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People on the Move


January 2, 2006


SAN DIEGO, CALIF.--The Metropolitan Transit System Board of Directors has elected Harry Mathis Jr. to a four-year term as its chairman, beginning Jan. 1, 2006. Mathis succeeds the retiring Leon Williams to become the seventh person to serve as MTS chairman since the agency was formed in 1976.

Mathis served from 1993 to 2000 as a City of San Diego Councilman representing District One. As a councilmember and later deputy mayor, he served on numerous committees, including those concerning public transportation, commuter rail, and traffic demand management. In 1994, the city appointed him to the MTS board. Mathis also became a board member for the San Diego Trolley, and served as chair of its board of directors from 1995 to 2003. At that time he became an ex-officio member of the MTS board and executive committee, and continued until October 2005.

He retired as a captain from the U.S. Navy in 1981.

Williams had served as board chairman since 1994, and was a member of the board since its inception in 1976.

OAKLAND, CALIF.--The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District announces the election of Carole Ward Allen, Ph.D., as its board president and Lynette Sweet as vice president.

Ward Allen, an instructor at Laney College who has served as assistant vice chancellor of the Peralta Colleges, joined the BART Board of Directors in 1998. She represents District Four, which consists of portions of Oakland and the city of Alameda.

Sweet joined the board in 2003 to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of former BART Director Willie B. Kennedy, and was elected to her first full term in 2004. She is a board member and executive director of the African American Interest Free Loan Association. For BART, Sweet represents District Seven, the only BART district to bridge the San Francisco Bay, including Albany, Emeryville, El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo and portions of Berkeley, Oakland, El Sobrante, and San Francisco.

SILVER SPRING, MD.--Connex North America, a division of Veolia Environnement, has named Terry Van der Aa to the position of chairman. He formerly owned and operated ATC, a bus company based in Oak Brook, Ill., which was acquired by Connex North America this past fall.

Van der Aa started in the transportation business in the early 1970s, when he joined his father's small private school bus company, and over the next 35 years grew the business into one of the largest privately-held bus companies in the U.S. He also owns Shuttleport, an arm of the Van der Aa Mobility Group that provides transportation services and solutions to airlines, airports, and railroads.

SEAL BEACH, CALIF.--John S. Herrington, who served as U.S. secretary of energy during the Reagan Administration, has joined the board of directors of Clean Energy, a provider of compressed and liquefied natural gas and related services.

During his tenure as energy secretary, Herrington spearheaded several initiatives aimed at strengthening the government's response to environmental, safety, and health issues raised by the nation's increased use of nuclear power. An advocate for lessening America's dependence on foreign oil, he encouraged natural gas exploration and deregulation, and committed resources towards clean coal technologies.

After his government service, Herrington served as chairman of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., one of the world's largest publishers.

WINNIPEG, MANI.--New Flyer announces the appointments of Glenn Asham, CA, as chief financial officer and Hans Peper, executive vice president, customer services.

Asham, a chartered accountant in Canada, joined New Flyer in 1992 as corporate controller, and two years later was promoted to vice president, finance, with responsibilities including information services. In August 2005, he played a significant role in the company's successful initial public offering. Before coming to New Flyer, Asham worked with Deloitte & Touche for eight years, providing client services in the areas of accounting, auditing, taxation, and management consulting.

Since joining New Flyer in 1989, Peper has been responsible for the development of the aftermarket parts and services group and the publications organization. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of senior management positions within the European farm equipment industry.

NEW YORK, N.Y.--Kenneth E. Vought, P.E., a 40-year rail transit professional, has been elected chairman of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers New York Section for 2006. The IEEE New York Section has 5,400 members working and/or living within Westchester and Rockland counties and New York City.

Vought also served as chair of the Vehicular Technology Society New York Chapter in 2001, when the chapter earned international recognition as Chapter of the Year.

During his career, Vought opened what is now the New York City, Region II office of the Federal Transit Administration, after working in rail transit with General Electric and Pullman. He also has had professional associations with Gibbs & Hill, Raytheon, and RT&T Consultants, and has contributed papers at APTA Rail Transit Conferences.

ALBANY, N.Y.--Stephen G. Bland, executive director of the Capital District Transportation Authority, has been elected president of the New York Public Transportation Association for the term 2006 through 2008. He served as the association's vice president in 2004 and 2005.

NYPTA elected Scott Sopczyk of Greater Glens Falls Transit as its vice president; Vito Sportelli of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in Buffalo, secretary; Frances Pavia, Centro of Oneida, treasurer; and Frank Kobliski, Central New York Regional Transportation Authority in Syracuse, past president.

ST. PAUL, MINN.--Natalio (Nacho) Diaz, the chief transportation planner for the Metropolitan Council for the last two decades, has announced his plans to retire from the council in March. Arlene McCarthy, director of service development for Metro Transit since 2000, will succeed Diaz as director of Metropolitan Transportation Services.

A native of Spain, Diaz joined the council in 1974 after earning master's degrees in civil engineering from the University of Madrid and the University of Minnesota. He went back to Spain in 1976 to work as a consultant, but returned to the council in 1978 and remained ever since. He has served as the council's chief transportation planner since 1985.

McCarthy, an employee of the council since 1988, served as a senior engineer and manager in the Environmental Services division for a decade before joining Metro Transit. She has overseen the planning, bidding, and construction of numerous major capital improvements, including Metro Transit's new bus garage on St. Paul's East Side.

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