People News: Houston Metro, HNTB, WAGOWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Tom Lambert, President and CEO of Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston, Tex., Metro), will retire at the end of the year. Also, HNTB appoints Zandra Ford as Director of Rail Operations for the Capital Region; and WAGO, an electrical interconnection and automation product supplier, tabs Diane Pena as Electrical Contractor and Wholesale Sales Manager and Bill Prevo as Regional Sales Manager for southeastern Michigan.
Tom Lambert, who has served as Metro President and CEO since 2013, has negotiated an extension to his current contract to continue with the agency until Dec. 31, 2023, and then to retire, Metro reported on Feb. 2.
Lambert joined Metro in 1979, its first full year of operation. Following the creation of the Metro Police Department in 1982, Lambert became its first Chief of Police. He has also served as Chief Administrative Officer and as Executive Vice President. He now leads a team of more than 4,000 employees delivering light rail, bus and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), paratransit, microtransit and vanpool transportation across Metro’s 1,300 square-mile service area.
Under Lambert’s direction, the agency expanded light rail service, launching the Green and Purple lines in 2015. According to Metro, his other achievements for Metro include: providing “exemplary community support and special services” in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017; receiving the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Outstanding Public Transportation System Award in 2015 and 2020; and creating an Office of Innovation that established a Climate Action Plan to reduce Metro’s carbon footprint and to move toward zero-emissions vehicles. Lambert was also named APTA’s Outstanding Manager in 2018.
“Metro and the region have benefited tremendously from Tom’s leadership and service,” Metro Board Chair Sanjay Ramabhadran said. “I certainly understand his desire to close out his very successful career at Metro and spend more time with his family. This time frame ensures that we continue to focus on services and build on the momentum of [the] METRONext [transit plan] plan while transitioning to the next chapter of leadership.”
“I have been blessed to have worked with talented staff, a dedicated Board and a wonderful community of partners to provide outstanding multimodal transit options to this region,” Lambert said. “But after nearly 45 years at Metro, now is the right time to retire. I look forward to working over the next 11 months to advance the METRONext transit plan and other important initiatives. I also look forward to celebrating the people at Metro and in the community who are dedicated to providing the best in transit.”
Separately, Metro in December welcomed the first of 14 new fourth-generation (H4) Siemens light rail vehicles to its current fleet, which will serve the MetroRail Red Line.
At HNTB, Zandra Ford has joined as Director of Rail Operations for the Capital Region. She will support transit and rail clients across the firm.
Ford has nearly 25 years of transportation industry experience. She began her career as an analyst at MTA New York City Transit (NYCT), working in the Department of Subways and Capital Programs Management, and rose through the ranks to managing line operations for NYCT and eventually managing service delivery at the NYCT Rapid Transit Operations Rail Control Center, where she oversaw seven subway lines. After 20 years of service in New York, Ford joined the Maryland Transit Administration as Deputy Chief Operating Officer-Rail Operations, overseeing operation and maintenance of the LightRail Link and Metro SubwayLink.
According to HNTB, Ford’s experience in rail operations, project management, strategic planning, finance, capital budgeting, and the federal and state funding process “will help to maximize the efficiency and performance of new and existing transit systems and programs.”
“Zandra is a devoted strategist who is committed to helping transit organizations achieve the highest levels of efficiency, accountability and state of good repair while at the same time ensuring that they deliver the highest levels of service for their customers and communities,” said Hillary Calavitta, HNTB’s Capital Region Transit and Rail Group Director.
Germantown, Wis.-based WAGO has signed on Diane Pena as Electrical Contractor and Wholesale Sales Manager and Bill Prevo as Regional Sales Manager for southeastern Michigan, including Detroit and the surrounding area.
Pena is based outside of Atlanta, Ga., where she has worked in the lighting industry for the past 15 years. Prevo has spent the past decade as an automation field sales engineer, and has also worked in electrical services in the water and wastewater industry.
From CAGE CLAMP® spring pressure connection technology to a range of Interconnect, Interface and Automation systems, such as the fieldbus independent WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM, WAGO offers products for the industrial, railway, energy technologies, marine and offshore sectors, and for building and lighting management.