The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is recruiting an Executive Director to work in partnership with its newly constituted full-time Board of Trustees to develop and implement strategic plans that meet the business goals and objectives of the organization. Under the new governance model, the Executive Director will work directly with the new board to implement the new structure and set the stage for the agency of approximately 2,600 employees.
UTA provides service over a 1,400 square mile area, covering seven counties: Box Elder, Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Weber. UTA also offers seasonal bus service to Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude ski resorts in Big and Little Cottonwood canyons, as well as Snowbasin Resort and Powder Mountain in Weber County and Sundance Resort in Utah County. UTA operates fixed route buses, flex route buses, express buses, ski buses, paratransit service, three light rail lines (TRAX), a streetcar line (the S-Line), and a commuter rail train (FrontRunner) from Ogden through Salt Lake City to Provo.
In 2014, Utah Transit Authority was named Outstanding Public Transportation System by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
Utah Growth and Public Transportation
Currently, Utah’s economy is ranked 6th in the nation. According to Business insider, Utah’s Q1 2018 GDP growth rate was 3.2% which is the second highest in the U.S. Utah is projected to see population growth double by 2050. With Utah’s growing economy, key stakeholders recognize the role of public transportation in managing that type of growth. Recent changes to state law have provided increased funding options for transit, including state appropriations for public transportation projects. There are currently several transportation initiatives being discussed by external stakeholders which will benefit UTA including FrontRunner improvements, free transit on red air days, and funding for more electric buses. Additionally, extension of rail to Silicon Slopes is a high priority. Legislation also provided for a new governance model consisting of a three-member full-time paid board of trustees. The new structure provides for increased connections with stakeholders while supporting greater internal focus and leadership.
UTA’s 2019 operating budget is approximately $456 million, with a capital budget of approximately $140 million. The Authority’s funding status is improving. The Authority will be receiving about $22 million annually of new money from Salt Lake County and $8.8 million from Utah County. Additionally, Salt Lake City and UTA are finalizing an agreement for $5.4 million of city funds to commit towards additional city service. Salt Lake City is also being considered for the 2030 Olympics, allowing for additional funding opportunities.
UTA’s internal culture is represented in the UTA Way which is comprised of True Norths: Service, People, Environment, Community, and Stewardship; and Values: Integrity, Accountability, Continuous Improvement, Inclusivity, Helpfulness, Safety, and collaboration. The UTA Way guides the agency in providing the best service to the public and within the agency as a whole.
UTA's Mission Statement
UTA is designed to provide an integrated system of innovative, accessible and efficient public transportation services that increase access to opportunities and contribute to a healthy environment for the people along the Wasatch Front.
UTA's Vision Statement
The UTA is designed to provide an integrated system of innovative, accessible and efficient public transportation services that increase access to opportunities and contribute to a healthy environment for the people of the Wasatch region.
The Executive Director will serve and work in partnership with the Board of Trustees (Board) to develop and implement short and long-term strategic plans that meet and exceed the Authority’s business goals and objectives. In addition, the Executive Director will be expected to lead UTA in the following areas:
Relationship with the Board of Trustees
The Executive Director will report directly to the UTA Board and work in a close and collaborative manner, communicating openly and transparently in order to ensure that the Board is aware of the organization’s performance and activities. The Executive Director will report to the Board on actions taken that demonstrate how policies are being implemented and the performance of the organization and executive team.
The Executive Director is expected to formally report on the Authority’s finances, operations, and administrative activities as well as other performance metrics and the status of key agency initiatives regularly to the Board. In addition to ensuring that the organization is operating efficiently and effectively and delivery high quality service to its customers, the Executive Director will certify that proper auditing and accounting is being undertaken to show the Authority’s financial condition on a complete and continual basis and alert the Board of any changes to its financial plans.
