Brightline Expands Management Team Ahead Of Launch, Announces New CEO Dave Howard

March 14, 2017
Brightline is readying for the anticipated launch of customer service this summer by growing the ranks of its management team.

Brightline is readying for the anticipated launch of customer service this summer by growing the ranks of its management team. The company announced that Dave Howard, a veteran executive from the sports and entertainment industry, has joined Brightline's leadership team as chief executive officer. Michael Reininger will lead new development and growth opportunities as executive director at Florida East Coast Industries (FECI), Brightline's parent company, and Patrick Goddard has been elevated to chief operating officer of Brightline.

Since 2012, Reininger has served as president, leading the strategy, design and execution for the company, including the associated transit-oriented real-estate platform. As the company begins to focus on the future, Reininger will be dedicated to the expansion of the Brightline system. "We are poised for tremendous success this year and excited to complete our leadership team as Brightline makes the dramatic transition from building to customer operations," said Reininger. "Dave Howard is a proven executive with the leadership qualities that will ensure our customer service and experience are unparalleled."

"There is an unprecedented opportunity to replicate the remarkable success Brightline has built over the last five years in many other places," said Wes Edens, co-founder of Fortress Investment Group. "We have proof of concept for delivering private-sector led transportation projects that can be created efficiently, quickly and profitably. As we see the impact of Brightline take hold in Florida, we're going to look to translate our success across the country."

"We're excited to welcome Dave Howard to the team, and for this next chapter for our company," said Vincent Signorello, chief executive of FECI. "Brightline is the only company in the U.S. that has created a next-generation passenger rail service integrated into important transit-oriented nodes.  This singular experience and expertise positions Brightline to grow as the landscape for transportation options and associated development expands.  Michael Reininger has done a terrific job getting us ready for operations; and now in his new role Mike will guide our team towards new opportunities."

Dave Howard has assumed full responsibility for all aspects of the ground-breaking passenger rail business, effective March 6. He has built a distinguished career in Sports and Entertainment, having served in the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, in expanding responsibilities with the New York Mets for more than 20 years, and as President of MSG Sports. His customer-focused experience and hospitality orientation is well-suited for the approach that Brightline has been built upon.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to help build a business that is so important to the state of Florida," said Howard. "We're introducing a much-needed alternative transportation solution for Floridians and visitors that will transform the regional economy and downtown cores."

Additionally, Patrick Goddard who currently serves as the executive vice-president of operations will be elevated to chief operating officer. Together with Howard, Goddard will provide leadership for the day-to-day operations of the trains and stations.