2021 Oklahoma Transit Association Annual Conference & EXPO driven by GreenPower Motor Company

May 18, 2021 – May 21, 2021 all-day
Stride Bank Center
301 S Independence Ave
Enid OK 73701





Hotel Information: The Best Western GLO Hotel is a new hotel adjacent to the Stride Bank Center. Visit Enid is serving as the Housing Bureau for the 2021 OTA Annual Conference & EXPO driven by GreenPower Motor Company and is ready to take your reservation today. Please call Jenna at 580-233-3643, ext. 1 to reserve your room. Rooms are limited so call today to make your reservation. The room rate is $96 per night plus tax.

Tentative Schedule of Events

Tuesday, May 18

8:30 am – Registration (Convention Center North Lobby)

9:30 am – OTA 5310 Task Force Meeting (Convention Center 4th Floor, Rooms 402-404)

9:30 am – OTA Urban/Small Urban Task Force Meeting (Convention Center 4th Floor, Rooms 401)

10:30 am – Communications, Public Relations & Marketing Committee Meeting (Convention Center 4th Floor, Rooms 401)

12:00 noon – Depart for Meadowlake Park (Arena-Convention Center Connector)

12:30 pm – OTA Horseshoe Pitching Tournament presented by Creative Bus Sales (separate registration required)

  • TeamCreative Bus Sales
  • Team GreenPower Motor Company
  • Team Ecolane
  • Team LiquidSpring
  • Team Routematch
  • Team CWI Digital Systems
  • Team Q’Straint/Sure-Lok

5:45 pm – Buses Depart for Faces of Transit Welcome Reception (Arena-Convention Center Connector)

6:00 pm – Faces of Transit Welcome Reception hosted by the Visit Enid and GreenPower Motor Company – Adventure Quest at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum (200 E Maple Ave)

Welcome: Marcy Jarrett, director of Visit Enid, has made a career of marketing cities for more than 20 years. A Certified Destination Management Executive, she is a board member of the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association, Red Carpet Country, Enid Arts Council, Tri-State Music Festival and Enid Rotary Club, as well as a City Council appointee to the Public Arts Commission of Enid and a new Governor’s appointee to the Oklahoma Humanities Council. She is also a past member of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce Executive Leadership Class and the Texas Office of the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Committee. Marcy previously served as Executive Director of Visit Norman and Visit Lubbock before coming to Enid in 2009. She’s a graduate of the leadership classes of the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Municipal League. A native of Woodward, She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. Her husband, Jim, is a teacher and their daughter is a sophomore at OU studying vocal performance.

OTA Horseshoe Pitching Tournament Awards presented by Creative Bus Sales


Wednesday, May 19

7:00 am – Registration (Arena Lobby)

7:00 am – OTA Affiliate/Associate/Professional Task Force Breakfast & Meeting (Arena 2nd Floor, Hospitality Suites A-C)

8:00 am – Opening General Session sponsored by CWI Digital Systems (Arena Floor)

Presentation of Colors

Welcome: Mary Beth Williams is the General Manager for the Enid Public Transportation Authority at the City of Enid, Okla.  She grew up in a world of transportation as her family has owned and operated a trucking company for more than 70 years.  Mary Beth has participated and served in her community most of her life as a previous member of Christmas in Action, Garfield County Community Alliance, Aging Caregiver Support Group and many other organizations.  She also worked with children for many years as a part of Opportunities, Inc. Head Start and the Enid Public Library.  Mary Beth is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.  She has two children with her husband, Shannon of more than 30 years.  She spends much of her time with her grandson or at rodeos with her son.

Remarks: Enid Mayor George Pankonin enlisted in the US Air Force after graduation from South Saint Paul High School in Minnesota in 1970. He served as an Air Force Enlisted Man from 1970-1978 and as an Air Force Officer from 1978-1993. During that time Mayor Pankonin received his bachelor of science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha under Operation Bootstrap and his maser of science from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He retired from the Air Force as a Major after achieving his career goal of becoming a squadron commander in 1993. Mayor Pankonin worked as a Logistics Manager for several defense contractors at Vance AFB after his retirement from active duty. He also taught for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University as an adjunct instructor at Vance AFB and Altus AFB from 1994-2003. His final job before retirement was as the Community College of the Air Force Advisor at Vance AFB. Post retirement Mayor Pankonin volunteers for many organizations on and off base including serving as the Director for the Vance AFB Retiree Activities Office, Chairman of Enlisted Appreciation Night for the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, Vice-President of the local Air Force Association Chapter as well as the Oklahoma State Organization, Secretary/Treasurer for the Community Development Support Association and a trustee on the 4RKids Foundation. He was selected as the Enid Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year in 2014 and inducted as a Partner in the Sky at Vance AFB in June 2016.  Mayor Pankonin enjoys golf and traveling in his spare time. He is married to Melody who works at Vance AFB as the School Liaison Officer.

