Hotel Information: To book your hotel rooms click here for online booking and when on the site click on the Book A Room button in the top right corner. Use the code 200427CONF_001 to receive the conference rate of $93 per night plus tax. You may also call Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Reservations at 405-964-7777 and mention the Oklahoma State Driving Championships & Conference or refer to the code 200427CONF_001 to receive the conference rate. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis so make your reservation today to ensure availability. The special rate is available until October 6th or until sold out.
Conference Schedule (tentative)
Tuesday, October 20
9:00 am – Oklahoma Transit Association Organizational Development Task Force Meeting (Ballroom 1 & 2)
11:00 am – Registration (Grand Events Center Foyer)
12:00 pm – Vehicle Move-in (Grand Events Center)
12:00 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Advocacy Committee Lunch & Meeting (Ballroom 1 & 2)
12:00 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Communications, Public Relations & Marketing Committee Lunch & Meeting (Ballroom 3 & 4)
2:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Board of Directors Meeting (Ballroom 1 & 2)
4:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association 5310 Task Force Meeting (Ballroom 3 & 4)
5:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Finance & Administration Committee Meeting (Ballroom 1 & 2)
6:30 pm – Transit OK|2020 & Beyond Welcome Reception hosted by Creative Bus Sales (Hotel Pool, 3rd Floor)
Wednesday, October 21
6:30 am – Registration (Grand Events Center Foyer)
7:00 am – TransitPAC Breakfast sponsored by INSURICA (Ballroom 3 & 4)
Speaker: Rep. Logan Phillips (R-Mounds) is the co-chair of Oklahoma’s Rural Broadband Expansion Council. The Council was created through House Bill 4018, the Rural Broadband Expansion Act, with the goal of improving broadband access throughout rural Oklahoma. The state is ranked 47th in the nation for rural broadband access. Rep. Phillips was principal House author of HB 4018.
8:00 am – Opening General Session sponsored by LiquidSpring (Grand Events Center)
Welcome: Tina Lowery is the director of Central Oklahoma Transit System located in Shawnee. Okla. Tina started working with the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency (COCAA) in 2006. She has set on the COCAA’s Leadership team for the past five years. Tina is also a 2010 graduate for the Shawnee Leaders with honors. She has received several awards including Directors Award, Leadership Awards and Outstanding programs achievement award for a two years consecutive.
Greetings: Shawnee Mayor Ed Bolt graduated from Mustang High School and attended the University of Oklahoma as a Political Science Major. He has been a Shawnee resident since 2002. He worked 29 years for AT&T where his final assignment was as a Regional Sales Manager for State Government and Higher Education. Since retirement in 2008, Mayor Bolt started his own photography business in Shawnee and opened a photo studio and art gallery on East Main St. He bought a condemned building and completely rebuilt it in an effort to help revitalize our downtown area. Mayor Bolt is very active in a number of local civic organizations. He serves as Community Coordinator for Safe Events for Families, Vice Chair for Historic Shawnee Alliance, and Secretary for Visit Shawnee Inc. Mayor Bolt and his wife, Phyllis, attend St. Benedict Catholic Church and Wesley United Methodist Church.
Keynote Panel: EMBARK Climb Ride Program
In March of 2019 the Arnall Family Foundation announced a $1 million award to the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA) and EMBARK for the development and implementation of a pilot program that increases parent-child reunification in Oklahoma county for families who have children in the foster care system through innovative transportation delivery. The resulting program — The Climb Ride Program — provides individuals with a Mobility Programs Coordinator who works with them to obtain transportation to their visitations, classes and therapy sessions, court hearings and more. The participants in the program have access to EMBARK’s fixed-route bus service and on-demand trips.
Panelist: Marilyn Dillon was selected as the Mobility Management Administrator for EMBARK in April 2016. She began her career with the City of Oklahoma City in 1989 as a technician with the Oklahoma City Police Department’s Laboratory Services Division. In 1998, Dillon entered private sector employment specializing in laboratory operations, sales, and transportation logistics across a five-state region. Dillon returned to the City of Oklahoma City in 2012 as a Budget Analyst and was promoted to Audit Manager in 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma City University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado State University. Marilyn holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Management from Northcentral University. She is a member of the Mayor’s Committee on Disability Concerns, the Oklahoma City Health Community Collaborative, and serves on the Community Advisory Council for NewView Oklahoma.
