Keith T. Parker, AICP, is the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the nation’s 9th largest transit system that includes heavy rail, bus and paratransit services. MARTA provides more than 400,000 passenger boardings a day. Parker took the helm of MARTA on December 10, 2012.
Parker’s career has included public and private sector experiences in diverse communities around the country, including Virginia, California, Washington State, North Carolina and Texas. Most recently, Parker served as CEO for transit systems in San Antonio, Texas (the nation’s 7th largest city) and Charlotte, North Carolina. In both cities, the transit systems utilized public involvement and technological innovations to dramatically improve the overall public transit experience. Under Parker’s leadership, the San Antonio and Charlotte transit systems enjoyed some of the highest ridership increases in the country, while maintaining some of the lowest costs. The transit agencies also won numerous local, state, and national awards in key areas such as safety, maintenance, environmental innovations and overall excellence. Parker won Texas CEO of the Year Awards in 2011 and 2012.
Since his arrival in Atlanta, Parker and his team have balanced the budget, improved efficiencies, increased bus and rail service, enhanced the customer experience, and restored pride among MARTA employees and staff. MARTA is now recognized as one of the most innovative transit authorities in the nation.
In February 2016, Parker was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). The NIAC provides the President – through the Secretary of Homeland Security – with insight and guidance on the security of the critical infrastructure sectors and their information systems across the United States. The council comprises 30 members appointed by the President from private industry, academia and state/local government.
Parker was recognized as the Outstanding Public Transportation Manager by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in October 2015. METRO Magazine named Parker as one of its 20 “Most Influential People of the Decade” in 2014 in recognition of his ability to transform agency efficiencies, implement cost-effective measures, and engender a culture of innovation in diverse environments.
Active and engaged in civic/charitable organizations, Parker serves the community on various national and local Boards of Directors – including the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the American Public Transportation Association, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) and Goodwill Industries. Parker holds a MBA from the University of Richmond, as well as a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a BA in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also holds professional certification with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Parker is married with three children.
Offices reporting to the General Manager:
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Chief Operating Officer
Rich Krisak is a rail transit professional with a career spanning 30 years including six public transit authorities. He has specialized in the planning, design, construction and operations of rail systems. He has experience in streetcar, light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail and freight. He most recently came to MARTA from Austin, Texas, where he was managing both the Austin North Western short line railroad freight operation as well as the new Diesel Multiple Unit light rail system. Rich has the distinction of having worked on the development and operation of every modern rail project in Texas including the highly successful Dallas and Houston projects. He was responsible for planning efforts associated with the Trinity River Express commuter rail system and start up, activation and operations of both the DART and Houston light rail.
Due to his extensive experience, in June 2010, Rich was selected by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to serve as a member of the Transit Rail Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), an advisory committee that will assist the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with developing national safety standards for rail transit.
Rich grew up in a transit family. His father, relatives and extended family were employed for many years in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) and its predecessor companies. He started his career as an intern with the GCRTA while attending college at Cleveland State University, where he received his Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning. Immediately upon graduation, he moved to New Jersey where he was employed by the Port Authority of PA/NJ in hands on transportation functions such as Train Operator, Supervisor, Yard Master and Controller. Next, he served in the private sector as a consultant to the Buffalo, NY light rail project where he was responsible for operations planning and start-up.
Offices reporting to the Chief Operating Officer:
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Acting Chief Administrative Officer
LaShanda Dawkins is the Acting Chief Administrative Officer at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). In this role, she assists the General Manager/CEO in the overall administration of the Authority in accordance with policies and directives established by the General Manager/CEO and the MARTA Board of Directors. Ms. Dawkins is responsible for the Authority's Division of Administration, which includes the following departments: Information Technology, Planning, and Police. Ms. Dawkins previously served as the Senior Director of Human Resources (HR) and was responsible for the core HR functions to include, Compensation, Welfare and Retirement Benefits, Recruiting, Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and Occupational Medical Services and Wellness.
LaShanda began her career in transportation at MARTA, as a Senior Associate Counsel in the Office of Legal Services in 2006. During her tenure in Legal Services, she was responsible for labor and employment litigation matters, and served as legal liaison for the MARTA Police Department. She also served most recently as the Interim Assistant General Manager of Human Resources, and was responsible for managing the Offices of Human Resources, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Labor Relations, and Training.
LaShanda has over 16 years of experience advising clients in the area of labor and employment litigation. Prior to joining MARTA, she served as an Assistant General Counsel for the City of Jacksonville, Florida and its independent agencies. She also served as the General Director of Policy and Compliance for the Duval County School Board.
