The 2023 Leadership Symposium is scheduled for October 20 & 27

Welcome to the 2022 Leadership Symposium

The Washington State Transit Association is proud to present the 2022 Transits Next Leader Institute Leadership Symposium. 

The Leadership Symposium encapsulates the 2022 TNLI program with final presentations by the class of 2022 fellows. Each fellow has been working on a project, which must benefit their agency and community while using the skills, leadership and knowledge learned during the program. 

Each fellow will have 20 minutes to present their project during the Leadership Symposium to the audience, including taking questions. We encourage those participating as audience members to ask constructive questions of the fellows. Remember, this is a learning event for both the fellows and you!

How does the Symposium work?
Below is an outline for Day 1, October 21st, and Day 2, October 28th.  To start, you will click the "Main Zoom Room" to hear opening remarks and further instructions. Once that is complete, you will use this website to click either Zoom Room 1 or Zoom Room 2, depending on the presentation you would like to hear and participate in. 

To view project descriptions - click on the "down arrow" on the left hand to see the section descriptions. 

Day 1: October 21, 9:00am - 10:45am



Main Zoom Room
9:00am - 9:10am
Welcome Remarks





Zoom Breakout Room 1

Zoom Breakout Room 2

Employee Perk Project
Ivan Macedo
Maintenance & Safety Operator, Columbia County Public Transportation

Zeroing in on GTA's Zero Emissions Plan
JoBeth Carlson
Operations Manager, Grant Transit Authority


Project consists of adding a  float holiday for birthday only, getting a employee fund for items in the brake room and creating a time off request policy

With emission reduction promises of 52% by 2030, transit agencies must develop an action plan to reduce GHG emissions. Rural transit agencies are tasked to find a solution that is cost-effective, sustainable, practical and responsible. Battery Electric Buses require expensive infrastructure in a rural transit area due to long miles and rough terrain.  Hydrogen fueled buses appear to be more costly but require less infrastructure. However, this challenge goes beyond zero emissions buses.

Transit Operator Enrichment Program
Brian Richeson
Operations Supervisor, Whatcom Transportation Authority

CTS Internal Communication Committee
Gary Abrams
Maintenance Manager, Clallam Transit


This bi-annual training will focus on accident handling, de-escalation techniques and situational flexibility. This training will be offered so that Operators can better handle difficult passenger relations and how to better problem-solve while on the road.

Improve Communication between CTS departments by answering Questions brought forward.

Professional Development/Mentorship
Brian Cozzie
Manager of Fleet Maintenance, C-TRAN
Mary Hill
Director of Bus Operations & Field Ops, TriMet

Passive Restraints, are they right for you?
Cameron Cross
Fixed Route Manager, Intercity Transit


This project being presented will provide professional development opportunities for all employees at C-TRAN. We will focus on providing opportunities for employees based on individual interests, but will include job shadowing, succession planning, and mentorship. The intent is to afford employees the opportunity to develop in their profession and for C-TRAN to retain talent in our existing employee pool.

This project will discuss what was found while looking for a solution for passive restraints in our most recent bus builds and what works for us, what didn't, and what you should look for when moving forward.

Streamlining Transit Data Collection
Michael Wandler
Data Analytics Supervisor, Public Transportation Divisions - WSDOT 

Public Records Management Program
Melanie Hall
Human Resources Manager, Valley Transit


WSDOT works with transits across Washington on a variety of reporting requirements. A common complaint about these data collection tasks is that they ask for similar (and sometimes identical) information, causing transit employees to focus on redundant work rather than tending to the more important portions of their jobs. This project will focus on opportunities to streamline data collection by examining what must actually be reported, better understanding the data, and looking into easier collection methods. The project's goals are to reduce administrative burden on transit agencies and increase consistency and reliability of the transit data WSDOT receives. Come learn more about this exciting opportunity to do more with less, as WSDOT looks for the best approach to support the state's transit agencies in these endeavors!

Create a Public Records Management Program that includes a written policy and easy-to-follow procedures, identifies each department's Records Coordinator, and establishes ongoing training opportunities.


Main Zoom Room
10:30am - 10:45 - Closing Remarks





Day 2: October 28, 9:00am - 10:45am



Main Zoom Room
9:00am - 9:10am
Welcome Remarks



Zoom Breakout Room 1

Zoom Breakout Room 1

Building an Operators Toolbox
Geoff Beaumont
Operations Supervisor, Whatcom Transportation Authority

In-House Accounting Services
Jackie Gleason
Finance & HR Director, TransGo


A class that will decrease onboard conflict while improving the culture on an Operators bus.

TranGO currently has a third party accounting firm providing accounting services. The project objective is to obtain software, provide staff training, and bring the accounting services in-house by January 1, 2023.

Intercity Transit Crisis Communications Plan
Nicky Upson
Senior Marketing, Communications & Outreach Representative, Intercity Transit

The Collision Avoidance Pursuit
Marah Harris
Fleet Manager, Pierce Transit


Effective crisis communication is paramount to protecting an agency’s reputation and plays a crucial role in moving beyond crisis. Intercity Transit’s Crisis Communication plan will prepare the agency to respond quickly and appropriately to an incident through cross-departmental collaboration to identify potential crises, establish roles and responsibilities, and develop messaging for a variety of emergency situations.

This project encompasses the pursuit of a collision avoidance system that enhances community safety and offers peace of mind to Transit Operators. 

Fostering Long-Term Community Engagement
Luke Distelhorst
Senior Community Engagement Planner, King County Metro

Todd Tobeck
Maintenance Supervisor, Grays Harbor Transit


Conducting community engagement and outreach around transit services is not new. But how do we move from "internal consultants" to building enduring relationships and being responsive to community needs on a day-by-day basis?

RIDE is a voice to text comment collection system for riders

Improving Rider Communication - SMS Service Alerts
Cammie Harris
Marketing & Communications Representative, Lane Transit

"Discover your Purpose - A Pathway to Leadership Development"
Waverly Williams
Transit Chief, Vehicle Maintenace, King County Metro


Part of Lane Transit District’s Strategic Business Plan is to improve rider communications as part of their experience. An SMS text message alert system would allow our riders to opt-in and select the specific routes they would like to receive text alerts for. This would be an overall more effective and equitable solution for riders to receive timely alerts during all service hours and would not require access to the internet.

How can we individually change the culture of purpose and care around us? How does the organization or community benefit from the increased health of purpose and care? The key missng ingredient is investment in ones-self.

How To Ride The Bus
Delana Combs
Business Development Manager, Spokane Transit Authority

Recognition vs Appreciation in the Workforce
Sierra Cagle
Operations Supervisor, Kitsap Transit


I have created a comprehensive training packet for other professionals to be able to use to teach people how to ride the bus. This can be used by teachers to help their students, social workers to help their participants, community center employees to help seniors, etc. The trainer can pick and choose what tools they would like to use including a presentation, videos, handouts, and games.

The difference between recognition vs appreciation and how it effects moral in the work place.


Main Zoom Room
10:50am - 11:00am - Closing Remarks




2629 12th Court SW, Olympia, Washigton, 98502

tel. 360-786-9734

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