SORTA Transit Board Leadership Changes, Interim SORTA Board Chair and Vice Chair Selected

The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority extends its sincere gratitude to trustees who left the SORTA Board at the end of April.

Three trustees were at the end of their three-year terms on April 30, 2012:

Sean Rugless: Sean Rugless had served on the SORTA Board since 2008 and as the Board Chairman from October 2010 to April 2012. Through the collective efforts of the SORTA Board and executive team, SORTA achieved a number of significant accomplishments during that time:

  • Strategic plan: The SORTA Board and executive team created SORTA’s new strategic plan, setting organizational priorities and defining the strategies and tactics to achieve the plan.
  • New CEO: Nationally recognized transit industry CEO & General Manager, Terry Garcia Crews, was hired.
  • Board governance: The SORTA Board committee structure was aligned with strategic priorities; an orientation process for Board members was formalized to broaden their understanding of the organization.
  • DBE and supplier diversity: An aggressive Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program and supplier diversity program were created and implemented.

Dr. Margaret Gutsell: Margaret Gutsell served as vice chair of the SORTA Board since 2010. She was a member of the board since 2007. Gutsell previously served as the executive director of the Inclusion Network; she represented the interests of people with disabilities on the SORTA Board.

Jim Tarbell: Jim Tarbell had served on the SORTA Board since 2007. Tarbell previously served as chairman of the Operations & Management Committee and was actively engaged in the strategic planning process.

In addition, Jason Riveiro also left the SORTA Board on April 30; his term expires in July 2013. Riveiro had served on the SORTA Board since 2010.

Joseph Zimmer was reappointed by the city of Cincinnati for a new three-year term. Zimmer joined the SORTA Board in February 2012 to fill an unexpired term. He represents the interests of organized labor on the SORTA Board.

The city of Cincinnati appointed the following trustees to serve on the SORTA Board, effective today:

  • Frank Bowen – Frank Bowen is new to the SORTA Board; he is associate vice president and dean of students for the University of Cincinnati.
  • William Mallory Sr. – William Mallory previously served on the SORTA Board from 2006-2011 and as board vice chair from 2008-2010. He was instrumental in creating the Metro public transit system in the early 1970s.
  • Gwen Robinson – Gwen Robinson is new to the SORTA Board. She serves as president and CEO of the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency.
  • Bradley Thomas – Bradley Thomas will fill the unexpired term of Jason Riveiro. Thomas is an attorney with the Morgeson Law Office.

Today, the SORTA Board voted on interim board officers to serve until a board officer election can be held. J. Thomas Hodges was selected to serve as interim board chair and Suzanne Burke to serve as interim vice chair.

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