsibilities, she provides executive administrative support to the CEO of ECCTA, and at times the COO and CFO. In addition, she also supports customer service, marketing, and administrative services on special projects.

Rosanna has been in her current role for one year; however, she was onboarded with nine years of experience in the private business sector. She has supported international teams and leadership at The Walt Disney Company and Warner Brothers Discovery. Rosanna enjoys spending time with her two girls, her husband, two dogs, and chickens and strives to be outdoors as much as possible. She is a certified resource parent by the State of California and a blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu.

Ed Easton

Ed Easton is the Manager of Board Relations at CapMetro in Austin, Texas. With a career that began as a cartographer at the National Geographic Society in 1989, Ed’s fondness for user-friendly maps led him to transition to a career in the transit industry. In the mid-1990s, he left National Geographic to join the startup Maps.com as their Director of Mapping Services, overseeing the production of custom maps for customers in the education, travel, and government markets. His journey to transit commenced in 2002 when he moved to London and joined Cook, Hammond and Kell (CHK), a leading provider of printed maps and timetables for transit agencies and local governments in the U.S. and U.K.After helping launch CHK America to provide the same types of services to agencies in North America, Ed returned to the U.S. to become the company’s Sales Director in 2005. After two years of traveling the U.S. to meet with clients and potential clients, in 2007 he decided to settle down and joined CapMetro as an account executive in their Marketing Department. While earning a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas after work, he was asked to take on the board relations role at CapMetro in 2012. In this role, he continues to play a pivotal part in facilitating communication and collaboration between the board and the organization and running the agency’s board and committee meetings. A graduate of Leadership Austin, Ed is also dedicated to his community and serves on the board of a local soccer non-profit in Austin.

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.

Bill Fay

Bill Fay is the Vice President of Sales at GILLIG, the largest maker of heavy-duty 35 and 40-foot transit buses in the U.S. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Lowell and over 35 years of experience in the industry.

At GILLIG, Fay uses his knowledge and experience to boost sales and help the company succeed in the transit bus market. His background in supplier and OEM roles gives him a greater understanding of the industry and customer needs.

Fay is known for his strategic thinking and dedication. He has a proven history of creating successful market strategies and building strong relationships. His technical skills and industry knowledge make him a respected leader in the Transit Industry.

With Fay leading sales, GILLIG is set for continued growth and success. His knowledge of industry trends helps GILLIG stay innovative and meet customer demands while keeping a competitive edge. Fay’s leadership is key to driving growth and success in the changing transit industry.

Denise A. Figueroa

Denise Figueroa joined the Board of Directors in December 2003. Ms. Figueroa is a founding member and current Executive Director of the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, established in 1987.

Ms. Figueroa is a Governor appointee to the Most Integrated Setting Coordinating Council and the Justice Center Advisory Board. Former Chair of the NYS Independent Living Council and Former President of the National Council on Independent Living. Former Chair and current board member of the New York Association on Independent Living.

She holds an M.S. from the University of San Francisco and a B.A. from Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Ms. Figueroa is one of the original members of the Disabled Advisory Committee.

She currently resides in Cohoes.

Jenese Flores

Jen Flores 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 a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Nathaniel Ford

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. is an award-winning transportation expert and leading advocate for how autonomous vehicles (AV) and other advances can be used to improve the quality of life for travelers throughout the nation. His proven track record as a change-agent and visionary who embraces state-of-the-art technology and innovations has made him a highly sought after advisor, consultant, and executive coach.

Ford began his stellar career at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York, where he learned every facet of the industry before he went on to become CEO of two of the 10 largest transportation authorities in the US – the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) in California, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in Georgia.

Those positions gave Ford the distinction of ushering in industry firsts – the first 100% transit smart card and multimillion dollar transit-oriented development at MARTA, and the first real-time smart parking app and oversight of a regional authority spearheading a multibillion development in San Francisco, to name a few. That expertise and forward-thinking was the compass that helped guide Ford when he was named CEO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). Since joining the JTA in 2012, Ford has been lauded for leading the total transformation of the mid-sized Authority from a local company focused on buses, roads, and bridges, into a best-in-class, regional organization that is held in high-regard locally, nationally, and even globally.

One of Ford administration’s crowning achievements is developing an autonomous vehicle program centered on the JTA’s Ultimate Urban Circulator (U2C). The cutting-edge innovation was in the world spotlight during the COVID pandemic when the JTA partnered with autonomous vehicle providers to transport COVID-19 tests for Florida’s esteemed Mayo Clinic. Phase I of the U²C, the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, is under construction, with full deployment of the autonomous vehicles scheduled for Summer 2025.

Ford enhanced his wealth of knowledge by serving as 2022 Chair of the prestigious Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that promotes innovations, technology, and research in transportation. He is a former chair of the influential American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Most recently, he began serving as National Ambassador, USA, for the Union Internationale des Transports Publics (UITP) Policy Board for 2023-25. The global organization advocates for sustainable mobility. In addition, this year he was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of ITS America, and to the Board of Advisors for UC Davis, Institute of Transportation Studies.

Ford has participated in study missions to Australia, Canada, China, England, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Sweden to provide consultation and advice about transportation policy, management, and sustainable infrastructure development. His global perspective has enhanced his value to corporate boards and commissions that often seek his input.