Panelist: Kary Hughes serves as a consultant to OTA for the Climb Ride Program related to the development and implementation of trauma informed training. Kary also currently serves as Member Services & Operations Manager for South West Transit Association (SWTA). 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 in 2014, Kary was at the Oklahoma State University Center for Local Government Technology for 16 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’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 Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Kary and her husband Mike, live in Edmond.
Panelist: Stephanie Davis recently joined the Mobility Management team at EMBARK. She is a former educator and business owner with a background in project management. For the last several years, Stephanie coordinated multi-site commercial and residential property management in Oklahoma City. She brings many years of non-profit and volunteer experience with multiple agencies and is thrilled to apply her experience to continued growth and expansion of the Climb Ride Program across Oklahoma City. Stephanie is a B.S. candidate in Management and Ethics at Mid-America Christian University and is completing her testing for Microsoft Certification. She has been a licensed Master Barber Instructor since 2002 and is excited to bring her teaching experience to EMBARK to support travel training services for Climb Ride participants. Stephanie serves on EMBARK’s Special Transportation Advisory Committee.
9:45 am – EXPO (Grand Events Center)
- Creative Bus Sales
- GreenPower Motor Company
- CWI Digital Systems
- Altro, USA
- ARBOC Specialty Vehicles
- LogistiCare Solutions
- Mobility One Transportation
- MORryde International
- Safe Fleet Bus & Rail
- Freedman Seating
- National Rural Transit Assistance Program
10:00 am – Driver Training – Communicating with Passengers in Times of Crisis (Ballroom 1-4)
Presenter: Debbie Ruggles has served as a transit professional for more than 40 years. While serving as general manager at the transit agency in Boise, Idaho, her agency was named Outstanding Public Transit System by the American Public Transit Association. Debbie retired from Tulsa Transit in 2017 and has been an independent trainer/consultant since that time. She has trained across the country in a variety of topics, including but not limited to leadership, customer service, and the Americans Disabilities Act. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and a master’s degree in counseling.
11:00 am – Panel Presentation: PICK Transportation Program sponsored by CWI Digital Systems (Grand Events Center)
PICK Transit will introduce an integrated on-demand service in 21 rural communities across eastern Oklahoma. The service will include 41 vehicles providing after hours and weekend service and will allow the rider the capability to book trips in real time, include driver rating and rider experience in app surveys. The PICK Transit project is funded in part from a $1.5 million IMI grant through the FTA and includes Pelivan Transit, INCA Community Service (JAMM Transit), Cimarron Public Transit System, KI BOIS Area Transportation System.
Panelist: As a Regional Sales Consultant for Routematch Software, Cody Cornwell manages sales and account management for the central United States and Canada. Prior to joining the sales team Cody was a Project Manager responsible for the successful deployment of large-scale technology projects. He graduated from Kennesaw State University with a B.B.A in Information Systems. Cody loves golfing, snowboarding, and hiking. If you can’t find him on the course he, is probably playing with his dog, Izzy!
Panelist: Kendra Sue McGeady has served as director of transit for Pelivan Transit and Northeast Oklahoma Tribal Transit Consortium, owned and operated by Grand Gateway Economic Development Association, since 2016. The system, located in northeast Oklahoma, operates in seven counties and provides transit services for the general public as well as the Cherokee, Peoria, Ottawa, Quapaw, Modoc, Miami, Shawnee, Eastern Shawnee, Wyandotte and Seneca Cayuga tribes. Kendra is past president of the Vinita Rotary Club and serves as Chairwoman of the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board of Directors. She also serves on the Oklahoma Transit Association Advocacy Committee. Kendra is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation.
Panelist: Charla Sloan is the transit director of KI BOIS Area Transit System, Oklahoma’s largest rural transit system that operates nearly 240 vehicles in 12 counties. She is a leader in building partnerships evident by the Road to Work – Job Access Collaboration with all rural transit agencies in Oklahoma that earned a Distinguished Service Award from the Community Transit Association of America in 2001. She has twice been recognized as OTA’s Transit Manager of the Year and KA Bois as Transit System of the Year. In 2000, Charla received OTA’s Professional of the Year Award and served as OTA president for three years. Charla is the state delegate to the Community Transportation Association of America and earned that association’s Certified Community Transit Manager Certificate. She has also served as chair of the Governor’s United We Ride Council and on the National RTAP Board from 2014-17.
Panelist: Erica Pogue serves as the Transit Operations Director for JAMM Transit, a sub-division of INCA Community Services, Inc. Erica has been with the CAP agency since 2006 serving in many different roles. Since 2011 she has led the JAMM Transit team and been part of INCA’s Leadership Team. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2018 and is currently pursing an MBA. She serves on the City Council in Atoka, Oklahoma and has been involved in various areas within the community throughout her years at INCA.
