Community Transit helps the economy grow and protects the quality of life by offering appealing choices for customers to travel to their destinations. Community Transit’s mission is to Help people get from where they are to where they want to be, with an overall vision to Make travel easy for all. This is accomplished by providing easy access to frequent, reliable and safe travel from neighborhoods to jobs, medical appointments, schools, and errands while seamlessly integrating with other partners to serve communities throughout Snohomish County and adjoining urban centers.
Community Transit, a special purpose municipal corporation providing public transportation services, began operations in 1976. The agency’s boundaries encompass a land area slightly in excess of 1,300 square miles including most of urbanized Snohomish County, except for the city of Everett. Community Transit serves more than 576,000 residents, about 73 percent of Snohomish County’s population. Although the city of Everett is not part of Community Transit’s service area and taxing authority, Community Transit provides Swift Blue Line bus rapid transit service to Everett Station and helps connect Everett residents to regional destinations.
Community Transit is one of the top 50 transit agencies in the country, has maintained one of the largest vanpool fleets in the nation, and is an employer of choice in the Puget Sound region. Classified by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) as a mid-sized urban transit agency, Community Transit currently has annual operating revenues of $208 million and maintains a fleet of over 800 revenue vehicles, including buses and vans.
This is a transitional time for public transportation and Community Transit has multiple capital projects and initiatives underway to meet the needs and changing expectations of customers. The extension of Sound Transit’s Link light rail
is under construction and arriving in the service area in four years, calling for ambitious plans now and in the future to design and grow services to complement and connect to this regional service. COVID-19 is not expected to interfere with these expansion plans. Good financial planning in prior years has resulted in the agency maintaining financial, operational, and organizational stability. A $278 million fully funded 6-year capital program is forecasted to remain on scope, schedule and budget, along with operational plans to redesign and enhance feeder services as well.
Community Transit is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine voting members and one non-voting member. Voting board members are elected officials who are chosen by delegates from their respective jurisdictions and serve a two-year term.
Two labor unions represent some of Community Transit’s employees. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1576 represents coach operators, coach operator instructors, dispatchers, customer information specialists, facilities maintenance staff, and service ambassadors. The International Association of Machinists District Lodge 160 represents vehicle maintenance personnel and operations supervisors.
About the Position
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for directing the activities and operations of Community Transit and is accountable to the Board of Directors for the overall performance of the agency in carrying out its mission. This position guides the vision for the agency and provides organizational leadership and management to deliver cost-effective, high-quality, innovative public transportation options to the people of Snohomish County and the many communities served. This position provides policy guidance, advice, and counsel to the Board of Directors regarding strategic goals and priorities and assumes responsibility for implementing policy decisions made by the Board of Directors.
The CEO promotes a positive, equitable, and inclusive employment experience across the agency and encourages employee engagement at all levels. The CEO leads a workforce of nearly 800 employees, through the Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Staff, and the Directors of Administration, Customer Experience, Maintenance, Communications and Public Affairs, Employee Engagement, Planning and Development, and Information Technology. The CEO also oversees contracts for fixed route and paratransit services totaling approximately $28 million per year.
Collaborates with the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team to develop and communicate the vision and mission for the agency in the region, county and its communities. Assesses the effectiveness of the organization to accomplish its mission through evaluation of customer needs and expectations, organizational structure and capacity, technology, employee culture, and delivery of programs, projects and performance measurements. Provides support to the Board and the agency on key strategic issues; serves as the leader of the Executive Leadership Team, identifies key challenges, risks, and opportunities.
Develops and implements strategies to ensure high quality service to customers. Encourages continuous improvement and innovation of new products and services to meet changing customer needs and expectations. Recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 will be an area of focus in the near term as the agency implements innovative solutions.
Responsible for the development and administration of the agency’s budget. Approves forecast of funds needed for staffing, equipment, capital projects, asset and infrastructure preservation, and reserve levels required for continued financial sustainability and expansion. Approves expenditures and implements budgetary adjustments.
Leads the Executive Leadership Team by providing strategic direction, advancing team collaboration and performance, and ensuring accountability at the individual and team level; contributes to the ongoing health and development of the team.
Collaborates with the Board to develop and implement a legislative agenda consistent with the agency’s mission; represents the agency in a variety of forums related to public transportation at the local, regional, state and federal levels; coordinates and directs lobbying efforts at both state and national levels.
Fosters effective mission- critical working relationships with media, labor, businesses, community groups, advocacy groups, regional agency counterparts and regulatory and oversight agencies to advocate the agency’s policy positions in alignment with the Board of Directors.
Represents and markets the agency to community groups, service organizations, civic communities and technical industry organizations to name a few. Participates on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees.
