Editor's Notebook: Get to Know the New Class of 40 Under 40 Honorees

Aug. 22, 2023
The magazine’s 15th iteration of its signature recognition program spotlights the individuals pushing the transit industry forward.

Welcome to our 15th annual 40 Under 40 issue. Mass Transit’s annual program launched in 2008 to highlight developing and established leaders from all corners of the transit industry. While their individual paths to appear in this issue are unique, they all share a common goal of delivering better mobility within their communities.

Our evaluation committee read more than 170 nominations and was tasked with finding the final group of 40 that you will read about within this issue. The 2023 40 Under 40 honorees represent a cross-section of disciplines including professionals from engineering, operations, safety, planning, communications and government relations.

Approximately 33 percent of honorees work for engineering firms, 28 percent represent private companies in the industry and 40 percent of the honorees consist of individuals who work for transit or state agencies. This is a well-educated bunch with more than half earning an advanced degree or professional certification. It is also a multi-lingual group with more than eight languages spoken among the 40 honorees.

Beyond the foundations of education, the 2023 class is well practiced with honorees involved in some of North America’s highest profile projects of the past few years. The group also has a high level of tech savvy, with honorees experienced in the increasingly digital-forward methods to deliver greater efficiency in operations, construction, fare and data management and even community engagement.

The transit industry is all about connections, which is why the 40 Under 40 program places value on honorees’ efforts and time spent volunteering with associations, mentor groups and other non-profits. Dozens of these local and national entities have provided networking opportunities and personal development opportunities for this year’s group of honorees.

Outside of work, you’ll find this group to be comprised of an event planner, marathoners, a scuba diver, former college athletes, veterans and working parents who are sharing their love of the industry with the next generation of transit enthusiasts.

The team at Mass Transit hopes you enjoy reading about this year’s class as much as our team enjoyed getting to share their stories. Please visit the 40 Under 40 page on our website, masstransitmag.com/40-under-40; where you’ll find additional fun facts, deeper first-person viewpoints and more information about their accomplishments.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.