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CEO Advisory Committee

The following public transportation CEOs make up the CEO Advisory Committee for  The primary purpose of the CEO Advisory Committee is to ensure that is a powerful leadership resource for public transportation CEOs/GMs and CEO/GM-aspirants.  Advisory Committee members propose blog topics, share their leadership experience via interviews and podcasts, and contribute blog posts.  CEO Advisory Committee members are not accountable for opinions expressed in blog posts.

Arndt VIA HeadshotJeffrey Arndt
President and Chief
Executive Officer
VIA Metropolitan Transit
San Antonio, Texas

Jeff joined VIA in 2012 as Deputy CEO/Chief of Business Support Services.  He previously served as Senior Vice president of Operations/Chief Operating Officer at Houston METRO.  Jeff is a member of the APTA Bus Safety Committee, is vice president of the Board of the South West Transit Association, and sits on the Board of the Texas Transit Association.

Arndt VIA HeadshotDoran Barnes, Executive Director
Foothill Transit
West Corvina, California

Prior to taking the helm at Foothill Transit, Doran served as Chief Executive Officer/General Manager at Tulsa Transit (Oklahoma) and as Deputy Executive Director at Foothill Transit.  A graduate of Leadership APTA, Doran has served as APTA’s Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary-Treasurer and as Vice Chair of the Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection Committee.

BCI_4790Carm Basile, Chief Executive Officer
Capital District Transportation Authority
Albany, New York

Carm was named Chief Executive Officer of the Capital District Transportation Authority in 2009, after serving in a variety of managerial and operating positions at CDTA during the prior 28 years. Currently President of the New York Public Transit Association, Carm has served on the boards of the Christian Brothers Academy and United Way of the Greater Capital Region, among other organizations.

Ed Benning

Edgar Benning, General Manager/CEO
Mass Transportation Authority (MTA)
Flint, Michigan

Prior to taking the helm at MTA in June 2011, Ed headed a consulting firm and served as a senior executive in the manufacturing sector.  A member of the Michigan Public Transit Association Board, he serves on APTA’s Small Operations Committee.  On his watch, MTA has won numerous awards, including Innovations in Transportation from the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission.  Ed is an adjunct professor at Mott Community College and Central Michigan University.

India Birdsong
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
Cleveland, Ohio

Before taking the helm at GCRTA in September 2019, India served as Senior Manager of Bus Supervision and Instruction at the Chicago Transit Authority and as Chief Operating Officer of WeGo Public Transit in Nashville, TN.  In addition to APTA, she is an active member of the Transit Cooperative Research Program and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

Bland portrait colorStephen Bland, Chief Executive Officer Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority Nashville, Tennessee

Steve became Chief Executive Officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority in August 2014.  Over his 28-plus years as a public transportation professional, he has served as the CEO of four other transportation authorities, including the Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh and the Capital District Transportation Authority in Albany.

Bill_Carpenter_RGRTA Photo 8-15Bill Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer
Regional Transit Service
Rochester, New York

Bill joined RTS in 2010 as Chief Operating Officer and was named CEO in the fall of 2011.  The many public and private sector executive positions he held before taking the helm at RTS include serving as Special Assistant to Monroe County (New York) Executive Maggie Brooks.  Bill is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Public Transportation Association and the New York Public Transit Association.  He is Past President of the American Bus Benchmarking Group.

Alex Clifford HeadshotAlex Clifford, CEO/General Manager
Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District
Santa Cruz, California

Alex took the helm at the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District in May 2014.  His 23-year career in public transportation has also included serving as CEO of Metra in Chicago and as the Executive Officer in charge of high-speed rail for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Alex represented the Riverside County Transportation Authority on the Board of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority for eight years, serving as Chairman for two consecutive years.

Andre Colaiace, Executive Director
Access Services
Los Angeles, CA

Andre Colaiace served as Access Services’ Deputy Executive Director of Planning & Government Affairs before becoming its Executive Director and was a member of Access Services’ Board of Directors from 2002 to 2005.  Before joining Access Services in 2006, Andre served as a Senior Management Analyst in the Culver City Transportation Department, as Director of Government Affairs with Foothill Transit, and as a Committee Administrator for the Transportation and Transit Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

NF Headshot 6.21.14Nathaniel Ford, Sr., Chief Executive Officer
Jacksonville Transportation Authority
Jacksonville, Florida

Before becoming Chief Executive Officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, Nat served as CEO of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.  A member of the Leadership Jacksonville’s Class of 2014, Nat is on the boards of directors of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of NE Florida, among other organizations.

