Board of Directors
The RTA is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors that meets on the third Thursday of each month. Visit the Meeting Materials page to view meeting livestreams, agendas, archived materials, and more.
To assure regional representation, 15 directors are appointed from within the six-county region: five by the Mayor of the City of Chicago; four by the suburban members of the Cook County Board; one by the President of the Cook County Board; and five by the Chairman of each collar county, with one representative each from DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will. The Chairman of the RTA Board, its 16th member, is elected by at least 11 of the 15 appointed members, with at least 2 affirmative votes from the directors who reside in the counties of DuPage, Lake, Will, Kane, or McHenry.
Kirk Dillard has served as the chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board of Directors since June 2014. He was elected to his second term on May 16, 2019.
Chairman Dillard and the RTA Board oversee the nation’s second-largest public transportation system, which serves more than eight million residents in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The Authority is charged with regional financial oversight, funding, and transit planning for Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace Suburban Bus and ADA Paratransit. The RTA manages a regional transit operating budget of approximately $3 billion with assets of about $160 billion and a more than $8.3 billion five-year capital program. During Dillard’s first term, the RTA created Invest in Transit, the regional transit strategic plan covering 2018-2023 that makes the case for the region’s capital funding needs. Dillard played an important role in regional advocacy efforts that culminated with the 2019 passage of Rebuild Illinois, the largest capital bill in Illinois history.
Chairman Dillard is a lifelong resident of the region and has been a rider of public transportation for more than 50 years, riding CTA buses and trains since early childhood, and now is a regular rider of Metra. He is a staunch advocate for transit funding throughout the region, appearing on countless media outlets and speaking at many regional events. He is a recipient the American Public Transportation Association’s ‘Best of the Best’ award for his leadership of Chicagoland’s mass transit system. Dillard served as a Republican senator from Chicago's western suburbs in the Illinois State Senate for nearly 20 years. Prior to serving as senator, Chairman Dillard served with distinction as Chief of Staff to former Governor Jim Edgar and as Legislative Director to former Governor James Thompson. He is currently a partner at Locke Lord LLP, one of Chicago’s oldest and largest law firms. Chairman Dillard can be followed on Twitter @KDillardRTA.
David R. Andalcio began serving on the RTA Board representing DuPage County in August 2019. He serves on the Audit and Planning & Administration committees.
Director Andalcio’s experience in business and government and his entrepreneurial leadership adds a vital and diverse voice to the RTA Board. His career spans from his earliest ventures with electronics, distribution, manufacturing, and information technology companies, later as a Board Director of the Illinois State Toll Highway and Chairman of the Engineering Committee, to his current role as CEO of Wynndalco Enterprises, LLC. Director Andalcio has completed graduate business study at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (AMP), the Stanford University Alumni Graduate Executive Program, the Notre Dame Corporate Governance Executive Program, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Entrepreneurial Studies. He completed his MBA, International Business (IB) at both the University of Cumbria London and Robert Kennedy College in Zurich, Switzerland.
Pat Carey began serving on the RTA Board representing Lake County in July 2019. She serves on the Compensation & Human Resources and Planning & Administration committees.
Director Carey brings a wealth of public and private sector experience to the RTA Board. She held the position of Senior Vice President, Technology Services for WorldTravel BTI as well as other technology-related roles in the travel sector.
Most recently she worked in an economic development and marketing role for the Village of Arlington Heights. In addition, Director Carey has committed untold hours of public service to Lake County. She served as trustee and then mayor of Grayslake, as well as serving on the Lake County Board and the Lake County Forest Preserve Board. She has also held posts on the Lake Forest Hospital Board and Grayslake Parks and Museums foundations. Director Carey received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Loyola University. She lives in Grayslake with her husband.
William R. Coulson was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in April 2007. He represents suburban Cook County and serves as Chair of the Audit committee and also serves on the Finance committee.
