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Transit CEOs, Deputies to Join Professional Seminar Feb. 9-12

Executives of public transportation agencies will gather Feb. 9-12 in Palm Springs, CA, for APTA’s Transit CEOs Seminar, hosted by SunLine Transit Agency.

In keeping with APTA Chair Flora Castillo’s theme, “It’s All About the People,” the seminar program offers professional development sessions including “Staying on Top of a Crisis,” led by Jim Moorhead, author of The Instant Survivor–The Right Ways to Respond When Things Go Wrong.

Noting that smart organizations implement a crisis management plan long before they find themselves responding to events, Moorhead has said few discussions are available on an individual level to help people better address troubling issues. Registrants will receive copies of Moorhead’s book in the APTA Registration Office at the seminar hotel, the Renaissance Palm Springs.

Other key educational sessions will highlight topics such as how public transit systems drive economic development, success stories resulting from APTA’s peer reviews, working with executive recruiters, developing negotiation strategies, labor trends, and funding and financing programs in use now.

This year’s seminar will introduce a new course of study on management style for executive staff members (“deputies”) with a career goal of moving to a chief executive officer position. This separate study track will begin with APTA President & CEO Michael Melaniphy’s “Breakfast for Deputy CEOs” and will feature an educational session on moving from manager to leader led by Linda J. Washington, former DOT assistant secretary for administration and president and CEO of the Washington Consulting Team.

Also in the management style track will be a session on professional public speaking and first-rate presentation skills, led by consultant Scott Marcus. It will cover barriers to effective communication, storytelling, questioning skills, handling hecklers or difficult people, persuasive communication, and impromptu speaking. Deputies and CEOs will participate in interactive sessions that involve creative thinking and the resolution of challenges.

The CEOs Seminar is a unique leadership forum that offers opportunities to exchange news with colleagues and learn from the best. The “CEOs XChange” session will feature peer-to-peer presentations on contracting services, rebuilding an agency in distress, reducing overtime and absenteeism, sustainability initiatives, mobility management, an inter-agency training program, a new paratransit business model, forming new public transit agencies and regionalism, technology, and frontline customer interaction. A luncheon program will bring together public transit CEOs and the presidents of two manufacturers on the challenges and realities of the Buy America requirements.

Other sessions and workshops will include:

* An FTA workshop on the “new” approach to triennial reviews, hosted by the CEOs of small public transit operations;
* Open discussions on members’ views and insights with CEOs and deputies organized by system size; and
* A roundtable discussion with Melaniphy and Castillo.

“With the federal surface transportation authorization law enacted in 2012, nearly 80 percent of transit ballot measures passed this year, and ridership ‘up’ for the past seven quarters, the emphasis at this seminar is on forward, new thinking,” Melaniphy said. “The interactions, networking, and discussions are engaging and relevant to your vision, leadership, and oversight of your organization’s success.”

Seminar registration is open now for CEOs and top-level executives/deputies of APTA member transit agencies at the APTA website. For more information on the educational content, contact Lynne Morsen. Registration information is available from Heather Rachels.

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