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Annual Meeting: Something for Everyone in Public Transportation

The 2016 Annual Meeting, Sept. 11-14 in Los Angeles, is the public transportation industry’s flagship event for agency and business leaders, board members and government officials to learn about and share best practices, network, hear about product and service trends and join tours.

The meeting presents an array of programs and sessions—from General Sessions covering topics and issues relevant to all attendees to mode- and audience-specific educational programs and breakout sessions, special workshops and behind-the-scenes tours of LA Metro’s key initiatives.In addition, many sessions are specifically tied to the five goals in APTA’s strategic plan, which reflect the industry’s most pressing challenges: safety and security first, resource advocacy, workforce development, demographic shifts and technological innovation.

Throughout the meeting, attendees will have an opportunity to explore such hot topics as transformative technology, community building, innovative funding and finance, safety, workforce development and mega projects. Find details on some events and sessions below and on pages 9-15.

General Sessions: Thought Leaders, Transit Trends, Presidential Politics

The Annual Meeting features several General Sessions during the four-day event, offering attendees an opportunity to hear from thought leaders on a wide range of topics and ideas—all designed to spark new thinking and fresh insights. A summary follows:

Monday, Sept. 12

Opening General Session: Where Public Transportation Goes, Community Grows

Start the conference with a strong message about the value of public transportation to build communities and regions, support economic development, create jobs, improve the quality of life and contribute to energy independence. This session will also report on APTA’s key initiatives, provide highlights of LA Metro’s progress and showcase APTA’s leadership transition.

Featured speakers include Acting President & CEO Richard A. White; ­Phillip A. Washington, CEO, LA Metro, host agency; APTA Chair Valarie J. McCall, board of trustees, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority; and Vice Chair Doran J. Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA, incoming chair. Session sponsored by Proterra Inc.

Your Brain Is Good at Inclusion ... Except When It’s Not

Immediately following the Opening General Session, keep your seat for a session that examines diversity and inclusion from the framework of human behavior and neuroscience—a perspective that helps make the case that organizational leaders can enhance inclusion and create environments where people feel valued as key strategies for optimizing individual and organizational performance.

Presenter Steven Robbins, chief “what if” officer, S.L. Robbins & Associates, merges a science-based approach with real-world relevance, storytelling and humor to dispel some myths and offer some practical strategies. Following this session is a related breakout ­program. Sponsored by AECOM.

Tuesday, Sept. 13
2016 Political Overview with Paul Begala and Mike Murphy

Two political commentators, both known for their independence in political ideology and willingness to move beyond “right and left” politics, will ­discuss this year’s election season, including the presidential campaign.

Begala, a commentator for CNN, is part of a team that won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award. He was a senior adviser for the Obama Super PAC and helped steer President Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, making him one of the few people to play a critical role in electing two different presidents.

Murphy, one of the Republican Party’s leading media consultants, has handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. He has been called a “media master” by Fortune magazine, the GOP’s hottest media consultant by Newsweek and the leader of a “new breed” of campaign consultants by Congressional Quarterly.

Sponsored by APTA Business Member Activity Fund.

A Dialogue with USDOT

This session, a perennial APTA conference favorite, features a conversation with FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers and FRA senior representatives and staff members who will field questions from APTA members on a wide range of issues. Previous sessions have featured questions on safety, SMS, state of good repair, transit asset management, PTC, the FAST Act and the funding and grant making process. Be sure to bring your questions for this interactive session.

Wednesday, Sept. 14
Wednesday Wake Up Breakfast: Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom

How did the industry’s most powerful women rise to top leadership positions, and what have they learned along the way?

Several women will share their compelling career stories, as reported in Boots on the Ground, Flats in the Boardroom, a book authored by Grace Crunican, APTA Board of Directors, and general manager, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, who is moderating the session, and Elizabeth Levin, president, Liz Levin & Company. Presenters include Levin; Shirley DeLibero, principal, Shirley A. DeLibero, and past APTA chair; Dana C. Hook, vice president, CDM Smith; and Mary E. Peters, past DOT secretary; current board member, HDR Inc., and principal, Mary E. Peters Consulting Group.

Closing General Session: Transformational Leadership

The rapid pace of technological change affecting public transportation makes long-term planning and decision-making even more challenging.

How can industry leaders successfully predict what’s ahead while managing day-to-day challenges? This session will feature senior executives who will discuss dynamic leadership and performance excellence. They include Deborah Flint, chief executive officer, Los Angeles World Airports; Andy Byford, APTA Board of Directors, and chief executive officer, Toronto Transit Commission; and Paul Comfort, APTA Board of Directors, and administrator and chief executive officer, Maryland Transit Administration.
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