BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board Of Excellence
Freddie Fuller ll
A proven leader and a true public servant, Freddie Fuller has spent his entire professional career in the public transportation industry. For more than 22 years Freddie has utilized his education, expertise and relationships to engage and connect organizations and individuals within the transit industry.
He is a Vice President at Jacobs, leading new business capture for transit and rail pursuits in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, with a focus on electronic payment systems. As a result of his efforts, Jacobs has developed new business in Baltimore, Washington, DC, Charlotte, Atlanta and New Orleans.
A private sector consultant and public servant, Freddie currently serves on the board as the National Chair of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and as Secretary/Treasurer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
In 1997, Freddie was introduced to COMTO while attending a Garret A. Morgan event in Washington DC. The following year he was selected for the second class of Leadership APTA.
While working at the National Transit Institute (NTI) at Rutgers University, Freddie facilitated a meeting between COMTO and NTI which led to COMTO offering continuing education credits at its National Meeting & Training Conference. Soon after, Freddie joined COMTO’s National Meeting & Training Conference program planning committee. In 2004, Freddie began his own consulting practice and COMTO asked him to develop and manage their inaugural CITY Internship Program which was funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
In 2011, COMTO asked him to serve as chair of their strategic planning committee. A year later Freddie began serving on the COMTO board of directors and was elected to the APTA Business Members Board of Governors (BMBG).
Freddie has been a member of the COMTO board of directors since 2012 and serves on the finance, fundraising, strategic planning committees and the legislative advisory council. He also engages industry partners to advance the mission and position of COMTO.
In 2015, Freddie became chair of the APTA BMBG legislative committee. That same year he was elected to his first three-year term on the APTA executive committee. In 2017, he was named vice chair of the BMBG budget committee and appointed to the APTA finance committee.
In the fall of 2018, Freddie was elected to a two-year term as COMTO National Chair and elected to a three-year term as APTA Secretary/Treasurer.
At APTA Freddie also serves as chair of the finance committee and a member of the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) board of directors and chair of its finance committee.
In addition to his commitments to COMTO and APTA, Freddie was selected as a fellow by the Eno Transportation Foundation in 2006 and selected to participate in the Transit Cooperative Research Program’s International Transit Study Mission in 2007. Prior to joining Jacobs, Freddie also served in leadership roles with Prince George’s County-The Bus, GRTC in Richmond, VA, National Transit Institute at Rutgers University, District Department of Transportation in DC, Cubic Transportation Systems and his own consulting practice, PT Consulting.
Freddie earned an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, two Masters degrees from Georgia Tech in City Planning and Civil Engineering. He also completed coursework towards a doctorate degree at Virginia Tech in Planning and Governance. He and his wife, Tasha reside in Woodbridge, Virginia and are the proud parents of four children. Freddie loves to work out regularly and is an avid runner.
FIRST VICE CHAIR
Tanya Adams has 31 years of experience with diversity initiatives and recruitment/outreach in the transportation industry. As Vice President, Community Relations and Diversity Manager and Co-Chair of the Diversity Council for WSP USA, she advocates for minority business involvement in both the engineering and business communities, and also on WSP USA’s contracts. Prior to joining WSP USA, Ms. Adams was employed by the Illinois Department of Transportation for 19 years. She is actively involved in diversity initiatives with community organizations, serving alongside many minority business partners, and she develops and directs both internal and external programs to meet business diversity needs. Tanya’s personal objective is to see the diverse faces of America equally reflected at all levels of the transportation industry, and she has devoted her career to serving as an advocate and a resource to minority individuals and businesses. Since 2007, Tanya has been involved in the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), having served as a member of the Board, Corporate Advisory Council, Joint Leadership Team, Women Who Move the Nation Committee, and the Program Planning Committee. In 2016, she was named COMTO’s Corporate Executive of the Year, recognizing her leadership efforts and outreach to minority and disadvantaged business firms locally and nationwide. In 2015, she became the first African American women to be elected to the board of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Illinois. She also served as the Chair of ACEC’s Students Engaged in Engineering Committee for 10 years, actively engaging and fostering an interest in the transportation industry among students. She has been involved in leadership roles for the Innovations Conference on Asphalt and Transportation (ICAT) having served as ICAT’s DBE Co-Chairperson, and is currently the organization’s Operational and DBE Board member. In addition, she is the Secretary of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, and also actively participates with the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA). This year, she received the WSP U.S. Diversity Award as well as the WTS 2018 Woman of the Year, Chicago.