The Executive Director will also provide guidance and advice to the Board regarding strategic plans and briefs the Board on issues and problem areas of the organization. In addition, the Executive Director will prepare and review status reports and identify potential risks and issues that the Authority may face. It is expected that based upon these potential risks, the Executive Director will develop and present alternative solutions to address these issues or problem areas.
External Stakeholder Management
The Board will manage external stakeholder relationships. As requested by the Board, from time to time the Executive Director will coordinate and communicate with key stakeholders transparently and represent the Board in community meetings. This may include being asked to disseminate information and communicate ideas on behalf of the Board to elected officials, community groups, businesses, local and national government organizations, and other stakeholders.
The Executive Director will lead and direct UTA’s daily business activities to ensure that the organization is providing safe, on-time, affordable, and customer friendly service to the public. In so doing, the Executive Director will take the Board’s goals and objectives and formulate plans and policies and allocate organizational resources to achieve these objectives.
The Executive Director will ensure that all district ordinances are enforced and assume responsibility for overall performance and organizational effectiveness of the Authority’s facilities, operations, assets, and business affairs. As the agency’s top executive, the Executive Director will oversee the implementation of the Board’s vision and strategies, objectives, and policies with executive officers and lead and develop the Authority’s executive team to oversee critical Authority functions.
Executive Team Leadership
The Executive Director will leverage organizational efficiencies to ensure that the alignment of human capital and infrastructure leads to long-term financial sustainability. The Executive Director is expected to foster a collaborative, innovative, and high-performing culture, provide strategic leadership to the executive staff through direct supervision, motivation, and training and through clear direction, guidance, coaching, and goal-setting. It is expected that this leadership and direction is provided in a manner that supports an environment of learning and growth of critical knowledge, skills, and talent and promotes a culture that maximizes the Authority’s human resources potential. She/he will also communicate with executive officers and staff about organizational plans and priorities and solicit feedback that will ensure the most efficient, economical, and highest quality service for customers.
As part of their core management responsibility the Executive Director must align the Authority’s day-to-day work with long term priorities and continually evaluate the alignment of day-to-day work with these long-term priorities making calculated adjustments as necessary to maximize efficiencies and performance. She/he will hold the executive leadership team accountable for organizational performance.
The Executive Director must be a strong leader who is able to negotiate and resolve sensitive and controversial issues that may arise with staff or other stakeholders. She/he will create a culture of transparency and open communication throughout the organization.
Leadership and Educational Characteristics of the Executive Director
UTA’s Executive Director will manage with integrity and demonstrate a strong ability to communicate both internally and externally with stakeholders. She/he will interact internally at all levels of the organization with diplomacy and tact. She/he will possess strong strategic management, critical thinking, project management, and troubleshooting skills in order to lead, direct, manage, and solve complex problems. In addition, the Executive Director must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to work under pressure, prioritizing issues.
The Executive Director is expected to benchmark organizational performance against targeted and expected performance metrics and use these metrics to develop short and long-term strategic plans. She/he will provide clear, concise, and understandable reports to staff, the Board, and the public that demonstrates organizational success. She/he must be able to quickly grasp salient issues and details, prioritize objectives, multi-task, and make sound evaluations and recommendations using keen judgment.
The Executive Director must be able to work in a fast-paced, complex operating environment and be adaptable, flexible, and capable of providing leadership and direction to the staff while at the same time taking direction from the Board based on various needs and requests.
The Executive Director must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of best practices in leadership, management, and governance and should have experience working with local government stakeholders. While experience and knowledge of the transit industry is not required, it is desired.
A bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in business, planning, engineering, communications, intermodal transportation, or related field is highly desirable. In addition to a degree, seven years senior leadership experience in a complex service organization overseeing crucial strategic planning, project management and day-to-day functions is expected.
To learn more about the position or to apply, interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to Gregg A. Moser at email@example.com.
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
UTA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to developing an organization that is reflective of and sensitive to the needs of the diverse community we serve, including veterans, the elderly and people with disabilities.