Omaha, Nebraska is a thriving economic hub with quality universities, hospitals, Fortune 500 companies, and growing entrepreneurial and technological sectors. With low unemployment and cost of living, Omaha’s population continues to grow, and the metro area is quickly approaching one million residents ranking it the 42nd largest city in the United States.
Omaha’s riverfront and downtown area have experienced tremendous growth with over two billion dollars in new development including a one-of-a-kind $22 million pedestrian S-bridge that curves its way across the Missouri River giving Omaha visitors a breathtaking view of the ever-changing skyline, as well as the CHI Health Center, a new convention center, and a new arena that attracts big name talents and hosts technology-rich venues for conventions. Additionally, Omaha is robust with public art displayed around the city including a $2 million public arts project called “Illumina” which houses over 40 sculptures inspired by the 13th Century Carnival of Venice.
With all of Omaha’s tremendous growth and economic development comes a rising regional population that will result in increased traffic congestion and commute times. Metro provides the mobility services necessary to offset the negative impacts of continued growth.
The Transit Authority of the City of Omaha (“Metro”) is a public transportation agency offering both fixed route and commuter bus services as well as demand response paratransit to the metropolitan area of Omaha, Nebraska, serving a territory that is approximately 100 square miles or approximately 85% of the City of Omaha. Metro also offers contracted commuter services to 4 other contiguous cities in Nebraska – Bellevue, Ralston, LaVista, and Papillion – and to Council Bluffs, Iowa. Metro has oversight of 2600 stops, 5 transit centers, and 50 passenger waiting shelters as well as a fleet of small, medium, and large buses for their fixed route services and cutaway vans for paratransit operations.
Metro is governed by a board of 5 mayoral appointments approved by Omaha City Council and the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. Metro is funded through a combination of tax and fare revenue, federal and state funding, and contract agreements for service areas outside the Omaha city limits with a total operating budget of approximately $29.8 million. The majority of Metro’s operating expenses are covered by tax revenue with bus fares making up a small portion of their funds. Capital projects are funded by local and federal grants as well as through funding from local business partners.
Metro ridership surpassed 4 million riders in 2012 and the city’s interest in expanding transit services has increased over the years. Metro has been committed to growing their agency and providing high quality services to Omaha passengers, having undergone periods of transformation and rebranding that have successfully improved service quality and passenger experience. Currently, Metro is developing a rapid transit service (ORBT), one of the most competitive transit investments in the region, that will improve services, sustainability, and passenger experience through innovative technology and roadway upgrades including new raised-platform stations, transit signal priority, and segments of designated bus lanes. ORBT is expected to start serving Omaha transit customers as early as this upcoming fall and will vastly improve efficiency and increase service capabilities by connecting passengers along the spine of Metro’s system to hospitality, retail, recreation, employment, and more. The new fleet will consist of 60-foot articulated buses powered by compressed natural gas and equipped with improved passenger amenities such as on-board Wi-Fi.
Metro is a service-oriented agency dedicated to connecting the community through quality transit services to the people and places that matter most. Current transit development projects are expected to bring Omaha to the forefront of the transit industry in the Midwest region and improve services to the growing Omaha community, bringing business development and increasing connection across the city while streamlining service and innovating passenger experience, sustainability, and transit design. Specific initiatives include:
“Connect Go”, a partnership of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, which aims to establish an actionable and unified regional transportation plan, and the potential for Metro to transition to an independent regional transit authority with an enhanced budget.
“Smart Cities”, a collaborative effort to utilize technology and innovation to solve transportation and mobility issues in the Omaha Metro area.
Metro recently undertook “Project Phoenix”, a strategic initiative aimed at making Metro a great place to work by creating a stronger culture and improving the way that employees work together. Building a stronger internal culture will allow Metro to more effectively respond to operational demands, which will allow Metro to expand and provide better customer service to the Community.
The Omaha metro area needs reliable, quality public transportation to grow sustainably and serve the diverse needs of their residents. Metro connects the Omaha community through quality transit services to the people and places that matter most.