SECOND VICE CHAIR
Sharmyn Elliott is Vice President of Somat Engineering Inc. (Somat), a full-service infrastructure solution provider. Bringing more than 40+ years experience to the industry, Mr. Elliott’s current responsibilities include operations manager for the firm’s geotechnical and construction engineering practice disciplines, client relations, and developing and implementing strategic operations planning. He currently serves as the Senior Project Consultant on several Transportation, Aviation, Healthcare, Sports Facility/Entertainment and Water-Wastewater contracts including the Prime Material Testing consultant for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) on the I-75 Reconstruction Project in Monroe County, Michigan; as well as Inspection and Testing Services Consultant for the New M-1 Rail Streetcar Project; New Detroit Events Center (Detroit Red Wings Entertainment District); I-94 Mega Project (Owner’s Representative Team); I-75 Modernization Mega Project; Wayne County Airport Authority Runway, Taxiway, and New Administration Building projects; and a host of other surface transportation and municipal projects to name a few.
Mr. Elliott also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Somat Engineering of Ohio, Inc. and is responsible for the firms overall engineering practice disciplines and construction engineering services operations in Cleveland and Brooklyn Heights, Ohio. Some Ohio projects include Ohio Turnpike Bridge Deck Replacement; Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) I-90 CCG1 Eastbound Reconstruction and I-90 CCG2 Westbound Reconstruction; ODOT District 12 Construction Inspection, Testing and Laboratory services; and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) – Advance Facility Plan Design, Doan Valley Storage Tunnel Design, and Westerly Storage Tunnel Design to name a few.
Sharmyn is an active and dedicated member of the multi-modal transportation community, and of COMTO both on the National and local level. In addition to his current role as a COMTO National Board of Directors At-Large member, and COMTO Michigan Vice President (re-elected for the 2016 – 2017 term), he actively participates in COMTO local chapter and National activities and committees, as well as other professional organizations. A sampling of these activities and committees include:
2016 COMTO National Board of Directors – Finance Committee Member
2016 Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) – Minority Business Assistance Centers (MBAC) Construction Summit Panel Member
2016, 2015, 2014 & 2013 Attendee COMTO “Women Who Move the Nation” and Company Sponsor
2015, 2014 & 2013 Attendee COMTO National Meeting and Training Conference; Registered Participant for 2016 NMTC in Dallas, TX
2016, 2015 and 2014 COMTO Michigan – Golf Outing Committee Member and Company Sponsor
2015 Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Partnering Panel Member – MDOT’s 35th DBE Conference
2015, 2014 Attendee COMTO Joint Leadership Meeting and CBCF/COMTO Transportation Braintrust
2014 Presenter “Doing Business with MDOT & Partnering” – MDOT’s 34th DBE Conference
2013 COMTO National – Historically Underutilized Business Firm of the Year
2015 COMTO Michigan – Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Firm of the Year
2015 COMTO Michigan – Garrett A. Morgan Shadow Day Sponsor
Company:SOMAT ENGINEERING OF OHIO
IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Warren Montague currently serves as the Manager of Mobility Services for MV Transportation in Detroit, MI. In this role, he is the liaison for the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) Compliance & Standards department which oversees the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, Title VI, Paratransit Services, Specialized Services and the Drug and Alcohol Program.
Previously, Warren was the Chief Operating Officer for Customized Community Transportation of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), in which he was responsible for all contracted transportation services including Paratransit, circular and small bus routes in the surrounding counties. As a transportation professional, he was an effective chief and oversaw one of the largest Paratransit operations in the United States. His management expertise facilitated the delivery of critical transportation services to a seriously under-served constituency in the fifth largest city in the country.
