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People News: Burns Engineering, MARTA, Valley Metro

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
Trevor Collon, Capital Development Chief, Valley Metro.

Trevor Collon, Capital Development Chief, Valley Metro.

Burns Engineering announces promotions for Senior Vice President Tony Koltuv, PMP; Vice President Clay Payne, PE; and Vice President Ryan Breier. Also, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) adds experienced government relations professionals to Office of External Affairs; and Valley Metro names new Capital Development Chief.

Burns Engineering

Burns Engineering on Feb. 13 announced promotions for Senior Vice President Tony Koltuv, PMP; Vice President Clay Payne, PE; and Vice President Ryan Breier.

Under the new management structure, Koltuv will continue his role leading the specialized engineering firm’s railroad and transit practice. Breier now oversees signals, communications and train control services, while Payne directs the firm’s right-of-way and facilities services.

In recent years, Burns says it has broadened the firm’s engineering design and construction management practice, creating “amenity-rich transit stations, high-performance operational facilities, and safe and compliant infrastructure systems.”

Burns supports improvements for the country’s railroad signals, controls, communications, overhead catenary, and traction power systems. Burns also delivers multi-disciplinary engineering services for public transit system and railroad operators’ state-of-the-art maintenance facilities and stations.


MARTA on Feb. 14 announced the hiring of two government relations professionals who will join the Office of External Affairs.

Sr. Director of Government & Community Affairs Jennifer Larosa and Government Affairs Program Manager Stephanie Johnson Hardy bring decades of experience to MARTA’s Government Affairs team and will work to advance the interests of the Authority at the local, state, and federal levels.

“MARTA serves four jurisdictions and relies on federal and most recently state funding support to improve and expand the system, so it’s imperative that we have a government relations team that is experienced working within local and state politics, and familiar with the nuances of transit governance and policy,” said Assistant General Manager of External Affairs Colleen Kiernan.

Larosa previously worked as a lobbyist for MARTA while at Ohio River South and McGuire Woods Consulting and has a long track record of transit and funding legislative successes, including the creation of Georgia’s first dedicated funding source for transit capital projects and the establishment of the Transit Trust Fund. Larosa received her undergraduate degree in her native Louisiana and subsequent degrees at Georgia State University and the University of Georgia.

Johnson Hardy brings to MARTA more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including working as Chief of Staff to Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell for close to a decade, and most recently as a Regional Director at AT&T handling legislative and community engagement. A native Georgian, Johnson Hardy is a board member and volunteer with several local organizations.

Both women, with support from members of the Government Affairs team, will maintain a visible presence at the State Capitol, “fostering positive working relationships with political and community stakeholders to ensure the successful execution of MARTA’s legislative program, and helping secure necessary funding.”

Valley Metro

Valley Metro on Feb. 15 announced that it has named Trevor Collon as Chief of Capital Development.

In his new role, Collon will lead the planning, design and construction of light rail, streetcar, bus and rail facilities, and associated infrastructure. He and his team opened up the Northwest Light Rail Extension Phase II ahead of schedule and are currently managing the 5.5-mile South Central Extension/Downtown Hub that will create a two-line rail system in the heart of downtown Phoenix. With 16 more high-capacity transit miles in development, Collon will partner alongside cities, FTA and colleagues in the private sector to build the region’s expansive transit vision. He will also help the agency leverage new technology and best practices to find ways to expedite design and construction and bring about a new era of electric charging infrastructure.

“With the recent opening of the Northwest Phase II Extension and several ongoing high-capacity capital projects across the Valley, Trevor has earned the trust and respect of his team, as well as our stakeholders, and federal partners,” said Valley Metro CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller. “I am thrilled to add Trevor’s leadership and expertise to our executive team.

Collon joined Valley Metro in 2019 serving as Manager of Capital Development, then as Deputy Director of Design & Construction, and, most recently, as Interim Chief of Capital Development.

Collon, who is also an Arizona native, brings 15 years of public and private sector transit development experience. Prior to his time at Valley Metro, he worked at the city of Mesa as their Light Rail Project Manager from 2013 to 2019. He also spent eight years as a Civil Engineer working for Michael Baker Corporation and M2 Group.

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