In recognition of his immense dedication to enhancing transportation services with compassion and innovation, earlier this year Ford received the 2023 Sharon Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation. Ford has received multiple awards and recognitions throughout his career due to his outstanding leadership, some of which include: the Honorable Ray LaHood Award from the Women’s Transportation Seminar of Northeast Florida in 2022, and the “2020 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager” by APTA. In 2019, he was inducted as a “Thought Leader” by the Eno Center for Transportation, and in 2016, Ford was named a “White House Champion of Change in Transportation” by the US Department of Transportation for embracing innovations and improving the quality of all modes of transit, same year that under his leadership the JTA received the “Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award” by APTA.

Always committed to the community he lives in, Ford serves in the boards of multiple non-profit organizations such as Sulzbacher Center, the Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business & Technology, and Goodwill Industries of North Florida, where he served as Chair from 2021 to 2024.

Ford has an MBA from Jacksonville University’s Davis School of Business. He also has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science in organizational leadership from Mercer University, and is a certified Master Executive Coach. He is a graduate of the Executive Development Consortium Program at Emory University and has completed executive training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Jeff Gee

Jeff Gee was elected to his first term on the City Council in Redwood City in 2009 and re-elected for a second term in 2013. Jeff served as Redwood City’s Mayor in 2014 and 2015, and served as Vice Mayor in 2012 and 2013. After stepping away from elected office in 2018, Jeff was elected back to the City Council in November representing District 1 – Redwood Shores. Prior to his election to the City Council, Jeff served as an appointed member of the Redwood City Planning Commission, which included a term as the commission’s Chairman. Jeff is also a former appointed member of Redwood City’s Architectural Review Committee.

Jeff also represents the City of Redwood City, and San Mateo County by serving on several regional public agency committees and boards, including his appointments as a Director on the SamTrans Board of Directors; as Chair and Director on the Joint Powers Board (JPB) which oversees Caltrain, and Chair of the Transbay Joint Power Authority. In all of these regional roles, Jeff is focused on reducing traffic congestion, protecting the environment and air quality, and ensuring that Redwood City and San Mateo County’s local economy is vibrant and that the quality of life for residents is protected and enhanced.

Jeff is also involved as a volunteer and director on several local non-profit organizations, including serving as the President of the Shore at California Bayside Homeowner’s Association; a Founding Board member of the San Mateo County API Caucus, a Trustee for Palo Alto University, and as a Director on the Board of First Community Housing – a non-profit housing developer.

Professionally, Jeff is a Vice President/General Manager with Swinerton Management & Consulting in San Francisco. He is a licensed architect, and is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture. He is married, and has two children.

Gary 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.

Carolyn M. Gonot

Providing solid public transportation leadership for more than a quarter century, Carolyn Gonot is one of a handful of women leading major public transit agencies throughout the U.S.

She built her career over three decades, mostly at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), in multiple leadership roles including Chief Engineering and Program Delivery Officer, Chief BART Program Officer, Chief Development Officer, and Deputy Director of the Congestion Management Program.

Her extensive experience in successfully delivering capital projects to improve mobility in Silicon Valley led her to become the first woman to take the helm of the Utah Transit Authority, where she served from 2019-2021.

Ms. Gonot then returned to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as VTA’s General Manager/CEO in June 2021 and rising to the challenge of leading the agency through the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting and navigating the recovery of transit service devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her role as General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of VTA, she is responsible for 2100 employees, delivering projects, programs, and transit services that provide mobility solutions for more than 2 million people who live and work in Silicon Valley.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ms. Gonot received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Penn State University. She is an active supporter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), honored as the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter’s Woman of the Year in 2013. In 2023, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Ms. Gonot to the region’s Power 100 most influential business people.

Aston Greene

Providing safety and security public transportation leadership, Aston Greene is an industry leader with over a quarter century of experience in law enforcement, safety, security, and emergency management with a concentration on the public transportation sector.

He built his career for almost three decades, working in safety and security leadership roles at MARTA Police & Emergency Management in Atlanta, GA, and LA Metro, Los Angeles, CA, serving as Police Major, Police Commander, Deputy Chief, and Executive Officer at those agencies.

His extensive experience is marked by successfully delivering security-related capital projects, enhanced security training, and exercises to build a safety culture, complimented by maturing emergency management principles, which are all key priorities for meeting VTA’s transformative mission to increase safety for all employees and passengers.

Mr. Greene has been serving as VTA’s Chief System Safety and Security Officer since August of 2022 with a focus on prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery goals to make VTA one of the safest transit agencies in the Bay Area, using proven strategies and investments.

