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TRAC Board 2008

TRAC Board candidates for 2008

--Compiled by Alan C. Miller


Los Angeles County

I am a native of Glendale, CA, a registered civil engineer. My career spans three stages of rail transportation: operations and maintenance of way for the Southern Pacific (18 years), design and operations consulting (5 years) and construction and maintenance operations for Metrolink in Los Angeles (14 years).  All three of these have provided a broad background on California transportation infrastructure, engineering principles, and practical economics of railroad operations.

I believe that advocacy for practical, incremental, affordable public investment in transportation infrastructure and operation must be based on sound knowledge of the existing conditions, the best current practice for design, construction, maintenance, and operations, and with a vision of how planners in future decades will utilize and build upon the projects we develop.  Preserving the existing rights of way for the transportation needs of the future is a starting point.

San Diego County
A native of Chicago, IL, I grew up in Southern California watching sugar beet trains along Southern Pacific¹s Coast Line.  Graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in Aero Engineering, I spent 22 years as a Naval Aviator, flying in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters.  Since retiring from the Navy I¹ve been employed by a Defense Contractor in San Diego and am currently serving as the Director of Strategic Business Activities.  I¹ve been interested in rail transportation my entire life and use AMTRAK¹s California and long distance trains at every opportunity.  I¹ve been a regular user of the Coast Starlight for the last ten years, riding between SOCAL and Seattle to our corporate headquarters. During that time I¹ve watched AMTRAK¹s premier long distance train deteriorate to the sad state it is in today. 
Several years ago I joined TRAC in attempt to become more involved in the future of our rail systems.  Last year I was elected to the Board only to find out we were involved in a number of very contentious issues.  This past year has been interesting to say the least.  As an organization we have gone through some stressful times but came together in the end with our support of improvements to the Coast Starlight schedule.  I¹m convinced that as an organization we have learned this year what we can accomplish when we work together and I look forward to serving on the board for another year and returning TRAC to an effective force for improvement of California Rail.  On a National level, I believe we are in a holding fight trying to guarantee we don¹t lose anymore ground in our struggle to preserve the current National route structure.  Across the country local and state organizations are again discovering the importance of rail, while our National leadership is apparently trying to tear it down. It is extremely important at this juncture that we maintain our route system and work towards improved service to give our Federal and State agencies the time to develop sound and workable rail strategies.  We have some tough times ahead but the future is looking bright and rail, as the only environmentally sound choice for mass transportation, again gains support across all levels of Government. I would be honored to be reelected to the TRAC board or to the position of Vice President.
Los Angeles County

Bart Reed is the Executive Director of The Transit Coalition; a San Fernando Valley based nonprofit dealing with transportation policy, planning and land use issues. In this capacity, he is a nationwide advocate for effective transportation systems and solutions. Reed, an often quoted transit advocate, addresses citizen and community groups about public transportation issues, including autos, rail, bus, bicycles, roads, ADA, goods movement and pedestrian safety. He frequently travels to Washington, DC and Sacramento to educate elected representatives on rail and bus transportation issues. He produces and conducts outreach programs and meetings to demonstrate support for public transit initiatives.

Reed has developed and promoted the Metrolink Max project, in conjunction with Numan Parada, Richard Tolmach and Michael McGinley. The objective is to see Metrolink service increased with service running every 30 minutes on 4 Los Angeles County routes. To move this forward, Reed has spoken before numerous public groups (Valley Vote, Economic Alliance), public events (Santa Monica Alt Car Expo, Santa Monica College Classes) and the program has a public face with our staffing of tables (Alt Car Expo, Buena Park Metrolink Station Grand Opening).

Reed has served on many Boards and understands how to develop and mentor a growing organization. Additionally, Reed goes to Sacramento on a regular basis to support CA High Speed Rail, the Green Line Construction Authority and public transit funding.

Along with Jerard Wright, Reed has promoted the Metro Downtown Regional Connector, which is currently undergoing Alternatives Analysis. Additionally, he helped promote the ongoing study of the Harbor Subdivision, which could bring Metrolink service to the South bay and Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles County

Professional History:

€       Employed for 38 years by the County of Los Angeles; presently in the Executive position of Division Director, responsible for Sheriff¹s Department¹s Financial, Human Resources and Facilities Planning operations.
     €       Past assignments have been in positions of Personnel, Fiscal and Facilities Directors with management responsibility of 700 staff members.
      €       Involved in Personnel Administration, budget preparation, expenditure and revenue control, grant management and Capital Project planning and design, and construction.

