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Emerging Leaders Presents Creating Your Mentor Network: Maximizing Opportunities to Expand Your Circle of Influence
June 8 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
This panel discussion will explore the importance of establishing and cultivating mentoring relationships for professional networking and development as attendees prepare for the COMTO National Meeting and Training Conference.
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. Qiana serves as the Local Program Manager for the HNTB Atlanta Intern Program, creating professional development programming, engaging the office through marketing, and coordinating mentoring opportunities for HNTB’s future talent.
In addition to her work at HNTB, Qiana is an active member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), serving the National office as a member of the Emerging Leaders subcommittee and the CITY Intern Committee. Locally, Qiana is also an active member of COMTO Atlanta, recently elected as Secretary for the 2021-2023 Executive Board. She is 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.
Transportation Manager, Deloitte
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, Apple, Inc and Sound Transit.
J.R.has been a member of COMTO since 2014, having won a 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 national Emerging Leaders committee.
J.R. currently works as a Specialist Master for Deloitte, assisting transit agencies across the country in modernizing their approaches to service delivery, transit planning and organizational structures.
DBE Officer/Grants Specialist, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA)
Whitney Morgan is the DBE Liaison Officer at KCATA and is responsible for KCATA’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE) programs to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and KCATA’s Procurement Process.
He drafted the recently approved MBE/WBE Program for KCATA, which is the first of its kind at the transit agency. He has also gotten approval from KCATA’s Board of Commissioners to extend the SBE Pilot Program into a permanent program that will have the ability to set-aside any project with federal funding up to $1 million. This will also vendors the ability to compete for KCATA projects within a sheltered market amongst other small businesses and participate in the capacity of a prime contractor. Along with his colleague Maurice Gay, Whitney has sought to expand KCATA’s relationship for small businesses by opening KCATA’s doors via DBE/SBE Informational Workshops.
Whitney is currently working with KCATA leadership to create a Civil Rights Department at KCATA. This department will be responsible for all vendor outreach, diversity supplier programs, ADA compliance, Title VI compliance, and EEO compliance. There department has never existed at KCATA. If this department is implemented, Whitney would be inserted as the Director.
Whitney is also on the Board of Directors for the Entrepreneurial Unity Internship (EUI) this internship was created to develop a partnership between KCATA & Haskell American Indian University, where they have established a program that will allow graduating Seniors that have a desire to be an entrepreneur to gain real-world experience from the corporate side with KCATA and the small business side with local business owners.
Whitney is also the Immediate Past President of the Kansas City Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO). COMTO is the only multi-modal advocacy organization in the nation.
COMTO’s mission is to ensure opportunities and maximum participation in the transportation industry for minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and certified MWDBE businesses through leadership training, professional development, scholarship and internship funding, political advocacy, partnership building and networking opportunities. During his tenure as the President, COMTO KC increased their membership substantially, increased national visibility, increase their bank account, and set their foundation as a national chapter to be respected. He is a 2020 Recipient of the Rev. Jerry Moore President’s Leadership Award.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture Studies from the University of Kansas. He also holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning (MUP) from the University of Kansas. He is a proud husband of 8 years (Antionette Morgan) and a proud father of two beautiful girls (Anyla and Aria Morgan).