Karen King, Chief Executive Officer
Golden Empire Transit District
Bakersfield, CA

Before becoming CEO of Golden Empire Transit District, Karen served as Executive Director of the North County Transit District (San Diego) and held a number of managerial and executive positions at Long Beach Transit and the Utah Transit Authority.  She is a member of the APTA Board of Directors and serves on the Bus and Paratransit CEOs Committee.

Thomas Lambert/President & CEO
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County
Houston, Texas

Tom served as METRO’s Executive Vice President, Senior Vice President, and Chief Administrative Officer before becoming METRO’s President & CEO.  In addition to serving on the APTA Board of Directors, Tom is a member of the Transportation Policy Council  of the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Technology Task Force.

Henry Li, General Manager/CEO
Sacramento Regional Transit District
Sacramento, CA

Prior to becoming General Manager/CEO of SacRT, Henry held executive and managerial positions at the Jacksonville Transportation Authority, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.  He serves on the APTA Board of Directors and is a member of the Finance Committee.


E. Susan Meyer, Chief Executive Officer
Spokane Transit Authority
Spokane, Washington

Susan Meyer has been Chief Executive Officer of the Spokane Transit Authority since 2005.  She previously served in senior management positions in a university, an economic development organization, and a global telecommunications manufacturer.  She is Chair of the Washington State Transit Association and is active in a number of Spokane-area organizations, including the Mayor’s Economic Roundtable, the Downtown Spokane Partnership Board, and the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Eastern Washington University College of Business & Public Administration.

Brad Miller(2)Brad Miller, Chief Executive Officer
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
St. Petersburg, Florida

Prior to becoming the Chief Executive Officer of Florida’s fourth-largest public transportation system, Brad served as General Manager of the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority for five years.  He also spent six years at the Charlotte Area Transit System, where he helped implement a new light rail system.

Karen PhilbrickKaren Philbrick
Executive Director
Mineta Transportation Institute and the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium

Named Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute in July 2014, Karen also served as Assistant Director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation.  She is a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transit Advisory Committee for Safety.

Joanna Pinkerton, President/CEO
Central Ohio Transit Authority
Columbus, OH

Before taking the helm at COTA in April 2018, Joanna served as chief operating officer of the Transportation Research Center.  She has also held senior management positions at Honda, Ohio State University, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and Union County, which is home to the state’s first connected vehicle corridor.

Elizabeth Presutti, Chief Executive Officer
Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority
Des Moines, IA

Prior to taking the helm at DART in 2011, Elizabeth served as its Chief Development Officer.  Her 20 years in the transit industry includes serving as Bus Operations Project Manager and Service Planning Manager at the Charlotte Area Transit System.  A member of the APTA Board of Directors, Elizabeth is a past president of the American Bus Benchmarking Group.

Leslie Richards, General Manager
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
Philadelphia, PA

Prior to taking the helm at SEPTA, Leslie served as the first woman Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  She earlier served as Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, where she led transportation initiatives, and Chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors.  Leslie received the 2018 Women in Transportation International Woman of the Year Award.

Paul Skoutelas, President & CEO
American Public Transportation Association
Washington, DC

Before taking the helm at APTA, Paul was national director of WSP USA’s Transit & Rail Technical Excellence Center.  During his 40+ years in the transportation field, Paul has served as CEO of the Port Authority of Alleghany County and the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority and as a member of the APTA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

David Stackrow, Chairman
Board of Directors
Capital District Transportation Authority
Albany, New York

President and Managing Partner of Scott, Stackrow and Co., CPAs, Dave has been a member of the CDTA Board since 1995 and currently serves as its Chairman.  A member of the APTA Board of Directors, he serves on the APTA Executive Committee and chairs the APTA Transit Board Members Committee.  Dave was named APTA Outstanding Board Member of the Year in 2009.

Doug Eadie