June 2012 - People in the News

June 4, 2012
Promotions, new hires and retirements in the public transportation industry.

Systems Inc., a business segment of San Diego-based Cubic Corp., has named Doug Morse to the new role of vice president, Customer Experience. A global authority on customer experience and service innovation, Morse assumes responsibility for ensuring that customers worldwide are achieving their goals with Cubic technology and services. Morse also will be responsible for Cubic’s changing services role, which is evolving to help its customers adapt to and integrate the complexities of new technologies such as smart phones and open payment for their businesses.

Minette Cooper, chief consultant at Cooper and Associates, received a Royal Coachman Award from the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) on April 3, 2012. Cooper served as a member of the SORTA Board for four years. Cooper has dedicated her life to helping children and her community grow and flourish. In her current role she advises candidates on campaign issues. She served as a Cincinnati city council member from 1995-2003, holding positions including vice mayor, finance chair, Health and Human Services committee chair, and Economic Development committee chair.

Joseph Lawton, AIA, CCM, has been named HNTB’s new national construction management practice leader. As part of HNTB’s program delivery initiative, Lawton will lead the construction management practice across HNTB’s infrastructure markets. Lawton’s expertise spans a wide range of design and construction activities and he has overseen complex programs in excess of $1 billion nationally and $10 billion internationally. He also has served as the sole person responsible for the capture, start-up and leadership for multiple program management, design-build, construction management-at-risk and construction management agent projects executed across the U.S., Europe, China, North Africa and the Middle East.

Each year, the California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CalACT) recognizes transit professionals who contribute significantly to the achievement of CalACT’s goals and objectives. This year, three First Transit employees from the Pasadena Rapid Transit System in Pasadena, Calif., have been nominated for and selected to receive the Q’Straint/Sure-Lok Above and Beyond Award. The award is presented to a driver or dispatcher who has gone above and beyond the regular job duties to provide service to the special needs population. While none of the First Transit employees are primarily drivers or dispatchers, their driving and dispatching experience came into play during a recent storm that struck the area. Strong winds and rain made it extremely difficult for many residents and other companies to operate in the city. These employees successfully made it into work that day to safely evacuate 40 senior citizens from a housing complex and transport them to a safe location. Lead Technician Israel Granillo and Road Supervisor Andy Mendoza both drove transit vehicles to these citizens to assist in the evacuation. First Transit’s Quality Control Coordinator Matt Kafkaloff took over as dispatcher during the storm to assist the drivers.

Amjad Bangash has been appointed managing director, Rail at Bechtel. Amjad has been working for Bechtel for 20 years and was recently project director for Bechtel at the Khalifa Port and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) Project in the United Arab Emirates. His new role will report to Mike Adams, president of Bechtel’s civil infrastructure business. Amjad joined Bechtel in 1992 as a senior engineer at the San Francisco head office, and soon after moved to project assignments in construction and engineering in the United States, Nigeria, Thailand and Guyana. In 1995, he moved to an engineering management assignment, leading the design and some of the build contracts on the on the Kowloon-Canton RC West Rail Project in Hong Kong. His successes there led to construction and project management positions at the Bechtel led design-build Airport MAX Light Rail Project in Portland, Ore. This was followed by senior management roles at Bechtel, working for Tube Lines, in charge of the permanent way renewals and station modernization program for the major upgrade of the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines and where he established new records for track installation during weekend engineering slots. 

Mary Childress has joined the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) as chief financial officer, announced APTA President Michael Melaniphy. Childress has more than 25 years’ experience leading the financial and administrative functions of associations and non-profit organizations. Before joining APTA, Childress served as chief operating officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Previously, she has held senior-level finance positions at the American Wind Energy Association, Optical Society of America, National Association for Home Care, and Partnership for Democracy.

Frank Alejandro is the chief operations officer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). As COO for Metro, Alejandro oversees and directs the activities of Metro’s bus and rail service that includes six rails lines and more than 1,800 peak-hour buses with more transit projects soon opening. Riders board Metro buses and trains about 1.5 million times on an average weekday. Alejandro provides counsel to the CEO on significant matters affecting bus and rail operations, in addition to assisting the CEO in developing and implementing short-range and long-range goals and business plans for the agency. Alejandro began his career 34 years ago as a bus operator. Having worked through the ranks, he rose to hold top management positions at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority (Metro), Hiawatha Light Rail system in Minneapolis, Minn., and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

John Annoni has been named a senior supervising construction engineer in the New York City office of Parsons Brinckerhoff. In his new position, Annoni is working on the construction of the new 72nd Street station for the Second Avenue Subway, for which Parsons Brinckerhoff serves as construction manager. Annoni has more than 35 years of construction management experience, working primarily on transit projects, many valued at more than $1 billion. He has managed construction for both light and heavy rail as well as subway and commuter railroad systems, including projects involving new stations, rehabilitated stations, track work, tunneling and underground construction. Mark Mulvey has been named a senior principal technical specialist at Parsons Brinckerhoff. In his new position with the firm’s Transit & Rail Technical Excellence Center, Mulvey will perform rail operations analyses for terminal operations, operating plans (current and future) and fleet utilization. He has more than 40 years of railroad and rail transit industry experience, with expertise in the design of rail service and operating plans, and development of equipment and crew manipulations and track assignments for passenger terminals and yards. Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff, he was senior rail operations analyst at Systra Consulting.