Since 1996, Warren has been an active member of COMTO’s local and national organization in the following capacities:
President of the Greater Philadelphia Area Chapter (6 years)
-National Board of Directors (10 years)
-Council of Presidents Representative (6 years)
–Secretary/ Treasurer (2 years)
–1st Vice Chair (2 years)
Conference Chairman, 2011 National Meeting and Training Conference (Philadelphia, PA)
Under his leadership and guidance, the Greater Philadelphia Area local chapter has received numerous awards including “Chapter of the Year” for its community service and scholarship efforts. In addition, local corporate executive members have been awarded “Executive of the Year”. Warren has been the recipient of several awards for his service and leadership, including the Gerald A Sibling Award. Although currently working in the Midwest, he continues to stay connected and provide counsel to the local chapter.
Warren holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Temple University and an Associate Degree in Arts: General Studies. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Mu Omega; Phoenix Lodge #3 F&AM, PHA; Melchizedek Chapter #15 HRAM; Martin Luther King Jr. Consistory #86 and Pyramid Temple #1 AEAONMS. Former Board member: Pennsylvania Transportation Coalition (PenTrans) and Philadelphia Academies, Inc. Advisory Board for Public Education. He is currently serving on the Deacon Board of Sharon Baptist Church of Philadelphia.
SECRETARY AND TREASURER
| CLEVELAND, OH
Loretta Kirk was formerly the Deputy General Manager – Finance and Administration for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). As Chief Financial Officer of the GCRTA, her primary role was to manage the financial resources of the organization. She was responsible for the Accounting, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Small Business, Fare Collection, Financing, Procurement, Office Administration, Grants Management, Records Management, and Treasury functions of the GCRTA. As a member of the executive management team, Ms. Kirk also participated in the development of strategic plans and goal setting for the transit system. Ms. Kirk has been a member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials for 38 continuous years. On the national level, she has served as the Board Chair, First Vice Chair, Secretary-Treasurer, Immediate Past National Chair, and Presidents’ Council Representative. Locally, she served as the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, and Treasurer for the Cleveland-Northeast Ohio Chapter. Ms. Kirk is an active mentor and developer of young transportation professionals. Ms. Kirk is a recipient of the Gerald A. Anderson Sibling Award from the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. She was also a 2016 recipient of COMTO’s Women Who Move the Nation recognition.
MEMBER AT LARGE
Mark Gale assumed the position of CEO/Director of Aviation for the Broward County Aviation Department in March 2016. He is responsible for the executive management and operation of Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) and North Perry (HWO) Airports, including strategic vision development and implementation of capital programs, financial performance, new goals and objectives.
Prior to his position as CEO/Director of Aviation for Broward County, Mark served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) from 2009 to 2016 and as the Deputy Director of Aviation for Operations and Facilities from 2000 to 2009. Mark held several other positions with PHL dating back to 1985, and he retired from the City of Philadelphia in January 2016.
In addition to being an Accredited Airport Executive, Mark currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors in the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE). He is a member of the Airports Council International-North America, serving on their U.S. Policy Council; and a member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, serving on their National Board of Directors.
Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Company:BROWARD COUNTY AVIATION DEPT
MEMBER AT LARGE
Carmen García accepted the position of Director, Outreach Programs for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), July 14, 2008. Recently promoted to Assistant Vice President, Office of Diversity (February 2017).
In her role, García oversees DART’s Outreach Programs by directing, coordinating and administering the agency’s outreach program as it relates to minority contracts and D/MWBE vendors. She maintains programs relative to the needs of the community. She develops and maintains external strategic partnerships and serves as a liaison to major chambers representing minorities, women and other groups whose goals include the development of economic opportunities for minorities and women.
The Houston native graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a degree in public administration. García began her career in governmental affairs with ARCO and later directed programs and special projects in the offices of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Texas Secretary of State in Austin. She returned to Dallas to manage former Texas Secretary of State Ron Kirk’s campaign for a successful bid for Dallas Mayor.