As Chief of Safety & Security, his key duties include overseeing the existing law enforcement & security contracts and budgets with multiple jurisdictions and managing the Safety & Security Department’s Contract Security Officers, Safety, Cybersecurity, & Emergency Management Divisions.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Greene has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Administration in Criminal Justice Administration. He is an active member of ASIS International, a global security management organization, and has been certified by the Harvard Kennedy School, Executive Education Program in National and

Artis Hampshire-Cowan

Artis Hampshire-Cowan, Esq., (Principal) is Founder and principal of Leveraged Leadership Group, LLC, and a Senior Fellow at AGB (Association of Governing Boards). Ms. Hampshire-Cowan is a licensed attorney, corporate governance expert, a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP); and a certified trainer of the Stephen Covey Leadership Center; holds a Juris Doctor degree and a degree in Business Management and is a graduate of Harvard’s Institute for Higher Educational Management. During her twenty-five year tenure at Howard University she served as vice president of human resources and secretary of the University; senior vice president and corporate secretary, acting president, and interim chief operating officer of Howard University. Before joining Howard, Artis spent twelve years in the senior leadership of government of the District of Columbia as a congressional lobbyist, a consumer and regulatory administrator, compliance officer, an attorney-advisor to the deputy mayor for economic development, senior advisor and counsel to the city administrator and general counsel of RFK Stadium. As general counsel she led the District’s negotiations with the Washington NFL Team and subsequently served as special counsel to then County Executive Wayne Curry in his successful bid to relocate the team to Prince George’s County, Maryland. Before relocating to Washington, she was an assistant district attorney for the City of Philadelphia.

She has served as advisor to elected and appointed officials at the local, state and national level and most recently served on Maryland Governor Wes Moore’s Transition Committee. She is an accomplished senior executive known for achieving goals and objectives that impact local, regional, and federal interests; and is a sought-after chief negotiator, and senior advisor to decision makers in business, nonprofit, and political arenas. Noted for her integrity, candor, diplomacy and achieving results notwithstanding divergent interests; she has served on both the multi-jurisdictional Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). She was appointed by former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening to chair the legislatively mandated Prince George’s County Public Schools Management Oversight Panel. Artis has also served as education transition chair for County Executive Curry; co-chaired former County Executive Rushern Baker’s transition and co-chaired County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ Organizational Development and Talent Management Transition Committee.

Highly recognized for her impressive professional career accomplishments, Artis’ concern for children and underserved populations, access to quality education, and the future of the Washington, DC metropolitan region have been instrumental in applying her experience, professional skills and governance knowledge and experience as a consultant and advocate. Artis is a founding board member of Bright Beginnings, a daycare center for homeless children, and a founder of the Howard University-based Girls, Inc. DC. A past president of Leadership Greater Washington, Artis is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Maryland and director and former chair of The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County (“The Foundation”). She is credited with revitalizing The Foundation with record growth and expanded influence. Her donor- advised fund sponsors annual residential camping experiences for underserved girls. In recognition of her stellar contributions, she was honored by The Foundation with its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award. A former board member and current honorary board member of Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), Artis has been deeply involved in VPP’s Ready for Work initiative which invests in collaborations that create long-term, systemic, and positive change in Prince George’s County for career- and college-ready graduates.

She recently ended a nine-year tenure as director and Governance Committee Chair of CareFirst. She is a current member of the Greater Washington Community Foundation Board (Vice Chair), and the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital Women’s Advisory Board. She formerly served on the Washington Board of Trade, PEPCO Board of Advisors, the Prince George’s Public Schools CEO’s Advisory Council, and the boards of Teach for America DC and the Maryland Women’s Heritage Foundation. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum; The Links, Incorporated; and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, where she serves as the national legal advisor.

Artis has been recognized for her professional and civic achievements and contributions, including the 2010 Most Influential African Americans in Washington, DC and the 2010 and 2012 Prince George’s Suite Top 100 Who’s Who in Prince George’s County. She was featured in the Washingtonian Magazine’s Interesting Dinner Guests (2012), 100 Most Powerful Women (2009) and Power 150—People Who Make Things Happen (2007). In 2008, she received the Women Who Mean Business Award and ten years later she received the Minority Business Owner Award from the Washington Business Journal. The Girl Scouts Council of the Nation’s Capital honored her with the Administrative Officers Award in 2012. She is the recipient of the 2013 Wiley Branton Award of the National Bar Association and a 2014 Washington Area Women’s Foundation honoree. Upon her retirement in 2015, she was the inaugural recipient of the Presidential Medal awarded at the legendary Howard University Charter Day Dinner. In 2017 she received the Mary Church Terrell Award, the highest bestowed upon a members by  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She was named the 2018 Champion for Children by Bright Beginnings, a developmental daycare for homeless children. Artis is the 2020 Greater Leadership Washington Leader of the Years.

Artis is a graduate of Temple University Law Center and Morris Brown College (honors). She is an attorney licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and holds certifications by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Society of Human Resources Management. Artis holds a certificate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Institute for Higher Education Management and she is a graduate of the Stephen Covey Leadership Center with certification as a trainer for the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Principle- Centered Leadership, and the Power Principle.

James Harper, Jr.

James Harper, Jr. is the Director, Office of Acquisition Management for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) within the Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.

In this position, Mr. Harper is responsible for procurement operations, placement, and administration of all prime and related contracts in support of national and international programs of the FTA valued at more than $14 billion; review of third-party contracts in support of the FTA’s grant program; and the development of procurement and third-party contract review policies, procedures, and standards.

He earned a BS degree from N C A&T State University and an MBA from Central Michigan University. In addition, he is a Certified Professional Federal Contracts Manager (CPFM) by the National Contract Management Association, (NCMA) and a Certified Acquisition Professional Federal Contracts Management (FAC-PRO) by the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI).

He has decades of contracting/acquisition/procurement experience including almost 20 years at the FTA. An advocate for the acquisition workforce profession, he tirelessly teaches, conducts seminars, webinars and symposiums for FTA recipients, the transit industry and colleges and universities.