Interest in Trains:

       €       Long time supporter of train travel and the importance of expanding and improving passenger train service in the United States.
€       Traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada on long distance trains, and frequent user of California train service such as Pacific Surfliner.
        €       Member of TRAC for over ten years and supporter of its mission to expand and improve passenger train service in California, and its past successes in the expansion of service with the Capital Corridors, San Joaquins, and Pacific Surfliners.
        €       The next few years are critical to the future of passenger train service and TRAC must remain a ³Front Line² player in this area.
       € Immediate objective is the protection of long distance passenger train service and more frequent inter-city rail service in California.

Los Angeles County

I retired after over 30 years of product design and development work in the diesel engine business.  The last twenty years of my employment was with what was the Garrett Corporation Automotive Products Division, the world¹s largest turbocharger manufacturer (now known as Honeywell). I held many engineering positions including Chief Engineer, Passenger Car Division.

My involvement and interest in passenger car rail started as a child with weekend trips to the railyards with my father and daily travel to high school on the ³red car².  I have been a member of the Pacific Railroad Society for over 20 years.  I even carry my interest in rail to the point of investment wherein my wife and I are the proud owners of several railroad tank cars currently in revenue service. 

My involvement with TRAC has been in the distribution of our newspaper in the southern California area. 

My main retirement activity has been animal assisted therapy with my three certified therapy dogs, Rico, Kip, and Rusty.   On the average of three times a week we visit all types of hospitals, childrens homes and rehabilitation centers.

I have always been a promoter of energy conservation.  We drive a Prius ®, make over 9 kilowatt-hrs of electrical power each day with PV panels on our home and have had a solar hot water system heating system for over 20 years.  The promotion of passenger rail is a key element in reducing our nation¹s energy consumption.

Los Angeles County

Jerard Wright is currently Chair of Metro's Westside/Central Sector Governance Council.  He is also Vice President of The Transit Coalition and has been an active member with the Transit Coalition for 5 years. In addition, he is a regular user of public transportation since he does all of his activities without an automobile. 

He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) with a BA in Architecture with a minor in City and Regional planning.   At IIT he was active in Student government and help lobby the CTA to bring back the ³U-Pass² discount pass program back to the students.   With his architectural and planning background he is an advocate for carefully designed Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) that emphasizes the Transit first in a TOD rather than as an after thought.

He currently resides in Downtown Los Angeles working as a Construction Assistant for the Alhambra Unified School District and performs architectural, design and presentation services under his business called the Wright Concept. 

One of the presentations Wright designed was the Downtown Regional Connector (DTRC) that was presented at the March 17th NARP / TTC conference at Metro Gateway Headquarters. The presentation has been a key reason this project has made serious headway with the public officials. Metro is currently conducting a study of the DTRC in the Alternative Analysis process and the DTRC is one of the top performing projects on Metro¹s Long Range Transit Plan.

Alameda County

Like many Americans, I grew up without the opportunity to ride passenger trains; I was born in July 1955 and the last passenger train left the depot in my home town in August 1955. Fortunately, on a youth study trip to Europe I discovered the many advantages of quality public transportation and I have been a rider and advocate ever since. I have ridden most of Amtrak's routes at least once, commute to work on the Capitol Corridor trains, and am a member of TRAC and NARP.

On the local public transportation level, I have worked on campaigns for transportation sales tax measures and served on the board of the Alliance for AC Transit. As a state-wide organization TRAC has a wider focus and I welcome the opportunity to be an advocate for improved passenger rail service in California as well as better rail connections between California and our neighboring states.

Sacramento County

I've worked in the public transportation field for 28 years. The first five years I was employed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in Washington, D.C. where I certified employee protection agreements for recipients of federal mass transportation funds (which included review of the agreements, providing technical advice, and mediation). I also conducted arbitrations in connection with the National Rail Passenger Service Act  (Amtrak) of 1970 for a small group of railroad and Amtrak employees. Since then, most of my professional career has been in intercity rail passenger service, including work on the AB 971 study that began high speed rail study in California and the ACR 136 study that resulted in Capitol Corridor service.

I have been a member of TRAC since its inception and am an officer of the California Rail Foundation.  I served as treasurer of TRAC for a year commencing in November 2004.  I desire to be continued on the Board but do not wish to be secretary for 2008.

Sacramento County

I've been a proud member of NARP as well as Craig O'Connell's Friends of Amtrak group for 8 years, and I'm glad to be a part of TRAC as well.  I was born in New York and grew up on Long Island for 23 years. I graduated from Hofstra University with a major in Management and a minor in Accounting. When getting around the New York area, I utilized public transportation a lot whether it was Nassau County's local bus system, the Long Island Railroad, (pronounced by locals as L I double R), and New York's subways. Because I thought I was always going to be a New Yorker and was proud to use transit, I didn't learn how to drive until I was 19. And that was after my parents made me learn.

