After knowing each other and forming a friendship since the early 2000s, USSC Group Executive VP Ray Melleady and Mark Aesch, founder/owner of TransPro Consulting, formed a partnership to help those in the industry that are most in need of help, including Sonny Gordon in 2022.  -  Photo: Rays the Mark

After knowing each other and forming a friendship since the early 2000s, USSC Group Executive VP Ray Melleady and Mark Aesch, founder/owner of TransPro Consulting, formed a partnership to help those in the industry that are most in need of help, including Sonny Gordon in 2022.

Photo: Rays the Mark

The Rays the Mark Foundation is inviting the public transportation industry to help identify the honoree for the third year of its program.

If you know of someone who has truly "raised the mark" of the industry and made your organization and our industry better for it, submit an application for consideration.

Foundation’s History

After knowing each other and forming a friendship since the early 2000s, USSC Group Executive VP Ray Melleady and Mark Aesch, founder/owner of TransPro Consulting, formed a partnership to help those in the industry that are most in need of help.

“Our main goal is to support people in the transit industry that have made the world, and our collective worlds, a better place — people who have truly ‘raised the mark’ of society and our everyday elements of interaction — but through no fault of their own — have fallen on tough times and need the industry to rally together and support them,” Aesch told METRO last year. “We are all one minute from being that person. Together, we wanted to create a platform to precisely help those people, when our industry needs to remember them the most.”

Through this industry's generosity the foundation has collectively raised more than $150,000 to distribute to much deserving individuals in their time of need.

In 2022, the foundation honored Sonny Gordon, a long-time USSC employee who was struggling with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and has since passed.

“Beyond the financial contribution that we were able to make to his family to help pay for some of his medical bills and other expenses, the value of the event was bringing his family and colleagues together to celebrate him,” said Melleady. “I told a story about Sonny as we honored him at dinner, where I said that I never left a conversation with him where he didn't make you feel better at the end than you did going into it. At that point, everybody in the room applauded and Sonny stood up to acknowledge the crowd. I think that moment made the entire event a success.”

In 2023, more than 100 people gathered at the Celebration Golf Club in Orlando for an event held in conjunction with APTA TRANSform & EXPO to support Lauren Cochran Scoville in her battle with breast cancer.

“I am grateful to be selected as this year’s honoree,” said Cochran Scoville. “The public transit industry is so tightly knit and special. We take care of each other — especially those in need. I hope my story raises awareness about breast cancer in young adults and motivates women of all ages to be diligent about monthly self-checks.”

Continuing the Foundation’s Work

To nominate this year’s honoree, visit raysthemarkfoundation.com and click on the “Suggest An Honoree” tab. Applications will be open until April 1, 2024, with the 2024 honoree being selected in April and honored at a golf outing in Anaheim on September 28.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2024 Rays the Mark golf outing will be available soon after an honoree is selected.

About the author
Alex Roman

Alex Roman

Executive Editor

Alex Roman is Executive Editor of METRO Magazine — the only magazine serving the public transit and motorcoach industries for more than 100 years.

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