June 3, 2011

URS Names Bob Holt a senior vice president and national director, Program and Construction Management. In this position, Holt is responsible for leading URS’ program and construction management practice across all business lines, including facilities, water/wastewater, air transportation, federal, rail transportation and surface transportation. He is based in Washington, D.C. Holt previously served as vice president of program and construction management at Jacobs Engineering where he structured and led the program and construction management business in various markets, including facilities, federal, environmental and certain process and industrial business segments.

Chris Collet assumes the role of vice president, bus and hybrid markets, for Vanner Inc. after a long career with Allison Transmission and General Motors. Collet was product sales manager for the Allison Electric Drives, heavy-duty hybrids, for 11 years. Over that period, he was a major contributor in defining, marketing and selling the EP40 and EP50 2-Mode hybrids to the transit and coach industry (now named H 40 EP and H 50 EP Allison Hybrids). Collet has been credited with creating the hybrid market for transit buses by the director of one of the top 12 largest transit fleets in the United States.

The Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) named David Cangany as the special services manager for the three-county transit agency. Cangany will manage the day-to-day operations for the paratransit services offered by TANK, namely RAMP (the Regional Area Mobility Program). In this role, he will oversee approximately 40 employees and 35 buses, including all paratransit dispatch, reservations, and scheduling functions. Cangany has more than six years of experience in the transit industry. Most recently, he served as transportation supervisor at IndyGo in Indianapolis.

Lance Larson has joined the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) as the executive director of government relations. For four years, Larson served as director of legislative affairs for San Bernardino County, where he worked directly with the county's board of supervisors and served as a legislative liaison and chief spokesman for the county to the California State Legislature and U.S. Congress. 

BAE Systems has named John Maddox western regional sales manager for its HybriDrive hybrid electric propulsion system. In this position, Maddox is responsible for HybriDrive series system sales in the western portion of the United States and Canada — 11 states and two provinces. The HybriDrive series propulsion system powers the world’s largest hybrid bus fleet and carries more than two million passengers every day. 

Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), A Xerox Company, has hired Steve Frazzini, the former vice president for automated fare collection and MetroCard operations for the MTA in New York City, as vice president of fare payment solutions, as ACS advances its transit sector open payment business. In his 25 year career in public transit, Frazzini was a key contributor in the development, implementation and management of New York City’s MetroCard Program, serving 9 million daily riders.

Robert H. Wilson will serve as the chief of public transportation for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT). Wilson will oversee the state’s public transportation, human service transportation and transportation demand management programs. He will also guide strategic planning for the transit and transportation demand management areas to ensure that the agency’s programs provide congestion relief, deliver public benefits and incorporate land use considerations in transportation planning. Wilson has 20 years of experience in transportation, the last 13 of which as a chief executive for three separate agencies.

The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) board of directors voted unanimously to offer the permanent executive director position to Julie Austin, who has served as interim director for the agency since Dec. 6, 2010. Before coming to the Antelope Valley, Austin served as director of policy and strategic planning with the North County Transit District in Oceanside, Calif., and spent several years as a transportation consultant to agencies such as LA Metro and Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus focusing on transit performance, fare structure analysis and funding issues. She served as deputy and subsequently executive director of Foothill Transit in the San Gabriel Valley.

David Bitter has been named a supervising architect in the Atlanta office of Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), a global infrastructure strategic consulting, engineering and program/construction management organization. In his new position, Bitter will assist the Dulles Rail Consultants team, a PB joint venture, with final review and completion of documentation required for preliminary engineering services for the Dulles MetroRail project in Washington, D.C. Bitter has more than 25 years of experience in design and construction. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Solar Energy Society and is a LEED accredited professional. Dirk Braxton has been named a lead mechanical engineer, John Trautmann has been named a senior supervising architect and Boris Fyerman has been named a senior supervising engineering, all in the Los Angeles office of PB. Braxton will be responsible for mechanical designs for the Los Angeles Metro westside subway extension project. He comes to PB after a 23-year career with MTA - New York City Transit, most recently serving as a project mechanical engineer within the Capital Program Management department. He is a licensed professional engineer and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. Trautmann will be responsible for architectural design and documentation for the Exposition Light Rail Transit Project Phase 2, which will extend the Expo line from Culver City to Santa Monica. Prior to joining PB, he led his own firm, John Trautmann Architects for 15 years. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects. Fyerman will be responsible for traction power design and coordination, working on the westside subway extension, the Regional Connector, phase 2 of the Expo light rail and the Gold Line Foothill Extension in Los Angeles. Fyerman has more than 40 years of experience as an electrical engineer for industrial, power plant and transit applications.

The San Mateo County Transit District has lowered the flags at all its facilities to half-staff in memory and honor of Omar Ahmad, the mayor of San Carlos and a member of the transit district's board of directors and the vice chair of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, who died May 10. Ahmad was appointed to the Caltrain board to represent the San Mateo County Transit District.

James F. (Jim) Bender passed away at a Hospice center in Pensacola, Fla., on April 21, 2011 at the age of 80. His wife Cornelia was with him at the time. Bender began his transit career in Pittsburgh with the Port Authority of Allegheny County. He joined the former American Transit Corporation (ATC) in 1972 as a marketing specialist. Over the next three decades, Bender assumed many management responsibilities, including that of regional vice president. In recent years, Bender had been employed by other management companies, including McDonald Transit Associates and Ballard Management Group, where he served as general manager at various locations. Bender also operated his own consulting services company, JFB Enterprises.