Krauthamer & Associates Places CEO for Capital Metro in Austin, TX

March 8, 2023 – Executive recruiting firm Krauthamer & Associates has helped to place Dottie Watkins as president and chief executive officer of Austin, TX-based transportation provider Capital Metro (CapMetro). Ms. Watkins had been serving as interim CEO since last June. The transit agency’s board of directors appointed her after previous leader Randy Clarke stepped down to head the transit system in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Watkins will be charged with continuing to guide the agency through its continued expansion. The announcement comes on the heels of the first CapMetro rail red line improvement project completion under Project Connect, the city’s high-capacity transit system expansion.

Ms. Watkins will receive $357,555 in base salary as well as other benefits like a possible 10 percent performance bonus and a $2,083 contribution each month to her retirement plan.

“As a board, it was crucial that we selected the right leader for this position and for our community,” said Jeff Travillion, CapMetro board chair and Travis County commissioner. “We interviewed multiple qualified candidates for this position, and we wanted to make sure the person we selected had a stellar professional reputation, a proven track record of getting things done, and most importantly, was someone the community could trust and their staff could respect and also have confidence in. Dottie meets all those qualifications and I’m confident we made the right decision selecting her as the next president and CEO.”

Strong Credentials

Ms. Watkins is an Austin native and began her career with CapMetro as a part-time bus operator in 1994 while she pursued her degree at the University of Texas. She has held multiple leadership roles within the agency, including deputy CEO, chief customer officer/chief operating officer, and vice president of bus operations and maintenance. During the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Watkins led the effort to maintain transit operations and to continue serving the community, even during the ensuing staffing shortage crisis. “She is recognized at the agency for her depth of knowledge of what it takes to make transit operate, but also her unwavering commitment to her staff and the frontline team members the agency relies upon,” said CapMetro.

“I am honored, humbled and ready to serve as CapMetro’s president and CEO,” said Ms. Watkins. “I want to thank the board for selecting me to serve in this capacity and for their vote of confidence.  “I’ve gotten to watch firsthand as CapMetro and our teams grow into what I consider to be among the best in transit agencies in the nation. Delivering safe, reliable and customer-oriented service for our customers is a priority to me. Central Texas has a lot to look forward to when it comes to public transportation, and I can’t wait to continue collaborating with our stakeholders, the CapMetro staff and our community members, on the future of CapMetro.”

Related: Krauthamer & Associates Recruits CEO for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority

Capital Metro is the public transportation provider for over 1.3 million people in the Austin region. The agency provides a variety of transit services, including MetroBus, MetroRail, UT Shuttles, Pickup, and MetroAccess, to meet the ever-growing needs of the Austin community. CapMetro was established by a voter referendum in 1985. The agency is funded in part by a one percent sales tax levied by members of its service area.

Veteran Recruiters

Krauthamer & Associates serves a wide range of industries, including: aviation, consumer products, healthcare, industrial, natural resources, professional services, public sector and non-profit, real estate, technology, and transportation.

Gary Krauthamer, who founded the firm in 1971, has completed more than 1,000 search assignments throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Over the last 30 years, he has worked extensively within and across the public and private sectors. His clients can be found in the aerospace industry, federal government, entrepreneurial organizations, middle-market entities, and large multinational Fortune 100 corporations.

Late last year, Krauthamer & Associates placed Ken Kessler as chief financial officer of the Phoenix Valley Metro in Arizona. He replaces interim CFO Jim Hillyard. Mr. Kessler brings 30 years of experience to his new position, having worked with the Regional Public Transportation Authority and Valley Metro Rail. He has served the city of Phoenix across many different positions, including having developed the Transportation 2050 plan with the Phoenix Public Transit Department.

“It is my great pleasure to welcome aboard Ken Kessler to Valley Metro,” said Jessica Mefford-Miller, CEO of Valley Metro. “Ken impressed our boards, our cities’ financial staff, and the Valley Metro team with his years of dedicated public service, as well as his ability to innovate and be an excellent regional collaborator.”

Related: Krauthamer & Associates Recruits CEO for the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media


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