Keynote Speaker: Dwight Brashear joined the transit industry in 1985 as a part time bus driver. On September 1, 2005, three days after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Dwight was commissioned by then Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco to coordinate the evacuation of the entire city of New Orleans. He was recognized for his efforts when Gov. Blanco bestowed upon him a hero’s designation. He was again recognized in October of 2006 when he received the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) first and only Special Award for Extraordinary Leadership. Dwight is a published author and most recently served as a contributing writer on the book Guts, Grit and the Grind Volume 3, a self-help manual for men. He has written numerous articles and was featured for his accomplishments in Mass Transit Magazine. Dwight is the Transit Director for Wilsonville, Oregon’s transit system – SMART (South Metro Area Regional Transit), and is a graduate of APTA’s elite leadership program. He graduated Cum Laude from Azusa Pacific University and holds a degree in Applied Leadership.

A View Through the Eye of a Hurricane – On August 29, 2005, a hurricane of epic proportion struck the City of New Orleans, leaving in its aftermath devastation no human being should ever witness. Dwight Brashear was there, survived, but more importantly, was able to help move thousands out of harm’s way. Come hear the story of how a former part-time bus driver came to lead one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. You are guaranteed to walk away motivated, inspired, and believing that all things are possible.

Vendor & Member Introductions

10:00 am – EXPO (Arena Floor)

  • GreenPower Motor Company
  • Creative Bus Sales
  • Ecolane
  • LiquidSpring
  • Routematch
  • CWI Digital Systems
  • Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
  • BraunAbility
  • Alliance Bus Group
  • Altro, USA
  • ARBOC Speciality Vehicles
  • Gerflor
  • Mobility One Transportation
  • MobilityTRANS
  • MORryde
  • PCTrans
  • ProAir
  • Rosco Vision
  • Safe Fleet
  • Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicles
  • BYD
  • Freedman Seating Company
  • Luminator Technology Group
  • Autry Technology Center
  • National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

11:00 am – National RTAP Update sponsored by BraunAbility (Arena Floor)

Speaker:  Neil Rodriguez joined National RTAP as a Project Manager in September 2014. Previously he worked as a management consultant providing project management and technical assistance related to economic development projects in rural Alaska. Neil was a Community Benefits Director at a regional community development organization overseeing program delivery and $20 million annually in investments to remote communities in Western Alaska.  He also worked as a Regional Economist at the Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska District. Neil has more than 20 years of experience in community development, outreach, community planning, project management, program development, data collection and analysis. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University.

11:00 am – CDL Roundtable Discussion with the Department of Public Safety (Arena 2nd Floor, Hospitality Suites A-C)

Speaker: Tamara Shepherd is currently the Deputy Director/Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety (DPS). Tamara has been employed with DPS for 22 years, overseeing and administering the issuance of commercial and operator licenses. She is a member of American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). Tamara is certified through the International Driver Examiner Program (IDEC) and certified as a Certified Driver Examiner and a Certified Commercial Examiner. She is also a certified Trainer for the Commercial Driver License program.

12:15 pm –  Lunch sponsored by Routematch (Convention Center Grand Ballrooms B & C)

Speaker: Matt Pinnell was elected as the 17th Lt. Gov. of the state of Oklahoma on November 6, 2018.  In that role, he serves as President of the Oklahoma State Senate, and is a member of multiple constitutional boards and commissions. Lt. Gov. Pinnell also serves as Secretary of Tourism and Branding on Gov. Kevin Stitt’s cabinet. In his role as Secretary of Tourism and Branding, Pinnell oversees the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation and the state’s efforts to promote tourism, the third largest industry in Oklahoma. Pinnell led the successful effort to rebrand the state of Oklahoma, a component of the overall effort to retain and recruit more jobs to the state. He also currently serves on the Department of Commerce executive committee focusing on small business growth, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. Lt. Gov Pinnell has a background in entrepreneurship and is a small business owner with his wife, Lisa, who is an inventor and entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Oral Roberts University with a degree in Advertising and lives in Tulsa with his wife and their four children who attend Jenks Public Schools.