It's also been during the past 8 years that I've been riding Amtrak trains around the country. During my travels my mind opened up about what America's really all about with the things I saw from the train, the people I met, and the places I visited. It was also during my travels where I discovered California and my heart felt it belonged elsewhere.

In 2002 I made the move out to Northern California and started working in the retail and then moving onto working for the state. As for my daily commute, I've been commuting on Sacramento's RT light-rail and bus system for over 2 years. I also use LA's Metro system whenever I go down there to attend LA Kings hockey games. I also hope to see local transit systems expanded, the current Amtrak service improved, and the establishment of high-speed rail.

Besides just promote transit and Amtrak travel by word of mouth, I've had letters to the editor published in USA Today, the Sacramento Bee, and US News & World Report, advocating more government investment in passenger rail.

As a TRAC Board Member I will help maintain our mission of promoting passenger rail as an alternative mode of transportation by continuing to get letters to the editor or even guest comments published in major publications. It's imperative that all rail groups shout out why passenger rail is now more important than ever with the high gas prices, concerns about air quality, congestion, and even the air travel experience that's been the reality the past few years.

I will work to expand membership by reaching out across the state. More membership will give TRAC a louder voice for lawmakers in Sacramento and local communities to hear in regards to passenger rail. I believe my education and experience with passenger rail will be a good asset for TRAC to have and I look forward to having an active role with the organization.

Santa Clara County

I'm 34 years old and work as Director of Software Engineering for a small Internet company called Travelzoo. I was elected as a TRAC board member at last year's meeting and had helped set up a redesigned website for TRAC the year before.

I was born and had lived in Switzerland until 3 years ago and have been interested in trains ever since my grandmother started taking me along on her visits to relatives when I was 4 years old or so. After having lived in Switzerland all these years while relying on public transportation for all my mobility needs, I have a good idea what we're missing out on here in California ... I like to ride trains and was fortunate to have the opportunity to make a cross-country trip on Amtrak in the spring of 2006. I've also traveled extensively on all kinds of trains in Europe - my favorite experience so far would be the French TGV high speed trains. In my spare time, I also write and operate a train-related "blog" (website) at"

Contra Costa County

I¹m Bill McGeehan and I¹m running for re-election as President of TRAC. To give you some background on myself, I grew up in Hazelton, Pennsylvania. I studied at the John Miller School For Arts and Sciences and then moved to Kansas City, Missouri to study audio engineering at the University of Missouri. I moved to California in my early twenties to escape the weather conditions that plague other parts of the country. I¹ve worked in the fields of disabled adaptive technology and design, within the transportation industry, for almost twenty years.  My love of trains probably started years ago, as a child with my first train set. Now I work both as an advocate for TRAC and for myself as a train passenger. I think the passenger rail system is going to see some of the best innovations and changes over the next several years, with progress and push from the train riding community, leading many other forms of transportation.

Having served as a board member from 2004-2005 and having served as your TRAC President this last year, I¹m looking forward to another year of representing you and, along with the other board members, taking TRAC into a fruitful 2008. This last year, we, the board, have represented you in many ways. I had the opportunity to work with the design team at Amtrak on new sleeper car bathrooms. I was able to point out problems and positives with the design that will hopefully help passengers with mobility issues once those cars end up on the rails. We, as your board, have made contact and had meetings with many people that are at the forefront of train travel and the decision-making process that governs it.

Personally, I can¹t think of any other way I¹d like to travel than by train. It is the ONLY way I travel outside of California. I¹ve logged about 370, 000 miles so far by Amtrak and can¹t wait until I hit the half-million mark, which I¹m determined to do. I want you to know that representing you, working with the board and the executive director, meeting many different folks and traveling throughout California as President of  the Train Riders Association of California has been an honor and a thrill and I hope you re-elect me as your President so we can do it all again. Thank you.