Beth Holbrook

Since 2018 Beth Holbrook has served as a full-time Board Trustee for the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). She has worked in several different capacities over the years including Real Estate sales, the financial sector as a Director of Business Development, Public Sector Manager – a government relations role for the private sector as well an elected official. She was a Bountiful City Council Member since 2008 and has served on numerous boards including the Utility Facility Review Board, Planning Commissioner, and President of the Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) in 2018. Beth earned her BA Degree in Policial Science from the University of Utah.

Beth currently serves on several different boards in Utah including EDCUtah, Envision Utah, the Commission on Housing Affordability, the Housing Transit Reinvestment Zone (HTRZ) Committee, and the Utah District Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Utah. Beth also represents UTA in Transit Oriented Development (TOD) both locally and nationally to present information on TODs and strategic density initiatives.

Beth is proud to serve on the APTA Executive Committee and Chair of the APTA Legislative Sub-Committee for the Transit Board Members for the past 3 years. She has participated in presentations to the APTA Transit Board Members’s group on several topics including the Economic Value of Transit and Transit Oriented Developments. Beth has also participated in three Washington DC Legislative “Fly-Ins” with Congressional and APTA Leadership to convey the value of transit within communities and to continue funding strategies that enhance and connect workforce, socio-economically challenged, and others to access opportunities within their communities. These valued discussions enhance the connectivity of transit.

Beth is married and she and her husband share six children between them who are out making the world a little bit better while the youngest is a sophomore in college. In her spare time, Beth enjoys golfing, camping and travelling. She is also a die-hard University of Utah Football fan and season ticket holder for 20 plus years. Go UTES!

Michael Hursh

Mike was appointed the General Manager by the AC Transit Board of Directors in September 2015. He is a nine-year veteran of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), serving as the Deputy Director, Operations for Maintenance and Security, and between 2012 and 2015 as the Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Mike directed all VTA transit operations, including bus and light rail, operator training, accessible services, planning, scheduling, and facility maintenance. Among his previous positions, he served as Deputy General Manager for Maintenance, Safety and Training for the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Mike is a champion for the environment and has a thorough understanding of public transportation in the Bay Area. He values customers, key stakeholders and employees who make transit systems work. Mike is on the APTA Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from American Military University. A native of Reno, Nevada, Mike is a long-time Bay Area resident and veteran of the United States Air Force, serving six years in active duty and five years as a reservist in the California Air National Guard. He is a past chair of the California Transit Association Rail Operations & Regulatory Committee and graduate of Leadership Contra Costa.

Arezou (“Ari”) Jolly

Ari Jolly serves as an Expert Counsel at GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (“GMHC”). In this role, Ari is responsible for providing legal support to the Investment and Corporate Development operations of the GMHC enterprise and for providing board governance support to numerous GMHC subsidiary and joint venture companies.

Prior to joining Florida Blue in 1993, Ari practiced with the law firm of Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones, and Gay in Jacksonville. Ari was also an Officer in the Unites States Navy from 1983-1990 and the recipient of a Navy Achievement Medal (1987).

Throughout her career, Ari has been active in her community. She is a member of the Florida Bar and Jacksonville Bar. In 2019, Ari was reappointed by Governor DeSantis to the board of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) and served as the Chair of the JTA from 2021 to 2022. Ari also serves on Board of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and was the Chair from 2021-2023. In 2023 Ari joined the Board and Executive Committee of the JAX Chamber and is the in-coming Chair for 2025. Ari currently serves as the Chair of Fleet Landing (a CCRC community) and also serves on the Boards of the JU Public Policy Institute and the American Public Transportation Association.

Ari is a member of the Jacksonville Women’s Network and a former Chair and Board member of the Greater Jacksonville Area USO.

In 2015 Ari was recognized as a Jacksonville Business Journal’s Woman of Influence. In 2022 she was honored by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) as one of the Women Who Move the Nation and by Jacksonville University with the Outstanding Military Alumnus of Distinction Award. That year, Ari was also a Florida Times-Union EVE Award Finalist. In 2024 Ari was named as a Women with Heart and joined 7 other community leaders in support efforts for Volunteers in Medicine.

Ari graduated from Jacksonville University (1983) and the Florida State College of Law (1990) with Highest Honors. She is an honors graduate from the Naval Legal Justice School, Rhode Island (1984).

Julie Kirschbaum

Julie Kirschbaum, Director of Transit, has served at the SFMTA since 2007.  Her current work is focused on making Muni service faster, safer, more reliable and customer oriented. Prior to joining the agency, Julie served as a senior transportation planner with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and as a consultant in the private sector. A resident of San Francisco, she is the mother of two small transit riders.

Peter Knox

Peter is a life-long transit rider who has used many different transit systems as an able-bodied person and as a person with mobility disabilities. Governor Kate Brown appointed him to the LTD Board of Directors in 2022. An Information Technology Consultant, Peter has spent many years in active civic leadership as the former Chair of the Downtown Neighborhood Association and of the West University Neighbors in Eugene as well as past Co-Chair of the Neighborhood Leader’s Council. Over the years, his other neighborhood community committee and board of directors involvement have related to policy issues concerning transit and housing. Peter attended the University of Oregon and is a graduate of Lane Community College. His term expires on December 31, 2025.