12:00 pm – Lunch sponsored by Routematch (South Event Center)
1:00 pm – Afternoon General Session sponsored by BraunAbility (Grand Events Center)
The Future of NEMT in Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan (OPTPP) has found that non-emergency medical trips (NEMT) are essential to the long-term well being of public transit systems. It states that many times these contracts are the only local match for agencies. The OPTPP also found that NEMT trips are being lost to private transportation providers who do not always meet the regulations and safety requirements of the federal government. The session looks at what it all means when you throw in the passage of State Question 802 which is projected to result in as much as a 24% increase in SoonerRide trips, and couple that with the impeding RFP from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to solicit Manage Care Organizations (MCOs).
Speaker: Rep. Marcus McEntire (R-Duncan) is a fourth generation resident of Stephens County. Upon graduation from Duncan High School, he attended and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in communication studies, earned a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Virginia. In 2003 Rep. McEntire, his wife, Leigh, and son Ian returned to Duncan to raise their family and expand their young and rapidly-growing business, Distinctive-Decor.com. Their daughter, Ainsley, was born in 2006. Rep. McEntire has been the president of the Duncan Rotary Club and regularly volunteers as a television auctioneer for the Rotary Auction. He has served on the Duncan Regional Hospital Foundation board for more than 5 years, currently as the Finance Chair. He has also served on the Advisory Committee for the Business Development Services Program at Red River Technology Center for the past 6 years. Rep. McEntire has served on the Gifted and Talented Advisory Board of the Duncan Pubic Schools and currently serves on the STEM advisory board, and is a Boy Scout leader for Troop 4434. Rep. McEntire attends the First United Methodist Church in Duncan where he has served as a young adult Sunday school teacher, youth Sunday school teacher, worship leader, liturgist, staff perish relations committee member, finance committee member, church council member, nominations committee member and currently serves as a church trustee.
The SWTA Report
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.
1:00 pm – Driver Wheelchair Securement Training (Ballroom 1-4)
Instructor: 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.
2:30 pm – EXPO (Grand Events Center)
3:30 pm – Back on Board, Communicating Post COVID sponsored by TRANSIGN (Grand Events Center)
Moderator: As Manager of Strategic Communications for the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA), Brittany Burton is responsible for the development and execution of OTA’s marketing and communications strategy in support of the organization’s strategic goals and core values. She is responsible for the development, integration and implementation of a broad range of public relations and marketing activities designed to advance the organization’s position with relevant constituents, as well as to drive broader awareness of public transit.
Panelist: Morgan Lyons advises CEOs, corporations, public agencies and trade associations primarily in the fields of transportation and infrastructure. His career in communications began as an award-winning journalist telling stories about everything from presidential candidates to rattlesnakes. For more than 20 years he served as the spokesperson for Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), one of the nation’s leading public transportation agencies. As Vice President, External Relations Morgan provided strategic counsel to executive and board leadership as the agency grew into a multi-modal transit operator. In that capacity he was part of the communications team for the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), the region’s first commuter rail service linking Fort Worth and Dallas. Working jointly with executive leadership of Trinity Metro, this included public engagement for all TRE openings and events and ongoing media relations and social media support. A recognized innovator in public transit communications, he has served as chair of APTA’s Marketing and Communications Committee, and as a member of APTA’s Board of Directors. Morgan is also a member of the Legislative Committee. Morgan holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Baylor University and a graduate degree from the University of Iowa.
3:30 pm – Driver Wheelchair Securement Training (con’t) (Ballroom 1-4)
4:30 pm – Roadeo Briefing & Driver Written Test sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (Ballroom 1-4)
4:45 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Associate/Affiliate/Professional Member Task Force Meeting (Ballroom 5)
5:30 pm – Oklahoma Mobility Institute Board of Directors Meeting (Ballroom 5)
6:00 pm – Shawnee Night Out sponsored by MobilityTRANS (Depart Hotel Entrance)
Sunshine Shelly’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze with dinner by Backdoor BBQ
Thursday, October 22
7:00 am – Registration (West Parking Lot)
7:00 am – Roadeo Judge Check-in (West Parking Lot)
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.
