BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Steve Spradling

President

steven.spradling@okstate.edu

Steve Spradling has been the Director of Parking and Transportation Services at OSU since 2008 and has worked at OSU since 2004.  He is an OSU School of Business graduate and served in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He has served on the board of the Stillwater Area United Way and also as President of the Oklahoma Transit Association.  He was recognized in 2012 by Mass Transit Magazine for being in the Top 40 under 40 for transit professionals in the U.S. He also received the award of Oklahoma Transit Professional of the Year in 2013. He is passionate about improving parking and transportation on the OSU campus and the Stillwater community.

LaQuita Thornley

Vice President

l.thornley@incacaa.org

LaQuita Thornley is the Executive Director of INCA Community Services which operates JAMM Transit a rural public transportation system serving Johnston, Atoka, Marshall and Murray counties in southeastern Oklahoma.  LaQuita has been with the agency for 20 years during which time she served as an outreach worker, county director, and transit director and for the past 14 years as executive director for the community action agency.

In her early years working with the community she realized there was a vital link missing, which was public transportation services.  So, in 1999, working with the communities she wrote the first 5311 grant and in 2000 opened public transportation in the four county area INCA served.  She served as JAMM Transit’s first transit director, a title which she is proud to hold even today.

Doug Myers

Secretary/Treasurer

douglas-myers@ouhsc.edu

Doug Myers, a native of Michigan, served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, including two tours at the Naval ROTC Unit at The University of Oklahoma. Doug decided shortly after retiring from the Navy that retirement wasn’t for him, and he went to work as office manager in OU Parking and Transportation Services in 2000. Two years later he moved to OU Health Sciences Center as manager of Parking and Transportation, and in 2007 became assistant director. Doug became director of Parking and Transportation Services for both the Norman and OUHSC campuses on March 1, 2010. The two campuses were growing rapidly and needed the attention of a full-time director on both and Doug became the Director at OU Health Sciences Center in August 2017.

Doug and his wife, Lynne, have been married for 36 years and have two daughters and a son-in-law, Kimberly Myers and Cathy and Warren Cole and a granddaughter Lucy. All three children are OU graduates.

Jeannie McMillin

Past President

jmcmillin@littledixie.org

Jeannie McMillin has been the director of Little Dixie Transit since 2003.  She began her career with Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Inc. in 2000 as a site supervisor for Little Dixie Transit for the Hugo dispatch office.  18 months later she was promoted to the Assistant Director/Operations Manager position which she held until becoming transit director in 2003.  Under her leadership, Little Dixie Transit doubled in size in terms of number of vehicles, employees and trip volume.   Little Dixie Transit operates five dispatch locations within a tri-county service area in Southeast Oklahoma.  Little Dixie Transit also has a maintenance facility at the transit headquarters in Hugo, Oklahoma. Jeannie truly believes that transit plays a pivotal role in fulfilling the agency’s mission statement, “Helping people.”  “Changing lives.”

Jeannie built an effective training program which has resulted in no at fault accidents consistently year after year.  The training program was recognized by OTA when Little Dixie Transit received the Public Transit Safety and Training Award in 2009.  In 2011, Jeannie was awarded the Transit Professional of the Year award from OTA.  Jeannie served as OTA president from 2013 through 2015.

Jeannie attended the University of Oklahoma and studied English and Journalism.  She had a published work in the campus literary magazine as well as being involved with Student Publications for three years.  While a student at OU, Jeannie also participated in community activities through a volunteer program called The Bridging Project. As a volunteer with Bridging Project, Jeannie was involved with the Women’s Crisis Center, Habitat for Humanity, an international craft fair, as well as hosting two literary events that collected clothing and food to be donated to the needy as entry fees for the events. During her time at Little Dixie Transit, Jeannie has continued to volunteer by being active with the Relay For Life events for three consecutive years.  Jeannie also volunteered for a local veteran’s day recognition event.  From 2012-2014, Jeannie volunteered for the agency’s annual NeighborWorks projects which included restoring a local community park.   Jeannie is a supporter of the Special Olympics as well as The Animal Rescue Site.

Jeannie resides in Soper, Oklahoma with her two rescue dogs Jake and Chel-B.  She is actively involved with her nieces, nephews and extended family.  In her spare time, she enjoys organic gardening, reading, and attending t-ball and soccer games for her two great-nephews who live with her.   Jeannie also participates in 5K events on an annual basis.

Melissa Fesler

Director

Melissa.trolley@yahoo.com

I have been with First Capital Trolley since the 90’s, becoming director at the age of 23 in 1999. Amazing since I am so young. Since taking the reins I have implemented many new services and expanded existing services. As an organization we have volunteered for the united way, the chamber of commerce, trash clean up days, stuff the bus, and many more fund raisers for different community needs. I have even been an Easter Bunny to raise money for children in our community.  From trash pick up to sitting on boards, I work tirelessly to promote transit and help the citizens we serve.

