July 29, 2011

TriMet creates 2 diversity-focused positions

Portland, Ore.-based TriMet has hired for two positions focused on diversity and serving multicultural populations. Johnell Bell has been selected as the agency's director of diversity and transit equity. In a newly created role, Martin Gonzalez, a TriMet employee since 2007, will serve as multicultural program manager.

Bell, who reports to General Manager Neil McFarlane, will continue TriMet's regional and national leadership in transit equity, ensuring services and infrastructure are equitably distributed and accessible to diverse cultural, racial and economic communities throughout the agency's service area. Bell also will lead the agency's award-winning minority contracting efforts. Bell begins August 1.

Gonzalez will continue building TriMet's Limited English Proficiency program and provide leadership on internal and external issues around cultural competency including education, communications and staff and management training. He will begin in his new position August 1.

Bell brings a broad range of experience working in the region, most recently for U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley where he represented the Senator in Multnomah County, focusing on issues of diversity, community and government relations and environmental justice.

Gonzalez joined TriMet in 2007 after his work as executive director of the Portland Schools Alliance. He also worked 13 years at the American Friends Service Committee, working on statewide economic development efforts and training, leadership development and fundraising for Latino community organizations.

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