LaShanda holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Prairie View A&M University and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law. She is a member of the State Bars of Texas, Florida, and Georgia, and is also admitted to practice in Federal Court. She has handled federal civil matters in the United States District Courts for the Middle District of Florida and the Northern District of Georgia and has appeared before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
LaShanda is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); as well as the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA). In addition to her professional affiliations, LaShanda is very active in her community. She currently serves as the President for the Atlanta Chapter of Continental Societies, Inc. and as the Second Vice Director on the regional level. In addition, she is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America. LaShanda and her husband Michael reside in the City of Atlanta, with their two children.
Offices reporting to the Chief Administrative Officer:
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Assistant General Manager, Legal Services
Ms. O’Neill has been with MARTA since 1995. She began her career at MARTA as a Senior Associate Counsel and has held the position of Chief of Litigation since 1999. She has been AGM of Legal Services since October 2006.
As AGM and Chief Counsel, Ms. O’Neill is responsible for providing legal advice and support as needed to the Authority’s Board of Directors and staff units with the support of General Counsel and other outside counsel. She provides representation of the Authority in defense of personal injury claims, workers compensation, collection of subrogation claims, employment and labor issues, and similar matters arising out of the operation of the bus and rail systems. Ms. O’Neill is also charged with the management of the departments of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Human Resources, Risk Management and Labor Relations.
Ms. O’Neill is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. She is member of the State Bars of New York, North Carolina and Georgia and is also admitted to practice in Federal Court.
Offices reporting to the AGM of Legal Services:
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Assistant General Manager, Finance/CFO
Gordon Hutchinson, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), joined the Authority in April, 2013. As MARTA’s CFO, Mr. Hutchinson is responsible for overseeing MARTA’s revenue collection, cash management, debt service, capital financing, financial reporting, the development of Operating and Capital Budgets, Contracts and Procurement, and Capital Program
Management. He is responsible for the strategic direction and daily management of the Department of Finance.
Prior to joining MARTA, Mr. Hutchinson served as the Acting CFO and Controller for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK). Prior to his position with AMTRAK, Mr. Hutchinson had extensive experience in both the private sector and
public accounting, including Atlas Air, Lafarge Corporation, Agrium, Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Mr. Hutchinson received his Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce – Accounting & Information Systems from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Accountant. Mr. Hutchinson is a native of British Columbia. He is married to Amelia Hutchinson and they have two sons, Ian and Sean.
Offices reporting to the Chief Financial Officer:
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Chief of Staff
Rukiya S. (Eaddy) Thomas, Chief of Staff for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) works closely with Mr. Keith Parker, AICP, General Manager/CEO as his principal aide. As Chief of Staff, Mrs. Thomas supervises a variety of authority-wide projects and initiatives such as the Atlanta Streetcar, Transit-Oriented Development, and several accountability efforts at MARTA that tackle organizational challenges which range from performance-based management to absenteeism. She has over twelve years of experience building relationships and expertise in the strategic planning, development and implementation of major programs/initiatives in the areas of public policy, economic development and transportation.
Prior to MARTA, Mrs. Thomas oversaw External Affairs for the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Joining the team in 2007, she was an instrumental part of the Atlanta BeltLine’s start-up phase. Mrs. Thomas managed a citywide public engagement program by partnering with thousands of community, business, and political leaders throughout 45 neighborhoods in order to shape and implement public policy to advance the Atlanta Beltline: the most comprehensive redevelopment and mobility effort undertaken in the City of Atlanta that will provide a network of transit, trails and parks. During her tenure, implementation of the BeltLine Citizen Participation Framework led to the adoption of 10 BeltLine master plans, an Environmental Impact Statement, and other significant foundational efforts. Now thousands of residents on the West and East sides enjoy award winning amenities in their BeltLine communities due to these early efforts. Prior to her work at the Atlanta Beltline, an early career in public affairs and communications was launched in Washington, DC in the early 2000’s.
Mrs. Thomas calls Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward home and has always worked in the Atlanta community over the years. As an active member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women she served as chair of its signature fundraiser Gourmet Gents in 2014. Mrs. Thomas currently serves as the Education Chair of the Atlanta Business League’s Board of Directors, and as Vice Chair of the Fulton County Board of Registrations and Elections. She is a graduate of LEAD Atlanta, the Georgia Academy of Economic Development, Urban Land Institute Atlanta Center for Leadership, and a current participant in Leadership Georgia’s class of 2015. Recent acknowledgments include being selected as Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 and Urban Land Institute’s Global 40 Under 40 in 2014. Past acknowledgements for her service include the Outstanding Atlanta Award and the Forever Family Community Service Award. Mrs. Thomas studied Business Communications at Clark Atlanta University for her Bachelor of Arts and Political Communications at Pennsylvania State University for her Master of Arts.
Offices reporting to the Chief of Staff:
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