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What was Tim McNamara & Linda Kearschner's recommendation for SamTrans CEO?

Discussion in 'The Other Side Of The Hill' started by Michael Stogner, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Michael Stogner

    Michael Stogner Active Member

    Their company Boyden global executive search was paid $128,200 of Taxpayer money.


    Our client, the San Mateo County Transit District (“District”) is seeking an extraordinary individual for the role of CEO/General Manager ("CEO/GM"), who will also serve as Executive Director of Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. This position is located in San Carlos, CA. This position is currently held by Mike Scanlon, a prominent leader in the transit industry who has announced his plan to retire after leading the organization as CEO/GM/Executive Director for the last 15 years.


    The District is a multi-agency organization that includes Caltrain, a dynamic and rapidly growing commuter rail service that serves the region from San Francisco to Silicon Valley; SamTrans, a traditional bus and paratransit system that is swiftly evolving into a multi-modal service provider and regional facilitator; and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, a funding agency that supports transit and transportation projects and innovation through a half-cent sales tax overwhelmingly supported by local voters. Additionally, Caltrain is in the midst of an unprecedented growth in ridership and revenues and a complex and challenging program to fully electrify the system, in partnership with California High Speed Rail.

    The District, through SamTrans and Caltrain, is a significant property owner throughout the region, affording opportunities for transit-oriented development and leadership in planning and land-use decision-making that can meet the growing demand for a car-free, sustainable lifestyle distinct to the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Formed in 1976 following voter approval of a permanent half-cent sales tax, SamTrans is the transportation workhorse of San Mateo County. SamTrans is also the provider of Redi-Wheels, the agency’s paratransit service. In recent years, SamTrans has evolved into a multi-modal facilitator, with an annual operating budget of $132 million (Fiscal Year 2014). It is engaged in several creative partnerships with other agencies, offering a range of programs to encourage transit ridership, including the award-winning Senior Mobility Program. SamTrans is an active advocate of Transit Oriented Development and was a catalyst, and continues to play a leadership role in the Grand Boulevard Initiative, a regional effort to transform El Camino Real into a world-class boulevard that is pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented and becomes a central location for residents to work, live, shop, and play. As a property owner, SamTrans recently facilitated approval of a transit-oriented residential project at the San Carlos Caltrain Station, a project that will be a major transportation hub.



    The Caltrain commuter rail system, serving the San Francisco Peninsula region from San Francisco to San Jose, is the most dynamic commuter rail system in the nation. With an annual operating budget in excess of $126 million (Fiscal Year 2014) Caltrain serves an average weekday ridership of 61,000. Caltrain is owned and operated by the nine-member JPB. Caltrain is in the midst of the $1.5 billion Caltrain Modernization Program, which will completely modernize the 150-year-old rail system, featuring the installation of a new signal system, including the federally mandated Positive Train Control, a construction project that is currently underway. The full build-out of the CalMod Program will result in an electrified rail system with a new fleet of modern rail cars. The new service is expected to be faster, quieter, cleaner, and more frequent. It is projected that average weekday ridership will exceed 120,000.

    Electrification has been a part of Caltrain’s long-term vision for several years and is reflected in Caltrain’s strategic plans. In partnership with the California High Speed Rail Association, FRA, FTA, and UP, CalMod will help prepare the corridor to eventually accommodate California’s statewide high-speed rail service, which is planned for 2026-2029 in the peninsula corridor. Caltrain and high-speed rail will primarily share Caltrain’s existing tracks, operating on a blended system. Electrified Caltrain service is scheduled to be operational by 2021. To learn more about Caltrain and this blended system along with Caltrain’s recently adopted five-year strategic plan visit http://www.caltrain.com/about.html.

    The TA was formed in 1988 with the passage of the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for countywide transportation projects and programs. In 2004 the voters of San Mateo County reauthorized the half-cent sales tax through 2033 with a 75-percent approval and approved a new Transportation Expenditure Plan, which delineates the program activities of the TA. The TA administers the sales tax proceeds which, in addition to more than $300 million in funds committed to programs, generate in excess of $77 million in annual sales tax revenue (Fiscal Year 2014) to fund a broad spectrum of transportation-related projects contained in the voter- approved Transportation Expenditure Plan. The TA is an independent agency and is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. For more information about the TA, visit http://www.smcta.com/.

    For more information about the San Mateo County Transit District, visit http://www.smctd.com/.

    Overall Responsibilities

    The CEO/GM directly supervises the executive team and is responsible for the performance of more than 1,500 employees, consultants, and contract workers. In addition to being the CEO/GM to the District, this individual also serves in the capacity of Executive Director for both the JPB and the TA. It is the CEO/GM’s responsibility to ensure that the directions of all three separate yet interdependent governing boards are carried out by staff.

    The District's organizational structure currently consists of two deputy chief executive officers (one responsible for operations and engineering/construction and one responsible for finance and administration) plus four (4) executive officers responsible for planning and development, public



    affairs, customer service and marketing, Caltrain Modernization and the District Secretary. In addition, the District's outside Legal Counsel is an integral member of the executive team.

    All employees are employees of the District, a consolidated organization. At any given time, employees will perform work on behalf of SamTrans, the JPB, and TA, apportioning their time according to the needs of each agency. Similarly, contract workers and consultants are assigned to specific agencies, programs and projects, depending on immediate or long-term demands. Because of the unique structure of the District – a single staff serving three entities - the CEO/GM must bring particular skill in monitoring, directing, and motivating the employees of the District to ensure the goals, objectives, and requirements of all three agencies are appropriately supported and resourced.

