The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) Board of Directors unanimously appointed Gloria G. Salazar as CEO after the retirement of long-standing CEO Donna DeMartino.
Because of the RTD Board’s deliberate succession planning, they did not need a national recruitment when selecting a new CEO. When DeMartino announced her departure, she recommended the RTD Board look internally rather than externally for her replacement. “The existing team in place is the best choice for continued leadership at RTD,” DeMartino said. “Not only are they in place and able to lead RTD forward with minimal disruption, they are the best choice to continue RTD’s important and ongoing initiatives.” DeMartino said it was good to know RTD would be in “very capable and familiar hands.”
Salazar assumes this role with over 28 years of experience in the transit industry, including 18 years as RTD’s second-in-command. An inspiration who leads by example, Salazar has built a strong management and employee team to support her as CEO, according to the agency. Over her tenure as Deputy CEO/Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Salazar provided capable leadership over all aspects of RTD’s operations.
“It’s an honor to serve RTD, our Board, employees, and customers,” says Salazar. “I am very proud of what we have already accomplished and we still have a tremendous opportunity to further enhance our service to the community. I believe in the abilities and commitment of our employees to make it happen and I will continue to work alongside them.”
Salazar’s business acumen has consistently delivered balanced budgets without RTD incurring long-term commercial debt, according to the agency. She has designed effective business processes, implemented robust systems, and promoted fiscal responsibility among RTD employees. She was instrumental in the funding and building of long-term infrastructure projects, such as RTD’s Downtown Transit Center and Regional Transportation Center, the agency said in a statement.
Her leadership contributed greatly to RTD being recognized as the 2018 Outstanding System of the Year Award by the American Public Transportation Association.
In addition to her proven leadership, Salazar is a dynamic speaker who mentors employees and motivates others, including high school students. She relishes the opportunity to share her knowledge by teaching for the University of the Pacific and Willamette University’s Transit Management Certificate Program. Her passion to develop and encourage others was recognized with the John Lopez Inspirational Award, the highest honor given at RTD to an individual who inspires others and embodies the ideals of service and excellence.