Director Coulson is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and currently practices commercial and entertainment litigation in Chicago. He is the past president of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Director Coulson remains active in the University of Illinois-Chicago’s “Rule of Law” Program, teaching with that program in China and Cuba, and attending trade missions to South Africa and Israel.
Director Coulson has published poetry, articles for art journals, and numerous articles in various legal journals. He continues to lecture to law school and continuing legal education groups. He has been selected by his peers as a “Leading Lawyer” in ‘Arts, Entertainment & Sports Law,’ and as an “Illinois Superlawyer” in ‘Entertainment Litigation’ by Chicago Magazine.
Director Coulson is a graduate of Dartmouth College in Mathematics and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois – College of Law.
Director Coulson resides in Glenview, Illinois.
Phil Fuentes was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in May 2008 representing the City of Chicago. He serves as Chair of the Planning & Administration committee and also serves on the Audit committee.
Director Fuentes is the owner and operator of a chain of McDonald restaurants in Chicago and Cicero, including two near Midway Airport. He has been presented the Ronald McDonald Award by the McDonald’s Corporation for demonstrating extraordinary community service and two presidential citations from the town of Cicero for his role in the community with a myriad of programs he developed and sponsored. Director Fuentes is also a recipient of the Cicero Chamber of Commerce 2005 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award.
A staunch believer of giving back to the community, Director Fuentes sits on the board of at least seven area organizations including the Rotary One Club, where he served on its Centennial Committee, and the Napoleon Hill Foundation, a non profit educational institution dedicated to making the world a better place to live, where he served as the executive vice-president.
Director Fuentes holds a MBA from Dominican University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from Northeastern University.
Director Fuentes resides in Chicago with his wife, Mary and their two children.
Jamie Gathing was appointed to the RTA Board of Directors in July 2020, representing suburban Cook County.
Director Gathing is a vice president at The Northern Trust Company of Chicago where she works as a compliance manager.
Her professional experience also includes nearly a decade as Assistant Attorney General in the Illinois Office of the Attorney General’s antitrust bureau where she investigated price-fixing, bid-rigging, monopolization, and fraud in local and international companies.
Director Gathing has made public service part of her life whether on the Board of her church or in her community where she has been a Board Member for Roseland Community Hospital, the Black Women’s Lawyer’s Association, and the Pullman Community Center Development Corporation
Director Gathing is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the Chicago-Kent College of Law. She lives with her family in South Holland and is a regular Metra rider.
Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman began serving on the RTA Board representing suburban Cook County in July 2021.
Director Gorman is Regional Business Leader for NORESCO, among the largest U.S. energy services companies. She formerly served as Executive Director of the Illinois Tollway (2018-19), Director for state and local governments at PriceWaterhouseCoopers
(2015-18), and as a Cook County and Forest Preserve Commissioner (2002-15). A resident of Orland Park, Director Gorman is originally from Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood and is a graduate of Mother McAuley High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's College in Winona, Minnesota, followed by a Master of Business Administration at the University of Notre Dame. Director Gorman currently serves on the Old Plank Trail Bank Board in addition to her other civic interests.
Christopher J. Groven began serving on the RTA Board representing Kane County in November, 2018. He serves on the Audit and Finance committees.
Director Groven worked for BP for nearly thirty years and is a proven leader in the downstream energy industry. The son of a U.S. Forest Service professional, he developed a lifelong love of the outdoors and the environment.
Having lived and worked in the U.S. and abroad, Director Groven has a world view of both finance and marketing as they relate to energy and global transportation issues. He spent the majority of his professional life focusing on engineering and financial planning in the energy industry. His responsibilities ranged from having an infrastructure focus tied to pipeline logistics to serving as the Chief Financial Officer of the largest inland refinery in the country.
Director Groven received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University and his Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Utah. He resides in Geneva with his wife and three children.
Alexandra Holt began serving on the RTA Board representing the City of Chicago in December, 2018. She serves on the Audit and Finance committees.
