People on the Move: June 2024


MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Dorval R. Carter, Jr. and Carolyn Flowers have joined the board of directors of Mpact (founded as Rail~Volution). Mpact has shaped and advanced the movement for transit-oriented communities for nearly 30 years.

Carter is president of the Chicago Transit Authority and co-chair of the Equity in Infrastructure Project, which focuses on utilizing infrastructure investments to create more opportunities for historically underutilized businesses, aiming to build generational wealth and reduce racial wealth gaps. He previously served as USDOT acting chief of staff and FTA acting deputy administrator. For APTA, he is immediate past chair and is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors and is chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. He also serves on APTA’s Mobility Recovery & Restoration Task Force and Public Transportation CEO Coordinating Council and on the Rail Transit CEOs Committee, among others.


Flowers, a managing partner with InfraStrategies LLC, brings 30 years of experience in transportation at the local and federal levels. She was the first woman chief executive officer of the Charlotte Area Transit System, NC, served as chief operating officer of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), and was FTA acting administrator during the Obama Administration. For APTA, she is a member of the Mobility Management Committee and is a graduate of the Leadership APTA Class of 2003.


WASHINGTON, DC—HDR has promoted Pat Porzillo, P.E., to the position of transit engineering director. He will provide technical leadership on transit engineering design and implementation services for light rail, subway, automated people movers, and commuter rail. Porzillo has 37 years of experience in planning, design, construction, and maintenance and operations of transportation infrastructure. His experience includes chief engineer of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; associate vice president of commuter rail for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County; deputy division engineer at Amtrak; and track, bridge, and building supervisor at Norfolk Southern. Porzillo implemented infrastructure upgrades that enabled the Acela high-speed operation in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. As a project manager, he has led contracts valued at up to $1.5 billion across the U.S. For APTA, Porzillo serves on the Commuter Rail and Rail Transit committees, Track & Noise/Vibration Technical Forum, and Capital Projects Subcommittee and is a member of the LGBTQ+ Resource Group.


WASHINGTON, DC—Nigel Astell has joined WSP as intercity rail and strategy practice leader for national transit and rail, responsible for the delivery of major projects, strategic client engagement, and strategy development across all transit and rail markets. This position is closely tied to FRA’s Corridor Identification and Development Program, an intercity passenger rail planning and development initiative that guides rail development across the U.S. Astell has a background in business development, transportation planning, project delivery, and performance improvement, having led complex projects, planning studies, and operational reviews for some of the largest transportation agencies in the U.S. He began his career in the U.K. as an operations manager with London Underground. He also led the development of business cases for major rail and BRT projects in the U.K. and has managed or supported multiple communications-based train control projects in the U.S. and U.K. For APTA, Astell serves on the High-Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail and Sustainability committees and the Capital Projects Subcommittee.


OCEANSIDE, CA—North County Transit District (NCTD) has hired Tom Tulley as chief operations officer of rail, responsible for all rail operations and maintenance programs for COASTER commuter rail and SPRINTER hybrid rail. Most recently, he served as managing director / country manager for Stadler Services in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining Stadler, Tulley was director of regulatory compliance and rail development with FirstGroup. This included serving as an international rail transportation executive, consultant, and advisor working with companies in Canada, Spain, the U.K., Italy, Japan, and Switzerland. Tulley also held key leadership positions with Forth Worth Transportation Authority (Trinity Metro), working on TEXRail and Trinity Railway Express, and has 14 years of experience with FRA.


NCTD also has hired Alex Denis as chief procurement officer. Denis has worked for more than 25 years in public procurement management. Most recently, he served as chief procurement officer for the City of Miami Beach, FL, where he led all procurement-related contracting, contract compliance, and supplier initiatives. Before that, he served as vice president for operations at Broward College, leading the divisions of business services and resource management; auxiliary services; and safety, security, and emergency management for all campuses and centers.


In addition, NCTD has appointed Mary Dover as chief of staff, responsible for the agency’s intergovernmental relations and administrative team. Dover has been with NCTD since 2022, serving as government affairs officer. Prior to NCTD, she worked for the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in her San Diego district office, providing policy recommendations on a variety of issues including transportation and infrastructure and helped facilitate stakeholder appropriations requests including $10 million to help stabilize the Del Mar Bluffs from erosion. For APTA, Dover serves on the Legislative Committee and the Commuter & Intercity Passenger Rail Legislative; Funding, Finance & Tax Policy Legislative; and Intergovernmental Issues Legislative subcommittees.


