Top 40 Under 40 2013: Jill Barnett

Jill Barnett oversees Lextran’s third largest department. Her staff includes the community outreach coordinator, the front desk coordinator and the customer service team.

After beginning her employment with Lextran in 2009 she was quickly promoted based on her performance. Jill is directly responsible for the implementation of community outreach initiatives to establish and cultivate relationships with local businesses, Lextran passengers, the general public and key stakeholders, including the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, the University of Kentucky and members of the Kentucky delegation.

Barnett’s dedication, creativity and competence were evident when Lexington hosted the World Equestrian Games in 2010. This was the first time this world-class event was held outside of Europe. In the 16 days of this event, Lextran carried 45,000 passengers on the game shuttles alone. This was a huge marketing and service event for Lextran and it continues to reap the benefits of that coverage today.

Barnett represents the authority in speaking to classes at the University of Kentucky, several elementary schools and at events such as the Mid-South Transportation and Parking Association Conference, as well as several other organizations. In addition, she has established great relationships with cohorts in the industry, in the city and with the local media, all of which have made Lextran a better system.

After completing a year as a participant with Leadership Lexington, Barnett has returned to the organization year after year to speak and to help plan future events. She specifically serves on the steering committee for the Lexington Leadership Youth Program, coordinating events, mentoring students and interviewing individuals for scholarship opportunities.

During a recent televised budget presentation to the county council by the general manger, Barnett was thanked by one of the council members for her service as chair of the mayor’s commission for disabilities. The council person said she believes that Lextran truly cares about persons with disabilities in our community.

Barnett’s department works to help make riding our system easier via travel training, social media, new technology and other outreach activities. Nearly all of Lextran’s altruistic activities, such as serving at God’s Pantry, feeding people on Thanksgiving, stuff the bus with the Salvation Army and the like, are coordinated through her department. She has proven to be a great addition to Lextran. Her insight is sought out by her coworkers, including those who have served in the transit industry for some time. She has shown herself to be a leader interested in the development of her employees and making Lextran a better system for Lexington.

“I could never say my job is boring — no two days are ever the same!

“As I said before, no two days are ever the same. The same applies to our passengers and the people we interact with each day. In one situation I may be working with a single mom to plan a trip and in another, helping a non-traditional adult student learn how to navigate the bus system. On another day I may work with student leaders at our local university, or someone starting a new business in town who wants to know what type of bus access may be near their desired location. We truly touch many parts of the community in a variety of ways!

“I would really like to see communities invest more in public transit, and for more people to fully understand that everyone benefits from transit, regardless of whether or not they use it themselves. Lastly, I feel a long-term plan for federal funding is critical to the future of public transit and communities across the nation.

“I enjoy exercise and fitness and in addition to my position at Lextran, I am also a BarreAmped instructor at Elle Fitness here in Lexington. I enjoy working out because it helps me to de-stress and stay healthy and I enjoy teaching others because I love seeing clients get stronger, both mentally and physically. My other hobbies include recreating projects I find on Pinterest (crafts, recipes, DIY, you name it!), playing with my two dogs, and traveling to new places with my husband Trevor.”