Sacramento County

Moe Mohanna emigrated to the United States from Iran in the late 60s. He was in his late teens at the time.  His early years in the country were in the Boston area, where he learned the meaning of the phrase ³cold and wet².  California, with its sunshine and diversity attracted him, and he joined us here in the Capitol city in 1974.  His civil engineering degree, work ethic and culture have helped him rise to the top of both of Sacramento¹s development community and its social welfare infrastructure.  In his own words:  ³I¹ve noticed that volunteerism is a strong pillar of this [Sacramento] community and I have learned and enjoyed doing a lot of volunteer work with a lot of wonderful friends and people.²

With such a background he will be a great contributor to TRAC and its mission.  He has partnered with TRAC to oppose an impractical [and possibly illegal] rearrangement of Sacramento¹s RT rail stations, a stance that has made him persona non grata among some in city officialdom.  With his characteristic smile and a shrug he notes ³That¹s politics

While his wife Nasrin is not running for the board, she¹s truly, in the American phrase ³his better half².  Her stewardship of the Mohanna dominion allows Moe a chance to volunteer his help for the numerous many who have greatly benefited from it.  TRAC can use several of his areas of expertise immeasurably, his engineering, his business acumen, and his understanding of the strength of volunteering.  

The list of the Mohannas¹ (note the plural) successes stretches to several rolls of printer paper.  Let¹s just sum up by noting that they¹re strong believers in economic efficiency in all forms of transportation and he sprinkles in a Persian spice to the many flavors on the TRAC Board¹s plate. 

Sacramento County

Bob Reynolds is a second-generation Californian and fourth-generation rail man.  His ancestors and relatives have worked on American iron horses since the mid-1800s, some getting killed during the notorious early days.  He has traveled on the rails in Europe and Asia and has visited many of the US¹s steam excursion operations over the last twenty years.   He travels on the west Coast¹s commercial rails frequently.  He started volunteering at TRAC after 2003¹s RAIL 2020 conference with an interest in California¹s evolving rail passenger network.  He has since increased membership rolls at TRAC by more than ten percent and joined the Board last year on a unanimous vote. (Okay, all the votes were unanimous by acclamation.)
He is a St. Mary¹s College of California graduate and has taught college and high school, flown Navy carrier jets, and managed several military programs over a 37 year career.  In 2003 he retired from Air Force civil service as the business manager for the F-117 Stealth Fighter program office.  He fills his retired days baby-sitting three avid railfan-toddlers, supplemented with volunteer activities and teaching religion to fifth graders.  Last year the Friends of Amtrak web-published his fascinating account of TRAC¹s Board Meeting aboard the northbound Starlight, augmented with Rich McLaughlin¹s photos of the event.

He married Kathy in 1974 and they have two adult daughters.  She served thirty years as an Air Force nurse, retiring in 2001.  Her father and grandfather were railroad men, too.  He has volunteered to be TRAC¹s Secretary and asks you to vote to elect him to that post.

Sacramento County

I have over 30 years experience in planning and analyzing rail passenger service, and participated in many of the key decisions that brought new train service to California in the 70¹s, 80¹s and 90¹s. In 1984, I helped to found TRAC and since that time I have devoted about 600 hours annually to TRAC¹s efforts to promote and improve California¹s rail services. I would like to continue to help direct the organization, because the momentum we are gaining from efforts by volunteers and supporters is very satisfying.
TRAC has again become a leader in promoting new services, such as regional commuter improvements for the Marin-Sonoma corridor, Santa Barbara area, and Altamont Pass, and we are having success at getting our representatives placed on key study committees. Ideas we have advanced like hourly timed connections at Los Angeles and a regional network of timed service throughout Southern California have gained currency.

I am also proud of the progress TRAC has made in making alliances with key environmental groups including Friends of the Earth, the Planning and Conservation League, and Resources Legacy Fund, which promise future concerted action regarding high speed rail, rail capital funding, and smart growth efforts. TRAC¹s active stance has been noticed and we are back on the radar of politicians and decisionmakers.

Sacramento County

Anna Marie Young is a UC Davis student close to completing a degree in Community and Regional Development with an emphasis in Transportation Planning and Policy.  Her particular focus is on improving pedestrian and transit networks and the interface between the two.  She resides in Sacramento and commutes to Davis via bicycle and a 12 minute train ride on Amtrak's Capitol Corridor Route. 

After she graduated high school in Boise, ID she joined Americorps National Civilian Community Corps.  In 2001 she moved to California to take advantage of the College and University System.  As a College of the Redwoods student Anna Marie led the efforts to subsidize bus service for rural community college students.  In 2005 she moved to Sacramento to continue her education at UC Davis.  Last summer Anna Marie participated in a summer abroad program in Scandinavia and Germany, studying landscape architecture and transportation policy.

She is currently interning for the California Transportation Commission and WALKSacramento (a local pedestrian advocacy organization).  For the CTC, she has been helping to update the Regional Transportation Plan guidelines to promote planning practices that will help the State reach its Green House Gas emission reduction goals.  For WALKSacramento, she is developing a plan to improve walking, bicycling, and transit access to four Community Colleges in the Sacramento region.

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