D, Ward

MPTA Congratulates Board Member Denny Ward on Retirement as SMTS Executive Director

The Missouri Public Transit Association congratulates long time board member Denny Ward, outgoing Executive Director of the Southeast Missouri Transportation Service (SMTS), on his upcoming retirement on July 1. Denny served as an MPTA Board Member for just shy of a decade, and through his role at SMTS, he has represented and advocated for rural transit providers for years.

“Congratulations to our board member Denny Ward. Denny is the consummate professional and was always ready to lend a hand to advocate for transit at any time anywhere in the state while on the MPTA Board. His presence will be sorely missed, but we wish him all the best in his new adventures ahead,” said Kim Cella, executive director of MPTA.

Denny grew up in a small town that represents the very definition of community. Denny credits growing up in such an environment as what led him to want to serve others. As Mayor of the village of Marquand for fourteen years, his efforts led to the addition of a Community Center, a walking trail, and charming improvements which included antique street lighting and cobblestones. He also wrote millions of dollars in grants to preserve historic buildings, such as the Homan Hall Performing Arts Center.

In 2006, Denny began working for SMTS under the guidance of William Osborne. Following Osborne’s retirement in 2015, Denny stepped into the role of Executive Director. SMTS provides service in an area that covers 21 counties, and under Denny’s management the staff and services provided have grown tremendously. SMTS is now the second largest rural transit provider in the country behind Missouri’s own OATS Transit.

Upon his retirement, Tracy Jones, Director of Finance for SMTS, will assume the role of Executive Director.