After the election she opened her own business, ABRAC Consulting, specializing in marketing, public relations and event management. Her relationship with the State Fair of Texas was established at this point, when she took on the annual event as a corporate client for five years and she continued her work with the State Fair for 12 years.
García’s current board leadership in the North Texas region includes: Conference of Minority Transportation Officials North Texas Chapter, President-North Texas Chapter, Dallas County Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Advisory Council Co-Chair, Dallas Convention Bureau, Alternate Board Member; Dallas Planning Council, Past President; City of Dallas Automated Red Light Commission, Chair and Past Chair of DART’s Women in Leadership and Executive Women’s Roundtable.
Appointed by former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert to serve as one of four co-chairs for the Census 2010 Complete Count Committee and she also served as a member of the Super Bowl XLV Communications Team.
She remains actively involved in numerous community organizations locally and throughout the state. She was recently recognized by the Women in Transportation Seminars (WTS) as the 2018 “Woman of the Year” recipient, 2018 Nominee-Regional Hispanic Contractors Association “Luna Award”, Recipient of the Dallas Business Journal (March 2010) Minority Business Leader and named the “La Cima” recipient by the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber. She was also a nominee for the DFW Minority Supplier Development Council “E Awards” and a recipient of the Girl’s Inc., “She Knows Where She’s Going” award. She continues to be very active in many local and statewide organizations
Location: DALLAS, TX
Company:OFFICE OF DIVERSITY DART
MEMBER AT LARGE
Gwendolen Gray is President and Founder of G2B Consulting, Inc., a professional transportation management consulting, business development, and marketing firm. Ms. Gray has a professional multi-modal transportation background and has served in the public and the private sector infrastructure projects for twenty-nine years. She has gained a wide range of experience in program management, project, construction management, and compliance management; this includes project controls on capital, rail, freight rail, highway, roads and ports. Ms. Gray is currently the Project Compliance Management on the Link Union Station (Link US) a ($62 million) project, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority. Prior to starting her firm, Ms. Gray was the Project Controls Program Management Consultant in the Program Management and Highway Group, Los Angeles County Transportation Authority. Ms. Gray also has twelve years of professional experience of Compliance Management and Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE), and Disadvantage Veteran Businesses Enterprise (DVBE) Oversight. Provided guidance and technical direction to ensure compliance, development of Mentor Protégé Programs (MPP), develop strategies, technical workshops; Labor practice, issue recommendations concerning allegations of illegal, unethical, discriminatory or improper conduct. Risk management to ensure contractual compliance obligations are met. Ms. Gray presently serves as the Southern California Regional Chapter President and Board Member of the Conference Of Minority Transportation Official COMTO. Ms. Gray has been a transportation advocate for many years. She understands that public transportation plays a significant role in finding solutions to the numerous challenges facing America today, whether it’s more jobs, a cleaner environment, energy independence or a better quality of life. Ms. Gray holds a B.S in Organization Management and a minor in Accounting from Cabrini University.
GwenDolen has been actively involved in COMTO since 2008 and have served in the following capacities: <br><br>
Council of President Representative Alt. (2016 – currently serving)<br>
Immediate Past President of Southern California Regional Chapter (served 2014 – 2018)<br>
Financial Secretary Philadelphia Chapter (served 2012 – 2014)
HUB Subcommittee Co-Chair (currently serving)<br>
National (currently serving)<br>
Southern California Regional Chapter (currently serving)<br>
Philadelphia Chapter (previously served)<br>
Strategic Planning Chair of Philadelphia Chapter (previously served)<br>
Location: LOS ANGELES, CA
MEMBER AT LARGE
Adelee LeGrand, AICP
Adelee LeGrand, AICP, recently started an exciting new chapter in her career joining Transdev North America as Vice President of Transit Planning and Chief Strategy Officer to enhance service design and long term transit planning initiatives.
