At its July 31 meeting, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD) Board of Trustees (Board) approved a contract for Karl Gnadt to become MTD's next managing director.
Effective immediately, Gnadt assumes the title of managing director designate and continues as director of market development. On July 1, 2014, Gnadt becomes MTD's managing director.
Gnadt's contract covers two terms: one is the period July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014 during which he will continue as director of market development and serve as managing director designate and the second is July 1, 2014-June 30, 2017 when Gnadt is managing director. For the first term, he will earn a salary of $112,000. When he assumes the position of managing director, the annual salary will be $135,000.
In 2012, MTD's long-serving Managing Director Bill Volk announced a retirement date of June 30, 2014. The Board immediately began work to find a replacement and undertook a series of comprehensive and meticulous actions to replace Volk. MTD's Chairman of the Board Donald Uchtmann said, "The Board soon realized that an outstanding candidate was already a part of MTD's leadership team."
Gnadt has been MTD's director of market development since 1995. He graduated from Indiana University in 1990 with a B.S. in public administration, public transportation concentration. After college, Gnadt joined Danville Mass Transit where he became the mass transit director in 1991. Gnadt came to MTD in January 1995 and has gained considerable experience and expertise in his nearly 19 years with the district. Among his accomplishments are:
- Leading and collaborating on construction and acquisition projects to physically grow district facilities and fleet
- Managing implementation of sophisticated technological tools to improve operations and communications
- Building long-term, successful relationships with governmental partners including the Federal Transit Administration and the Illinois Department of Transportation
- Having sole responsibility for grant management and assisting with budget preparation and management
- Developing and launching a comprehensive real-time information communication system and district website
- Launching multiple image and awareness campaigns and developing the district's successful use of social media
- Leading and championing sustainability initiatives and MTD's quest for ISO 14001 certification
- Participating actively in the American Public Transportation Association and Illinois Public Transportation Association
Gnadt said, "I'm very excited to be working with such a hard-working, dedicated group of people. MTD has been built on the backs of their commitment and sweat. And we've got great places still to go."
When Volk joined MTD in 1974, there were 23 buses, about 50 employees, and annual ridership of 708,272. MTD now employs 328, operates 102 buses, and provides more than 12 million annual rides. This tremendous growth is due in no small part to exceptional leadership. Gnadt's skills, energy, and experience will enable the district to continue on the path of excellence, dependability, innovation, and growth.