- Rob Barnes, MobilityTRANS — Smoothness/Timing
- Rep. Carol Bush — Starter
- Joe Carroll, MORryde International — Right Turn
- Laura Chaney, Oklahoma Department of Transportation – Passenger Pick-up
- Todd Collier, Mobility One Transportation — Left Turn
- David Copper, INSURICA — Right Tire Clearance
- Cody Cornwell, Routematch — Judgment Stop
- Mitch Drouillard, Q’Straint/Sure-Lok — Wheelchair Securement Marshall
- Ryan Frost, Creative Bus Sales — Smoothness/Timing
- Darryl Glaser, CWI Digital Systems — Passenger Pick-up
- Gretchen Hall, REI — Right Turn
- Jennifer Hankins, Oklahoma Department of Transportation — Scoring
- Chelley Hilmes, Oklahoma Department of Transportation — Right Tire Clearance
- Kary Hughes, South West Transit Association — Scoring
- Chris Ishmael, CWI Digital Systems — Serpentine
- Gwen Ishmael, CWI Digital Systems — Serpentine
- Braden Jones, First Capital Trolley — Sanitation Marshall
- Jamie Lipke, TRANSIGN — Passenger Pick-up/Passenger Pickup 2 (City Bus)
- Eric McCullick, ProAir — Diminishing Clearance
- Lindsay Neal, INSURICA — Right Reverse
- Trish Nolen, Q’Straint/Sure-Lok — Wheelchair Securement
- Kevin O’Brien, Complete Coach Works — Left Reverse
- Michael Perez, GreenPower Motor Company — Smoothness/Timing
- Rita Preble, LogistiCare Solutions — Pre-Trip Marshall
- Kevin Riley, INSURICA — Left Reverse
- Brent Roy, Creative Bus Sales — Judgment Stop
- Rich Sampson, SWTA — Diminishing Clearance
- Susan Starwalt, Ecolane — Offset
- Doug Studer, Altro USA — Diminishing Clearance/Passenger Pickup 2 (City Bus)
- Shelby Templin, Oklahoma Department of Transportation — Scoring
- Claude Terry, Chickasaw Nation Transportation Services — Pre-Trip Inspection
- Travis Ward, LiquidSpring — Offset
- William Ward, Mobility One Transportation — Left Turn
- Jason Yan, BYD — Right Reverse
7:00 am – Breakfast at the Roadeo sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (West Parking Lot)
7:30 am – Oklahoma State Driving Championships Opening Ceremonies sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (West Parking Lot)
Presentation of Colors
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.
8:00 am – Roadeo Judges Briefing (West Parking Lot)
8:00 am – Roadeo Drivers Check-in (West Parking Lot)
Mini Van Drivers
- 101 – Leo Maldonado, Southwest Transit
- 102 – Domico Warrior, White Eagle Transit
- 103 – Bill Ramsey, Red River Public Transportation Service
- 104 – Rhonda Bilbrey, Red River Public Transportation Service
- 105 – Frances Pierce, Little Dixie Transit
- 106 – Kylie West, Delta Public Transit
- 107 – Anita Warrior, White Eagle Transit
- 108 – Phyllis Rush, White Eagle Transit
- 109 – Joby Chuculate, KI BOIS Area Transit System
- 110 – Mark Marshall, Comanche Nation Transit
- 111 – Steven Mazey, JAMM Transit
- 112 – Everett Harrison, Red River Public Transportation Service
- 113 – Claude Boyster, First Capital Trolley
- 114 – Scott Baird, Central Oklahoma Transportation System
Transit Van Drivers
- 201 – Jennifer Smith, EMBARK
- 202 – Amos Christie, KI BOIS Area Transit System
- 203 – Brenton Carney, White Eagle Transit
- 204 – Jon Moore, Muskogee County Transit
- 205 – Sally Rhodd, White Eagle Transit
- 206 – Garrith Arkeketa, White Eagle Transit
- 207 – Freddie Lovett, KI BOIS Area Transit System
- 208 – Billy Wilson, KI BOIS Area Transit System
Shuttle Bus Drivers (Body on Chassis)
- 301 – Ben Biddle, Pelivan Transit
- 302 – Joe Sorrell, KI BOIS Area Transit System
- 303 – Nancy Romero, The Ride
- 304 – Randy Sherman, Southwest Transit
- 305 – Jackie Gritz, City of Norman/EMBARK
- 306 – Tarra Harrison, Red River Public Transportation Service
- 307 – David Krosp, EMBARK
City Bus Drivers
- 401 – John Morgan, EMBARK
- 402 – James Smith, City of Norman/EMBARK
- 403 – Dayton Campbell, OSU/Stillwater Community Transit System
- 404 – Jeromy Love, Lawton Area Transit System
- 405 – Alicia Moore, Tulsa Tranist
8:30 am – Oklahoma State Driving Championships presented by Creative Bus Sale (West Parking Lot)
8:00 am – Empowering Your Board to Lead (Eagle Room 1 & 2)
Presenter: Carol Wright Kenderdine serves as the director of Easterseals Transportation Group which includes serving as co-director of the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center. Carol’s work experience includes serving as Associate Director for the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, at North Dakota State University, where her primary responsibilities were the development and delivery of national training programs and outreach efforts. She has more than 12 years of experience as Executive Director of senior services and public transportation for a multi-county agency in central North Dakota, served as director of a residential facility for individuals with traumatic brain injuries, held management positions in long-term care, and was an independent consultant in marketing and development. Carol holds a M.S. in Human Development and Education/Gerontology from North Dakota State University and a B.S. in Speech/English/Education from North Dakota State University.