LeGrand is responsible for developing service design improvements and innovations in Transdev’s contracts, as well as longer term transit master plans. As part of Transdev’s Public-Private Operating Partnership agreement with the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, she will be the project leader on an 18- to 24-month project to build 5-, 10- and 20-year Strategic Transit Plans. The plans will be based on the City’s Master Plan and will include input from an extensive community outreach program to city and business leaders, passengers, community members, neighborhood associations, universities, regional planning experts and more.
Her knowledge of transit systems and her experience orchestrating successful long term planning efforts will help New Orleans achieve its goal of continuing to improve integrated mobility, livability and economic growth.
Before joining Transdev, LeGrand served as a Vice President with AECOM Strategic Planning and Advisory Group, North America. Starting in 2008, she served as Transportation Market Segment Leader for Transportation Planning in the Southeast region. In that role, she was responsible for the profit and loss for the region as well as developing the strategic vision for the practice.
Recently, LeGrand led the team supporting a partnership of MARTA, the City of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District that won the largest TIGER II (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant ever awarded— $47 million. She has more than 20 years of experience with a decade of experience leading transit studies, working with the Georgia Department of Transportation and transit agencies throughout Georgia.
LeGrand holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering and a Master of Science degree in transportation studies from Morgan State University. She is registered with the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Location:NEW ORLEANS, LA
Company:TRANSDEV NORTH AMERICA
MEMBER AT LARGE
Carla M. Williams is the Manager of Community Relations for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) in Tampa, Florida. She has coordinated community relations, marketing and business outreach programs to promote HART’s services to the Hillsborough County community for over 19 years.
Carla performs as agency’s primary point of contact to schedule and execute community events and grassroots outreach. Carla serves as HART liaison with business, civic, and community organizations and assures delivery of quality customer service. She develops and implements outreach and awareness initiatives. Creates programs that promote the organization’s image in a positive and community-oriented way. The Community Relations Manager leverages a high level of community relations expertise, existing network and public transit experience to develop strategies and provide expert guidance on matters impacting public image, outreach.
Carla currently serves as President of Conference of Minority Officials (COMTO) Central Florida chapter. Central Florida COMTO is a dynamic multi-modal transportation organization that provides leadership programs as well as, advocacy services to the needs of the businesses, members and communities within the Central Florida area including, but not limited to, Orange, Hillsborough, Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, Polk, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota Counties.
Carla has served on numerous transportation, business, tourism and other service based boards and committees throughout her career; and is a member of Riverview Chamber of Commerce, North Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Brandon Chamber of Commerce, West Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, Visit Tampa Bay and the NAACP.
Presently serves on the Tampa Bay Advocacy Board, Ybor Saturday Market Board, West Tampa Chamber of Commerce Board and Florida State Fair Diversity Board. Served as Board member of; Tampa Attraction Association, Tampa Bay Black Chamber of Commerce
Location:LOS TAMPA, FL
COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS REPRESENTATIVE
Ruben Landa is an experienced and accomplished leader in the architecture, engineering and construction industry. He has more than 19 years of experience in planning, public involvement, public affairs, communications and diversity program management. He leads the communications, public involvement and diversity for the Texas/Mountain Region for WSP USA, Inc. His career includes stints with STV Incorporated, HDR Inc., the Texas State Senate, and K Strategies Group.
Ruben’s professional career includes extensive experience developing and managing public involvement and diversity programs on many high-profile legacy projects in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin and Houston, as well as Phoenix, Arizona. Ruben maintains an in-depth understanding of public policy, public administration and community factors that can affect decision making on major public projects. This has allowed him to develop programs using a strategic approach that has produced positive results for both the client and the community. His clients include Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Houston METRO, Valley Metro Rail in Phoenix and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), DFW International Airport, Bush Intercontinental Airport, Dallas Love Field Airport, and Trinity Metro in Fort Worth.
