SmartDrive Systems has named transit industry veteran Deborah Wathen Finn to its board of advisors. Wathen Finn has more than 30 years of experience as a transportation industry executive and is the founder and president of The Wathen Group, where she provides strategic advisory services and leadership support for organizations focusing upon market positioning, capacity building and operational improvements.
“Transit agency executives faced with the challenge of delivering a safe operation, providing a quality travel experience and increasing ridership with limited resources will find effective solutions with SmartDrive. The company has proven to be effective at increasing the safety of riders and operators while helping agencies save on costs overall,” said Wathen Finn. “Through my experience in improving the safety performance of public transportation operations, I know that a culturally-based leadership approach will help to create a strong safety environment and deliver a high level of safety performance. It is this strong cultural approach that sets the SmartDrive solution apart. I am looking forward to working with the SmartDrive team to continue to broaden their success within the public transit industry.”
“Providing our safety solutions to the public transit industry is an integral component to SmartDrive’s strategy and success. Deborah’s extensive experience and unique understanding of the industry will help us ensure agency awareness of new capabilities, such as integration with other on-board systems including pedestrian detection technologies and wheelchair lifts, as well as identify program expansion opportunities as agencies adopt new vehicle types and technologies,” said Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive.
Wathen Finn’s extensive public transportation knowledge includes commuter rail, light rail, bus and paratransit operations. She has a proven track record of leading cultural change in public and private sector organizations and positioning businesses for market expansions in regional, national and global settings. With expertise in infrastructure and technology, Wathen Finn has effectively worked in public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Wathen Finn is active in community and trade organizations. As a past president of WTS International, she continues to support the organization in various activities and currently serves as a member of the Greater New York Chapter’s Advisory Board. She has received a number of honors for her ongoing contributions to the industry and community including: Woman of the Year for the Greater New York Chapter in 1999; the first woman to receive the Greater New York Council of Boy Scout’s Construction and Industry Transportation Person of the Year Award in 2005; and the Women Builders Council 2008 Champion Award.