Management & Operations

Ann Arbor selects Carpenter to lead agency

Posted on March 24, 2015

Courtesy: The Ride
Courtesy: The Ride

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) Board of Directors voted to select Matt Carpenter as its new CEO. Carpenter, a Tennessee native who has more than 15 years of professional experience in the transit industry, including eight as the successful CEO of Strathcona County Transit in Sherwood Park, AB, Canada, will begin work at TheRide on a date to be determined after his acceptance of a final written contract offered by TheRide. Bob Guenzel, a successful senior management executive, attorney, former Washtenaw County Administrator, and TheRide’s current Interim CEO, will aid in the transition.

RELATED: Ann Arbor transit selects 3 candidates for top post

The CEO search process began in November, 2014, with the help of Harris Rand Lusk (HRL), an executive search firm that specializes in the public transportation field. HRL screened the initial applicants and recommended 14 candidates for consideration by the CEO Search Committee. The Committee, consisting of eight members (four agency Board members and four agency staff members), is headed by AAATA Board Chair Charles Griffith. Following the confidential interviews of four screened candidates, the Committee recommended three finalists to participate in a second interview with the full Board of Directors, which occurred on March 11 along with an opportunity for the public to meet the candidates and pose questions.

“Mr. Carpenter has both impressive public transportation industry experience and a demonstrated focus on fostering a healthy, vibrant community; both of which are key as TheRide continues to implement its Public Transportation Improvement Program.” said TheRide Board Chair Charles Griffith. “Mr. Carpenter made the strongest impression on both the Board and staff of TheRide in our selection process, and the input we received from the public helped to further solidify that he is the right choice to lead our organization. Mr. Carpenter’s excellent management and communication abilities and forward-thinking mindset should go a long way in helping to meet the growing needs of our unique community.”

Carpenter, who previously worked for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments in Detroit, holds a Master in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Carpenter, a dynamic and award-winning leader, has helped communities plan and implement major transit improvements, such as bus network expansions, paratransit reforms, rapid transit studies, and even double-decker buses. He believes respect, compassion, integrity, and open communication are the hallmarks of a great team, according to a statement from The Ride.

He is passionate about transit, and is excited about this opportunity to return to the Ann Arbor area and assist the community in achieving its vision for public transportation, the statement said. He has an online presence and invites everyone to connect with him on LinkedIn or visit his YouTube channel.

Information on the CEO selection process and Carpenter can also be found at

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