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APTA's Niche Conferences Score Big with Participants
APTA conducts several smaller, audience-specific conferences throughout the year to provide professional development and networking opportunities for transit leaders by profession.
Two recently wrapped up. Summaries follow:
Marketing & Communications Workshop
APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes, executive director, Foothill Transit, West Covina, CA, participated in a panel discussion with two other agency general managers during the three-day workshop, held in Tampa, FL, to discuss how public transit communicators can serve their organizations as strategic advisors.
The also panel featured Katharine Eagan, chief executive officer, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), the host agency, and Brad Miller, chief executive officer, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, St. Petersburg, FL, who fielded questions from Marketing & Communications Committee Chair Morgan Lyons, assistant vice president, external relations, Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
Barnes opened the workshop with a moving video his agency produced recounting the lasting, positive impact of civil rights activist Rosa Parks on public transit and the nation. “It’s not only what public transit does,” Barnes said, “it’s how it makes riders feel.”
In addition to sessions covering topics such as ridership, social media and research, the workshop also featured the 2017 Call Center Challenge Finals, during which five finalists competed for the top honor, which went to Illiana Mena, Access Services Inc. in Los Angeles, and recognition of the 2017 First Place AdWheel Award winners. (See the list in this issue. Grand Award winners will be recognized at the 2017 Annual Meeting.)
Other special presentations included the Joint Information Center (JIC) Workshop with experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, during which attendees participated in discussions and a tabletop exercise on crisis communications; presentations by communications experts Lloyd Brown, AASHTO, and Amy Ford, Colorado DOT, on ways to work with state DOTs; and special guests from FTA, Dave Longo and Angela Gates.
Legal Affairs Seminar
The seminar in Savannah, GA, welcomed numerous first-time participants interested in learning more about the industry’s legal issues that might arise in the new administration and Congress.
During the program, APTA Vice Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., chief executive officer, Jacksonville (FL) Transportation Authority, and Executive Committee Member Dorval R. Carter Jr., president, Chicago Transit Authority, discussed the role of the public transit agency general counsel and FTA Acting Chief Counsel Dana Nifosi reported on executive orders issues by the Trump administration.
Other sessions examined legislative initiatives proposed by Congress and President Donald Trump and offered legal opinions related to safety management systems, procurement practices and transportation network companies.
Also, Fred Wagner of Venable LLC and Bruce Smith of Apperson Crump, both conference sponsors, conducted interactive ethics training.
Next year’s seminar will be held in Santa Barbara, CA.
|Agency GMs shared their wisdom with participants at the Marketing & Communications Workshop. From left, APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes; committee Chair Morgan Lyons; Katharine Eagan, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority; and Brad Miller, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority.
|Illiana Mena, Access Services Inc., fifth from left, won top honors at the 2017 Call Center Challenge Finals, in a close contest with four other contenders. Longtime event emcee Tom Costello, far left, retired communications officer with Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, hosted the competition.|