October 19, 2022 – Over the past year, a growing number of transportation companies have enlisted executive search firms to help them find senior talent. After a nationwide search, executive recruiting firm Krauthamer & Associates recently assisted in the recruitment of April Chan as the next general manager and CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District in California. She will succeed acting general manager/CEO Carter Mau, who previously informed the board of his intent to retire in the coming months, effective Nov. 1.
“The board was gratified to see the broad and diverse group of candidates from across the country who wanted to serve in this role,” said Peter Ratto, board chair. “However, I am even more thrilled to appoint a general manager/CEO who we know firsthand is ready to drive SamTrans into an ever-brighter future. Ms. Chan is an intelligent, thoughtful, savvy, and creative leader.”
SamTrans director Jeff Gee, who chaired the recruitment committee for the board, said: “Ms. Chan will be the first woman general manager/CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District and is the first permanent general manager/CEO to be promoted from within. Her appointment is testament to the board’s belief that this agency is headed in the right direction. Ms. Chan has a stellar reputation for working well with regional partners and is widely respected in the industry for her knowledge, professionalism, and integrity.”
Ms. Chan is a 20-plus-year veteran of the agency, currently serving as acting deputy general manager/CEO. She has been an employee of San Mateo County Transit District since April 2000 in positions of increasing responsibility, rising through the ranks from senior planner, capital programming, and grants to chief officer, planning, grants and transportation authority, and acting deputy general manager.
The San Mateo County Transit District is the mobility manager for San Mateo County, which operates SamTrans fixed-route buses and Redi-Wheels and RediCoast paratransit. In her new role, Ms. Chan also will serve as executive director of the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, which administers the Measure A transportation sales tax to fund transportation projects county-wide. She also will be responsible for services provided by the district to both the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Authority, which owns and operates the Caltrain commuter railroad, and the San Mateo County Express Lanes Joint Powers Agency.
“I have been responsible for planning, program management, budgeting, real estate, policy development, government affairs, and more for SamTrans, Caltrain, and the Transportation Authority over the years,” said Ms. Chan. “With my varied experience, coupled with decades-long relationships in the industry and the region, I am ready to help these agencies reach their maximum potential and serve the county’s residents, businesses, and commuters.”
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“I recognize the general manager/CEO position will come with many challenges,” said Ms. Chan. “As a next step after the recently completed Caltrain governance negotiations, I will be working with that agency’s various leaders to negotiate a first-ever shared services agreement. In addition, I will be responsible for the rollout and funding plan for the full electrification of the SamTrans fleet, to both fulfill the state mandate, and lead the district in meeting its sustainability and climate goals. I am looking forward to taking on these challenges.”
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.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media