Metro strives to be a valued transportation choice for all members of the community and a vital partner in Omaha’s future.
UNITY: Metro is a team with a common purpose.
RESPONSIBILITY: Metro takes pride in their work and are committed to going above and beyond.
CARE: Metro cares about their customers and each other.
RESOURCEFULNESS: Metro is adaptable and driven to overcome challenges.
LEARNING: Metro is always training for tomorrow.
APPRECIATION: Metro is motivated to provide a quality of life for employees and their loved ones through competitive wages and compensation.
SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (hereinafter referred to as “CEO”) is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of Metro, as well as short- and long-range capital and maintenance plans and programs. Additionally, the CEO will be responsible for leading Metro and setting a vision as it embarks upon becoming a regional Authority. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of successfully managing a large, complex, and diverse organization that operates to provide the highest quality of service to its customers. Fiscal responsibility, executive presence, the ability to listen, communicate, engage, and empower employees and stakeholders is essential to Metro’s success. This success will be predicated on the CEO’s ability to set a vision for the organization and adopt innovative transit mobility solutions that meet the needs of the community and that provide equitable solutions to customer needs while not compromising existing service.
Additionally, Metro’s next CEO will be visible throughout the organization, engage his or her staff, empower them to lead their departments, and provide the tools necessary to take policy set by the Board and execute that into actionable results. The CEO will have outstanding business skills and a strong understanding of how technology and digital communication impact transit, its riders, and the community. The CEO will listen closely to the needs of the community and its stakeholders and lead the organization to continuously evaluate and adapt its programs and services to meet those needs. The CEO must also have strong financial management, strategic planning, public relations, community relations and governmental relations skills.
As Metro embarks on becoming a regional Authority, the CEO will be integral to the future success of the Authority as it strives to improve mobility solutions in and around Omaha and provide greater access to the region. This will require innovative financial and operational solutions and the ability to be nimble and flexible to take calculated risks that will position the Authority to be a transit leader. These solutions will in turn lead to smart growth, increased business opportunities, jobs, and economic development for the region.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a background and ability as grouped in the following areas:
GENERAL TRANSIT MANAGEMENT
Experience managing a customer-centric, publicly financed organization that provides year-round transit service to its customers on a daily basis with an emphasis on safety, security, reliability, cost competitiveness and on-time performance.
Keen understanding of transit-oriented development and a demonstrated success in partnering with developers, local government, and businesses to identify opportunities to tie transit and development together to provide equitable work-life balance solutions for customers.
Experience with promoting and developing equitable solutions to first and last-mile connections that are innovative and will in turn increase ridership and customer service.
Understanding of current transit and mobility trends and practices both nationally and internationally that are meeting the rapidly changing needs of customers.
Proven understanding of how technology impacts organizations and demonstrated digital fluency that will help to ensure a more efficient and equitable transit system.
Capable of partnering locally with other transportation service providers to transform the operational services provided by a legacy agency to meet mobility demands in an affordable and cost-effective manner.
Ability to oversee the operation of an aging fleet of vehicles and infrastructure and provide asset management oversight to ensure that utilization is being maximized and repairs and replacements are being conducted timely and efficiently.
Organizational Performance & Mission Impact: designs and administers the programs and services so that they will achieve stated goals and objectives (evaluates and ensures the effectiveness of these programs and services).
Works with the Board, staff, and partners to develop strategies for achieving mission, goals, and financial stability.
Sees that programs and activities are developed, executed, modified, or eliminated to maximize mission impact.
Appropriately provides both support and leadership to the Board.
Demonstrates quality of analysis and judgment related to progress and opportunities and needs for changes.
Maintains and utilizes a working knowledge of sufficient developments and trends in the field in which the organization works.
Establishes ambitious goals for excellence and impact and initiates, maintains, and adapts programs accordingly.
Financial Sustainability: develops and recommends to the Board an annual budget for their approval (manages the agency within the approved budget guidelines).
Possesses strong financial management skills.
Assures adequate control and accounting of all funds, including maintaining sound financial practices.
