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People News: Sound Transit, Quandel, Railroad Consultants

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

Seattle’s Sound Transit appointed a Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer; Chicago rail and transit firm Quandel Consultants elevated three employees to Senior Director roles; and Railroad Consultants, PLLC hired a Chief Operating Officer, based at its Murfreesboro, Tenn., headquarters.

Sound Transit

Jonté Robinson has been promoted to Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, after serving in an “acting” capacity. Robinson joined the Seattle, Wash., transit agency in 2015. She established the equal opportunity (EEO) program, led the Title VI program, and served as Deputy Director of Civil Rights. In 2017, Sound Transit established the Office of EEO, Equity and Inclusion to oversee its EEO program and advance equity initiatives across the agency. Last year, its Title VI and DBE/Small Business programs joined the office to create the Office of Civil Rights, Equity and Inclusion. Prior to joining Sound Transit, Robinson was Title VI Coordinator and Human Resource Consultant for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff called Robinson “the right leader to advance the agency’s anti-racist efforts.” She will “ensure we maintain momentum on this critically important issue for the communities we serve and our employees,” he added.

Quandel Consultants, Inc.

Quandel has promoted to Senior Director: Melanie Johnson (a 2019 Railway Age “10 under 40” honoree), Daniel Schulte and Laura Quandel. They will focus on operational efficiency, project oversight, client relationships, staff development, and branding and market research.

Johnson, Senior Director of Planning, has worked as an engineer and planner in the transportation industry for 16 years. Since joining Quandel in 2009, she has advanced environmental planning and engineering on intercity passenger rail corridor projects in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado, working with state transportation departments and the Federal Railroad Administration.

Schulte, Senior Director of Engineering, has more than 18 years’ experience on transportation engineering and construction projects. He serves as Project Manager for Quandel’s contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Rail for the implementation of its accelerated rail improvement program between Dearborn and Kalamazoo; he is also Engineering Team Lead for the Illinois DOT Chicago to Quad Cities Passenger Rail project.

Quandel, Senior Director of Marketing, guides branding, communications and market research. She is a 10-year veteran of the firm, and also spent three years working in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

Railroad Consultants, PLLC

Mark Wille has joined Railroad Consultants as Chief Operating Officer. He has 30 years of construction engineering experience, including 15 years in the rail industry.

Wille served previously for Kansas City Southern (KCS), holding a variety of positions that focused on management, writing, safety and oversight. Prior to KCS, he worked for GM and in the conveyor equipment industry, managing teams and implementing a general specification book for design and construction as well as project-by-project funding and bid specifications.

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