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People News: HDR, Port of Long Beach, COMTO

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
HDR’s Transportation Market Strategy Director Christopher LaTuso, PE

HDR’s Transportation Market Strategy Director Christopher LaTuso, PE

HDR appoints Christopher LaTuso Transportation Market Strategy Director. Also, the Port of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners elects Harbor Commission Vice President Sharon L. Weissman Board President; and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) New York Chapter elects Alesia Cain Vice President of Communications.


HDR announced on July 29 that Christopher LaTuso, PE, has been named new Transportation Market Strategy Director.

In his new position, HDR says, LaTuso will “help set the vision and develop strategies to drive the continued growth of HDR’s global transportation program of more than 4,400 employees across all transportation modes and markets.” The Omaha, Neb.-based engineering consultant added that LaTuso will work with market and client development leaders to “implement programs focused on client service, anticipate transportation market trends, and deliver holistic and streamlined solutions.”

“We have incredible technical expertise and unmatched industry talent throughout the transportation program at HDR,” LaTuso said. “The industry has an opportunity to combine a focus on equity with the technological advancements we are seeing in automation and sustainability to provide solutions that recognize the needs of all mobility users and the new ways the global workforce is operating in a post-COVID environment. I look forward to working with our talented leadership to guide our transportation program and support our clients to complete programs and projects that will be the blueprint of the transportation industry in the future.”

LaTuso most recently served as Director of HDR’s global transportation infrastructure advisory services practice and as East Region Transportation Market Development Director. He has spent the majority of his three-decade career developing transportation projects in the New York metropolitan area and is experienced in every phase of project delivery from concept and scoping to construction inspection. Notable projects include the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and implementation of the Kew Gardens Interchange Infrastructure and Operational Improvements Project in New York.

“Chris is an expert at building and maintaining strong relationships, based on a deep commitment to delivering results,” said HDR Transportation President Tom McLaughlin. “In addition to experience as a project manager, strategic advisor and regional HDR leader, he began his career with the New York State Department of Transportation and understands intimately the needs of those whom we serve. With his continued leadership and commitment to our staff and clients, I’m looking forward to working with Chris to make great things happen at HDR and in communities across the globe.”

Port of Long Beach

Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners Board President Sharon L. Weissman (left) and Vice President Bobby Olvera Jr. (right)

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, a five-person board that oversees the Port of Long Beach, elected on July 25 Harbor Commission Vice President Sharon L. Weissman as Board President.

The board also selected Bobby Olvera Jr. as Vice President and Bonnie Lowenthal as Secretary. Every July, the Board says, Commissioners select a President and two Board Officers to serve one-year terms. The Commission’s new officers will begin their terms on Aug. 8, when outgoing Commission President Steven Neal will hand the gavel to Weissman at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting that day.

Weissman served as a Senior Advisor to Mayor Robert Garcia from July 2014 and Transportation Deputy beginning in 2017 until her retirement in June 2020. She is also active in the community, serving as Vice President of Public Affairs and former president of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. In the past, she was on the boards for the Arts Council for Long Beach, the Long Beach Symphony and the Fair Housing Foundation. Appointed to the Harbor Commission in 2020, Weissman was elected as Vice President of the Board in July 2021.

“I am honored by the trust my colleagues on the Board have placed in me,” Weissman said. “In collaboration with my fellow Commissioners, Executive Director Mario Cordero, and staff, I look forward to navigating our way through the challenges of the supply chain, supporting the necessary infrastructure that will keep the Port competitive, and building upon the port’s robust green initiatives.”

Under the City Charter, the Board sets policy for the Port and directs the Port’s Executive Director, who leads about 550 employees in developing and promoting the Port of Long Beach.


Alesia Cain, Solutions and Market Development Director of Umo, was elected Vice President of Communications by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials’ (COMTO) New York Chapter, the association announced on July 27 in a press release.

COMTO is a leading association of minority and women transportation officials committed to “advancing the professional growth and career development of the workforce in transportation and related professions.”

“The values and mission of COMTO align with many of my own,” Cain said. “I look forward to contributing and working alongside President Watson and the leadership team in the exploration of new ways to effectively communicate and amplify COMTO New York’s initiatives, programs, and advancements using digital communications and technology.”

COMTO New York Chapter Vice President of Communications Alesia Cain

Cain’s work with COMTO aligns with her new role at Umo, Cubic’s Software as a Service (SaaS) business unit, which delivers equitable mobility solutions to riders worldwide.

“Riders are at the heart of everything we do, and at Umo, we believe that public transit should be accessible to all of us,” shared Bonnie Crawford, Vice President and General Manager of Umo. “From school children to senior citizens and everyone in between, not just those lucky enough to have a smartphone or credit card. Partnering with COMTO is critical to ensuring equity in public transit.”

This is Cain’s second time serving as Vice President, with her first appointment in October 2020. As Vice President, Cain is responsible for shaping the New York Chapter’s public relations and branding efforts. Before joining Cubic’s Umo business, Cain served as Director of Technology and Business Consulting at Marine Tiger Technologies and CIO/CTO at Hampton Roads Transit. She earned a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and volunteers with Black Girls CODE, a non-profit that provides technology education for African American girls. With three decades of experience in transportation and technology, Cain serves her community as an advocate and volunteer who “leads the way for women and minorities in the transportation industry.”

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