MNTRC Newsletter Vol 19, Issue 1: Summer 2012

Board Profile: Julie Cunningham

by Donna Maurillo, MNTRC Director of Communications

Julie Cunningham

Julie Cunningham
CEO, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials

The tag line for the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is “Building the people who build America.” But Julie Cunningham, CEO, is often asked why it isn’t “Building the people who move America.”
She has a ready answer. “We are involved in much more than moving people. Our members are engaged in establishing legislation, setting policy, and building, maintaining and repairing our nation’s infrastructure - all within the transportation industry. That’s more than moving America, that’s building America.”

In 2001, she was appointed to lead COMTO, and since then this national trade association has enjoyed unprecedented growth – moving from a single focus on public transit to a multimodal focus. She continues to work with COMTO national leadership to develop and strengthen strategic partnerships with industry, private, and government stakeholders.

As a recent addition to the MNTRC/MTI Board of Trustees, Ms. Cunningham brings her leadership qualities honed from many years as a visionary and an advocate for a level playing field for everyone. Under her leadership, COMTO was awarded the 2005 Disadvantaged Business Advocate of the Year by the US Department of Transportation (DOT).

Ms. Cunningham was honored to serve on President-Elect Barack Obama's Transition Team at the US DOT, and she has provided expert testimony before the US Congress, including the House the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Prior to joining COMTO, she held positions in construction and energy. She was previously employed as a senior consultant at a nuclear power plant and was responsible for developing critical strategic and communication plans, implementing grassroots programs, and facilitating work process improvements for nuclear power. She also is a US Army veteran.

Ms. Cunningham, a native of Cleveland OH, graduated from Hiram College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management and has continued her education with ongoing professional workshops and seminars.

“The entire Board of Trustees is enthusiastic to have Julie as a member,” said MNTRC Executive Director Rod Diridon. “She is intelligent, well-spoken, and a skillful leader who has many supporters in government and industry.”