People on the Move: April 2024


NASHVILLE, TN—Edward W. Oliphant is retiring as chief financial officer for Nashville MTA (WeGo Public Transit), effective June 1. He was appointed to the position in October 2002, serving as the agency’s first CFO. Since 2008, he has also served as CFO of the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee as part of a management agreement with Nashville MTA. Oliphant has been on the Davidson Transit Organization (DTO) Board of Directors, the 501c3 nonprofit that serves as the employment arm of WeGo Public Transit, throughout his tenure, holding the office of DTO president from 2014-22. He also held the position of secretary and treasurer on the DTO Pension Board. In 2013, Oliphant was named the Nashville Business Journal “CFO of the Year in Middle Tennessee” in the nonprofit division. For APTA, Oliphant is a member of the Fare Collection Systems Committee.


VANCOUVER, WA—C-TRAN has appointed Alexandra Mather to serve as the agency’s director of government and community relations. She will be directly responsible for the agency’s intergovernmental affairs, community relations and outreach, and lobbying efforts in addition to working on critical projects such as the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program. In this role, Mather will also serve as strategic advisor to the CEO, the board of directors, and the executive team. Mather is a seasoned public transportation advocacy professional with more than a decade of experience. Prior to joining C-TRAN, she led government affairs at Pierce Transit, Lakewood, WA, where she secured hundreds of millions of dollars in grant funding and leveraged federal programs to support system transformation. For APTA, Mather is a member of the State Affairs Committee.


WEST COVINA, CA—Foothill Transit announces the appointment of Joyce Lara Rooney as its new director of finance. Rooney succeeds Michelle Lopes Caldwell, who retires after a long and distinguished career. Rooney brings a wealth of expertise in transit operations, fiscal management, project coordination, and government relations. Most recently, she served as the transit operations and transportation facilities manager for the City of Redondo Beach, CA, where she oversaw all aspects of the city’s transportation programs. Prior to that, she served as transportation and transit operations supervisor for the City of West Hollywood. For APTA, Rooney is a member of the Public Transportation CEO Coordinating Council and serves on the Bus & Paratransit CEOs; Marketing, Communications, and Customer Experience; Small Operations; and Bus Operations committees.


PORTLAND, OR—TriMet has named Dan Blair as executive director of the agency’s newly developed Transit Systems and Asset Support Division. Blair has been growing his career with TriMet for the last 30 years, starting out as a light rail vehicle apprentice mechanic and graduating from TriMet’s apprenticeship program. He served as director of rail equipment maintenance before assuming the interim executive director of maintenance position in March 2023. The new Transit System and Asset Support group is focused on maintenance and document control, asset management, key performance indicators, zero-emissions program training, and more. Blair will serve as the division’s first dedicated full-time executive director. For APTA, Blair is a member of the Rolling Stock Equipment Technical Forum and serves on the International Rail Rodeo Committee.


In addition, TriMet has named John Weston as executive director of maintenance operations, the position that Blair had been serving in an interim capacity. Weston comes to TriMet with nearly 40 years of experience in the transit industry, including extensive work on and management of systems in Washington, DC; Miami; and Seattle. Most recently, he served as corridor operations director for Sound Transit in Seattle. Weston will direct and oversee TriMet’s Maintenance Operations Division, which is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and management of the agency’s buses, light rail vehicles, track, buildings, transit station facilities, and non-revenue vehicles.


STEVENSVILLE, MD—Stertil-Koni announces that Brett Delp has joined the company as national account manager. Delp brings more than 13 years of experience in the commercial vehicle industry to the post, including firsthand shop knowledge, product development, national fleet management, and national account management. Prior to joining Stertil-Koni, Delp served as national account manager for Dorman Products, where he successfully grew fleet relationships and distribution networks nationally.


GERMANTOWN, WI—WAGO has named Sy Stevens as its new vice president of marketing and digitalization for the Americas. Stevens brings a wealth of experience to WAGO, having held marketing management positions at companies such as Rockwell Automation and Case IH.


In addition, WAGO has named Paul Johnson as its new industry manager for railroads and transportation. After serving in the military, Johnson spent 23 years with Norfolk Southern Railway, where he eventually became controls system engineer overseeing the installation and upgrades to the yard as well as new process control systems. Johnson comes to WAGO having spent the last three years as VP of operations for Trainyard Tech.


PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) welcomes Elisa Cunningham to the newly created position of chief technology officer, reporting to CEO and General Manager Leslie Richards. Cunningham will lead the agency’s information technology department and develop and implement a long-term technology strategy that ensures system resiliency and security. She comes to SEPTA from Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), where she served as chief technology officer. At Metrolink, Cunningham led technological transformation across southern California by acquiring a multi-agency regional rail mobile ticketing application supporting the 2028 Olympic Games. Prior to Metrolink, she was assistant vice president of technology and information management at Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), where she oversaw DART’s data management, enterprise resource planning systems, web and mobile development. For APTA, Cunningham is a member of the Fare Collection Systems and Research & Technology committees.


SAN BERNARDINO, CA—Omnitrans welcomes Piyumie Wickramasinghe, Ph.D. as director of safety & security. She will oversee agency safety compliance and initiatives and internal and external security efforts. Prior to Omnitrans, Wickramasinghe served as regional director of health and safety for National Express LLC and regional safety manager for Reyes Holdings. She has also held positions in environmental health and chemical safety at the University of Southern California, where she earned a doctorate degree in chemistry.


NEW YORK, NY—Benjamin Susman has assumed leadership of The Routing Company’s engineering team. Since joining the company in 2022, Susman has served as director of engineering, managing the platform team, leading the implementation of TRC’s commingling paratransit product, and focusing on scalability. Susman continues under the director of engineering title, while assuming leadership of TRC’s full engineering team. Prior to TRC, he held progressively advancing engineering and product roles with Demandware and Salesforce, including leader of Salesforce’s infrastructure teams and support of Salesforce Einstein, its artificial intelligence division.


In addition, Dami Adebayo assumes leadership of TRC’s business development team as director of partnerships. Adebayo most recently served as TRC’s European partnerships lead. Since joining TRC in 2022, Adebayo has been focused on driving the company’s expansion in Europe through partnerships with municipalities and fleet operators. Prior to TRC, he worked in roles focused on mobility, strategic consulting, and corporate development at McKinsey & Company, Free Now, and The Boston Consulting Group.


Also, Stephen Kuban ascends to head of partner growth for TRC. Kuban joined TRC in 2022, and since then has spearheaded the organization’s international business development efforts. An on-demand transit expert, he entered the transit industry in 2015 with RideCo, serving in progressively advancing roles in analysis, planning, and leadership. Pioneering the development of dynamic transit, he launched North America’s first microtransit service and in 2019 served as principal planner for the design and implementation of Los Angeles Metro’s “Metro Micro” program.