Beaming with Pride: Celebrating the Diverse Lived Experiences That Our Members and Transportation Professionals Bring

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As a member of COMTO’s Board of Directors and a leader in the transportation industry, conducting myself with the highest ethical and professional standards has been the key to my success. What drives me is the desire to set a positive example for the communities I represent and serve. As a gay American, I have dreams and aspirations just like everyone else. I have worked hard to achieve my goals, not only for my well-being, but to prove that I am as competent and capable to lead as anyone else.

Throughout my youth, I experienced discrimination for my Mexican heritage and sexual orientation. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I used my frustrations with bigotry to fuel my determination to be a role model and show that all people are created equal. As a result, the success and accomplishments in my 22 years in the transportation industry have focused on creating opportunities for all diverse groups and professionals.

Additionally, I have used this steadfast vision throughout my career to incorporate a fair and unbiased approach in my decision making and delivery of projects. It should be noted that removing prejudice and discrimination in the professional setting is good business. It is also a proven fact that insisting on diverse perspectives in all decision-making drives innovation and balanced outcomes that benefit all those involved.

When my mentor Shirley A. Delibero, aka “The Queen of Transit,” asked me to join COMTO in 2000, it would be one of the best professional decisions I would ever make. COMTO was all about fair opportunities for aspiring and emerging diverse leaders in the transportation industry. I wanted to be a leader in the industry and there was no question about my diversity. Since then, COMTO has
contributed to my overall professional growth, while giving me the perfect platform to give back and mentor the future leaders of the transportation industry.

Today, I am surrounded by top-notch professionals at COMTO and WSP USA, which is really a testament to the diverse and genuine culture that both organizations possess and cultivate. Not to mention, I have the honor of working with so many great people who accept me for the person I am, treat me with respect, and care about my overall well-being. Together we are making a significant difference in the diversity and equity of our industry.

I have a tremendous amount of pride in who I am and what I have accomplished and am thankful for the opportunity to share my story with you. Thank you for your continued support for COMTO. May you have a fun and festive 2022 Pride Month.

Ruben Landa
At-Large Member, COMTO Board of Directors
Assistant Vice President /Texas Business Leader – Communication and Public Involvement, WSP USA

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