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COMTO Emerging Leaders Webinar: A Seat at the Table—Developing Opportunities for Minority Young Professionals in an Evolving Transportation Landscape
August 10 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at 2:00 pm EDT, the COMTO Emerging Leaders Sub-Committee will host a webinar, A Seat at the Table: Developing Opportunities for Minority Young Professionals in an Evolving Transportation Landscape. Join us for a discussion with some of COMTO’s younger emerging leaders as we discuss their journeys into and through the transportation industry, having to adapt to a new normal during and after the pandemic and what young professionals need to be successful in their careers.
Jon Ross “J.R.” Alexander, Senior Transportation Planner, Sound Transit
J.R. is a highly versatile experienced transportation professional. Driven by a passion for improving the passenger experience and creating better access to equitable public transit, he has served in various communications, service planning, bus scheduling, bus operations and project management positions with LA Metro, Santa Clara VTA, AC Transit and Apple.
J.R. has been a member of COMTO since 2014, having won a COMTO National scholarship and has served in many capacities at the chapter level such as Secretary and Communications Coordinator. He is the current Tier 1 Co-Program Manager for the COMTO National Emerging Leaders Committee.
J.R. currently serves as a Senior Transportation Planner for Sound Transit in Seattle, Washington dedicated to creating a more inclusive and community focused transit system for the Puget Sound Region.
Melany Arriola, Transportation and Programming Planner, Stanislaus Council of Governments
Melany Arriola currently works as Transportation and Programming Planner at the Stanislaus Council of Governments. In her role, she is able to continue her passion for mobility by helping local agencies plan for regional transportation needs.
She was first introduced to COMTO through the CITY Internship program. In the summer of 2019, she completed a 10-week planning internship at the Orange County Transportation Authority. She was also a recipient of the 2019 COMTO Southern California Scholarship, which helped her earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Sustainability, Energy and Urban Systems from Chatham University. Her interdisciplinary background helps her tackle transportation issues from a different perspective.
Dante Flood, Executive Assistant, Administrator and Membership Coordinator, COMTO National
Dante Flood is an enthusiastic supporter of COMTO’s mission and vision. A COMTO CITY Internship alumnus, he assisted in the coordination of COMTO’s 43rd, 44th and 45th annual National Meeting and Training Conferences gaining valuable insight into the efficient running of the organization. After graduating in 2018 from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and Graphic Design, Dante put his skills to work at the COMTO National office as a Membership Coordinator. He currently assists the Membership Manager with any requests and inquiries individuals have in regards to membership updates, renewals and applications.
Qiana McCoy, Diversity Specialist, HNTB Corporation
Qiana has six years of experience in the transportation industry. She is currently a Diversity Specialist with HNTB Corporation, where she serves as the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Supervisor for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Major Mobility Investment Program. In this role, she works to engage, elevate, and empower small business firms seeking opportunities to do business in Georgia. Qiana has a true passion for engaging young talent and helping them find their seat at the table. For the past three years, Qiana has served as the Local Program Manager for the HNTB Atlanta Intern Program, creating intern programming, engaging the office through marketing, and coordinating mentoring opportunities. In addition to her work at HNTB, Qiana is an active member of COMTO Atlanta, serving as the Chair for the Public Relations and Nominating Committees. She is also a member of the ACEC Georgia Inclusion and Diversity Task Force, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Diversity and Inclusion Council and the WTS Atlanta Community Outreach Committee.