Works with staff, finance committee, and the Board to prepare annual budgets, monitor progress, and initiate changes (to operations and/or to budgets) as appropriate.
Oversee single and triennial audits and sees that official records and documents are retained; ensures compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
Develops realistic, ambitious plans for acquiring funds from state funding and various tax levies.
Collaborates with designated officers to execute legal documents appropriately.
Demonstrated capability to identify, develop, and create new and/or alternate revenue streams to strengthen transit services, including successfully involving others in fundraising and in earned income generation.
Establishes positive relationships with institutional funders such as foundations, government agencies, corporations, and so forth.
Establishes positive relationships with individual donors.
Reviews and ensures compliance with the Company Asset Plan.
Demonstrated ability to manage agency assets in order to optimize the utilization of public-private partnerships, grant programs and allocations, farebox revenues, and public funding.
Responsibility for pension plan funding, health plans, other insurance plans, actuaries, retirement programs, investing programs and other employee benefit programs
Relationship with Board of Directors: keeps the Board fully informed on the condition of Metro so that the Board can carry out its governance function.
Develops a strong working relationship and effective two-way communication with the Board.
Assists the Board chair to appropriately involve all Board members.
Advises the Board on stakeholder feedback and expectations that will assist the Board in developing policy objectives that are in line with these stakeholders’ needs.
Assists the Board in its policymaking duties by keeping them informed of agency operations, actions, and decisions.
Provides appropriate support to the Board.
Sees that Board members are kept fully informed in a timely way on the condition of the organization and important factors influencing it.
Advises the Board on the agency’s progress in implementing actionable plans that achieve the Board’s short- and long-term transit objectives.
Sees that Board committees are appropriately supported.
Advises, informs, and keeps the Board aware of Metro’s engagement efforts at a local, state, and national level to address its operational and financial state as well as its capital and funding needs.
Engages and partners with Board members to advocate on behalf of Metro with elected officials at local, state, and national levels to ensure that Metro continues to demonstrate its commitment to quality service, increased mobility, regional economic growth, and sustainable development.
Works with Board officers to ensure that the Board is effective as a body and that recruitment, involvement, and departures of individual Board members are appropriately planned and managed.
Administration & Human Resources: effectively manages the human resources of Metro.
Manages the organization efficiently and effectively and establishes and leads an effective management team.
Encourages, empowers, and challenges the executive management team and their departments to think “outside the box” and offers customer-centric solutions that are innovative and properly respond to customer needs.
Recruits, develops, mentors, and retains a diverse staff.
Ensures that procedures and organizational culture maximize volunteer involvement.
Ensures compliance with relevant workplace policies and employment laws.
Provides strategic vision and guidance to ensure that the agency has successful succession and employee development plans in place and provides leadership to encourage employees to take initiative and develop within the organization.
Implements Board policy via actionable management plans and provides strategic direction to senior management that will enable the effective execution of these policies.
Ensures that job descriptions are developed and that regular performance reviews are completed and documented.
Leads staff in maintaining a climate of excellence, accountability, trust and respect.
Maintains a healthy working relationship with Metro’s collective bargaining units and provides direction and input for labor relations activities, including labor contract negotiations.
Treats all employees (represented and non-represented) fairly and provides an open, collaborative, positive, professional, and safe work environment.
Community Leadership: serves as chief spokesperson and thereby assures that Metro and its mission are properly presented.
Represents the organization well to its constituencies, including clients, other nonprofits, government agencies, elected officials, funders, and the general public.
Develop strong trusting relationships with businesses and philanthropic leaders to build support for Metro’s business and future plans as well as support to raise funds for future needs.
Demonstrated ability to engage and work effectively and persuasively with elected officials, local, state and federal agencies, the business community, communities of color, the faith-based community, the disabled community, organized labor, public constituencies, NGOs, educational and health leaders, the press, and other stakeholders.
Supports the overall field/movement; establishes and makes use of working relationships with organizations and individuals in the field.