8:00 am – Transit Director Training 101 (Deer Room)
Topics: The 5311 Application Cycle & Process & The 5339 Application Cycle & Process
Presenters: ODOT Office Of Mobility & Public Transit
10:00 am – Training Track Break featuring Holey Rollers Donuts (West Parking Lot)
10:30 am – Transit Policies in the COVID Era (Eagle Room 1 & 2)
Facilitator: Kristen Joyner is the Executive Consultant and Trainer for South West Transit Association and Founder and President of KJ Backpack, LLC. Her expertise includes transit association work as the Executive Director for the South West Transit Association and administrative public transportation experience for Rock Region Metro, Little Rock, Arkansas. She leads with energy, expertise, and creativity in executive roles, as a team leader, and as a subject-matter expert. For twelve years, Ms. Joyner has developed and delivered training programs, workshops, and conferences for the transit industry, promoting strong transit workforce development, leadership, and communication across the transportation sector.
10:30 am – Transit Director Training 101 (con’t) (Deer Room)
Topics: NTD Reporting Data from MYLEOnet & Transit Reporting Requirements
Presenters: ODOT Office Of Mobility & Public Transit
12:30 pm – Wicked Hangry Food Truck Lunch powered by Creative Bus Sales (West Parking Lot)
1:30 pm – Transit Policies in the COVID Era (con’t) (Eagle Room 1 & 2)
Facilitator: Kristen Joyner
1:30 pm – Transit Director Training 101 (con’t) (Deer Room)
Topics: ADA Toolkit, Title VI and VII for Subrecipients & Managing Drug and Alcohol Requirements
Presenters: ODOT Office Of Mobility & Public Transit
3:30 pm – Training Track Break by Scoops Ice Cream Truck (West Parking Lot)
4:00 pm – Build Your Own Adventure in the COVID Era (Eagle Room 1 & 2)
Facilitator: Kristen Joyner
4:00 pm – Transit Director Training 101 (con’t) (Deer Room)
Topics: Sources of Matching Funds, Transit Assistance and MYLEOnet Training & RTAP Resources
Presenters: ODOT Office Of Mobility & Public Transit
4:30 pm – Driver Training – Bus Sanitation & Cleanliness (Bear Room 1 & 2)
Presenter: Braden Jones is a high school student who has become an expert in vehicle cleaning during the COVID-19 crisis. He will graduate in 2021. Braden has been an officer for Guthrie FFA for two years. During his time in the Ag program he has won judging competitions, and his team went to state in speech competitions. During the current pandemic he is enrolled in mixed classes, some online and some in person. Due to the mixed classes Braden has been able to establish the sanitation protocol being used at First Capital Trolley.
Presenter: It would be hard to find someone more enthusiastic about bringing the voices of real people into the business world than Gwen. First as a teacher and then as a marketer and researcher, she is passionate about understanding what people want and need, and finding ways to help them. With more than two decades of providing consulting services to companies such as Acura, Apple, Delta Faucet, Ford, Harley-Davidson, Purina, and T-Mobile, she brings her customer-first perspective and marketing know-how to CWI Digital systems as its CEO. The Ishmael home is a house divided. Gwen graduated from Texas Tech and is a fitness fanatic who loves her Peloton bike, while her husband and CWI Digital Systems co-owner, Chris, is a life-long OU fan and prefers to cycle his way through Facebook posts. But one thing they can agree on is that they are blessed to have the most wonderful family ever.