Suheil Rodriguez has been promoted to NCTD’s new director of administration. She has been with the agency since 2006, serving most recently as manager of administration. Rodriguez is responsible for assisting with managing agency memorandums of understanding, as well as helping forge agreements with all NCTD business partners. In addition, her work as the clerk of the board has been instrumental in building relationships and bringing critical stakeholders to the table to help further the vision of the communities NCTD serves. For APTA, Rodriguez serves on the Transit Board Administrators Subcommittee.


NCTD also has promoted Chris G. Carrillo to the position of security director. Carrillo has been with NCTD for the past three years as security manager. She will have direct oversight and collaboration with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department Transit Enforcement Services Unit, security staff, and code compliance inspectors, as well as control center technicians. Prior to NCTD, Carrillo was the director of security for six years in the hospitality industry and was a Chula Vista police officer for 11 years.


TOLEDO, OH—The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) has named Ursula Barrera-Richards, J.D., as its new chief human resources officer. Barrera-Richards has nearly two decades of experience in the public and non-profit sectors and comes to TARTA from the Zepf Center, where she served as chief human resources and compliance officer. Prior to that, she was human resources and labor relations director for the Lucas County Auditor’s Office. Barrera-Richards began her career as congressional aide to Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), before working for the State of Ohio. As an aide to Sen. Teresa Fedor in the Ohio legislature, she helped craft the message and build the network in support of SB 235, which made human trafficking a stand-alone felony in the state.


LAKEWOOD, WA—Pierce Transit announces that Lauren Adler has joined the agency as government relations administrator. Adler served most recently as government relations director with Elevance Health, where she managed external affairs, including advocacy with legislators and policymakers at all levels of government. Prior to Elevance, Adler served as director of external affairs and community engagement with the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, and for many years before that, worked with then-Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), first as Pierce County coordinator, then deputy district director, and finally district director.


CINCINNATI, OH—Cincinnati Metro has promoted Brandy Jones, APR, to the position of chief communications & marketing officer. She has more than 20 years of communications and marketing experience. Jones joined the agency in 2008 and has held several leadership roles, including director of public relations and senior vice president of external affairs. Prior to Cincinnati Metro, she held communication roles at Kevin Wilson PR agency and the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. She is a past president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and has been celebrated as a “Forty Under 40” by the Cincinnati Business Courier. For APTA, Jones serves on the Marketing, Communications, and Customer Experience Committee and the Marketing–PIOs Task Force.


SAN ANTONIO, TX—Roderick “Rod” J. Sanchez, AICP, has been named senior vice president of planning and development at VIA Metropolitan Transit to oversee and direct all aspects of VIA’s planning and capital expansion program, including high-capacity transit projects and other capital investments, such as the Advanced Rapid Transit Green and Silver Lines. Prior to joining VIA, Sanchez served as assistant city manager for the City of San Antonio, a position he held since February 2017. Before that, he was the building official for the City of San Antonio and director of the development services department.


VIA Metropolitan Transit also has named John G. Clamp as chief administration officer, a position created to help support and direct VIA’s fiscal, procurement, technology/innovation, and human resources divisions. Clamp brings to VIA more than 35 years of experience in the non-profit, public service, and corporate sectors. He served from April 2013 to March 2016 as chairman of the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority, an independent governmental agency created by the Texas Transportation Commission and the Bexar County Commissioners Court in 2003 to accelerate construction of needed transportation projects in Bexar County.


NEW ORLEANS, LA—The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has named veteran transportation professional Justin Cayless as its chief transit officer. Cayless previously served as director of operations and then senior director of operations from 2021-2022. He most recently served as chief operating officer overseeing HNS Management Inc., where he was responsible for the operations and management of more than 1,200 employees, 500 vehicles, and the fixed-route bus systems in Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford, CT, for CTtransit in collaboration with CTDOT.


NEW YORK, NY—The Routing Company (TRC) has announced Pandora Shelley as chief operating officer. She previously served as vice president of operations. Since joining TRC in 2021, Shelley has overseen the company’s growing commitments spanning all aspects of global operations, including launch, expansion, market operations, customer support, analytics, and partnership management. Prior to TRC, Shelley served as CEO of Fishburners, Australia’s longest enduring and largest tech startup community in the Southern Hemisphere. She was a finalist in the 2019 Telstra Business Awards and named by Startup Daily as one of the top women in innovation.