Metrolink is southern California's regional passenger rail service that connects people, communities, and businesses.  -  Photo: Metrolink

Metrolink is southern California's regional passenger rail service that connects people, communities, and businesses.

Photo: Metrolink

Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle announced the appointments of Don Filippi as COO and Arnold Hackett as CFO, and the addition of Paul Hubler as CSO. 

The appointments follow Kettle’s selection as CEO of the region’s passenger rail service in September 2021.

“We have ambitious plans to transform Metrolink into the backbone of the region’s transportation system — one that enables people to connect to opportunity, family and fun across all six counties,” Kettle said. “Achieving our vision as we emerge from the pandemic will require a strong leadership team that brings both focus and innovation. We are thrilled with Don’s and Arnold’s vital contributions to the team from their previous interim roles and look forward to the fresh perspectives, ideas and connections that Paul will bring as he joins our dynamic team.”

As the interim Metrolink COO since February 2021, Filippi has led the operations team through the COVID-19 pandemic. Those challenges included ensuring the continuity of operations, implementing enhanced cleaning and sanitizing practices, and optimizing train schedules to meet the evolving needs of essential workers. 

Filippi brings nearly 27 years of freight and passenger rail experience from both the public and private sectors, and a background in safety and operations. Before assuming the interim chief operations role, he was overseeing Metrolink’s safety, security, and compliance program since December 2018.

Filippi joined Metrolink in 2018 from the North County Transit District (NCTD), where he served as COO and CSO. Prior to NCTD, Filippi served for five years at the California Public Utilities Commission, rising to the position of superintendent, rail transit safety section, and 14 years with Union Pacific Railroad, where he served as a switchman, a locomotive engineer, and ultimately rose to a manager of operating practices.

Hackett joined the agency as a technology consultant in May 2019. He is credited with implementing process and policy enhancements that improved Metrolink’s financials and transparency. In May 2021, Hackett was selected by the Metrolink Board of Directors as its interim CEO following the departure of Stephanie Wiggins. When Kettle assumed the CEO position in September 2021, Hackett was tapped as interim CSO.

Hackett has more than 30 years of experience in the private technology industry at the Xerox Corporation where he served as VP and GM of Alliance and Partnership Management. He holds a Bachelor of Science from UCLA, a Master of Science in computer science from California State University, Long Beach, and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

Hubler will join Metrolink on Feb. 28 as the CSO, providing executive oversight and leadership for planning, government and community relations, sustainability initiatives and railroad services. Hubler has more than 25 years of experience in transportation policy and legislative and public affairs.

Prior to joining Metrolink, Hubler was the director of government and community relations for the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments for 14 years, responsible for securing grant funding for the Alameda Corridor-East rail infrastructure construction program in Los Angeles County.