Through his considerable expertise, Ruben has developed strategic partnerships and maintains leadership roles with numerous advocacy organizations in the industry, including minority chambers, contractor associations and trade organizations. He is a committed industry leader and currently serves as President for the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) North Texas Chapter and serves at the Council of President’s Representative on the COMTO National Board of Directors. He is also the Chairman of the Board for the Regional Hispanic Contractors Association (RHCA), Vice President of Programs for the Greater Dallas Planning Council (GDPC) and Vice President for the MBE Institute for Public Policy (MBEIPP). Ruben has been recognized for his leadership in the business community, including being named the Top Dallas Minority Business Leader by the Dallas Business Journal in 2014.
Ruben has been a member of COMTO since 2000 and has been an active member and officer for the Houston, Phoenix and North Texas chapters. He has been a speaker at the Atlanta (2005), Austin (2006), Denver (2012) and Dallas (2016) conferences. He also held the position of Chairman for the 2013 COMTO Southwest Regional Transportation Conference in Irving, Texas and the 2016 COMTO National Meeting and Training Conference in North Texas.
COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS REPRESENTATIVE
Beverly Greene is the Executive Director of External Affairs, Marketing & Communications at the Alameda – Contra Costa Transit District or AC Transit responsible for Legislative Affairs, Community Relations, Marketing, Communications, and Customer Service. She manages state and federal legislative programs and relationships with policy makers, and key stakeholders in support of AC Transit’s service development and long-term capital projects. These projects are vital to AC Transit’s future growth and include the $213 million East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Project which is currently underway.
Ms. Greene developed and implemented the 2016 public education and information campaign to inform voters about its parcel tax reauthorization that will generate more than $600 million over 20 years for AC Transit. The successful ballot measure passed with over 82% voter approval.
Ms. Greene is a lifelong learner and is a graduate of Leadership APTA, a national transportation professional development program, the ENO Transit Senior Executive Program, Leadership Oakland, the WTS Executive Women’s Leadership Seminar, and Emerge California, the women’s political training program.
Beverly was elected the President of the Northern California Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials or COMTO. She is a member of California Transit Association and formerly served on the Executive Committee. She currently serves on the CTA Federal and State Legislative Committees, its Finance & Management Committee, and its Conference Planning Committee. She is also active in the American Public Transportation Association where she serves on the Membership Services Committee, the Legislative Committee, the Bus & Paratransit Conference Planning Subcommittee, and is a former member of the Leadership APTA Committee.
She’s a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Oakland / East Bay Chapter. Beverly served for many years as an elected member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, and the California Democratic Party State Central Committee.
Her career includes serving as a Special Legislative Assistant to former California Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown, Jr. and private sector marketing positions at Clorox; NetNoir.com, an internet startup; and The Learning Company, a consumer software company located in Silicon Valley where she won “The New Generation Award” for successfully ushering in a new product type for young girls.
Beverly received a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, a M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and was the recipient of a Dow Company Corporate Fellowship to study the intersection of commerce and government at The Washington Campus Consortium.
She grew up in Berkeley, California riding AC Transit where she currently resides and serves on the Berkeley Transportation Commission.
COUNCIL OF PRESIDENTS ALTERNATE
“Helping others is the rent we pay for the space we occupy.”
This motto is the premise by which Michelle D. Hiett lives. With the goal of understanding the “Big Picture” towards adding immediate value personally and professionally, it is also the basis by which she orchestrates completion of each assignment.
Michelle successfully employed positions of graduated responsibility from general accounting and financial analysis to project implementation support within a wide variety of industry. Never shrinking from undertaking a challenge, Michelle transitioned readily from health-related industry to transportation-related industry eight years ago when she joined the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and became a pivotal contributor to the SEPTAKey project. In October 2017, she maintained her forward momentum and broadened her scope by joining LTK Engineering Services to assist the general public at large and now enjoys the opportunity to assist other major public transportation communities in Maryland, New York and Washington, D.C. amongst others.