Promotes a consistent, equitable, and inclusive culture to maximize agency’s talent potential, supports an environment of continuous learning and growth, preserves and further develops critical knowledge and skills, coaches, develops, motivates, and retains high–performing team members, and addresses performance challenges.
This is an exceptional opportunity for a dynamic, forward-thinking leader to shape the future of a growing transit agency and evolving industry. The ideal CEO candidate is a passionate transit advocate and an exceptional negotiator and balanced leader; comfortable with managing and leading in a complex and transparent environment; and someone who is capable of building bridges internally and externally, managing change, and implementing innovative solutions to create opportunities for advancement of the agency’s strategic objectives.
Community Transit values workplace diversity and has created an environment and culture that embraces employee differences. You will find an exceptionally diverse group of people at Community Transit with regard to culture, beliefs, communication styles, and life and work experiences. The new CEO will be expected to continue to support and enhance a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace culture.
A Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of increasingly responsible management experience at a senior leadership level in an organization of comparable size and complexity. An advanced degree is preferred. Experience and a demonstrable pattern of success working in the public sector, public transportation industry, local government, or transit organizations is highly desirable. Experience working with a federated Board of Directors is a plus.
Advanced principles and practices of government and legislative processes, public administration and local government administration.
Best practices in working with city, county, state, and federal government officials including appointed and elected office holders.
Institutional grants and the process of securing them.
The local cultural and political landscape for the agency’s public transportation planning and operations.
Strategic long-term fiscal planning and cost management, financial management, and information management systems required to operate a public transit system.
Economic, political, social, environmental, and psychological factors related to the provision and use of public transit.
Advanced principles and practices of program development and administration.
Principles and practices of governmental budget preparation and administration.
Principles of talent management, coaching, training, and performance evaluation.
Cultural competency that enables effective outcomes and maintains working relationships in cross-cultural situations.
Identifying and responding to Board of Directors, community representatives, customers, and organizational issues, concerns, and needs.
Leading high-level exceptional negotiations and effectively partnering with labor, local jurisdictions and agencies, and community groups.
Leading, motivating and influencing staff using progressive interpersonal and management techniques and demonstrating a consistent commitment and ability to working with diverse work groups and individuals.
Fostering a positive, diverse, and progressive culture in a customer service environment.
Partnering and building alliances to collaborate across boundaries and build strategic relationships with other transit agencies to discuss and resolve regional transportation issues.
Persons interested in this job must submit a cover letter and current resume to by visiting www.karrasconsulting.net and clicking on “view open positions.” Resumes should indicate the size of staff and budgets managed.
If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call Marissa Karras at 360-956-1336. The position will remain open until filled; however, the screening process will move quickly. In order to be considered for the first round of interviews please submit your application materials as soon as possible but no later than October 23rd, 2020.
The salary for this position is competitive. Community Transit prides itself on a very robust benefits program that reflects care for employees. This includes an employee maintenance center onsite with a focus on employee health, physical therapy and wellness; generous medical, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits; public pension; and voluntary deferred compensation.
Community Transit is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants are considered in accordance with applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, marital status, or veteran status or any other legally protected status.
Living in the Puget Sound Area
Community Transit is headquartered in Everett, Washington, just 20 miles north of Seattle. Spectacular natural surroundings, world-class education systems, thriving urban centers, vibrant neighborhoods, and a lively arts and cultural scene are just some of what makes Puget Sound a great place to live and work. Ringed by snow-capped mountain peaks, crisscrossed by waterways, home to urban centers, small cities, and vibrant neighborhoods, the Puget Sound region is a commercial center and a major hub for Trans- Pacific and European trade.
Snohomish County is located on Puget Sound, between Skagit County to the north and King County (and Seattle) to the south. It is the 3rd most populous county and is the 13th largest county in total land area in Washington. Snohomish County’s varied topography ranges from saltwater beaches, rolling hills and rich river bottom farmlands in the west to dense forest and alpine wilderness in the mountainous east. Glacier Peak, at 10,541 feet, is the highest point in Snohomish County and one of the highest in Washington State. Sixty-eight percent of the county land area is forest land, 18% is rural, 9% is urban/city and 5% is agricultural.
Snohomish County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. New forecasts show the region needs to plan for 1.8 million additional people and 1.2 million new jobs by 2050. Public transportation, and Community Transit in particular, provides a vital service that supports this growth.
About Community Transit
Community Transit, headquartered in Everett, Washington, helps the economy grow and protects the quality of life by offering appealing choices for customers to travel to their destinations. Community Transit’s mission is to Help people get from where they are to where they want to be, with an overall vision to Make travel easy for all. This is accomplished by providing easy access to frequent, reliable and safe travel from neighborhoods to jobs, medical appointments, schools, and errands while seamlessly integrating with other partners to serve communities throughout Snohomish County and adjoining urban centers.