6:30 pm – Oklahoma State Driving Championships Reception sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company (Grand Events Center VIP Balcony)
7:00 pm – Oklahoma State Driving Championships Awards Banquet sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (Grand Events Center)
Oklahoma State Driving Championship Award Presentations presented by Creative Bus Sales
- Top Pre-Trip Inspection Score sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-LOK
- Top Wheelchair Securement Score sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-LOK
- Top Written Test Score sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-LOK
- Top Rookie Mini Van Driver sponsored by INSURICA
- Top Rookie Transit Bus Driver sponsored by INSURICA
- Top Rookie Shuttle Bus Driver sponsored by INSURICA
- Top Rookie City Bus Driver sponsored by INSURICA
- Mini Van 3rd Place sponsored by Routematch
- Mini Van Reserve Champion sponsored by Routematch
- Mini Van Champion sponsored by Routematch
- Transit Van 3rd Place sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company
- Transit Van Reserve Champion sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company
- Transit Van Champion sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company
- Shuttle Bus 3rd Place sponsored by LiquidSpring
- Shuttle Bus Reserve Champion sponsored by LiquidSpring
- Shuttle Bus Champion sponsored by LiquidSpring
- City Bus 3rd Place by CWI Digital Systems
- City Bus Reserve Champion by CWI Digital Systems
- City Bus Champion by CWI Digital Systems
Maj. Ed Pulido OTA Hero of the Year presented by Ecolane
Finalist: Pamela Adams has worked for The Ride in Guymon for 13 years. She has a heart of gold and displays that daily. Not only does Pamela take care of her passengers, but she also cares for her husband and grandchildren. During the COVID-19 pandemic she has stayed strong and consistent in her work, and believes her riders are safe because of all the cleaning, sanitizing and mask wearing. Although she takes many trips throughout the day, what makes Pamela’s eyes sparkle is picking the children up from school. Another consistent route of hers is taking workers to and from Seaboard Farms. Pamela loves making her passengers feel safe by all the sanitizing she does between routes, and this has also enabled her to continue working throughout the pandemic. Pamela’s daily routine includes sweeping, mopping, and using the decontamination system. Although she cleans between each ride, if she feels that the bus was more populated than normal she will go back to the shop and completely sanitize the bus again. She said, “I know how much people depend on me and without this transit system I don’t know what they’d do.” Pamela takes her job and route times very seriously and knows how much her passengers depend on her. Getting to the office early and making sure everything is intact before she begins her routes allows her and her passengers to have peace of mind when riding. Pamela’s riders trust her cleaning process, diligent routes and safe driving. Pamela appreciates the help from other coworkers when things get busy, and if the bus needs a good wash she knows someone will assist her in getting this done quickly. With the amount of care she puts into her daily activities, The Ride believes Pamela should win the 2020 OTA Maj. Ed Pulido Hero of the Year Award presented by Ecolane.
Finalist: Claude Boyster lives in Guthrie and has been a driver for First Capital Trolley for 14 years. His normal workday begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at 10:00 p.m. Claude does after school trips at 3:15 p.m. and takes them either home or to daycare, and they tell him about what they ate for lunch and what they did at recess. Claude’s on-demand route starts about 4:00 p.m. and he takes people to work, shopping, and other essential places until 10:00 p.m. He said roughly 70 to 80 percent are routine passengers, and most are older people. Many riders work at Walmart, McDonald’s, Braum’s, or one of the two Sonics, and sometimes Claude takes people to the park where there are walking trails and disc golf. During the late shift, Claude regularly has passengers he takes home from the bars, and he believes it’s important to help people no matter what they’ve done or what condition they are in. “It’s our job to get them home safely,” Claude said. “Without our service, I’d be nervous with them taking matters into their own hands and possibly getting hurt or injuring someone else.” When asked what he likes about his job, Claude said he likes all his customers and coworkers, and that they’re a lot of fun to be with. He truly enjoys interacting with the public. Claude is known to go above and beyond every day as a matter of routine and that is why First Capital Trolley believes Calude is worthy of the 2020 OTA Maj. Ed Pulido Hero of the Year Award presented by Ecolane.