Amorette Ko-Wong

Amorette Ko‐Wong is the Secretary of the District of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Her office ensures the 19‐member Board of Directors (Board) has the proper information, advice, resources and tools to discharge its fiduciary duties. Under Ms. Ko‐Wong’s leadership, the District Secretary’s Office (DSO) plans and executes multiple special events each month including Board and Committee meetings and public hearings. The (DSO) also facilitates legal matters and acts as the District’s

Legal Service Agent. In addition, the (DSO) orchestrates the District’s response to subpoenas and Public Records Act requests, as well as District‐wide formal bids and Requests for Proposals. Alongside the General Manager, Ms. Ko‐Wong is active in forming and implementing the District’s Legislative initiatives and advocates the District’s capital projects at the state and federal level.

Ms. Ko‐Wong joined the District in July 1998 and is the ninth Secretary since the District’s founding in 1928. She is also the first Asian American to serve as an Officer. Prior to becoming the Secretary of the District in January 2014, Ms. Ko‐Wong was the Executive Assistant to the General Manager.

Jack Kroll

In June 2023, Jack Kroll began serving as the Executive Manager of the Board of Office for the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board of Directors, one of only a few elected transit boards in the nation.

He comes to RTD after serving as an elected member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents where he served for six years. Jack chaired the Board of Regents in 2021-2022 and helped lead the University of Colorado through a presidential search and reopening following campus closures wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Jack is very familiar with the challenges public boards face and was brought to RTD by the Directors with the task of modernizing RTD’s board practices, policies, and technologies.

Collette Langston

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.

Tiffany Martin-Patterson

Tiffany Martin-Patterson is an experienced professional with a robust background in transportation administration and a proven track record of excellence in supporting executive leadership and board operations. She has held this role since 2008 and currently serves as the Board Administrator to the General Manager, Deputy General Manager, and Board of Directors at Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART). In this capacity, Tiffany ensures the seamless execution of clerical functions, manages public inquiries, and coordinates all board-related activities, including meetings, agenda preparation, and minute-taking.

Tiffany’s career at SMART in Detroit, MI has been marked by her dedication to organizational efficiency and her ability to handle complex administrative tasks precisely.

Prior to joining SMART, Tiffany held significant roles at Crain Communications, MotorCities National Heritage Area and EDS/GM where she honed her skills in office management, human resources, and financial administration. Her diverse experience, which includes managing payroll, conducting new employee recruitment, and ensuring compliance with federal regulations such as FMLA and HIPAA, instills confidence in her ability to handle various tasks.

With her extensive experience and dedication to excellence, Tiffany is a valuable representative for SMART at the APTA Transit Board Members & Board Administrators Seminar. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a proactive approach to every aspect of her role. She ensures that SMART’s interests are well-represented and that all media inquiries are handled professionally and carefully. Tiffany’s approach to media interactions emphasizes transparency and individualized responses, aligning with best practices and fostering positive relationships with the media.

Tiffany Martin-Patterson’s participation in the APTA conference is a testament to her unwavering commitment to advancing public transportation and supporting the strategic goals of SMART.

Steven Martingano

Steven Martingano began his law enforcement career in 1992 when he interned with the New York City Police Department (Police Cadet Corp) while attending St John’s University. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, he was then promoted to police officer, where he was assigned to the 104th Precinct in Queens, NY for over 3 years.

In 1996, Deputy Chief Martingano relocated to Colorado and laterally transferred to the Arvada Police Department where he served for 7 years in the patrol division. In 2004, he laterally transferred to the Denver Police Department, where he was assigned numerous positions in his 11 years of service.

In 2014, he was hired by the RTD Transit Police Division, as a Transit Police Commander, and in 2017, he was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief of Police.

Steve currently holds the Deputy Chief of Police of Administration and Support Services position and oversees Police Communications Dispatch, Integrated Security Unit, Video Investigations Division, Training and Compliance, Internal Affairs Bureau, Mental Health Clinician and Homeless Outreach Coordination Program.

Deputy Chief Martingano is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 287, Rocky Mountain FBI Command College, and has earned a certificate from Denver University for Leadership in Public Safety.

E. Lynn McFadden

Lynn serves as the Principal Safety Auditor for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in San Jose, CA. With over 18 years of experience in mass transit, she is a highly seasoned expert. Lynn holds certifications from the U.S. Department of Transportation, FEMA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, California Specialized Training Institute, Transportation Safety Institute (TSI), Mineta Transportation Institute, and VTA. Her certifications cover areas such as Service Management Operations, SCADA train tracking and OCS power grids, bus and rail operation, Transit Safety & Security Programs (TSSP and PTSCTP), Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), accident investigation, Safety Management Systems (SMS), Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, transit system safety and security audits, hazardous material, and emergency management for Incident Command Systems (ICS) under the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) via California’s Standardized Emergency Management Systems (SEMS). Additionally, Lynn has completed the Leadership and Management Development for Transit Paratransit Management Certification Program at the University of the Pacific.

Lynn’s transit career began as a Coach Operator for VTA, followed by roles including Light Rail Operator, Field Supervisor & Rail Control Supervisor, and Transit Safety Officer, where she also served as the Emergency Management Coordinator before being promoted.