Finally, Michelle has served transportation and related industry through service to trade organizations such as COMTO and WTS in leveling the playing field for minorities and women. As Assistant Treasurer/Scholarship Selection Chair for COMTO Philadelphia, Michelle was tasked early in her tenure with auditing close to two decades of advertised scholarship distributions. She also established COMTO Philadelphia’s distribution of annual tax statements, acknowledging to funders their total contributions for the previous year by event or initiative. During her first term as Treasurer, Michelle recouped $7,000.00 for the chapter from previous commitments that had been unfulfilled for a variety of events. In a volunteer organization, this is no easy task and requires a delicate balance of professionalism towards maintaining current and prospective financial supporters. Now, as President, she maintains all integrity in the processes employed by the chapter as well as provides a level of financial transparency unmatched by any of her predecessors.
Michelle has mastered the art of resourcefulness through her listening and problem-solving skills as well as her technique of researching every accessible avenue prior to seeking further assistance. She brings the expertise and flexibility needed when clients must extend their existing human resource base for a long-term project or a task-oriented assignment. Michelle is a consummate professional and responds in kind when called upon to serve in a volunteer setting.
Christian T. Kent
Christian T. Kent, Principal of Christian T. Kent, Transit Management Consulting, has over 30 years of experience in the public transit industry, and his consultancy serves both public and private-sector clients, primarily in paratransit operations, maintenance and technology; system evaluations in the style of a peer review or business analysis as required; contract management issues from both public and private-sector perspectives; leadership development, to include hands-on training of project managers, directors, and junior executives; strategic planning and execution, to include stakeholder vetting, particularly with the disability community; and innovative service models and alternatives with cost reduction strategies that, most importantly, do not detract from quality service for the customer.
Mr. Kent was among the longest-tenured executives at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, having been responsible for system wide accessibility and ADA compliance for the Authority’s rail, bus, and paratransit services for over 12 years. As Assistant General Manager, Mr. Kent established the Authority’s Department of Access Services, overseeing the agency’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as a set of paratransit contracts with an annual operating budget of over $120 million and a capital budget of over $15 million. Mr. Kent rebuilt the agency’s paratransit service from the ground up in 2006, simultaneously restoring reliability and public confidence in the service. He designed a hybrid paratransit eligibility and travel training program that earned the agency the 2012 Innovation Award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and in 2013, he conceived and implemented a new paratransit business model that leverages competition and offers more opportunity for small businesses to participate. The model is being studied and emulated by other public transit agencies across the country and around the world.
A member of COMTO since 2007, Mr. Kent has served twice on the Nominating Committee for COMTO’s Board of Directors and for the COMTO Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation event since its inception in 2012. Mr. Kent was appointed Chair of COMTO’s newly established Accessibility Committee in July 2017.
Mr. Kent is a 2003 graduate of the Leadership APTA Program and a 2013 graduate of the Eno Transit Executive Program. He has served twice on APTA’s Board of Directors and currently serves as Vice Chair of APTA’s Access Committee. He also worked with APTA’s Diversity Council on the development of performance metrics for its next iteration of the APTA Diversity and Inclusion Plan.
Mr. Kent began his transit career in 1987 at the University of Virginia as a bus driver while pursuing his Master’s in Education. Before his more recent consulting work and executive roles in the public sector, he served as a contractor-general manager of paratransit operations for various public transit agencies to include MARTA; NJ TRANSIT; Santa Clara VTA; and Fairfax County, Virginia.
Location:VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
India L. Birdsong serves as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). She joined GCRTA in September 2019 and brings nearly 15 years’ experience working in positions of increasing responsibility in the public transit industry. Birdsong began her career in 2006 when she joined the Central Region for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), where she served planning, operations, and finally as Senior Manager of Bus Supervision and Instruction. In 2016, she was appointed Chief Operating Officer of WeGo Public Transit in Nashville, where she served until coming to Cleveland.
At GCRTA, Birdsong oversees more than 2,300 employees at one of the largest transit system in Ohio, which provides more than 35 million annual rides to customers using the bus, rail, paratransit, trolley and bus rapid transit system across the county’s 457 square miles. Responsible for managing the Authority’s $292 million operating budget, Birdsong is committed to transparent leadership, management accountability and sound financial oversight.
Company:GREATER CLEVELAND REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY