2019 Oklahoma State Driving Championships & Training Conference presented by Creative Bus Sales

October 22, 2019 – October 25, 2019 all-day
Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center
6808 S. 107th East Ave.
Tulsa OK 74133
Mark Nestlen





Hotel Information: To book your hotel rooms click here for online booking or call Marriott Central Reservations at 800-264-0165 and ask for the group code OTA. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis so make your reservation today to ensure availability. The special rate of $94 plus tax is available until September 24th or until sold out.

Conference Schedule (tentative)

Tuesday, October 22

1:30 pm – Registration (Convention Desk)

2:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Board of Directors Meeting (Seville I)

4:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Urban/Small Urban/Suburban Task Force Meeting (Seville I)

6:00 pm – Transit OK|Vision 2020 Welcome Reception hosted by Creative Bus Sales and the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce (Creative Bus Sales Hospitality Suite, Room 237)

Speaker: Michael S. Neal is in his 13th year as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, which serves twenty counties in northeast Oklahoma. Tulsa People named Mike the 2011 Tulsan of the Year for his limitless energy, can-do optimism and tireless efforts toward making Tulsa a better place. Southern Business and Development in 2011 recognized him as one of the Top 10 Economic Developers in the South. In 2010 he was named the Chamber Executive of the Year by the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executives. Prior to coming to Tulsa, Neal spent four years as President and CEO of the Nashville, TN Area Chamber of Commerce and twelve years as President and CEO of his hometown, Monroe, LA Chamber of Commerce. Previously he served as District Office Manager for U.S. Congressman Jerry Huckaby and as a Trust Officer for Central Bank (now Chase) in Monroe, LA. Through 2,400 member organizations, the Tulsa Regional Chamber represents more than 180,000 regional employees and utilizes 3,500 volunteers to achieve its mission. Mike led the creation of the Tulsa Regional Chamber Coalition and their OneVoice Regional State and Federal legislative agendas. He is heavily involved in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and serves on its Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, Accreditation Commission, and Transportation Infrastructure & Logistics Committee. Mike currently serves on the boards of the International Economic Development Council and the Southern Economic Development Council. He is a 1980 accounting graduate from the University of Louisiana Monroe where he played baseball.

Wednesday, October 23

6:30 am – Registration (Convention Desk)

7:00 am – TransitPAC Breakfast sponsored by Ecolane (Seville I)

Separate registration by clicking here and personal contribution to OTA’s TransitPAC of $20.20 is required for this event.

Moderator: Allen Leaird — Division Director, SORTS

Speaker: Avery Carl Frix grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, working in his family’s dirt work construction business.  He earned a degree from the University of Oklahoma in Accounting.  Then, opened a small business of his own, Oxford Productions, Inc., which provides professional management services.  Avery founded a summer youth camp five years ago, which has impacted hundreds of students.  In 2016, Avery was elected to represent District 13, including McIntosh and Muskogee counties in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Avery was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Transportation Committee for the 57thLegislation.  Avery enjoys fighting passionately for public education and rural economic development in our state.

8:00 am – Opening General Session sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company (Ballroom Salon IV-IX)

Moderator: Charla Sloan — Transit Director, KI BOIS Area Transit System

Welcome:  Ted Rieck is the general manager of Tulsa Transit, a position he has held since 2017. Ted has more than 35 years of transit experience spanning operations, planning, technology, and community partnerships. He also served as the chief executive officer of the Indianapolis transit system, where he reversed a 15-year ridership decline. Prior to joining Tulsa Transit, Ted was a transit consultant both independently as well as with national architect, engineering and planning firms. He was also Vice Chair of the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance, a transit advocacy group. Ted earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Rockhurst University and a master of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University

Greetings: Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum was sworn in as the 40th Mayor of Tulsa in 2016. His focus on public safety, community development, fiscal stewardship and creating a more equitable and welcoming city for all Tulsans, is transforming Tulsa into a world-class and globally competitive city. Mayor Bynum’s vision has led to the successful recruitment of two of the largest employers in the history of Tulsa, while outpacing cities throughout the country in job growth. Bynum continues to receive national recognition for his work in implementing one the most comprehensive community policing programs in the country, opening the greatest park gift in American History and creating new programming such as A Better Way, New Tulsans Initiative and the Resilient Tulsa Strategy – programs aimed to improve outcomes for residents. In a career engrained in public service, he has worked in the United States Senate for two Oklahoma Senators and served eight years as a Tulsa City Councilor prior to his election for mayor. As a native Tulsan, Mayor Bynum and his wife, Susan, are the proud parents of Robert and Annabel – the sixth generation of Bynums to call Tulsa home.

Keynote Address: Public Transit’s Role in Fighting Hunger in Oklahoma

Speaker: Katie Fitzgerald is the chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the state’s largest hunger-relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of food banks. Prior to joining the Regional Food Bank in 2016, Katie served as president and CEO of Make-a-Wish Oklahoma and was the executive director at the Center for Children and Families in Norman from 2010-16 where she led the largest expansion in operating and capital revenue in the agency’s history and established the first Boys & Girls Club in Cleveland County.  Before moving to Oklahoma, Katie served as program director with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation – the 13th largest private foundation in the world. Katie earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. Katie is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City, class 35.  Katie and her husband, Brad Stevenson, live in Norman with their three children.

Recognition of Training Conference Session Sponsors:

    • Creative Bus Sales
    • GreenPower Motor Company
    • Lone Star Handicap Vans
    • CWI Digital Systems
    • LiquidSpring
    • Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
    • Enviro-Mist
    • Gillig
    • Trillium
    • ARBOC Speciality Vehicles
    • Mobility One Transportation
    • NewbyVance
    • Ecolane
    • ProAir – ACT
    • Herzog Transit Services
    • PAVLOV Agency

9:30 am – EXPO (Ballroom Salon IV-IX)

    • Creative Bus Sales
    • GreenPower Motor Company
    • Lone Star Handicap Vans
    • CWI Digital Systems
    • LiquidSpring
    • Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
    • Enviro-Mist
    • Gillig
    • Altro USA
    • ARBOC Speciality Vehicles
    • BraunAbility
    • Gerflor USA
    • LogistiCare Solutions
    • Master’s Transportation
    • Mobility One Transportation
    • MobilityTRANS
    • NewbyVance
    • Routematch
    • Safe Fleet Bus & Rail
    • Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicles
    • BAE Systems
    • Mobile Climate Control
    • Rosco Vision Systems
    • United States Seating
    • American Seating Company
    • Ecolane
    • Freedman Seating
    • InterMotive
    • ProAir – ACT
    • Voith Turbo
    • National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

10:00 am – Driver Training: Trauma Informed Training sponsored by Gillig (Seville I)

Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or circumstances that can have lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being. This session describes individual trauma, and its effects and symptoms.   Transit professionals will learn how to recognize, respond to, communicate with and when necessary, provide appropriate assistance to their passengers and others who have experienced traumatic events.

Moderator: Jesse Rush — Streetcar Operations Manager, EMBARK

Speaker: Kary Hughes currently serves as Member Services & Operations Manager for South West Transit Association (SWTA).  Kary has been with SWTA since May 2014.  Her responsibilities include oversight of SWTA’s ongoing operations and procedures, providing training, workshop and conference planning and support, and member relations. Before joining SWTA, Kary was at Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Local Government Technology (CLGT) for sixteen years. In this capacity she managed the Oklahoma Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP).  Duties included developing and providing training and technical assistance for Oklahoma’s rural and tribal transit providers, oversight of the Oklahoma Transit Consortium’s DOT Drug and Alcohol program as well as assisting ODOT in the audit, review and reporting of all aspects of 5311 grant compliance for the Oklahoma sub-recipients. Kary is a Certified Master Trainer for Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)’s Passenger Service and Safety (PASS) Driver Certification Program.  She has taught PASS Driver Certification classes for rural and tribal transit systems since 2009, while adding resources and activities that complement and enhance the curriculum. She has a BS in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University.  Kary and her husband Mike, live in Edmond, Oklahoma.

10:00 am – Leading from Where You Are Part 1 sponsored by CWI Digital Systems (Ballroom Salon IV-IX)

Moderator: Jeannie McMillin – Director, Little Dixie Transit

In order to really “show up” as leaders, we need to lead with who we really are. Showing up in the workplace involves knowing where we come from, what is important to us, and how we hope to be treated. It involves guiding principles that allow us as leaders to honor another’s dignity. This session will provide an opportunity to consider the values that shape your work and to consider ways that you can better value your colleagues and customers. The session will include instruction, conversations and tabletop discussions to learn from each other and connect with your colleagues.

Speaker: Dr. Barbara Gannon is a leadership consultant and clinical psychologist with practical experience across the transportation sector. As principal of GannonConsult, she and the GannonConsult team help executives calibrate their strengths with the rigorous demands of the work. Dr. Gannon is respected for her expertise in workforce strategy and in the design and delivery of professional development programs. Throughout her career she has trained and mentored over 2,000 transportation professionals, many of whom now serve as general managers and executive team managers in agencies and organizations across the country. Dr. Gannon was an instructor for Northeastern University’s National Transit Management Seminars and developed the Eno Center for Transportation Leadership, where she served as Executive Vice President until 2012. Today, she directs the executive seminar for the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association and designs senior and mid-level training courses throughout the transportation industry. A former transit operations and general manager coupled with her training as a clinical psychologist gives Dr. Gannon the ability to quickly establish trust, listen carefully to the issues, and to strengthen teams as they recalibrate, focus and adopt new directions. Her consulting experiences include facilitating of forums and retreats, ensuring successful partnering on transportation construction projects, designing workforce development plans, and guiding the strategic planning process. Barbara Gannon is an active member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, and is a 2014 honoree at the organization’s award ceremony, Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation. She serves on the board of the American Public Transportation Foundation, is the Chair of the Workforce Development Subcommittee of the APTA Human Resource Committee and serves on the National Park Scholars Foundation Advisory Board. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and was granted a degree in Clinical Psychology from the William James College in 1998. In January 2014, Dr. Gannon was elected to the William James College Board of Trustees. Barbara Gannon lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts with her husband, Robert Sullivan.

12:00 pm – Lunch sponsored by ProAir – ACT (Madrid I)

Moderator: Ryan Landers – General Manager, Lawton Area Transit System

Speaker: A native of Bartlesville, Debbie Hendrickx received an undergraduate degree from College of the Ozarks. Following graduation, Debbie spent three months in Europe where she met her husband, Richard. The couple stayed in Germany for 30 years and started a family. While overseas, Debbie held jobs on U.S. military bases as both a teacher and a child care leader among other positions. Upon returning to Oklahoma, Debbie continued her work on a military post in her position at Ft. Sill in Lawton. Soon after returning to the United States, Debbie began experiencing vision problems and was soon diagnosed with macular degradation and went from having good vision to low vision in the span of just a few weeks. This diagnosis meant an end to driving, depending upon others for assistance and changing how her family’s life functioned. Debbie joined the Lawton Council of the Blind. She became very involved with the council and served as its president in 2017 and 2018. In her last year as council president, the organization hosted the Oklahoma Council of the Blind state convention in Lawton. Through the council, Debbie has worked with Lawton Area Transit System (LATS) to help train its drivers on how to help serve visual impaired customers. Last April the Council helped LATS set up a training for their bus drivers on better ways to help serve the Visual Impaired. Debbie hasn’t left her macular degradation limit her on making an impact in her community. “There is always more that can be done no matter how limited you are as an individual,” she says. “Joining together with others make us all stronger motivated and successful.”

1:00 pm – Leading from Where You Are Part 2 sponsored by CWI Digital Systems (Ballroom Salon IV-IX)

The practice of “leadingfrom where you are”involves the ability to coach others and to be coached by others. Though not formallytrained as coaches, transit leaders nudge, mentor and coach their employees to deliver service excellence. Sometimes, the most important skill is the ability to ask the right question, voice the goals, and allow an employee the space to reach the goal in his or her own way. This workshop will provide participants with reminders of the skills and concepts of delegating, coaching, and encouraging employee engagement. Participants will consider their management approaches and identify ways they can better encourage employees.

Speaker: Kate Young travels nationally as a leadership trainer, facilitator and leadership Coach. She has worked with Gannon Consult for the last decade offering multi-day leadership courses and facilitation within the transportation industry. She continues her work with Gannon Consult and loves transit, believing in the importance of the necessary services transportation provides everyday in communities large and small. Kate is the Coaching and Training Program Supervisor at HopeNet, a non-profit, in Wichita, Kansas. In heading up the Training and Coaching Department of HopeNet, Kate leads training seminars and workshops designed to empower leaders, strengthen teams and promote community wellness. She is a Level 2 Certified Leadership Coach, helping leaders and executives create customized plans to live with purpose, influence and a clear vision of their next step. Kate and her husband started MayDay Group LLC in 2018, as a way to bring together their passion for community, personal growth and faith. She and her husband of 20 years live in Wichita Kansas with their children ages 5 -18.

1:00 pm – Roadeo Briefing, Driver & Judges Check-in & Driver Written Test sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (Seville I)

This is a required session for the Roadeo driver-competitors. During the session there will be a briefing with regard to the driving portion of the competition to be held on Thursday, video introductions of drivers will be filmed, and the drivers will take the written test portion of the Oklahoma State Driving Championships competition.

1:30 pm – Driver Training: Wheelchair Securement Training Part 1 sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-Lok (Seville I)

Moderator: Erica Pogue — Operations Director, JAMM Transit

This training is designed to provide a comprehensive introduction to wheelchair securement best practices.  The following topics will be covered:  Safety & Liability, Securement Equipment Operation, Securing the Wheelchair, Securing the Occupant, and Hands on Training. Completion of both sessions will provide certification.

Speaker:  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 more than 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 agencies throughout the country to speak on safe and effective wheelchair securement practices and regulatory issues.  Trisha 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

3:00 pm – EXPO (Ballroom Salon IV-IX)

3:30 pm – Making Better Transit Decisions sponsored by LiquidSpring (Ballroom Salon IV-IX)

Significant transit projects and services are often stymied or delivered in sub-optimal operating environments due to poor ideas & understanding of options, especially in relation to their relative costs and value. The problems we face aren’t really physical or financial issues, but ones of political will, and whether you can generate the will to do the right thing. This session will elevate the level of knowledge, development and support for meaningful transit projects in North America by exploring factors such as the economic advantages of driving, housing and land use policy at or near transit nodes, vehicles and infrastructure (including dedicated lanes), sunk costs, service frequency, capital cost escalation, the role of labor, electrification and alternative fuel vehicles.

Moderator: Jesse Wood — Marketing Coordinator, OSU/Stillwater Community Transit System

Speaker: Rich Sampson is the Executive Director of the South West Transit Association (SWTA). He oversees all SWTA programs and activities, including member services, training and events, communications and advocacy, including growing investment in transit at all levels of government and refining regulations and policy impacting transit and mobility providers. Previously, Rich spent more than 17 years in a variety of roles at the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), including most recently serving as its Membership & Communications Director. During his tenure at CTAA, Rich oversaw its many communications platforms – including launch of its bi-weekly Fast Mail e-newsletter, managed member services and benefits programs, participated in development of its legislative and policy agenda, attended meetings with members of Congress, their staffs and along with those at several federal agencies, and coordinated CTAA’s annual National Community Transportation Roadeo.

3:30 pm – Driver Training: Wheelchair Securement Part 2 sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-Lok (Seville I)

3:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Associate/Affiliate/Professional Member Task Force Meeting (Seville II-III)

5:30 pm – Tulsa Night Out sponsored by PAVLOV Agency

    • Peoria BRT
    • Denver Street Transfer Station
    • Angry Axe

Thursday, October 24

6:30 am – Registration (South Parking Lot Tent)

Master of Ceremonies: DJ Blake O

6:30 am – Roadeo Judge Check-in (South Parking Lot Tent)

Course Marshall: Rick Miller, a tribal member of the Chickasaw Nation, is the senior operations manager for the Transportation Services Department of the Chickasaw Nation. He has served with the department since 2008. Rick currently serves on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Tribal Advisory Board.


      • Robert Barnes, Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicle— Starter
      • Brian Beebe, MobilityTRANS — Left Reverse
      • Rep. Carol Bush (R-Tulsa) — Starter
      • Scott Coleman, Rosco Vision Systems — Right Turn
      • Cody Cornwell, Routematch — Judgement Stop
      • Todd Collier, Mobility One Transportation — Left Turn
      • Mitch  Drouillard, Q’Straint/Sure-Lok — Wheelchair Securement
      • Daniel Flynn, ARBOC Speciality Vehicles — Passenger Pick-up
      • Darryl Glaser, CWI Digital Systems — Serpentine
      • Jennifer Hankins, Oklahoma Department of Transportation – Passenger Pick-up
      • Milton Hanson, Oklahoma Highway Patrol — Smoothness/Timing
      • John Heavrin, Oklahoma Department of Transportation — Right Tire Clearance
      • Chelley Hilmes, Oklahoma Department of Transportation — Right Tire Clearance
      • Tim Hinton, Mobile Climate Control — Diminishing Clearance/Passenger Pickup 2 (City Bus)
      • Randy Hogan — Scoring
      • Sara Hogan — Scoring
      • Kary Hughes, SWTA — Scoring
      • Chris Ishmael, CWI Digital Systems — Serpentine
      • Jamie Lipka, TRANSIGN — Passenger Pick-up
      • Todd Long, InterMotive — Diminishing Clearance/Passenger Pickup 2 (City Bus)
      • Larry Mabery, Gerflor USA — Pre-Trip Marshall
      • Eric McCullick, ProAir-ACT — Right Turn
      • Keith Najera, Oklahoma Highway Patrol — Smoothness/Timing
      • Bill Niederhofer, Lone Star Handicap Vans — Wheelchair Securement Marshall
      • Norma Niederhofer, Lone Star Handicap Vans — Wheelchair Securement Marshall
      • Trisha Nolen, Q’Straint/Sure-Lok — Wheelchair Securement
      • Rita Preble, LogistiCare Solutions — Pre-Trip Marshall
      • Joe Saldana, Gillig — Right Reverse
      • Mike Severe, Master’s Transportation — Left Reverse
      • Susan Starwalt, Ecolane — Offset
      • Doug Studer, Altro USA — Diminishing Clearance
      • Claude Terry, Chickasaw Nation Transportation Services — Pre-Trip Inspection
      • Colton Walle, BraunAbility — Right Reverse
      • Travis Ward, LiquidSpring — Offset
      • William Ward, Mobility One Transportation — Left Turn

6:30 am – Breakfast at the Roadeo sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (South Parking Lot Tent)

7:00 am – Oklahoma State Driving Championships Opening Ceremonies sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (South Parking Lot Tent)

Presentation of Colors

National Anthem

Welcome by Ray Hoyt, Visit Tulsa

Welcome by Creative Bus Sales

Speaker: Brent Roy is a bus sales professional with Creative Bus Sales specializing in the sale and support of custom vehicles for public transit agencies throughout the Southwest. For more than 16 years, Brent has worked closely with public transit agencies in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas including large metro, small urban, and rural public transit agencies. An expert in bus technical specifications and regulations, Brent is an advocate for public transit agencies with multiple bus manufacturers. His consultancy is widely relied upon by public transit fleet managers and directors during the vehicle planning and purchasing process. Brent has served on boards of directors for the Oklahoma Transit Association, the New Mexico Transit Association, and the South West Transit Association. He lives in Burleson, Texas with his wife Jennifer and is the proud father of Ashley and Blair.

Recognition of State Driving Championships Sponsors:

    • Creative Bus Sales
    • GreenPower Motor Company
    • Lone Star Handicap Vans
    • CWI Digital Systems
    • LiquidSpring
    • Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
    • Enviro-Mist
    • Gillig
    • Trillium
    • Altro
    • ARBOC Speciality Vehicles
    • BraunAbility
    • Gerflor USA
    • Logisitcare Solutions
    • Master’s Transportation
    • Mobility One Transportation
    • MobilityTRANS
    • NewbyVance
    • Routematch
    • Safe Fleet Bus & Rail
    • Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicles

7:30 am – Roadeo Judges Briefing (South Parking Lot)

7:30 am – Roadeo Drivers Check-in (South Parking Lot Tent)

Mini Van Drivers

  • 101 – Vicky Wilson, Central Oklahoma Transit System
  • 102 – Fernando Marquez, Red River Public Transportation Service
  • 103 – Samantha Rabbit, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tribal Transportation
  • 104 – Gilbert Mendez, Pelivan Transit
  • 105 – Deborah Merkey, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Transit
  • 106 – Ray Meely, Chickasaw Nation Transportation Services
  • 107 – Frances Pierce, Little Dixie Transit
  • 108 – Aretha Brown, Muskogee County Public Transit
  • 109 – Will Craddock, Pelivan Transit
  • 110 – Eva Leflore, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Transit
  • 111 – Michael Boatner, KI BOIS Area Transit System
  • 112 – Steven Mazey, JAMM Transit
  • 113 – John Loudakis, Southwest Transit
  • 114 – Roy Hale, First Capital Trolley

Shuttle Bus Drivers

  • 201 – Sunny Cozad, Comanche Nation Transit
  • 202 – Joe Jackson, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tribal Transportation
  • 203 – Freddie Lovett, Jr., KI BOIS Area Transit
  • 204 – Kenny Williams, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Transit
  • 205 – Andrew White Crow, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Transit
  • 206 – Beverly Jaquez, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Transit
  • 207 – David Dotson, Muskogee County Public Transit
  • 208 – Randy Sherman, Southwest Transit
  • 209 – Mark Marshall, Comanche Nation Transit
  • 210 – Marouane Hamdi, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Transit
  • 211 – Nancy Romero, The Ride
  • 212 – Lakesha Robinson, EMBARK
  • 213 – Raymond Jackson, Little Dixie Transit
  • 214 – Delfred White Crow, Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Transit
  • 215 – Warren Shrout, Pelivan Transit
  • 216 – Pamela Evans, SORTS
  • 217 – Wendall Gaines, Chickasaw Nation Transportation Services

City Bus Drivers

  • 301 – Keith Ingram, Tulsa Transit
  • 302 – Arlis Williams, Tulsa Transit
  • 303 – Jason Davis, Lawton Area Transit System
  • 304 – John Morgan, EMBARK
  • 305 – Tonya Ames, OSU/Stillwater Community Transit System

8:00 am – Oklahoma State Driving Championships presented by Creative Bus Sale (South Parking Lot)

8:00 am – Projects and Best Practices for Rural & Tribal Transportation sponsored by Enviro-Mist (Seville I)

We learn by hearing how our peers have successfully navigated the process and practice of providing excellent rural and tribal transportation through the coordinated planning process. This presentation will focus on those best practices and allow time for a peer exchange of ideas.

Moderator: Amy Hill — Tribal Transportation Coordinator, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tribal Transportation

Speaker: Meredith Greene has seventeen years of experience in the transportation industry. She specializes in regional transportation coordination, mobility management, and paratransit planning.  She enjoys working with stakeholder groups to come together to form a shared vision for transportation in their region. Meredith has a strong background in transportation research and practical planning, previously working as a researcher in transit mobility at Texas A&M Transportation Institute and as a long and short range principal planner for a large metropolitan transit authority. She has developed multiple trainings for transit boards, and day-to-day practitioners who desire stronger performance measures for their systems and coordinated programs. Meredith also understands the complicated politics that can play a role in planning and implementation. She is the former Executive Director of the Texas Transit Association, supporting the state’s public transit agencies in training, grant writing, legislation, and coordination of new services. She also served as the Chair of Austin’s Urban Transportation Commission, providing input on new transit initiatives and navigating the intersection of Transportation Network Companies and Taxi Cab Companies in Austin, Texas.

8:00 am – Data & Performance Metrics: Know Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Using Them (Seville II)

There’s an old saying in politics, that you run on your record or run away from it. Transit should – and must – run on its record, using data. This session will provide information and examples on how to measure and track system performance and communicate the benefits of transit to a wider audience, including elected officials, policymakers, the business community, non-riders and others.

Moderator: Kendra McGeady — Director of Transit, Pelivan Transit

Speaker: Rich Sampson, SWTA Executive Director

8:00 am – Driver Simulator Training (South Parking Lot)

Drivers will have an opportunity to train on a simulator. The driver simulator is a full motion base that lets you feel those bumps or curbs you may hit. It also allows for rain, sleet, and snow.  The driver simulator training will cover driving on ice, lane changing, four-way stops, and interaction with bikes. There will also be a portion of the training with an emphasison on not striking fixed objects. There will be a 15-20 minute presentation then there will be a chance to drive the simulator to practice the newly learned techniques.

Coordinator:  Jesse Ashlock, Industrial Coordinator at Autry Technology Center, has been at Autry for five and a half years. He started in safety and is now in the transportation role and Vance Air Force Base Liaison. He holds a degree in Business Management and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Nazarene University.  He holds a Class B CDL with passenger endorsement. Jesse has driven a school bus for Pioneer Technology Center, Autry Technology Center, and Hennessey Public Schools.

10:00 am – Training Track Break (South Parking Lot)

10:30 am – Understanding ADA Part 1 sponsored by Mobility One Transportation (Seville I)

Moderator: Melissa Fesler — Director, First Capital Trolley

The goal of this course is to teach transit professionals the legal background of ADA and paratransit requirements. Topics covered include: ADA legal requirements that apply to public and private transportation related entities; 14 service provisions documented in 49 CFR Part 37, Subpart G; Requirements to determine if a public or private entity must provide complementary paratransit service; Criteria for complementary paratransit service; Requirements for existing and new transportation facilities; Compliance and enforcement responsibilities of FTA, DOT, and DOJ; Responsibilities and compliance procedures for public and private entities; and Enforcement and investigation processes, including hearings, decisions, and notices.

Speaker: Monica L. Simon is Principal of SIMON & SIMON Research and Associates, Incorporated, a minority, woman-owned consulting practice she co-founded in 1999. SIMON and SIMON assists organizations with workforce training and diversity issues, customer service and organizational development in the United States and Canada. Ms. Simon has assisted numerous transportation providers with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and accessible transportation policies. She also has extensive, first-hand experience with the ADA paratransit eligibility process and regularly designs and delivers training to paratransit, fixed route, rural, and rail operators and staff. Her participant centered approach to adult learning demonstrates her commitment to understanding behavior, organizations and learning. The U.S. Department of Justice recently approved Ms. Simon as the sole instructional designer and classroom instructor for a mandatory Americans with Disabilities Act employment training program. In this role, she designed and delivered training for 1,100 managers, directors and supervisors. Ms. Simon also teaches regularly at national and regional transportation conferences. She is a trained mediator in the state of Maryland (Facilitative and Restorative Dialogue models), experienced focus group moderator and Certified John Maxwell Leadership Team Coach. Ms. Simon has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from American University, in Washington, D.C.; and has completed graduate studies in organizational development from the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business, in Baltimore, Maryland. She will earn a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University in 2019. Ms. Simon is Co-Chair of the Accessibility Committee of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO); and Chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Elizabeth School, a non-public school for children with disabilities, in Baltimore, Maryland.

10:30 am – Crisis Communication for Transit Employees (Train the Trainer) Part 1 sponsored by NewbyVance (Seville II)

Moderator: Richard Maxwell — Director of Transit, PAVLOV Agency

Effective communication is essential to the management of transit crises — whether they are accidents, power outages or prolonged service delays. Crisis Communication Training for Transit Employees will equip frontline and supervisory transit personnel with the skills and techniques they need to communicate effectively within their organizations and with passengers throughout a crisis to enable successful response and recovery. The session provides an educational opportunity for the session attendees and also equips the attendees with the ability to instruct other staff members of their organizations.

Speaker: Rich Foerch has served as a Workplace Safety Senior Instructor at the National Transit Institute (NTI) for 12 years. Foerch trains front-line and Supervisor personnel in Crisis Communications for Transit Employees; All-hazard Awareness and Preparedness for Transit Employees; Assault Awareness and Prevention for Transit Operators; Developing a Transit Emergency Management Plan; Harassment Prevention for Transit Employees; and Violence in the Transit Workplace – Prevention, Response, and Recovery. Foerch has delivered over 500 courses in 30 states. Foerch served for 30 years at the Woodbridge, NJ Fire Department ascending to the rank of Battalion Chief. He also currently serves as a Fire Service Level 2 Instructor and has served as a Fire Instructor for Middlesex County, NJ for the past 25 years.

12:30 pm – Lunch powered by Creative Bus Sales (South Parking Lot Tent)

1:30 pm – Understanding ADA Part 2 sponsored by Mobility One Transportation (Seville I)

1:30 pm – Crisis Communication for Transit Employees sponsored by NewbyVance (Train the Trainer) Part 2 sponsored by NewbyVance (Seville II)

3:30 pm – Training Track Break (South Parking Lot)

4:00 pm – Advanced Paratransit Management Operations sponsored by Mobility One Transportation (Seville I)

Speaker: Christian Kent is a charismatic change agent and turnaround specialist with a proven track record for transforming organizations. A 31-year veteran of the public transportation industry, Christian has built, restored, and expanded transit operations from coast to coast. His consulting practice serves public and private sector organizations, primarily in business strategy, to: facilitate the transition of public transit into an integrated mobility network; support public transit agencies in retaining and attracting new ridership; assist private sector firms in demonstrating and enhancing their value as partners to public transit, particularly with technology; and invest in the people of public transit, providing technical training and honing leadership skills. In the public sector, Mr. Kent served with distinction for 13 years at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), where he became an expert and thought leader in transportation contracting as he took the helm of the nation’s fifth largest paratransit service. After restoring the flagging MetroAccess paratransit service through the introduction of technology; the implementation of industry best practices; and the selection and development of a top-notch management team, he developed, implemented, and managed a 10-year, $1 billion procurement comprised of multiple paratransit contracts. Leveraging the credibility he had gained with the WMATA Board of Directors, he influenced a shift in emphasis from paratransit cost controls to the promotion of fixed-route and other alternatives to paratransit. This strategy has become a major component of today’s “mobility” movement. Many of Mr. Kent’s self- designed business approaches are now being emulated by transit agencies all across the United States and abroad. To this day, MetroAccess is often cited as an exemplar of best practices by regulators and peer agencies. Mr. Kent was competitively selected to serve as acting chief executive over Metrobus, the nation’s sixth largest bus system, with over 4,000 employees, a fleet of 1,500 buses, a budget of $500 million annually, and annual ridership of over 132 million customers. Mr. Kent’s tailored approach to customer service and application of technology in paratransit were cited as essential to enhance the performance of the fixed- route system. For 18 years in the private-sector, Mr. Kent secured contracts and managed start-up operations; expanded a number of operations by as much as 1,000% through improved customer relations; efficiency improvements; and better marketing of the service. Mr. Kent has shown particular proficiency in recognizing changing conditions and helping organizations to prepare for and adapt effectively to those changes. He was often tapped to restore under-performing contracts, and he identified innovative ways to meet the needs of his customers while improving profitability.

4:00 pm – Crisis Communication for Transit Employees sponsored by NewbyVance (Train the Trainer) Part 3 sponsored by NewbyVance (Seville II)

4:00 pm – Driver Training: Human Trafficking & First Observer Training sponsored by Trillium (Seville III)

The First Observer Plus™ Program provides transportation professionals with the knowledge needed to recognize suspicious activity possibly related to terrorism, guidance in assessing what they see, and a method for reporting those observations. The Blue Campaign is an initiative to combat human trafficking through enhanced public awareness, victim assistance programs, and law enforcement training and initiatives.

Moderator: Tina Lowery — Director, Central Oklahoma Transit System

Speakers: Jonathan Martinez is a Transportation Security Inspector (TSI) – Surface, within the Office of Security Operations (OSO), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Since 2008, as part of the OSO team, he has been securing airports, seaports, railroads, highways, and/or public transit systems, thus protecting America’s transportation infrastructure and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce. With a multi-disciplined background, he is dedicated to making sure that our transportation systems are secure, and that he fosters great working relationships with their industry partners. In 2016, he completed his Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), enhancing his ability to work as a risk-based facilitator.

Eric Fischer is 20 year retired Air Force veteran. Started with TSA in the spring of 2002 on the Mobile Screening Force. He helped roll out Baltimore International, LaGuardia and Midway airports prior to returning to Will Rogers World Airport. Eric worked as a supervisor at the security checkpoint until 2011 when he became a Transportation Security Inspector-Surface.

6:30 pm – Oklahoma State Driving Championships Reception sponsored by TRANSIGN (Madrid Foyer)

7:00 pm – Oklahoma State Driving Championships Awards Banquet sponsored by Lone Star Handicap Vans (Madrid II & III)

Oklahoma State Driving Championship Award Presentations

  • Top Pre-Trip Inspection Score sponsored by ARBOC Speciality Vehicles
  • Top Wheelchair Securement Score sponsored by ARBOC Speciality Vehicles
  • Top Written Test Score sponsored by ARBOC Speciality Vehicles
  • Top Rookie Mini Van Driver sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company
  • Top Rookie Shuttle Bus Driver sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company
  • Minivan Driving 3rd Place sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
  • Minivan Driving Reserve Champion sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
  • Minivan Driving Champion sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
  • Shuttle Bus Driving 3rd Place sponsored by LiquidSpring
  • Shuttle Bus Driving Reserve Champion sponsored by LiquidSpring
  • Shuttle Bus Driving Champion sponsored by LiquidSpring
  • City Bus Driving 3rd Place sponsored by CWI Digital Systems
  • City Bus Driving Reserve Champion sponsored by CWI Digital Systems
  • City Bus Driving Champion sponsored by CWI Digital Systems

OTA Hero of the Year presented by Lone Star Handicap Vans

Entertainment: James Robert Webb sponsored by Herzog Transit Services


Friday, October 25

8:00 am – Oklahoma Transit Association Rural Task Force Breakfast & Meeting (Seville I)

8:00 am – Conference Breakfast (Madrid I & II)

9:00 am – The State of Oklahoma Public Transit (Madrid I & II)

Moderator: LaQuita Thornley — Executive Director, JAMM Transit

Speaker: In early 2019, Tim J. Gatz was appointed Secretary of Transportation by Gov. Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Transportation Commission named him Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director, effective April 1, 2019. Prior to that appointment, Gatz was named the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority in 2016 and previously served more than two decades at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Tim started his career at ODOT as a Drafting Technician in 1990. Then in 1992, he became the Enhancements Program Coordinator and moved up to Special Projects Manager in 1997. In 2000, he became Division Manager of the Project Management Division where he was instrumental in the development of ODOT’s Eight-year Construction Work Plan. Gatz was promoted to the Senior Staff position of Director of Capital Programs and Information Management in 2006 and led the department’s coordination with county governments to develop and deliver the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges Program which provides dedicated funds for high-priority county transportation projects statewide. He served as Deputy Director from 2013 until his appointment to OTA in 2016. Tim earned a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Oklahoma State University in 1989 and is a registered professional landscape architect. He has received several honors including the Oklahoma Good Roads & Transportation Association’s Bill Skeith Stewardship Award, the Governor’s Public Service Award and the Federal Highway Administration’s Partners In Quality Award. He is a member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association and the American Society of Landscape Architects. Tim and his wife, Sandy, live in El Reno and have two sons.

9:30 am – Strategic Traction Implementation of HB1365 (Madrid I & II)

Moderator: Steve Spradling — Director of Parking & Transportation Services, OSU/Stillwater Community Transit System

Speaker: Dawn Sullivan was named the deputy director for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in May 2019, effective in July 2019. In this senior staff position, Sullivan will oversee all day to day administration and strategic planning for the department. With more than 30 years dedicated to the department, Sullivan began her career as an engineering student at the Sand Springs Residency in 1988 and continued as a student engineer as part of the OU Bridge Design Squad. She then interned at various departments within the agency before becoming an engineering manager in Roadway Design. In 2000, she worked as an assistant division engineer for the Planning & Research Division before being promoted to division engineer. Sullivan then became the division engineer for the then-newly formed Environmental Programs Division in 2007. In 2016, she was named the Director of Capital Programs where she remained until becoming the deputy director. Sullivan is a founding member of Women’s Transportation Seminar International, Oklahoma Chapter; a co-chair for the Oklahoma State Transportation Innovation Council and is the Southern Plains Transportation Center Advisory board chairman. She has completed Gov. Mary Fallin’s Executive Development Program for State Officials and the National Transportation Advanced Leadership Institute certifications. A graduate of Broken Arrow High School, Sullivan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and has been a Professional Engineer since 1995. Sullivan and her husband, Kenny, reside in Norman. They have four children and four grandchildren.

Speaker: Colleen Flory has served over a decade in government program and project management and has established performance management systems for multiple state agencies and leaders. She was trained by McKinsey consultants in performance management and strategic planning. She studied strategic data use in policy making and implementation at Harvard University. She currently serves in the role of the Director of Statewide Performance for both OMES Budget and Policy Division and the Office of the State Chief Operating Officer.

10:30 am – Break (Madrid I & II)

11:00 am – Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan Update  (Madrid I & II)

Moderator: Ted Rieck — General Manager, Tulsa Transit

Speakers: Laura Chaney started her career in transportation with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) in 2004. She brings a wealth of transportation knowledge to the table, serving in different capacities in Roadway Design Division, Right-of-Way & Utilities Division, Local Government Division, and the Planning & Research Division over the course of her 15-year career.  In 2010, she was named the MPO and RTPO Coordinator for the Planning & Research Division, where she served as a member on various planning committees statewide. She provided oversight and direction for the States MPO planning activities, served as a voting member on several technical and policy driven committees, and played an integral role in the establishment of the first Regional Transportation Planning Organizations in the State of Oklahoma in 2012.  In 2016, Ms. Chaney was named the Planning & Performance Branch Manager for the Strategic Asset & Performance Management Division at ODOT.  In this position, she oversees the development of all statewide planning documents for the Department, MPO and RTPO coordination and planning activities, and Active Transportation statewide planning and policies. Laura has a Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Leadership and Master of Arts degree in Administrative Leadership, both from the University of Oklahoma. Laura currently resides in Oklahoma City, Okla., with her two children.

Speaker: Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan Consulting Team — Nelson\Nygaard & The KFH Group

12:00 pm – Working Lunch on the 2020 Oklahoma Legislative Session

Moderator: Mark Nestlen — Executive Director, Oklahoma Transit Association

Speaker: Rep. Carol Bush (R-District 70) was born and raised in Tulsa. After graduating from Oral Roberts University in 1983 with a business marketing degree, Carol successfully ran her own retail stores for 20 years. She then turned to public service within the Health Department and then as the Executive Director of the Crime Commission’s Crime Prevention Network. In her second term, Carol serves as Chair of the Children, Youth and Family Services Committee. She is also a member of the Oklahoma Commission on the status of Women, the Diabetes Caucus, the Waiting List Caucus, the Oklahoma Early Childhood Legislative Caucus and the Oklahoma Care-Giver Coalition. Carol has extensive experience as a community volunteer. Over the years she has served on various boards in the Tulsa area including; Big Brothers and Sisters of Green Country, Tulsa Area United Way, Camp Fire U.S.A., Tulsa Public Schools Mentoring Council, Philbrook Art After Five, Board of Deacons at First Presbyterian Church, Emergency Infant Services, Philcrest Tennis Club, Brookside Merchant Association, American Advertising Federation, Carnegie Elementary PTA, YWCA, and Junior League of Tulsa. She is married and has two daughters, Moriah, a teacher in Kansas City, and Nicole, a student in Denver.

1:00 pm – Office of Mobility & Public Transit Program Briefing (Madrid I & II)

Moderator: Brent Morey — Executive Director, Red River Public Transportation Service

Speakers: Ernie Mbroh & ODOT Transit Staff including Steve Jagosh, Jason Huff, Eduardo Machuca, John Heavrin, Veronica Clark, Bobby Patterson, Denotria Davis and Julianne Halliday.

1:00 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Tribal Task Force Meeting (Seville I)

2:00 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association 5310 Task Force Meeting (Madrid I & II)


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