As a Transit Safety Officer, Lynn conducted root cause analyses and investigations of incidents on VTA’s systems, performed safety inspections, and managed both external and internal safety audits. She supported trend analysis and mitigation coordination, state and federal audits, hazard management, served on various Safety Committees, trained new Transit Safety Officers, and led New Employee Orientation safety training. Additionally, she coordinated emergency management, training, contracts, capital projects, budgets, and program management, and experienced with bargaining agreements.

Lynn has played a pivotal role in Emergency Management at VTA, contributing to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activations during the COVID-19 pandemic, a cyber-attack, and the May 2021 active shooter event. She has facilitated communication between VTA and the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services (OES) as well as regional transportation agencies on emergency management issues.
In her current role, Lynn oversees VTA’s Internal Safety Audit programs, participates in the development of
agency-wide initiatives such as the Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP), new employee training, and manages external safety audits.

Petra Mollet

Petra Mollet is Vice President of Strategic and International Programs for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). She leads APTA’s strategic and business planning, including goal setting and implementation. She directs the development of APTA’s global strategy, effectively communicating the association’s strategic plan with its international partners and plays a key role in helping to shape the development of APTA’s international engagement. Petra manages APTA’s Transit Board Members Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Council, providing pivotal direction in the association’s transit equity efforts.
In a transportation career spanning over three decades, she is driven by a passion for realizing the potential of sustainable mobility to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities.Before she joined APTA in 2008, Petra was director of corporate development and the corporate office at the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) based in Brussels, Belgium. She led UITP’s worldwide expansion and its external relations, as well as supporting the launch of UITP’s Sustainable Development Program in 2001.Petra earlier was executive director of POLIS, an association of European local and regional transportation authorities collaborating on the application of Intelligent Transportation Systems and mobility integration.She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with a bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs, and holds an executive master of natural resources from Virginia Tech.

Mary Morrison

Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority’s (TARTA) Board of Trustees President Mary Morrison has been named to the Transit Board Members Committee by the American Public Transit Association.

APTA advocates for public transportation on a national level and represents around 1,500 public and private organizations nationwide. The Transit Board Members Committee assists members of the governing boards of transit-related organizations across the nation in carrying out their obligations efficiently and effectively. It’s designed to provide a centralized forum for best practices, policy views, and professional development through the lens of APTA.

“It’s an honor to be named alongside so many people who have displayed a career-long dedication to the people who depend on public transportation, and to serve an organization like APTA,” said Morrison, who has served on TARTA’s Board of Trustees since 2019 and has been President of that board since December of 2022. “I am continually amazed at the leadership APTA shows in pushing forward the cause of mobility for people who truly need it most, so it’s a great honor to help in any way that I can.

“I am so proud of what (TARTA CEO) Laura (Koprowski) and her team have been able to accomplish in a short time and I look forward to more of the same in the years to come.”

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.

Kelly Parisi

Kelly Parisi has been with Regional Transit Service in Rochester, NY since 2008. She started as an Administrative Assistant in the IT Department, working on a multimillion-dollar technology project under the direction of then Director of IT, Miguel Velázquez. At the conclusion of the project, she moved to the Transportation Operations Department where she supported the Chief of Operations.

Parisi joined the Executive Suite in 2011 where she supported then CEO, Bill Carpenter and the RGRTA Board of Commissioners. During Carpenter’s transition period to retirement Parisi also supported then Deputy CEO, Miguel Velázquez. She continued supporting Velázquez when he took over as CEO in January 2023, and supported Carpenter until his retirement in June 2023.

Parisi expanded her support portfolio when Velázquez was appointed CEO in January of 2023 by supporting the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief DEI Officer, along with her continued support of the RGRTA Board of Commissioners. Her Board responsibilities include managing the development of Board and Committee meeting agendas, resolutions, and meeting minutes. She is also responsible for coordinating all official Board actions, and ensuring Board activities are tracked and recorded in accordance with all legal requirements. She also facilitates new Board Member orientation, ongoing governance training and strategic planning sessions.

Karen Philbrick

Dr. Karen Philbrick is the executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University, a position she has held since 2014. MTI leads four competitively selected multi-university consortia which includes outstanding academic institutions that represent and support the geographical, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic diversity that makes our nation strong.

Prior to joining MTI, Dr. Philbrick shaped the field of transportation in a variety of roles, including as assistant director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation at the University of Denver. She has been appointed four times by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Secretaries LaHood, Foxx, Chao, and most recently Buttigieg) to sit on the USDOT Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS).

With an eye toward seamless and equitable transportation for all, Karen also serves the industry through elected positions on the boards of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the International Transportation Learning Center (ITLC), and NASA’s Academic Mission Services Science and Technology Council. She was an appointed research advisor to the APTA Mobility Recovery and Restoration Task Force.

Committed to recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in the transportation industry, Dr. Philbrick also serves on the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) International Board, after serving three terms on the WTS Foundation Board. She contributes to her community through the Rotary Club of San José, where she has served as a board member, and is the 2023-2024 President.

A frequently invited keynote speaker, Dr. Philbrick has also delivered federal congressional briefings and invited testimony to the California Senate Transportation Committee and the Assembly Transportation Committee. Her other intellectual contributions include a bimonthly column on transportation in the San Jose Spotlight, the recipient of the national Publisher of the Year award for independent online news, invited articles for the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and peer-reviewed journal articles focused on models of accident risk and fatigue in railroad operations, psychological trauma and transportation accidents —including grade crossing and trespasser incidents —and cross cultural differences in helping behavior.