Oh and yea we have done some things you can put on paper too…In 2008, We added job routes to expand from one county to another for a discounted rate. Awarded business of the year in 2008 by the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce and OTA honored us with the Ridership and Expanded Service award.  In 2010 I was named professional of the year for 2009. In 2011 was named top 40 under 40 by the MassTransit Magazine. The service types we offer change as the needs change. New contracts have been formed to meet different needs in different communities. All of this has been done without burdening the City’s or Counties for funding. First Capital Trolley now sits on a 7 acre space which allows for growth of our thriving transportation service.

Everything I do every day is because of the citizens I serve. Safe, reliable transportation for all…

Angie Gilliam

Director

Angie.gilliam@chickasaw.net

Angie Gilliam is the Director of the Transportation Services Department for the Chickasaw Nation, and has served in this capacity for 11 years.  She has a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. She began employment with the Chickasaw Nation in 1999 and has worked to better the lives of Native Americans thru the employment and training and transportation professions.

She serves as board member for the Oklahoma Transit Association and the Community Transportation Association of America, she is the Transit Sub-committee Chair for Oklahoma Tribal Transportation Council and a member of the Southwest Transit Association executive board. She was also appointed and represented the Oklahoma tribes on the Oklahoma Governor’s United We Ride Council. She enjoys playing golf and spending time with her family, Karnie, Rance, husband Jeff and especially spending time with her grandson Jett.

Brent Morey

Director

gbrentmorey@gmail.com

Brent Morey began his career with Community Action January 1, 1981 as Program Planner and Grant Writer.  He wrote the initial grant for one of the first four rural public transit systems in Oklahoma in 1984 and became Director of Red River Transportation Service.  Appointed as Executive Director of Community Action Development Corporation in 1986. Served two terms as President of the Oklahoma Transit Association and two terms as President of Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies.

Received Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies in 1991, Master of Public Administration in 2004, and Master of Human Relations in 2009 all from the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Morey also completed an additional 24 hours required for Certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor and works evenings and weekends with his wife Debbie in her mental health clinic.  Brent and Debbie have been married since 1976 and have two children, Josh and Jenna Morey.

Jesse Rush

Director

Jesse.rush@okc.gov

Jesse Rush began his career with the City of Oklahoma City in 2014 as a project manager for the MAPS 3 program. Jesse was the project manager for the MAPS 3 Riversport Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center on the Oklahoma River. Riversport Rapids was a $57 million, 2 year project that was completed on time and under budget. Jesse was also the project manager for the MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar project throughout engineering and design. The MAPS 3 Modern Streetcar project is a $131 million project that includes the purchase of 7 modern streetcar vehicles, a 28,000 sq. ft. storage and maintenance facility and the construction of 4.8 miles of track.

Jesse was announced the Streetcar Operations Director in November, 2016. Since coming to EMBARK, Jesse has begun the operations startup of the OKC Streetcar. The startup includes the hiring of all key managers, purchase of all equipment, and FTA and State Safety Oversight coordination. The startup also includes the coordination of all city departments and communicating with local business and property owners.

Charla Sloan

Director

charla.sloan@kibois.org

Charla Sloan, a native of LeQuire, Oklahoma is Transit Director of Oklahoma’s largest rural transit System, KI BOIS Area Transit System.  Charla is a member and Past President of Oklahoma Transit Association Board of Directors. She is a leader in building partnerships evident by the Road to Work – Job Access Collaboration with all rural transit agencies in Oklahoma.  She has over thirty years of experience. Road to Work Oklahoma was given a “Distinguish Service” award from the Community Transit Association of America in 2001.

KI BOIS Area Transit System is operating 237 vehicles in twelve counties, contracts with Head Start, Cities, Department of Human Services (TANF), Tribes, Oklahoma Health Care Authority (SoonerRide), Department of Rehabilitation Services, Work Routes and also with the Developmental Disabled.

In 1999 and 2004 she was recognized by the Oklahoma Transit Association as “Transit Manager of the Year” and “Transit System of the Year”.  The Oklahoma Transit Department of Oklahoma recognized her system with their annual merit award. In 2000 she received “Professional of the Year” from Oklahoma Transit Association. She was President of OTA for three years.

Also in 1999 Sloan received her Certified Community Transit Manager Certificate from the Community Transportation Association of America which she is the State Delegate for Oklahoma.

Now serving as Past President of the South West Transit Association Board, the association includes Arkansas, Oklahoma , New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas, and Arizona.

She has served as Chair on the Governor’s United We Ride Council.  She also served on the National RTAP Board from 2014 to 2017.

Trisha Nolen

Director

tnolen@qstraint.com

As the Southern Regional Manager for Q’Straint and Sure-Lok, Trisha Nolen represents both product lines for all School Bus and Paratransit applications. She has been in the industry for over 25 years, and has been with Q’Straint and Sure-Lok since 2013.