    The CEO/GM represents the District, the JPB, and the TA in meetings and communications with local, State, and national elected officials and their staffs, as well as with the leaders of other important agencies. He/she is the main strategist, working in concert with the Board, key staff and legal counsel in dealing with labor relations and contracts. It is a key element of the District culture that management maintain positive working relationships with union leadership and their membership and that contract negotiations be concluded in a timely way that recognizes the critical nature of this long-term relationship. He/she works with the policy boards, is expected to formulate and continually update the vision for the District and its three agencies, providing forward-looking strategies in anticipation of and in reaction to the changing dynamics of the region and the communities and customers served by the agencies.

    This is a high profile position with substantial political and public interaction. Partnership and coordination with the Boards and regional and local/community stakeholders is essential. The uniquely complex funding and oversight of the transit industry also requires the ability to effectively interact with state and federal elected officials and regulators.

    Responsibilities related to the management of the District:

    •  Building partnerships and engaging with partners through the region, the State and the nation to support the mission of the District and its three agencies, SamTrans, the JPB, and the TA;

    •  RecommendingpolicyactionsregardingallaspectsoftheDistrictfunctions,services, and operations;

    •  Supervising the planning, acquisition, construction, maintenance, and operation of transit facilities;

    •  Formulating transit-oriented and joint development policies and overseeing real estate-related activities;

    •  SupervisinganddirectingthepreparationofanannualbudgetfortheDistrictandits three agencies, with responsibility for their administration following adoption;

    •  Preparing and submitting to the District, JPB, and TA Boards an annual complete report of the finances and administrative activities of the agencies;


    •  Acting as the District’s fully authorized representative in all matters of employer- employee relations;

    •  Fixing the compensation of employees within the ranges established by the District Board-approved salary ordinance;

    •  Directing the preparation and administration of contracts for goods and services;

    •  Performing such other duties as the Boards may require.

      Minimum and Desired Qualifications

      The District is seeking an outstanding individual with the range of knowledge and experience necessary to anticipate and meet the demands of a District with three separate and distinct boards of directors and three separate budgets, served by a single staff; and with the talent and interpersonal skills to manage a complex regional partnership formed to achieve the electrification of the Caltrain system.

      The minimum qualifications required for this position include a Bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, planning, or a related discipline plus a minimum of 12 years of experience in leading and managing a large, complex and highly integrated organization, or a combination of education and experience demonstrating the ability to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. He/she should have a strong grounding in the areas of transportation funding, operating and capital program delivery, real estate development, and investment management.

      The CEO/GM must have a highly developed sense of the political landscape of the region and State. He/she must have proven ability to build consensus with regulatory, municipal, and public constituents. The position requires extensive political and interpersonal skills and diplomacy. The successful candidate will have demonstrated leadership skills in a multi-disciplinary environment and a self-managing, self-driven leadership style.

      Preferred qualifications include an advanced degree in a related discipline.

      Required Attributes

      The District is seeking a unique individual who can quickly garner confidence, respect and trust with the staff, the JPB, the TA, the community, and all internal and external stakeholders. Reporting to and carrying out the directions of three separate and distinct Boards requires highly developed organizational skills.

      The Caltrain right of way traverses through some of the most expensive real estate in America, communities that were built around the railroad. As a result, proceeding with the Caltrain Modernization Program will continue to require adept and extensive political skills.
    Candidates considered for the CEO/GM role will possess: 4


    •  A strategic outlook and capability to be a visionary relative to regional multi-modal transportation issues;

    •  Outstanding negotiating, mediation, and problem-solving abilities;

    •  Assertive leadership style and outward facing;

    •  Flexibility(thesuccessfulcandidatewillbeabletosimultaneouslymaintainattention

      and comprehension of a vast number of dynamic situations, problems, opportunities,

      and constraints);

    •  Understandingofthenuancesofworkingandsucceedingwithinahighlytransparent,

      public sector environment;

    •  Ability to delegate effectively;

    •  A high energy level;

    •  Highly-developed communications, interpersonal, and people skills;

    •  Experience in mentoring and growing staff;

    •  The ability to be hands-on when necessary;

    •  Mature judgment and thoughtful decisiveness;

    •  Strong consensus development and negotiating/influencing skills;

    •  A reputation for unquestioned integrity and ethics;

    •  A personable nature that inspires confidence and nurtures a desire among external

      interests to work closely with this individual

    •  A unique combination of significant self-confidence and the absence of egotism.


      With this position comes a very competitive compensation and benefits program.

      The Officer in Charge of this engagement is Tim McNamara, Managing Director and Boyden’s Global Transportation Practice Leader. He will be assisted by Linda Kearschner, Principal. This search is being conducted on a highly expedited basis. Interested parties should submit in electronic format a resume with compensation history, and a cover letter outlining reasons for their interest in the position, including detail on the aforementioned responsibilities, attributes, and qualifications to lkearschner@boyden.com. You may also contact us via our Toll Free Phone number at +1.877.2.BOYDEN (226.9336) for additional information.

      Boyden global executive search

      Founded in 1946, Boyden is the oldest and one of the largest privately owned search firms in the world, with more than 65 offices in over 40 countries. In the world of executive search, Boyden is distinguished by the expertise of our consultants, the resources of our global firm, our commitment to our clients, and our culture of professionalism and integrity. For further information about Boyden, visit www.boyden.com.
  2. Michael Stogner

    Michael Stogner Active Member

    When did they first find out that the minimum standards were no longer important? What action if any did they take to change notice to potential applicants.? How many of the 200 applicants didn't qualify for the minimum standards?
  3. Mark De Paula

    Mark De Paula Active Member

    Boyden global executive search main office is in Purchase, New York, I have called them yesterday and today without a return call. My question will be, did Boyden recommend Jim Hartnett?

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