Michael Tree, executive director of the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, announced that he will be passing the agency’s leadership baton to Deputy Executive Director/Program Manager Kevin Sheridan at the end of February 2022.
Tree's leadership on the Valley Link project spans nearly five years, three at the helm as the agency’s first executive director when it was established in January 2019 and two years prior to that on initiatives which led to the agency’s formation.
“Michael recognizes the very urgent need for this project and has been its tireless advocate since even before day one,” said Veronica Vargas, Authority board chair. “He has been instrumental in establishing the Authority and bringing it to a point where it is now equipped to meet its mission to deliver the Valley Link rail project. I also give him credit for identifying a successor who can move the project into its next phase and get construction underway."
As executive director, Tree oversaw the completion of the legislatively mandated Project Feasibility Report, which identified project features including alignment, stations, and the system’s operating characteristics. During his tenure, the project also cleared critical milestones with completion of the project Environmental Impact Report and preliminary engineering.
“I am so grateful for Michael’s leadership on our project and amazed that he was able to accomplish so much, while also holding a dual role of Executive Director for the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority," said Melissa Hernandez, Authority vice-chair. "He has been highly successful in both roles. Handling either alone in itself would be no small feat. We certainly owe him a great debt of gratitude.”
“It’s been quite a ride,” Tree said. “I have a passion for this project and will continue to be its biggest advocate as it moves forward. I am very proud of all that we have accomplished so far.”