She conducts training programs both on-site and at conferences at the local, state and national level. She has been invited by numerous agencies throughout the country to speak on safe and effective wheelchair securement practices and regulatory issues. She was recognized as the Vendor of the Year in 2017 by TAPT.

She is a native Texan where she resides with her husband and enjoys spending time with their two grown daughters.

Mark Nestlen

Executive Director

barnonemark@gmail.com

As executive director of the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA), Mark is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the statewide organization that serves as Oklahoma’s voice of public transportation. OTA is comprised of urban, small urban, rural and tribal transit members all focused on one, overarching priority: To improve the mobility and access for all Oklahomans. With more than 10 million rides furnished statewide every year, OTA members offer opportunity for thousands of Oklahomans daily. Under his leadership, OTA will continue to serve as the voice for public transit in Oklahoma at the local, state and federal level, telling the story and expressing the transit needs of Oklahoma citizens. OTA also provides continuing education for its members, ensuring the highest level of professionalism and service among transit providers.

Mark also serves as president and CEO of his own consulting company, Bar None Consulting. Bar None is an advocacy, management and marketing consulting company that has represented clients such as Dixon and Aurelius Golf, the Triple Crown, Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Carl Nafzger, Citibank, All American Classics, Broken N-N Bucking Bulls, the American Subcontractors Association of Oklahoma, Take Shelter Oklahoma, Coreslab Structures, Saratoga Roofing and Construction, Oil Capital Electric, the Coalition of Competitive Public Construction, and Joe Dorman for Governor. Under Mark’s leadership, Bar None has helped these clients meet their goals and objectives in marketing, advocacy, communication, membership development, sponsorship engagement, growth and management needs.

Prior to establishing Bar None Consulting, Mark was the president and CEO of Cowboy Sports Agents, a $1.7 million-a-year company he founded in 1997 to represent and promote the sport of professional bull riding and rodeo and the athletes who competed in the sport. Through professional representation of his clients, Mark created the opportunity for rodeo athletes to obtain equal compensation and recognition provided to professional athletes in other sports. Mark was also responsible for bringing a higher level of business sense to the sport by directing the proper image use of his clients and providing access to professional financial management for the cowboy-athletes.

Through CSA, Mark was directly responsible for soliciting and implementing more than $10 million in new sponsorship money for cowboy-athletes and rodeo/bull riding events. He also brought a new level of public recognition to the sport by securing features of CSA athletes in major mainstream publications like Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Rolling Stone. To complement CSA, Mark founded a second Oklahoma-based corporation – OKC Gear – to handle the merchandise sales of the cowboy athletes-represented by CSA. In September 2007, Mark sold CSA and OKC Gear to Express Sports Agency.

Prior to 1997, Mark worked in Washington D.C. as a lobbyist focusing on national agricultural and rural public policy. In 1993 he joined the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) as manager of legislative and regulatory affairs and was promoted to director of legislative and regulatory affairs in December 1994. In this position he represented commissioners, secretaries and directors of state agriculture departments on Capitol Hill and within the Executive and Judicial Branches. Mark was successful in promoting the legislative and regulatory policies of the states in several areas, particularly in the Conservation Title of the 1995 Farm Bill, pesticide regulations and clean water legislation passed in the late 1990s, and in the reform of national meat and poultry inspection regulations. He was also directly responsible for developing the opportunity for farmers and ranchers to meet various national and state environmental laws and regulations through voluntary management programs.

Prior to joining NASDA, Mark was the director of congressional relations for the American Soybean Association (ASA) where he was responsible for the passage of legislation creating a marketing loan and nationwide promotion check-off for soybeans. He also created an innovative nationwide grassroots legislative action program. Before joining ASA, Mark served as a legislative representative for the National Grange where he helped to pass the Poultry Producers Financial Protection Act of 1987 and helped craft tax policy beneficial to family farmers and ranchers. Mark's career in the nation’s capital began when he did research on the 1985 Farm Bill for Sen. Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR). In 1992, he also served as the deputy director of opposition research for the Bush-Quayle 1992 presidential campaign.

Mark received a bachelor of science in agricultural and resource economics from Oregon State University and an associate of science in Animal Technology from Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon. During his tenure at Linn-Benton, he served as a student council member, as the student representative to the Linn-Benton Board of Education, on the state board of community college student presidents, and as the Community College representative to the Oregon State Board of Education. At both OSU and Linn-Benton, Mark competed on the livestock judging teams of both schools, as he did while in high school in Canby, Oregon as a part of his participation in the FFA program where he received the highest state degree available and then later during his professional career, he was awarded the Honorary American Farmer Degree from the National FFA Organization. In addition, he received an auctioneering degree from the Reisch World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa.

Mark is married to Cathy Nestlen. The couple resides in the Oklahoma City area where he serves as president of their homeowner’s association.