People on the Move: July 2023


PHOENIX, AZ—Valley Metro has welcomed Melissa Boyles to its executive leadership team as chief of staff. Boyles has 25 years of transportation industry experience. She has served in program management, civil rights program development and compliance, and in national roles developing diversity, equity and inclusion and social equity programs. In this role, she will assist the CEO and coordinate with internal team members and city partners to further initiatives important to the organization and the future of transit in the Valley.

Melissa Boyles

PHOENIX, AZ—Valley Metro has welcomed Mike Pal to its executive leadership team as chief transportation officer. Pal has nearly 30 years of experience managing large-scale public transit operations. He began his career with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a bus driver and advanced to serve in leadership roles responsible for the delivery of bus, BRT and paratransit service. Most recently, he was deputy chief operating officer for Metro Transit in Minneapolis. For Valley Metro, he will lead teams tasked with the development and delivery of bus, light rail, streetcar and demand-responsive services, including paratransit.

Mike Pal

BOSTON, MA—The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has named Gabrielle Mondestin as its first chief communications officer and a member of the senior leadership team. In this newly created role, reporting to General Manager Phillip Eng, she will be responsible for developing and transforming the agency’s communications strategy to provide a unified, transparent and effective approach to messaging. Mondestin joins MBTA from the Boston Public Schools system, where she served as chief communications officer. She has also held senior strategy communications roles, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 U.S. presidential campaign.

Gabrielle Mondestin

CONCORD, CA—CDM Smith announces the appointment of Hala Z. Titus, PE, BCEE, PMP, as president of its North America Unit. Titus brings more than 30 years of diverse technical, project management, construction and leadership experience in the U.S., Canada, Egypt, Sweden, Taiwan and Thailand and has led and delivered landmark projects for some of the largest utilities in the world. For CDM Smith, Titus has served as senior vice president, sales leader and sales director for the West Pacific Group.

Hala Titus

COLUMBUS, OHMonica Tellez-Fowler, who joined the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) earlier this year as chief operations officer, has been named deputy CEO of the agency. She will continue to oversee COTA’s transit and fiscal operations, as well as human resources, information technology and innovation. Prior to joining COTA, Tellez-Fowler was deputy CEO/treasurer of Clark County Public Transit Benefit Area Authority (C-TRAN) in Vancouver, WA. Before that, she served as chief financial officer of Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, TX. For APTA, she is a member of the Planning, Policy and Program Development and Bus Operations committees and Transit Operations Planning and Scheduling Subcommittee.

Monica Tellez-Fowler

MORGANTOWN, WVDavid Bruffy has announced his resignation as chief executive officer of the Mountain Line Transit Authority, a position he has held since October 1997. Under his leadership, the agency grew from a 12-vehicle service to a 43-vehicle service that now employs 80 people and provides more than 80,000 hours of bus service a year. Assistant Manager Maria Smith will serve as acting general manager until a permanent appointment decision is made. For APTA, Bruffy is a member of the Public Transportation CEO Coordinating Council and serves on the Mobility Management and the Transit Systems Serving Large Universities committees.

David Bruffy

SANTA MONICA, CA—The City of Santa Monica has announced that DOT Director Ed King is to retire Aug. 9, following more than 46 years of service in public transportation. King spent the last 12 years as director for Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, and most recently the DOT. Before that, he held leadership roles at Long Beach Transit and the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority. During his time at Santa Monica, King led teams whose accomplishments include developing a state-of-the-art, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certified bus maintenance facility, becoming one of the first municipal transit agencies in the U.S. to convert its entire fleet to renewable natural gas and partnering with Lyft to launch Santa Monica’s Mobility On-Demand Every Day Program. For APTA, he is a member of the Public Transportation CEO Coordinating Council and serves on the Bus & Paratransit CEOs, Mid-Size Operations, Bus Safety and Legislative committees.

Ed King

BOSTON, MA—CDM Smith announces the addition of Jennifer Prescott as senior vice president and incoming chief digital and information officer, succeeding Dave Neitz. Most recently serving as CIO and innovation lead in the AEC industry, Prescott brings more than 25 years of proven success driving large, complex global programs, developing IT strategies, managing diverse teams and building external partnerships. She has experience in leading digital transformation strategies, including analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Jessica Prescott

BOSTON, MAPatrick J. Lavin has been appointed to the newly created position of MassDOT chief safety officer. Lavin has 40 years of experience in transportation safety and operations, including as a subject matter expert and technical writer to the MBTA Safety Review Panel in 2019. He was previously executive vice president and chief safety officer for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and senior director for operations in the office of system safety of New York City Transit. Since May of 2019, Lavin has served as director of operations safety and investigations at K & J Safety and Security Consulting Services, where he led development of FTA’s Rail and Bus Guidelines for Accident Investigation. In addition, Lavin managed the creation of training plans and hazard analysis for Bay Area Rapid Transit, New York State Public Transportation Board, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, Memphis Area Transit Authority, Honolulu Rapid Transportation and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Patrick J. Lavin

DALLAS, TX—RailPros has hired Marco Loureiro to serve as its chief operating officer, based out of its corporate headquarters. Loureiro is a recognized leader in the architecture and engineering industry, with more than two decades of experience in progressively expanding roles and a proven track record in both rail and transit projects.

Marco Loureiro

TOLEDO, OH—The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) has named Rick Bailey as its new chief customer experience and mobility officer. He will oversee TARTA’s customer experience efforts and employees, in addition to leading operations for TARTA’s paratransit service, TARPS. Bailey’s 15 years of public transportation agency experience includes a history of innovative efforts, including the redesign of the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority’s system.

Rick Bailey

SAN ANTONIO, TX—VIA Metropolitan Transit has promoted Tremell Brown, a 33-year veteran of the agency, to serve as deputy CEO. Brown began his career at VIA in 1990 as a part-time bus driver. He advanced through the operations division, holding several leadership positions, including vice president of transportation; VP of safety, training and system security; and chief safety officer. Brown will continue to serve as chief safety officer and lead VIA’s STSS division, where he helped develop, implement and oversee law enforcement, safety and training development, and was installed as the agency’s incident commander for emergency management. For APTA, Brown is a member of the Safety Coordinating Council, and serves on the Bus Safety, Small Operations and Workforce Development committees. He is a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 2016.

Tremell Brown

GERMANTOWN, WI—With an extensive background in electronics and device connectivity, Amy Harlan has been named WAGO’s new business development manager for device connection technology. After spending time in the field as a sales representative and regional sales manager, Harlan has spent more than eight years in a similar role preparing herself for her new position with WAGO.

Amy Harlan