MNTRC Newsletter Vol. 21, Issue 2: Fall 2014

A fond farewell, and a fresh start


Karen E. Philbrick, PhD, Executive Director

Karen Philbrick, PhD

Karen Philbrick, PhD
Executive Director

In a poignant moment at the Mineta Transportation Institute's Annual awards banquet and convocation in June, Rod Diridon symbolically handed over the reins of the agency whose success he has guided for the past 23 years. His planned retirement as executive director of MTI and the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium concludes an outstanding career in public service and dedication to the public good.

He has been honored by dozens of organizations. In January, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of University Transportation Centers at its awards banquet in Washington DC. In June, History San Jose named its historic trolley barn after him. Later this year he will be inducted into the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Hall of Fame.

He is warmly embraced by the Consortium and MTI, where he will continue to offer expert guidance in an emeritus role. We wish him a long, healthy and happy retirement.

Board welcomes new chair

The Consortium's Board of Trustees is pleased to welcome new chair, Stephanie Pinson. As a longtime board member, Ms. Pinson has contributed valuable insights at every meeting. Her roots in the transportation industry run deep. She is president of Gilbert Tweed & Associates in New York City, specializing in executive searches for mobility leaders. She received the gavel from outgoing chair Steve Heminger in June at the Mineta Transportation Institute awards banquet and convocation.

With the co-chair position open, the Trustees elected Nuria Fernandez to the role. Nuria is CEO of Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, CA, having arrived from a previous position as COO with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. She also served as a senior vice president with CH2M Hill.

As we head into a bright future, I am looking forward to engaging even more energetically with the MTI/MNTRC Board, our university partners, our outstanding team of research and consulting associates, and our dedicated staff.