Presentation: The Impact of Transit & Mobility on Tourism

1:30 pm – Attracting & Retaining Transit Drivers sponsored by TRANSIGN (Arena Floor)

Speaker:  Robert Babbitt is a principal at KL2 Connects with more than 40 years experience in the transit industry. KL2 Connects is a leader in executive recruitment for the transit profession. Mr. Babbitt’s specific consulting services focus on six areas of expertise: building better transit teams, execution, maintenance, outreach, service design, and regulatory compliance. He received is bachelor’s from the University of Texas, Arlington and his PhD in Administration from the same.

Speaker:  Timothy Lett is a transportation executive with 46 years experience in all facets of public transit. He is a specialist in evaluation and design of fixed bus route and schedules, transit performance reviews and transportation planning. Mr. Lett has won numerous awards at transit systems during his career including the APTA Outstanding Achievement Award for best transit system in the United States.

3:00 pm – EXPO (Arena Floor)

4:15 pm – Enid Public Transit Authority Tour sponsored by LiquidSpring (GLO Hotel Lobby)

7:00 pm – Enid Night Out sponsored by LiquidSpring

Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center: Voted an Outstanding New Attraction in Oklahoma, the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center stands on one of the most famed spots in the American West, on the Chisholm Trail.  The Heritage Center celebrates the spirit of the Cherokee Strip pioneers through engaging exhibits and living history events.The Heritage Center houses a varied collection of historical material including numerous eyewitness pioneer accounts, oral and video histories and more than 9,000 original and reproduced photographs, many of which depict the drama of the historic Cherokee Strip Land Run.  The Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center houses over 10,000 artifacts including the first portable drilling rig invented in 1930 by George E. Failing on display in the entrance of the museum.


Thursday, May 20

6:30 am – Finance & Administration Committee Meeting (Convention Center 2nd Floor, Room 205)

7:00 am – Registration (Convention Center North Lobby)

7:30 am – TransitPAC Breakfast sponsored by INTERMOTIVE VEHICLE CONTROLS (separate registration required) (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

Speaker: Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader (R-Piedmont)

8:45 am – Morning Vendor Speeding Dating

  • GreenPower Motor Company (Arena Floor)
  • Ecolane (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 401)
  • CWI Digital Systems (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 402)
  • BraunAbility (Arena Floor)
  • TRANSIGN (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 403)
  • Altro, USA (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 404)
  • ARBOC Speciality Vehicles (Arena Floor)
  • MORryde (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 405)
  • ProAir (Arena 2nd Floor, Hospitality Suite A)
  • Safe Fleet (Arena 2nd Floor, Hospitality Suite B)
  • Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicles (Arena 2nd Floor, Hospitality Suite C)

12:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Annual Meeting & Luncheon sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company (Convention Center Grand Ballroom)

2:00 pm – Afternoon Vendor Speed Dating

  • Creative Bus Sales (Arena Floor)
  • LiquidSpring (Arena-Convention Center Connector)
  • Routematch (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 401)
  • INSURICA (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 402)
  • Q’Straint/Sure-Lok (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 403)
  • Alliance Bus Group (Arena Floor)
  • Gerflor (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 404)
  • Mobility One Transportation (Arena Floor)
  • MobilityTRANS (Arena Floor)
  • PCTrans (Arena 2nd Floor, Hospitality Suite B)
  • Rosco Vision (Convention Center 4th Floor, Room 405)

6:30 pm – Oklahoma Transit Association Awards Reception sponsored by Creative Bus Sales (Convention Center Grand Ballroom West Annex)

7:00 pm – Oklahoma Tranist Association Awards Banquet sponsored by GreenPower Motor Company (Convention Center Grand Ballroom)

Awards Program

      • FTA Region 6 Awards
      • Keith Leftwich Distinguished Service Award sponsored by INSURICA
      • Safety & Training Award sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-Lok
      • Innovation Award sponsored by Routematch
      • Marketing Campaign of the Year sponsored by LiquidSpring
      • Transit Professional of the Year sponsored by Ecolane
      • Carol Bush Transit System of the Year sponsored by CWI Digital Systems

Entertainment by Harwood, Roberts & Thompson


Friday, May 21

6:00 am – OMI Board Breakfast & Meeting (Convention Center 2nd Floor, Room 205)

7:00 am – Registration (Convention Center North Lobby)

7:00 am – OTA Rural Task Force Breakfast & Meeting (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

7:00 am – OTA Tribal Task Force Breakfast & Meeting (Convention Center 4th Flor, Room 402-404)

8:30 am – The State of Public Transit in Oklahoma sponsored by INSURICA (Convention Center Grand Ballroom)

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.

