2020 40 Under 40: Lindy Norris

Aug. 18, 2020
Lindy Norris, Director, Marketing & Public Affairs, New Flyer of America
  • One word to describe yourself: Motivated
  • Alma Mater: University of Manitoba
  • Fun fact about yourself: Grew up in the country, rode horses, stacked hay bales…the whole bit.
  • Favorite station or stop that you have ever visited or frequent: New York Penn Station. There’s nothing like it.
  • Favorite route you have ever ridden or frequent: Zurich to Zermatt by train – stunning views and an unbelievably efficient transit experience.

Lindy Norris, director of marketing and public affairs for New Flyer of America, is an industry professional with more than 15 years of experience leading brand and marketing strategy, international public affairs, communications and government, public and media relations.

Norris joined New Flyer in 2017, where she started as the director of marketing communications and led media relations and brand and marketing strategy. In her first five months with New Flyer, she innovated the company’s brand through the development and execution of its marketing campaign for the 2017 APTA EXPO, as well as the launch of New Flyer’s Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC), which came one day following EXPO.

Norris was directly involved in the content development, branding and design of the VIC. Together, these multifaceted campaign elements rebranded New Flyer’s zero-emission battery-electric bus and highlighted new technologies that improved operational analytics, rider experience and overall community health.

She was promoted to director of marketing and public affairs in 2019 thanks to her efforts in increasing advancement in communications, media and public relations; her active role in supporting the company’s global initiatives; and the growth of critical government relations. In this role, she continues to lead New Flyer’s multinational brand and marketing strategy, while building its local, state and national public affairs.

Her commitment to smart mobility solutions and her work with public and private stakeholders in transportation to support development of smart cities across North America, directly led to New Flyer signing on to the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities. She is a firm believer that mobility should not only deliver safe, reliable and efficient transportation that makes cities smarter and communities healthier, but that equitable access and workforce development are cornerstones to the success of zero-emission adoption across North America.

In 2019, she supported the expansion of New Flyer’s partnership with Transportation Diversity Council to announce the release of a national Community Benefits Framework that builds upon New Flyer’s diversity and workforce development model. To that extent, Norris has actively supported industry workforce development initiatives across North America with APTA and CUTA and is also supporting an industry effort to develop the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials’ first Canadian chapter. She has authored articles for various industry publications, spoken at various events, frequently attends conferences and participates in numerous fly-in advocacy events.

Norris also has served or maintains active involvement on the APTA Mobility Restoration & Recovery Taskforce; APTA Workforce Readiness Taskforce; APTA Strategic Plan Steering Committee; APTA & Business Member Board of Governors (BMBG) Nominating Committees; APTA & BMBG Workforce Development Committees; APTA & BMBG Legislative Committees; APTA & BMBG Procurement Committees; BMBG Programs Committee; APTA Awards Committee; CUTA Workforce Development Committee; CUTA Business Members Committee; CUTA Communications & Public Affairs Committee; and Canadian Urban Transit Innovation Consortium Public Affairs Committee.

Most notably, she founded Athena Leadership in 2011, a member-based nonprofit providing mentorship and leadership development to ambitious young women. Since founding, Athena Leadership has hosted more than 100 developmental events; welcomed more than 50 mentors; developed its Leader of Tomorrow scholarship fund for young women exhibiting financial need, with 2020 seeing its seventh scholarship awarded; launched Canada’s first millennial leadership development conference; and donated nearly 15,000 pounds of gently used workwear to women re-entering the workforce.

For nearly 10 years, she served on various committees for the United Way Winnipeg, transitioning to a board member in 2019. She was also a department lead for New Flyer’s United Way campaign, helping drive a record-breaking campaign that established a new North American best for NFI employee investment in their surrounding communities.

Most recently and as the COVID-19 pandemic impacted communities around the world, she was appointed to the company’s Global COVID-19 Emergency Response Team. She and five friends also launched a fundraiser to support a local foodbank facing an 80-percent reduction in donations and a 30-percent increase in demand.

Her involvement in community initiatives does not end there, having also participated over the past 15 years on nonprofit committees and boards supporting the arts, social causes, academia, developmental disabilities and autism, community sport, professional development and business. She has been a media contributor for Forbes and Yahoo; a mentor to women, students and budding entrepreneurs; and a speaker on leadership, connection and the power of community – having also been a TEDx speaker. Her early career achievements include being named to Marketing Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list, receiving a Futurepreneur Chairman’s Award, receiving a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and most recently being named the Outstanding Young Alumni for the 2019 University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Awards.

“No one’s success is built alone and that’s certainly true of where I stand today. We often hear ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and it couldn’t be more true of the community, leaders and organizations I’ve had the privilege to work with over the past two decades. This industry is also exceptionally welcoming, which has allowed me to learn and move quickly in helping craft the reality of smart mobility in North America.”

"[The most challenging part of my job is] the speed of change. Our industry has never before experienced such rapid growth, development and evolution of technology alongside shifting environmental, social and political culture. With that comes the need to keep pace with advancing regulation, funding, infrastructure and workforce development to support and drive the adoption of clean technology.”