Finalist: Maria A. Perez is a driver/dispatcher for MAGB Transportation in Fairview. She projects a warm and cheerful attitude to her riders, and she handles difficult situations with remarkable patience and admirable tact. Maria is a single mom and is the favored point of contact for many clients. Her bilingual skills have helped facilitate communication many times. When the option to eat at the Senior Citizens Center ended because it was closed due to COVID-19, she stepped up and has been picking up and delivering these meals to those in need. Maria went above and beyond the call of duty in her faithfulness to make sure everyone had the food and nutrition they needed. She has demonstrated selflessness and commitment to the project, program, and community and has truly made a difference in the lives of many during this pandemic. Maria said, “I believe my job is very important because we help serve the public and assist where we can. We are a part of something bigger and we are all in this together.” MAGB believes Maria’s daily characteristics coupled with the extra effort to deliver meals during the COVID-19 pandemic make her a candidate worthy of the 2020 OTA Maj. Ed Pulido Hero of the Year Award presented by Ecolane.
Entertainment by Tammy RC & the Colas
Friday, October 23
7:00 am – Registration (Grand Events Center Foyer)
7:00 am – Oklahoma Transit Association Rural Task Force Breakfast & Meeting (Ballroom 1 & 2)
7:00 am – Oklahoma Transit Association Tribal Task Force Breakfast & Meeting (Ballroom 3)
7:00 am – Oklahoma Transit Association Urban/Small Urban Task Force Breakfast & Meeting (Ballroom 4)
8:30 am – Perspective on the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan (Grand Events Center)
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.
Speaker: As Chief Executive Officer of the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA), Mark Nestlen is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the statewide organization that serves as the state’s voice for public transit. 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 promote public transit 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 public transit providers.
9:15 am – Presentation of the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-LOK (Grand Events Center)
In 2019, in accordance with HB 1365, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) created the Office of Mobility and Public Transit to help improve delivery and coordination of public transit services, ensuring that resources are aligned to meet mobility needs across Oklahoma. To aid in this effort, the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan, titled Oklahoma Mobility, as mandated by HB 1365, is a joint effort by ODOT and the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA) and aims to: establish standards and protocols for agencies involved in the delivery and funding of public transit services; set the foundation for policies guiding transit investments statewide as well as establishing programs and strategies to enhance transit services; and aid the development of a policy that addresses current and future transit challenges while providing a strong and enduring vision for Oklahoma. The plan is required to be delivered to the Oklahoma legislature on December 1, 2020. During this session, the draft final plan will be presented and a 30-day public comment period on the plan will be opened.
Moderator: Chelley Hilmes was named the Oklahoma Department of Transportation Director of Finance and Administration in August 2019. She began her career at ODOT as the Finance Manager in the Comptroller Division in 1999 and was then promoted to Comptroller in 2006. She has worked for the state for 28 years, two decades with ODOT. Chelley graduated from Putnam City High School and then attended the University of Central Oklahoma, receiving a Bachelors of Science in Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Government Financial Manager. Chelley has volunteered for the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials and the Association of Government Accountants during the last several years and in various capacities. She is also a member of the Oklahoma Society of CPAs and the Supervisory Committee for the Oklahoma Employees Credit Union. Chelley and her husband, Brian, live in Edmond.
Presenter: 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.
10:30 am – Break (Grand Events Center)
11:00 am – Presentation of the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan (con’t) (Grand Events Center)
12:00 pm – Inaugural Oklahomans for Mobility Luncheon sponsored by Ecolane (Grand Events Center)
HB 1365 was passed by the legislature with a vision of enhancing the public transit system in Oklahoma to ensure the mobility needs of all Oklahomans are met in a safe, affordable, reliable, consistent and coordinated fashion. The new law mandated that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA) jointly develop the Oklahoma Public Transit Policy Plan and deliver it to the legislature by December 1, 2020. The draft final version of the plan is now open for a 30-day public comment period, and after modifications based on public comment, the final version will be delivered to the legislature on December 1st. During this panel discussion, state legislators will discuss their thoughts on the draft final version of the plan and give perspective on legislative actions that will be taken in the 2021 legislative session as a result.
Panelist: Rep. Carol Bush (R-Tulsa) was born and raised in Tulsa. After graduating from Oral Roberts University in 1983 with a business marketing degree, she successfully ran her own retail stores for 20 years. Rep. Bush 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, she serves as the Majority Caucus Secretary and 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. Rep. Bush 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.
Panelist: Rep. Avery Frix (R-Muskogee) 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. After college he opened a small business of his own, Oxford Productions, Inc., which provides professional management services. Rep. Frix founded a summer youth camp six years ago, which has impacted hundreds of students. In 2016, he was elected to represent District 13, including McIntosh and Muskogee counties in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. Rep. Frix was appointed to serve as Chairman of the Transportation Committee for the 57th Legislature. He enjoys fighting passionately for public education and rural economic development in Oklahoma.
