It is both an honor and a privilege to have been selected to serve as APTA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. This is an extraordinary time for the public transportation industry and I am excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead.
I am also excited to be working alongside many of you with whom I have forged relationships during my 23 years in the transportation industry in both the public and private sectors. Many of you I know through my participation on a variety of APTA committees and task forces and as a graduate of Leadership APTA. From my first job in the industry, driving a bus at Indiana University for Bobby Knight, to my first week on the job at APTA, public transportation has been my life. It’s even where I met my wife!
I am also honored to be named Bill Millar’s successor. His leadership and vision have brought our industry unprecedented success, and with your help, we can build on his legacy and take our association to even greater heights. Bill, my professor at Indiana University George Smerk, and frankly, many of you, are true inspirations to me.
Fortunately, Bill left APTA with a solid foundation to build upon. This will allow me to focus my energies on moving the association’s agenda forward. Change will come incrementally and always with you, the members, in mind. By working together, we can continue to reap the benefits of this solid foundation and cultivate the new initiatives focused on the vision developed by APTA’s membership. That vision is a national multimodal public transportation system that is available and accessible to all and is the key for sustained economic vitality and global competitiveness.
As I begin my new role at APTA, I pledge to do my absolute best to serve you and to ensure that our association is steadfastly focused on strengthening and improving public transportation. I look forward to working with APTA’s volunteer leaders and with the dedicated staff at APTA to continue to grow and strengthen our association for many years to come.
I want to thank APTA’s Board of Directors for their faith in me. I am humbled that they voted unanimously to elect me as President and CEO of APTA. This action was also very energizing because it shows we are not only strong, but also united.
Over the course of the next year, much of my time will be spent on the road visiting with you at your rail yards, your bus facilities, and on your factory floors. And, if all else fails, in your offices! I want to meet your local partners. While I have visited hundreds of public transit agencies and many suppliers over the years, there are literally hundreds more I want to get to know. Each APTA member’s experience and insight is critical, since our association’s collective knowledge is our strength.
It is a strength that will help us secure passage of a long-term, multimodal surface transportation authorization bill, which is a priority for all of us. We will amplify our message to Capitol Hill to make the case for federal investment in public transportation and to reinforce the fact that public transportation drives our economy while creating and supporting jobs. But beyond authorization, there is much more to focus on.
I will work with APTA Chair Gary Thomas and the Board of Directors on several key areas. We will stress the concepts of inclusion and involvement and continually enhance the value of your APTA membership. We encourage many more of you to get actively involved in APTA and its committees. We will provide you with the tools and information you need—when you need it—by enhancing our member communications.
We will work hard to position APTA as the thought leader in transportation policy. In short, we will make APTA more agile—incorporating constantly evolving technologies and innovations.
And, as we evolve our association, I want to hear from you about what’s working, what’s not, and how we can make APTA even more responsive to you. This kind of feedback is essential to be a truly successful association. And we all want APTA to succeed!
So, let’s get to work.