Dr. Philbrick has received many prestigious awards for her leadership excellence and outstanding contributions to her field and holds a PhD from the University of Denver and an MA and EdM from Columbia University. She earned her undergraduate degree from California State University, Fresno.

Luis Ramos

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.

Carl G. Sedoryk

Carl G. Sedoryk is General Manager/Chief Executive Officer for Monterey-Salinas Transit District, a small urban/rural transit operator, and has worked within the public transit industry since 1988. Carl started with Monterey-Salinas Transit in June 2000 as Assistant General Manager and was promoted to CEO in September 2005.  

Under the guidance of the District Board of Directors which represents the 13 jurisdictions within the County of Monterey, Carl is responsible for leading his team of 350 direct and contract employee in providing safe, convenient and affordable mobility throughout the vast California Central Coast region which comprises an area equivalent to one-fifth of the entire state coastline. 

Carl actively participates in the leadership of the California Transit Association, and American Public Transit Association ensuring the interests of small urban and rural transit operators in general are represented and is a frequent speaker at transportation and mobility conferences. 

In his spare time, Carl is an underemployed multi-instrumentalist, volunteer martial arts instructor, and recent Pickleball convert. 

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

Mr. Paul C. Smedberg was appointed by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) to serve as a Principal Director in January 2019. He previously served as an Alternate Director from January 2016 – January 2019.

Mr. Smedberg was elected Chair of the Board in June 2019. Most recently, he was selected Co-Chair of DMV Moves, a historic initiative that will create a unified vision and sustainable funding model for public transit in the region. In 2023, he was honored as Board Member of the Year by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Mr. Smedberg 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.

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 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.

Manjit Sooch

Manjit Sooch is the Director of Innovation and Technology at the Alameda – Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) Department. She has over twenty-three years of experience managing enterprise applications and software development lifecycles in both the private and public sectors. She is Chair of the APTA Research and Technology Committee and an APTA Board Member. In that role, she advocates, advance, facilitate, and promote technological research and innovations to the APTA members.

Manjit earned an MBA in IT Management from Western Governors University, Florida, and a bachelor’s degree with a Business and Software Engineering specialization from Delhi University, India. She is pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of the SouthWest. She is alumni of the ENO Mid Manager and Senior Executive Leadership 2015 Program. Outside work, she volunteers as a Director of the Women’s Chapter of the Universal Brotherhood organization. She brings a potent blend of technical, interpersonal, and management skills.

Doug Tisdale

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 and currently chairs the RTD Finance and Planning Committee. He is a member of APTA’s Executive Committee; the APTA Board of Directors; the APTA Finance Committee; the Co-Lead of APTA’s TBM/Business Members Joint Advocacy Plan Task Force; and former Chair of the TBM Legislative Sub-Committee, among other APTA leadership positions.

Doug served as Mayor of Cherry Hills Village, Colorado (“The #1 Best Suburb of America to Live In” –The Wall Street Journal) 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.

Jeffrey Travillion

Travis County representative – 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.

Chair Travillion currently serves on CapMetro’s Operations, Planning and Safety Committee.

Jeff Tumlin

Jeffrey Tumlin was named Director of Transportation of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency in December 2019. He oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), parking, traffic engineering, bicycle and pedestrian safety, transportation accessibility and taxi regulation for the City & County of San Francisco.

Jeff guided the SFMTA as it provided essential transportation services to San Francisco residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing service for customers who have the fewest transportation options and are most dependent on public transit. Under his leadership, the agency undertook innovative programs to make it safer for San Franciscans to bike, walk and socialize on city streets. The agency also completed major construction projects such as the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit Corridor and the Central Subway.

Prior to joining the SFMTA, Jeff was owner and director of strategy at NelsonNygaard Consulting Associates, a global transportation planning and engineering firm that focuses on sustainable mobility. He has worked in the transportation industry for more than 30 years and led projects that won awards from the U.S. General Services Administration, Institute of Transportation Engineers, American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, Congress for the New Urbanism, and Urban Land Institute.

He is the author of the textbook Sustainable Transportation: Tools for Creating Healthy, Vibrant and Resilient Communities, in use at universities around the world, and part of the Wiley Series on Sustainable Design.

Jeff has a BA in Urban Studies from Stanford University and served for five years after graduation as the university’s transportation programs manager.

Anna Velazquez

Anna Maria Velazquez was elected Mayor of the City of Soledad in November 2020 becoming the first female Mayor to represent the city in ninety-nine years. As Mayor, her policy is focused on smart growth principles and policies including expansion of commercial and retail businesses, creating a range of housing opportunity choices, walkable neighborhoods, preservation of open spaces, transportation choices and broadband access for all residents of Soledad.

Anna was born and raised in the Salinas Valley by farmworker parents. She has over 20 years of experience in local government—including four years as a Mayor and former City Council member and many more in her current position as District Director for a State Senator. Her career in public service, includes 17-years with the City of Salinas where she held the position of Community Development Analyst in the Housing and Community Development Department and Neighborhood Services Coordinator in the office of the City Manager.

She brings a breadth of experience and her expertise includes administration of federal grants and the crafting and knowledge of local and state policies especially in the area of affordable housing. Additionally, she possesses strong personnel and project management skills which have proven to be foundational in building civic and regional partnerships and providing fiscal sustainability for the delivery of programs and services.
Anna has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology from CSU, Fresno and an Associate Degree from Hartnell Community College. Her passion for public service has led her to serve on numerous boards and committees focused on creating lasting and positive impacts in the community. She currently serves on various regional boards.

