C-TRAN COO Inessa M. Vitko returns to TriMet as Executive Director of Transportation Operations. Also, Edwin Bohr Electronics (EBE) names Dan Marks CEO; and Norfolk Southern (NS) Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Ed Elkins has been appointed to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Board of Directors.
TriMet announced on Oct. 4 that Inessa M. Vitko will become TriMet’s Executive Director of Transportation Operations, effective Oct. 17. Vitko, who currently serves as COO at C-TRAN, will be responsible for directing all operational activities for TriMet’s bus, MAX light rail, WES commuter rail and LIFT paratransit services.
Vitko began her transit career at TriMet more than 16 years ago before moving to the bus agency in Vancouver. With the help of Vitko’s leadership, C-TRAN has been named the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) North America Transit System of the Year twice—in 2019 and 2022.
Before moving to C-TRAN, Vitko served as the head of TriMet’s customer experience team and “helped elevate customer-forward thinking inside the agency.” She also previously managed TriMet’s customer information department, served as a service planner in operations and worked as an administrator on the Ride Wise program that is now managed by Ride Connection.
Vitko, TriMet says, played a key role in many major projects at the agency, including the opening of the MAX Orange Line, the launch of Hop Fastpass® electronic fare system, coordination for major MAX improvement projects and service planning for the Transit Mall renovation, which was part of the construction of the MAX Green Line.
“Ms. Vitko returns to TriMet at a critical time as we work to address our operator shortage and work with the community on a major restructuring of our bus service,” said TriMet COO Bonnie Todd. “I’m confident her expertise and caring leadership will help us move through the many challenges before us.”
“I am so excited to come back to TriMet with new perspective and inspiration,” said Vitko. “Transportation Operations is at the heart of everything we do, and I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to work once again with the team at TriMet serving our community while supporting our operators and employees on the frontline of our operations.”
Vitko has been leading C-TRAN’s largest department since May 2018. As COO, she oversees the work of more than 300 union and non-union C-TRAN employees in the agency’s fixed-route and demand-response operations, dispatch, field supervision and customer service areas. She also heads the agency’s operations scheduling, marketing and communications, ADA compliance, and information technology efforts, as well as C-TRAN’s contracted security team.
Vitko served as C-TRAN’s lead on labor negotiations and has a strong relationship with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 leadership, the same union that represents TriMet’s operators and other union employees.
Vitko led her department through the coronavirus pandemic, adjusting staffing, service delivery, budget and policy, while working in cooperation with the ATU and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) union to avoid any involuntary job loss. Earlier this year, her team helped C-TRAN launch The Current, an on-demand rideshare service that provides point-to-point service.
Vitko holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics, both from Portland State University. She is a graduate of APTA’s Emerging Leaders Program and serves as an ELP committee member and national mentor. She is also a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership’s Leadership Development Program. Vitko is also a member of Beaverton’s Urban Redevelopment Agency Board and serves on its budget committee.
EBE, a manufacturer and remanufacturer of electrical and electro-mechanical locomotive parts and components, has named Dan Marks as CEO, the company announced Oct. 4.
Marks has more than two decades of experience in the OEM and aftermarket rail and transit markets, primarily in business strategy, operations, sales and marketing leadership roles. Prior to joining EBE, he served as Vice President of Sales for a major wheel, axle and gear manufacturer.
“Dan brings deep market awareness and a track record of growing the top line rapidly and profitably,” said Chris Wright, President of EBE parent company Alderman Enterprises. “He’s particularly well-suited to take EBE to the next level. Most importantly, he’s a strong leader, and with the team already rallying behind him, we’re excited to see how the company evolves for years to come.”
“I’m very excited to be joining the EBE team,” said Marks. “I envision tremendous growth opportunities, particularly in the mass transit space, while strengthening our presence with Class I, regional and shortline railroads.”
NS Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Ed Elkins has been appointed to the NAM Board of Directors, the Class I announced on Oct. 4 via a Twitter post. In this role, Elkins will “help represent our railroaders and the manufacturers we serve by promoting best practices in the manufacturing industry,” NAM said in a statement.
“The success of the manufacturing industry is directly linked to our nation’s overall economic prosperity, and at NS, we are proud to be a part of our manufacturing supply chain…I look forwad to working with NAM to advocate on behalf of the men and women in the industry and our railroaders who help power their progress,” said Elkins.
Elkins joins a host of new members who will begin their two-year terms in January. According to NAM, the new members “come from many sectors of the industry and companies both large and small, holding an array of leadership roles and boasting a wide range of experience.” All of them, NAM adds, “are dedicated to ensuring the manufacturers in the U.S. have the tools they need to prosper.”
Joining Elkins as new members are:
- Edward Blair, President, Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.
- Sara Beth Burton, Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
- Richard Cammarano, President and CEO, Tech-Etch, Incorporated
- Karl Ehemann, Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Quality, Corning Incorporated
- Cynthia Farrer, Senior Vice President, Global Operations and Integrated Supply Chain, Allegion plc
- Aimee Gregg, Vice President and General Manager, Containerboard and Recycling, International Paper
- John Hartner, Founder, Digital Industrialist LLC
- Christopher Kastner, President and CEO, Huntington Ingalls Industries
- Ram Krishnan, Executive Vice President and COO, Emerson
- Reece Kurtenbach, CEO and President, Daktronics, Inc.
- Rose Lee, President and CEO, Cornerstone Building Brands
- Thomas Long, Co-chief Executive Officer, Energy Transfer LP
- Michael McGarry, Chairman and CEO, PPG
- Lori Miles-Olund, President, Miles Fiberglass & Composites, Inc.
- Christopher Perkins, President North America and Senior Vice President Taste & Beyond North America, Firmenich, Inc.
- Kimberly Ryan, President and CEO, Hillenbrand, Inc.
- Karin Shanahan, Executive Vice President, Global Product Development and Supply, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
- Matt Shields, Senior Vice President, Global Animal Health Manufacturing, Merck & Co., Inc.
- Sachin Shivaram, CEO, Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry
- Shruti Singhal, CEO, Chroma Color Corporation
- Mark Smucker, President and CEO, The J.M. Smucker Company
- Matt Wood, National Industry Leader, Commercial Products Practice, FORVIS
- Brent Yeagy, President and CEO, Wabash
- Renée Zemljak, Executive Vice President, Midstream, Marketing & Fundamentals, Ovintiv USA Inc.
“The diverse backgrounds of our new board members, and their varied experience across many manufacturing sectors, make their counsel invaluable to the NAM in its efforts to bolster the industry’s competitiveness,” said NAM Chief of Staff Alyssa Shooshan. “We are counting on their insights and dedication to help steer manufacturers through this turbulent time and into a position of even greater strength.”