David Farrar, CFM, has recently been appointed director of Real Estate for FirstGroup America (FGA). In this role he supports FGA by handling routine property management responsibilities, such as sales and acquisitions of real estate within the First Student and First Transit divisions. Farrar joins FGA with more than 25 years of real estate and leadership experience. In 2006, he was the vice president of Facilities and Construction for Learning Care Group, the world’s largest pre-school company. In his previous position, Farrar was the director of Real Estate for the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., West Region.

Laketran welcomes Ben Capelle as the newest operations manager. Capelle will oversee the daily operations of Laketran’s three core services, in-county fixed routes, commuter express service to Cleveland and door-to-door Dial-a-Ride service, including Medicaid and Lake County board of DD contracts for the Dial-a-Ride service. Capelle comes to Lake County from Clermont Transportation Connection in Clermont County, Ohio, where he served as general manager. Under his direction at Clermont, Capelle improved ridership by an average of 23 percent per year. He brings along his statewide experience working as a bus operator at Kent State University and The Ohio State University, where he graduated. He worked at First Transit out of Cincinnati prior to Clermont Transportation.

RNL is pleased to announce the addition of Ala Hason as MENA regional director. With more than 30 years in the industry, Ala's experience and diverse portfolio of projects, located in countries around the world, will further RNL's goals of delivering world-class design and exemplary client service throughout the Middle East North African region and beyond.

Mark F. Robbins, P.E., has been promoted to vice president at STV. He will continue in his role as the manager of the construction services group for the Southeast region of STV's Transportation & Infrastructure Division. Robbins has more than 20 years of experience providing and managing bridge and roadway design throughout the Southeast, with particular expertise in design-build projects for a number of highway assignments. E. Richard Capps Jr., P.E., was promoted to senior vice president of STV. He will continue in his role as regional manager for the Transportation & Infrastructure Division's Southeastern Region. Capps is responsible for overseeing the operations of the firm's Southeast region. Brent R. Walters, associate general counsel, has been promoted to vice president. In this position, he continues to advise senior management and professional staff on complex legal issues. Walters' responsibilities include negotiating and drafting contracts and leases and advising the firm on design-build projects, procurement strategies and contract disputes, insurance matters, contractor claims, licensing and registration matters, general corporate governance, and human resources and employment issues. He also conducts staff training and seminars on legal and insurance topics. Walters joined the firm in 2008 and is based in STV's New York City office. Earlier in his career Walters, an arts advocate, served on nonprofit boards of directors, where he provided pro-bono work concerning corporate governance and assisted in fundraising. Prior to becoming an attorney, he served as director of communications for the Illinois Arts Alliance, a nonprofit arts outreach group that advocates for state and community arts groups. John N. Johnson, P.E., has been promoted to vice president. Johnson is the manager of the firm's civil engineering group in Charlotte. With more than 20 years of experience as a project manager and design engineer, Johnson has overseen improvement projects for a wide range of assignments, such as interstates, major and minor thoroughfares and intersections.

Proterra is pleased to welcome Judy Dennis as its new regional sales manager. Dennis joins Proterra with almost 10 years in the transit industry and 20 years of sales experience. Most recently she worked at ISE Corp. in San Diego, Calif. She has a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver. As regional sales manager, Dennis will work closely with clients and prospects to grow market share, deliver a high level of satisfaction and cultivate lasting customer relationships.

ABC Companies is pleased to announce Brian Pinckney has returned to the Southeast Region as senior account executive for Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia. Previously a veteran of ABC Companies for 13 years, Pinckney is stepping back into his original territory in the Southeast region. He is excited to rejoin the ABC team and partner with operators in the Southeastern region to meet their transport needs. ABC Companies is pleased to announce the appointment of Pat Kelly as parts territory sales manager for the Southeast Region. Kelly’s territory includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

LeighFisher is pleased to announce the addition of Richard Batty to its management consulting staff. He has 25 years of experience in management consulting and the rail industry in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Batty strengthens the rail and other surface transportation capabilities and resources in the following areas: policy development, organizational effectiveness, and transaction advice (including public-private partnerships). In addition to surface transportation services, Batty will support the aviation clients with advice on organizational effectiveness, enabling LeighFisher to provide its clients cross-market experience and best practices across multiple sectors.

IndyGo is proud to announce that Mark Emmons has been selected as the new director of Safety, Training, and Security at IndyGo. As the director, Emmons’ responsibilities include the coordination and management of the organization’s safety initiatives, emergency protocols and preparedness. This position also oversees the vehicle accident program, the drug and alcohol program, FTA and OSHA safety compliance, security operations and contractor auditing. In addition, Emmons oversees the professional coach operator training academy. At least three times a year, new operators are trained for up to the 8 weeks before driving routes.