• Monterey Salinas Transit (MST), Board of Directors, Vice-Chair 2021 and Chair 2022-2024

She was first elected to the Soledad City Council in November 2016. Her policies focus on development of affordable and workforce housing, bringing greater transparency and accountability in all functions of local government and creating systems and policies that are inclusive, embrace cultural diversity and encourage community engagement. She leads with honesty, compassion and integrity.

During her term as mayor, she helped to bring affordable housing units to the city by ensuring compliance with the cities Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, advocated for the first inclusive playground for children of all abilities and secured $2 Million dollars from State Senator Anna Caballero’s district earmarks for acquisition of a ladder truck for construction of higher density housing affordable to working families.

Dottie Watkins

Dottie Watkins serves as CapMetro’s President & CEO in Austin, TX.

Dottie began her transit career in 1994 driving part-time for CapMetro while she attended the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to her appointment as President & CEO in January 2023, Watkins served as Deputy CEO, Chief Operating Officer, and Vice President of Bus Operations and Maintenance. She also served as the interim President and CEO beginning in June 2022.

She holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Texas and a Master of Business Administration from St. Edward’s University. She is recognized at the agency for her depth of knowledge of what it takes to make transit operate, but also her unwavering commitment to her staff and the frontline team members the agency relies upon.

A native Austinite, Watkins regularly enjoys trips to the pool with her daughter and plays French Horn in a local community band.

Christy Wegener

Christy Wegener is the Executive Director of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority. Ms. Wegener began her public transportation career as a graduate student intern and assistant planner for the Sacramento Regional Transit District. She then moved to Virginia where she spent eight years working for the Fairfax Connector bus system. At Fairfax she was promoted quickly, assuming greater responsibilities for the contracted operations, customer service, service planning, fleet and facilities for the Connector system. Ms. Wegener returned to California, beginning her first stint at the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority as the Director of Planning and Operations. At LAVTA she led the comprehensive analysis Wheels Forward, which laid the path for a bus network redesign that would result in increased ridership and was instrumental in launching the Go Dublin! on-demand partnership with TNCs. In early 2018, Wegener took an opportunity with the San Mateo County Transit District as the Director of Planning for the SamTrans bus system, where she oversaw the short and long range, sustainability, and operations planning for the district.

Ms. Wegener holds a Master’s in Public Policy from California State University Sacramento, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Davis. She was recognized as Mass Transit Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 and is a graduate of the American Public Transportation Association’s Leadership APTA program.

Andrew P. Wilson

Andrew Wilson is the Chief Safety Officer and the Executive Director for Safety, Security, and Emergency Management at TriMet.

Andrew has over 20 years of experience in Public Safety and Risk Management and is a Certified Safety Executive by the World Safety Organization (WSO).

Following TriMet’s Reimagine Public Safety Initiative, Andrew has led TriMet through an extraordinary time of innovation, which has resulted in the creation of several public safety teams and programs that have received national recognition.

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
Immediate Past Chair, DART Board of Directors (2021-2023)
Member, DART Committee-of-the-Whole
Chair, DART Mobility Service LGC, Board of Directors
Chair, Regional Rail Right-of-Way Company Board of Directors
Member, DART Board Governance Ad Hoc Committee

Former Committees
Member, Budget and Finance Committee *
Member, Economic Opportunity and Diversity Committee *
Member, Personnel Ad Hoc Search Committee *
*Committees were dissolved in December 2022

Employment
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
Community Service and Activities
Member, McKinney Avenue Transit Authority
Former Member, North Central Texas Council of Governments – Regional Transportation Council (DART Representative)

Professional Memberships
House of Delegates, American Bar Association, 2013-2016
Trustee, State Bar of Texas Insurance Trust, 2014
Board of Directors, State Bar of Texas, 2004-2007, 2011-2014
Board of Directors, Dallas Bar Association Community Service Fund, 2012-2014
Board of Directors, Dallas Bar Association, 2005-2008, 2010-2011
Chair, State Bar of Texas Asian Pacific Interest Section, 1998-1999, 2010-2011
Chair, State Bar of Texas Hispanic Interest Section, 2008-2009
Board of Advisors, Magnet Center for Public Service Government, Law and Law Enforcement, 2007-2009
Director, Texas Equal Access to Justice Foundation, 2001-2007
Secretary-Treasurer, Dallas Bar Association, 2000 and 2004
President, Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, 2002
Course Director, Dallas Minority Attorney Program, 1999-present
President, Dallas Asian American Bar Association, 1994-1996
Board of Advisors, Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce, 1995
Board of Directors, Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, 1990-1994

Education
B.A., Political Science, University of Texas at Arlington
J.D., Southern Methodist University

Joel Young

Joel Young, an 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 is currently serving a second term 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 serves as a member of the APTA Board of Directors, and as Secretary of the APTA Transit Board Members Committee.

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.

Thalia Young

Thalia Young is a Board Assistant for Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority in San Jose, CA. She has been in this role and with VTA for over nine years. She has taken on increasing responsibilities, including organizing and planning the host events for the APTA seminar with a team, over the past nine years.
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