National RTAP Tribal Transit Workshop hosted by the Oklahoma Transit Association

May 16, 2021 – May 18, 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.


Tribal Transit Workshop Tentative Schedule of Events

Sunday, May 16

1:00 pm – Registration (Convention Center North Lobby)

3:00 pm – General Transit Feed Specification (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

Speaker: Marcy Jaffe, MBA, MPA supports and guides rural, tribal and intercity transit partners with technical assistance related to General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) and National RTAP’s GTFS Builder. She has taught GTFS workshops at national, regional and state transit conferences, effectively guiding those with no prior GTFS experience to successfully launching their data on Google Maps or other trip planners.  Marcy has worked at the Washington State Department of Transportation as well as the San Francisco’s regional planning agency, Metropolitan Transportation Commission. In 2016, the balance of Maryland’s statewide digitized transit network was built on GTFS Builder. For EMBARK, Transnnovation Inc supports real-time data integration.

6:30 pm – Meet & Greet Reception sponsored by PCTrans

Enid Brewing Company & Eatery:  Developed from a concept to bring together rural agriculture and urban communities, Enid Brewing Company takes pride in creating locally grown and brewed “Grain to Glass” craft beer. Enid Brewing Company was started by Brady Sidwell, owner of Enterprise Grain Company, and Justin Blasier, an award-winning home brewer. Enterprise Grain Company is Oklahoma’s newest, independent grain company supplying locally grown grain to the brewery. The menu items use locally raised beef from Sidwell Farms fed “spent grain” from the brewing process.


Monday, May 17

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

8:00 am – Welcome (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

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.

8:15 am – Managing Transit Emergencies (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

Presentation: Managing Transit Emergencies will assist in the development of basic emergency protocols. No two incidents are the same but having basic plans that have been discussed and trained on will enable an agency to quickly react to specific situations. A little time and effort before the fact will allow an agency to come through in the clutch for the community.

Speaker: John Filippone is a veteran transit professional who came up through the ranks from seasonal operator to Safety and Training Manager. His skills include safety and security certifications, training, supervision, dispatching, team building and management. John has instructed people in many different endeavors such as low impact camping, raft guiding, soccer (play, coach and referee) as well as bus operations.

9:45 am – Networking Break (Convention Center Ballroom Hallway)

10:00 am – FTA Tribal Transit Technical Assistance Program

Presentation: FTA’s contractor for Tribal Transit Technical Assistance will present an overview of the FTA Tribal Transit Program covering areas that have been of most interest to Tribal Transit and finance managers over the past five years. These topics include: How are TTP formula funds allocated among Tribes? Can I receive regular FTA rural funds directly from FTA? What are the special provisions for TTP funds that differ from other recipients of rural transit funds? What are eligible expenditures? Are there local match requirements? What records should I maintain and for how long? What can I expect from a FTA TTP Technical Assistance Assessment site visit?

Speaker: Maxine Marshall, MPA has more than 40 years of experience in public transit.  She has personally led more than 25 FTA TTP Assessments and FHWA TTP Program Reviews. Maxine has subscribed to the e-weekly newsletter Indian Country Today for the past five years to stay abreast of all matters affecting Native Tribes, such as recent news on the major COVID-19 cases confirmed in the Indian Health System, which will affect the delivery of public transit. She is recognized in FTA as a subject matter expert on tribal transit related matters and is a graduate of Georgia State University.

11:30 am – When is a bill a Bill? Just show me the money!

Presentation: The making of a US legislative bill is much like the process of making sausage: It is not pretty, sometimes you don’t know what is in it or when it’s time to consume it? Understanding when a funding bill will actually materialize as money for tribal and rural transit, there are key steps that must take place. Mastering those steps: the term, when to reach out to our representatives and when to be ready for the money are keys to building sustainable funding streams. This session will provide a primer on legislative terms, who can provide assistance when it gets confusing and why it is important to be in the know.

Speaker: Kristen Joyner is Founder and President of KJ Backpack, LLC. Her expertise includes transit association work as Executive Director for the South West Transit Association and administrative public transportation experience for Rock Region Metro in Little Rock, Ark.  She leads with energy, expertise, and creativity in executive roles, as a team leader, and as a subject-matter expert. For 15 years, Kristen 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.

12:30 pm – Lunch sponsored by CWI Digital Systems (Convention Center Grand Ballroom B & C)

Presentation: How to Effective Use A Camera System in Tribal Transit

Speaker: For nearly 20 years, Chris Ishmael was a noteworthy leader in the telecom world (i.e., Southwestern Bell, BellSouth, US West and finally Qwest Communications) before jumping into the world of small business.  While you know Chris from his current business, CWI Digital Systems, he can also be accredited with contributions to his community in Allen, Tex.  Chris established the girl’s lacrosse league at the grade school level and eventually, in concert with Allen Independent Public Schools, establishing the high school team for the mighty Eagles.  By the time the first class of lacrosse players graduated, five of the players ended up with college scholarships. Chris is the President and co-owner of CWI Digital Systems out of Van Alstyne, Tex. and has 17 years of experience in fleet technology.  Chris holds an MBA from Webster University and provides mentorship for young people seeking collegiate paths and career choices at his church and local community.  Chris is an Okie from Atoka County. He iss married to the other co-owner of CWI Digital Systems, Gwen and has three children Kyle, Ryan and Ashley and six beautiful grand-children who he loves to spoil.

2:00 pm – Project Management (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

Speaker: Walt Diangson serves as a consultant to various public transit systems as a certified safety officer, transit management and operations consultant and management development instructor. Walt provides training and technical support in safety risk management and transit management and operations. His safety risk management experience includes transit safety and security, property and casualty insurance, loss control, transit management, safety and leadership training and FTA’s Transit Safety Management Systems (SMS). Walt’s transit experience includes management and operations of local fixed-route, general-public paratransit, ADA paratransit and human service transportation. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Architecture and of Columbia University with a Master of Business Administration, with a special emphasis in urban planning and economics.

3:30 pm – Networking Break (Convention Center Ballroom Hallway)

3:45 pm – Tribal Tranist in a Post COVID World (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

Speakers: Kristen Joyner & Walt Diangson


Tuesday, May 18

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

8:30 am –The Intersection of Safety and Customer Service (Convention Center 2nd Floor Ballroom)

Presentation: It is easy to think about customer service as treating your passengers well, but did you know excellent customer service is your first line of defense for front line employees and a commitment to a strong safety culture impacts customer service in ways that go beyond reward & bonus programs? This session will include modules on empathy, de-escalation, as well as why a good customer service training plan and creating a culture of safety go hand-in-hand to benefit your tribal transit operation, inside and out.

Speaker: Kristen Joyner

10:00 am – Networking Break (Convention Center Grand Ballroom West Annex)

10:15 am – Tribal Transit Roundtable (Convention Center Grand Ballroom)


Click Here for the Tentative OTA Conference Schedule of Events which Follows the Tribal Workshop May 18-21



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