9:00 am – Human Services Transportation Needs, Policies & Programs sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-LOK (Convention Center Grand Ballroom)

Moderator: 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 third term, she serves as Chair of the Children, Youth and Family Services Committee. and is a member of the Transportation 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: Carrie Slatton-Hodges is currently serving as the Commissioner for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Prior to her current role, Commission Slatton-Hodges served 12 years as the Deputy Commissioner for the Department, overseeing treatment and recovery services through state operated and contracted treatment providers statewide. In this role, she managed budgets, oversaw contracts, streamlined policy, developed cutting-edge programs, cultivated the workforce, expanded partnerships and integrated evidence based practices across the State. Commission Slatton-Hodges has a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Nazarene University and a Master’s in Applied Psychology from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. As a Licensed Professional Counselor for 29 years, she has hands-on experience in the field of mental health, holding a variety of clinical and administrative positions, in both the public and private sectors, delivering and managing all aspects of behavioral health services in rural and urban settings including the role of Chief Operating Officer at Oklahoma’s largest Community Mental Health Center. Commission Slatton-Hodges has transformed the delivery of treatment services through innovative programming and strategically leveraging resources to improve Oklahoma’s behavioral health, including the launch of Urgent Behavioral Health Care Centers, integrating Comprehensive Community Addiction Recovery Centers, developing a system of ambulatory detoxification services, and transitioning to an outcome based payment system for Community Behavioral Health Centers. She has a strong commitment to mental health and addiction recovery for Oklahomans and believes everyone deserves to live a valuable, productive life in the community.

Panelist: Jean Wilms has more than 30 years of health care experience including managed care and health system leadership.  Her career has been focused on government solutions including several executive roles in Medicaid and Medicare. Ms. Wilms is the Oklahoma lead for implementation supporting Clay Frankin, CEO and other health plan leadership to make managed care in Oklahoma successful.  She joined Centene in 2005 when they acquired a FQHC owned Medicaid health plan, FirstGuard Health Plan.  She was the CEO & Plan President of Kansas Sunflower Health Plan.  For several years, Ms. Wilms built and led the Centene Business Implementation division supporting new markets and products, acquisitions and integrations throughout the country. Jean’s experience outside of Centene includes strategic planning and program development at the University of Kansas Health System.  There she worked collaboratively with physician and hospital leaders in an academic medical center to promote patient quality and strategic direction.  She has also taught several health care classes at Park University as an adjunct professor. Ms. Wilms has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. and a Master of Arts degree in Health and Human Service Administration from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, Minn.

10:30 am – Networking Break (Convention Center Grand Ballroom West Annex)

10:45 am – Preparing Your Transit Fleet for Severe Weather Conditions sponsored by ProAir (Convention Center Grand Ballroom)

Panelist: Rep. Garry Mize (R-Gurthrie) was born and raised in Guthrie and lives in South Logan County with his wife Jennifer and three kids. Rep. Mize was re-elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in November of 2020 and is currently serving his second term for house district 31. He is a business owner and has worked in the financial planning industry for 20 years. Rep. Mize is an assistant floor leader for the majority party and serves as the Chairman of the House Utilities Committee. He is also a member of the Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Revenue and Taxation and the Insurance Committee for the 58th Oklahoma Legislature.

12:00 noon – Working Lunch with ODOT’s Office of Mobility & Public Transit sponsored by Ecolane (Convention Center Grand Ballroom)

Jared Schwennesen, P.E., was named the Rail Division Manager for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in 2019. Schwennesen began his tenure with ODOT as an Engineer in Training. Since then, he held roles in Bridge Division, Traffic Division, Maintenance in ITS and Fiber Optics, Environmental Programs Division and served as the assistant to the Director of Capital Programs. He also leads the modernization effort, directing the merger with the Office of Mobility and Public Transit and Waterways. Jared earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering and his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, he gained his professional engineering license in 2012. Having worked as a manager and designer in a diverse group of ODOT divisions, Jared is prepared to lead this new multi-modal division as it seeks to improve Oklahoma’s mobility through all forms of transportation. In his time at ODOT, he has contributed to special initiatives such as the update of ODOT’s Strategic Plan, the rollout of OKroads.org, installation of electric vehicle charging stations, grant applications and bundling projects. He has also served as the Oklahoma Board Member of Operation Lifesaver. Jared lives with his wife, Brittni, and their son in Oklahoma City. In his time outside the office, he supports the Sooners, golfs and running!

2:30 pm – OTA Board of Directors Meeting (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)


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