Panelist: Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 2012 to represent District 15. For the current 56th Legislative session, Senator Standridge serves as the Majority Whip and Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He is also a member of the Health and Human Services and Energy Committees. Sen. Standridge earned his BS in Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma in 1993. In 1995, he and his wife Lisa, who is also a pharmacist, purchased their first pharmacy in Blanchard. He now owns two pharmacies. Legend Care is a specialty pharmacy for disabled patients. A few years later, he created a software program called ‘Compound Assist’, the first of its kind in Windows software to manage compounding pharmacies. Over the next decade he developed numerous software products, including a complete pharmacy management system containing over a million lines of code. After 9/11 his software company, RS Software, configured every computer used to train TSA trainers, and over the last decade he has founded several international companies, including a health technology company and Health Engineering Systems (HES), located in Norman. Sen. Standridge is an ACA Fellow and a member of numerous pharmacy organizations as well as the founder of ‘Business Leaders for Oklahoma’. In addition, he belongs to several aviation organizations, several business leader organizations, is a Rotarian and a Sooner Centurion. While business and politics are extremely important to Sen. Standridge, his faith and family remain first on his priority list. He is an active member of Crosspointe Church where he serves on multiple committees and has volunteered in the youth ministry.
Panelist: Sen. Roger Thompson (R-Okemah) was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in November, 2014. He represents Senate District 8, which is comprised of Okmulgee and McIntosh counties, and parts of Okfuskee and Muskogee counties. He serves as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. In 1983, Sen. Thompson graduated from Preston Road School of Preaching and later attended Southwestern Bible College and Seminary where he received his Masters in Theology in 1999 and his Doctorate of Theology in 2001. Sen. Thompson is President of the News Leader Company, Inc., which owns and publishes the Okemah News Leader. He is currently President of Okemah Community Improvement Association (CIA) and serves as Economic Development Consultant for Businesses and Municipalities. Sen. Thompson was a non-lawyer member of the Professional Responsibility Commission of the Oklahoma Bar Association from 1992-1994. He also served on the Okfuskee County Election Board and the Okfuskee County Excise Board. Sen. Thompson is past President of the Okemah Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, past President of the Okemah Lion Club and past President of Rock Creek Youth Camp in Norman. He served as President of the Board and CEO for Good News International Foundation where he was recognized for partnering with the Secretary of Religion and Science in Ukraine, while operating a publishing and benevolent outreach in Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union. During this same time, he served as an advisory member of Global Christian University. Sen. Thompson and his wife Pamela were married in 1976 and are the parents of two children. They are members of New Beginnings Church.
Panelist: Rep. Kevin Wallace (R-Wellston) is the state representative for House District 32, which includes all of Lincoln County and a small portion of Logan County. He currently serves as Chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. A lifelong Lincoln County native and Wellston High School graduate, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1993. Rep. Wallace founded American Cellular Service and Dynatek Development Services, which he sold in 2000. That same year he founded SWT Construction, where he continues to serve as a manager. He also owns an equipment rental company and a small investment firm. Rep. Wallae is co-owner of The Wilderness Refuge, a hunting reserve, and Wallahachie L.L.C., a whitetail deer and cattle breeding operation. He is an active member of First Baptist Church of Wellston.
1:30 pm – Office of Mobility & Public Transit Program Briefing (Grand Events Center)
Topic: ODOT Office of Mobility & Public Tranist (OMPT) staff will lead a roundtable discussion on public transit matters in Oklahoma. This session is an opportunity for transit agencies to share challenges, opportunities and COVID-19 matters for interaction with OMPT leadership and other transit systems. Be prepared for an interactive discussion and solution session.
Presenters: Oklahoma City resident Ernestine “Ernie” Mbroh is the division manager of the Office of Mobility & Public Transit Manager at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). In her role, she is responsible for managing both urban and rural public transit programs and administering technical assistance and funding for public transportation providers in Oklahoma. Ernie has more than 20 years of experience with ODOT, beginning as a Drafting Technician in the Roadway Design Division in 1991. She also served as a Transportation Specialist in the Traffic Engineering Division, Special Projects Coordinator for the Transportation Enhancement Program, Contract Administrator in the Project Management Division, Director of the Safe Routes to School Program and Assistant Division Manager of the Civil Rights Division. She graduated from Oklahoma State University with degrees in Landscape Architecture and Industrial Engineering. Joining Ernie will be staff from the Office of Mobility & Public Transit.