The Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) re-elected officers to its Board of Directors during its 2020 State Conference & Expo, which was held virtually over the last two days. Mark Mehmert, transit director for the City of Jefferson, was elected president; Chance Gallagher, MBA, transit planning manager of the St. Joseph Metropolitan Planning Organization, was elected vice-president; Robbie Makinen, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), was elected secretary; Matt Crawford, director of transit for City Utilities of Springfield, was elected treasurer; and Dorothy Yeager, executive director of OATS, Inc., was elected past president. Each is set to serve in this capacity for another one year-term. The organization also extended the appointment of eight existing board members to a second, two-year term.
Mehmert is the transit director for the City of Jefferson where he oversees operations for JEFFTRAN, the Jefferson City’s public transportation system. He has more than 15 years of experience in the field of transportation, previously working for the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Missouri Occupational Information Coordinating Committee. He received an English degree from Pontifical College Josephinum and a Master of Business Administration from William Woods University. He has been an MPTA board member since January 2015, most recently serving as vice-president.
Gallagher has been with the City of St. Joseph since 2016. In her current role, she oversees St. Joseph Transit’s grant management and procurement. She graduated from Northwest Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in both political science and emergency disaster. She earned her master’s in business administration from Park University. She has been an MTPA board member since April 2018, most recently serving as secretary-treasurer.
Makinen has been credited with leading the Kansas City region through a dramatic transformation aimed at combining five different transit agencies into one network, known as RideKC. Robbie is currently leading Kansas City regional transit’s restoration and recovery efforts through the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring public transit remains a safe, reliable option for those who need essential services. Robbie lost his sight nearly eight years ago. He held the position of Chair of the KCATA Board of Commissioners at that time. He returned to work a few weeks later committed to improve the system that was clearly broken, especially for persons with disabilities. Out of that passion and commitment launched several innovative programs for veterans, students and persons with disabilities that came to fruition once Robbie became president and CEO in January 2016. He has been an MPTA board member since April 2019.
Crawford was named director of transit for the City Utilities of Springfield in December 2018. He has two decades of experience with the company, holding the positions of customer service representative, information technology specialist and transportation planner, before being named to his current position. He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Drury University and a Master of Business Administration from Webster University. He has been an MTPA board member since February 2019.
Yeager has more than three decades of transit experience. She got her start with OATS in 1987 as communications assistant and was promoted throughout her tenure. She held the positions of administrative services director and assistant executive director, before being appointed as executive director in July 2012. Yeager has an associate degree in communications from State Fair Community College, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and is a nationally certified community transit manager. Yeager has been an MPTA board member since July 2012 and has served the organization in several capacities, including president.
Current MPTA board members who were elected at the event to serve a second, two-year term include Jake Jacobs of the Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County – EITAS, Cindy Baker of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Robbie Makinen of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Robert Lolley of the City of Joplin, Taulby Roach of Bi-State Development, Courtney Harrison of SERVE, Inc., Dorothy Yeager of OATS, Inc., and Matthew Kauffman of CP & Associates.
“The Missouri Public Transit Association is thrilled with the re-election of officers and the extended appointment of board members,” said Kim Cella, executive director of the Missouri Public Transit Association. “Their collective experience, coupled with their diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise, will continue go a long way towards furthering the organization’s efforts of developing a variety of programs to facilitate education and networking among transit professionals in Missouri.”