COTA Board of Trustees to Engage Community in Search for New President/CEO

Columbus Chamber
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COLUMBUS, OH—The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees has charged an inclusive 13-member committee with leading the search for COTA’s next president/CEO. COTA will also directly seek input from Central Ohio residents about the qualities they expect to see in a new leader. W. Curtis Stitt, who has served as president/CEO since 2012, will retire Sept. 30.

“I’m pleased that COTA is undergoing a community process to fill this crucial leadership position,” Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said. “It is important that we identify an effective and visionary individual who will build upon Curtis’ achievements and seize the momentum we have generated on smart transportation.” 

The Selection Committee will seek input from approximately 60 community leaders who represent the authority’s numerous and diverse stakeholders. Stakeholders will be asked to share priorities for the next leader as well as desired professional experience, leadership characteristics and attributes. Additionally, COTA will request input from all its customers and service-area residents, which can be shared online at https://ceo.cota.com.

“As we anticipate an influx of new residents to Franklin County in the coming years, we need a transportation system that can serve their needs,” said Franklin County Commissioners President John O’Grady. “I look forward to hearing from our community in the process of selecting the right person to lead our transit efforts for the years to come.”

The selection committee will consist of:

  • Trudy Bartley, chair – associate vice president local government & community relations, The Ohio State University; vice chair, COTA Board of Trustees
  • Joy Bivens – director, Franklin County Job and Family Services
  • Bo Chilton – CEO, IMPACT Community Action
  • Karen Kostelak – chair, Columbus Advisory Committee on Disability Issues
  • Patrick Losinski – CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • Karen Morrison – president, OhioHealth Foundation; senior vice president, OhioHealth
  • William Murdock – executive director, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
  • David Norstrom – owner, DMN Enterprises; member, COTA Board of Trustees
  • Gina Ormond – vice president, associate general counsel, Nationwide Realty Investors; member, COTA Board of Trustees
  • Jean Carter Ryan – president, Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority; chair, COTA Board of Trustees
  • Elissa Schneider – chair, Transit Columbus
  • Michael Stevens – chief innovation officer, City of Columbus; member, COTA Board of Trustees
  • Craig Treneff – owner, Treneff Cozza Law, LLC; member, COTA Board of Trustees

“Under Curtis’ leadership, COTA has launched transformative new projects, such as the Transit System Redesign, the NextGen planning process, CBUS, CMAX, AirConnect and new service to job centers in Rickenbacker and New Albany,” Trudy Bartley said. “Our next president and CEO must see these projects through while preparing COTA to serve a growing community with diverse transit options.” 

COTA also has hired the firm BeecherHill to assist in the search. BeecherHill has recently helped to navigate successful leadership search processes for COSI, the United Way of Central Ohio and The Ohio State University Alumni Association.

COTA’s goal is to have a new president/CEO on board early in 2018.