Demonstrated ability to oversee the development of an effective marketing and public outreach plan to create a culture and strong public image that promotes the agency, its services, and increases ridership.
Meets regularly with Metro’s stakeholders, listens carefully, and responds appropriately to gain buy-in and implement solutions that try to meet their needs and expectations.
Sees that communication strategies are developed and utilized to the fullest extent.
Interacts and communicates regularly with employees, customers, the public, elected officials, the press, and all other stakeholders to provide transparency and insight into the agency’s implementation of policies and agendas that meet both Board policy and stakeholder expectations.
Maintains on-going and effective communication with governmental agencies and elected officials (state, local, and federal) to assure maximum cooperation and to achieve the maximum amount of support and funding available.
Provides a non-partisan outreach program that addresses the needs of all community members and identifies common objectives and goals.
Listens, responds to, and addresses all community transit needs regardless of the origin in a fair, open, transparent, honest, sincere, and committed manner.
Identifies and implements partnership opportunities within the community that expands upon Metro’s mission and goals.
CEO candidates should possess the following attributes:
A leader who is passionate about mobility, public transit, and will be a champion of Metro.
Professional executive manager with a collaborative, engaging presence that is mature, even tempered, confident yet measured, charismatic, and personable.
Trusting, honest, high energy leader who is positive, has a sense of humor, high integrity, and is ethical beyond reproach.
Politically savvy, persuasive, and a fair but firm manager.
A strategic leader, open-minded communicator, and critical thinker who is unwilling to let challenges prevent success, but rather looks at challenges as opportunities for success.
A leader who has a strong financial orientation and who can identify inefficiencies and areas of potential cost reduction.
A leader who is capable of working with local, state, and national government officials as well as leaders of the local and national business community to obtain and secure funding through various allocations, grants, and public-private partnerships (P3s).
An executive who is capable of adapting and changing quickly and often, as needed.
An inspiring visionary who will develop, empower, and delegate responsibilities to his/her employees.
An innovative, compassionate, transparent, inclusive leader who is willing to listen to ideas and delegate responsibility.
A manager with excellent interpersonal communication, presentation, and writing skills.
Ability to listen, speak, and respond appropriately and in a timely manner to large and small groups alike in a public or private setting.
Results oriented leader with a dedication to accuracy, sense of urgency, efficiency, and on-time delivery.
Willingness to accept, embrace, and adjust to criticism.
Ability to communicate with and treat all stakeholders with respect and equity.
Ability to facilitate, negotiate, and provide realistic and strategic solutions to problems and challenges.
Capable of mediating difficult situations and building consensus among competing parties or groups.
Ability to unify teams, communities, and people during complicated times.
Strong mentor and teacher who is approachable, open-minded, and treats all employees with respect and dignity.
An executive leader who is present and available; manages by walking around and being seen and engaging with all employees.
Executive leader who embraces diversity and inclusion and can attract talent of all types.
Effective manager who listens and encourages employees, teams, and stakeholders to debate and challenge ideas.
Strong manager and leader with excellent team building, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills.
Willingness to take calculated risks that have been researched and vetted and provide creative approaches to problems.
A proven track record of implementing innovative initiatives in complex organizations.
Demonstrated success managing and providing executive level guidance to a highly educated, experienced, and technical workforce, thereby empowering management to implement and execute their departmental plans effectively.
Experience developing and implementing metrics used to evaluate individual and company performance, budgets, cost effectiveness, and returns on investments to increase the bottom-line and operational performance.
Demonstrated track record of success during varying economic and business cycles.
The successful candidate will have a minimum of five (5) years executive management experience with a transit agency or another public or private entity of comparable nature, complexity, and size to Metro. A Bachelor’s degree in transportation, transportation management, engineering, business management, or equivalent is required. A Master’s degree or other advanced degree is preferred. In lieu of a Bachelor’s and/or Master degree, an equivalent combination of education and experience consistent with the required qualifications will also be considered.
For additional information or to submit a resume, please contact Gregg A. Moser at firstname.lastname@example.org.