The 35 participants for LIT's Leadership Academy selected represent the public and private sector from across the country.  -  Photo: LIT

The 35 participants for LIT's Leadership Academy selected represent the public and private sector from across the country.

Photo: LIT

Latinos In Transit (LIT) selected the participants for its 2024 Leadership Academy — a program that allows transit professionals to learn about management practices, finance, procurement, labor relations, and regulatory compliance.

This year, LIT’s Leadership Academy (LITLA) is divided into four different development tracks: Making of An Executive, Leading in Middle Management, Transit Board Leadership, and New Careers in Transit.

The 35 participants selected represent the public and private sector from across the country.

"We eagerly extend our warmest welcome to the 35 LITLA participants embarking on their journey through the 2024 academy,” said Christina Villarreal, executive director, LIT and LITLA program coordinator. “Embracing diversity in transportation, we anticipate their transformative growth during this immersive experience. With great anticipation, we await the unveiling of their impactful capstone projects at the 2024 Leadership Summit in Portland, Oregon.”

Selections for Each Track

The 2024 LITLA Class participants for each track are:

New Careers in Transit track participants include Karla Martinez Gallardo, TriMet; Madeline Saldana, Lane Transit District; Meliton Chaidez, DILAX Systems US; and Melissa Martinez, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Leading in Middle Management participants for 2024 include Francis Rodriguez, Houston-Galveston Area Council; Marcela Moreno, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority; Brian Ramirez, WeDriveU; Lourdes Melissa Gomez, Sound Transit; Dioselyn Ayala-Moreno, SunLine Transit Agency; Cristobal Villegas, Jr., Utah Transit Authority; Nelson Valle, Transdev; Gaston Eugenio Kelly, Uber Technologies; Yanior Concepcion, Transdev; Matthew Nakano, Foothill Transit;

Elizabeth Zambrano, Access Services; Maria Cristina Hallner, National Express Transit Corp.; Rick Ramirez Diaz, Keolis; Ruben Ledesma, WeDriveU; Sanskrit Singh, WSP; Jocelin Padilla, Long Beach Transit; Edith Hernandez, SunLine Transit Agency; Eva Esquivel, HNTB Corp.; Lourdes L. Alvarez, Foothill Transit; Arantxa Contreras, Keolis; and Jessica Leon, SunLine Transit Agency.

Participants in the Making of an Executive group include Juan R. Guillermo, MeVa Transit; Jonathan Javier, Keolis; Daniela Waltersdorfer, HNTB; Hector Vargas, MV Transportation; Jesse Soto, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority; Juan A Lopez, MV Transportation; Ruben E Mendoza, MV Transportation; and Luefras Robinson, WSP.

Finally, Transit Board Leadership participants include Ramiro Navarro, Salem Area Mass Transit District d/ba Cherriots, and Michael Guzman, Denver Regional Transit District.

Leadership Academy Curriculum

Each track consists of five modules, with each module occurring once a month for five months starting in April 2024. Modules will be taught virtually by industry leaders.

Participants must complete a team project and presentation to graduate from the academy. Presentations will be made at the 2024 Leadership Summit in Portland, Ore., on Friday, Sept. 13.

LIT encourages anyone who is interested to attend the ceremony. Registration opens Monday, February 26.

Now in its third year, the LITLA Committee plans to implement new strategies to catapult the success of the program to expand its opportunities for Latinos and other minorities in the transit sector.

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