Director Holt is currently the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration at the Art Institute of Chicago. Previously, she served as the City of Chicago’s Budget Director from May 2011 through July 2017. She oversaw development and management of a $9.8 billion operating budget, the City’s multi-year $400 million capital budget, and $1.5 billion grants program. Prior to her appointment as Budget Director, Ms. Holt was a lawyer at the firm of Baker McKenzie where she specialized in real estate, finance, and infrastructure transactions.
Prior to her time at Baker McKenzie, she served in various capacities in the Mayor’s Office and the Office of Budget and Management, overseeing citywide cost containment and revenue enhancement initiatives. She began her career at the Department of Environment where she managed Chicago’s inspection and enforcement programs of municipal, federal, and state air quality and waste handling statutes.
From 2011 to 2017, she was a board member of the Chicago Development Fund, a trustee of the Chicago Labor Management Cooperation Committee, and a member of the Deferred Compensation Committee, which oversees the City’s $3 billion employee deferred compensation plan. She recently served on the Metra Board of Directors, the northern Illinois commuter rail service, and on the board of the Chicago Environmental Fund.
She received a Juris Doctorate and Masters of Public Policy from the University of Chicago and earned a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
Thomas J. Kotel was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in September 2017 representing the City of Chicago. He serves on Finance and Compensation & Human Resources Committees.
Mr. Kotel is the Recording Secretary of Chicago based Pipe Fitters Local Union No. 597, the largest Pipe Fitters Local Union in the United States and Canada. Since being elected Recording Secretary in 2006, Mr. Kotel has served on the Boards of Trustees of multiple benefit plans covering Local 597 pipe fitters, overseeing invested assets in excess of $2 billion. In addition to his work as a Trustee on those plans, he serves as an Officer or Delegate to numerous Labor organizations. He is a member of the Finance Committee of the Illinois State Pipe Trades Association; he represents labor on the Labor Management Committee on Healthcare for the Water Reclamation District; and he acts as Local 597's Delegate to the Chicago and Cook County Building Trades, the Chicago Federation of Labor and C.O.P.E.
Mr. Kotel is a native Chicagoan, born and raised on the city's South Side, where he still resides. Mr. Kotel was accepted into Local 597's apprenticeship program in 1977. Over the years, he distinguished himself first as a foreman, general foreman, mechanical superintendent and general site superintendent working on a variety of projects in the commercial and industrial sectors. He has had significant experience working on projects involving nuclear power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants, airports and major municipal/state facilities. Most recently, Mr. Kotel served as a commissioner on Chicago’s Public Building Commission from October, 2012 to September, 2017.
Michael W. Lewis was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in November 2013 representing suburban Cook County. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the Audit committee and also serves on the Finance committee.
Mr. Lewis is a retired corporate executive of BMO Financial Group whose career spanned more than 30 years. He has served in many capacities at the financial institution including assistant vice-president, vice-president, and team leader in the Special industries Group, assuming responsibility for the Healthcare, Education and Tax-Exempt Institutions Team. He served as Regional President and Executive Vice President of the Chicago Metro Region of BMO Harris Bank until his retirement.
Mr. Lewis is a member of the Village of Olympia Fields’ Economic Development committee and sat on the zoning board of appeals. He also served on the BMO Harris Diversity Council and was co-chair for the sustainability council. Lewis serves on Western Michigan University’s Foundation Board and as chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Haworth College of Business.
Mr. Lewis has a Bachelor’s in Business from Western Michigan University and a MBA from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Christopher C. Melvin, Jr. was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in September 2012 representing the City of Chicago. He serves as the Chairman of the Finance Committee & serves on the Compensation & Human Resources Committee.
Mr. Melvin is the Chairman and CEO of Melvin & Company, a Chicago-based institutional research and trading firm that he founded in 1989. He previously served on the Board of Governors for both the Chicago Stock Exchange and Boston Stock Exchange. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors for the Securities Industry Association (SIA) (now SIFMA).
Mr. Melvin began his career at the Chicago Stock Exchange where he worked in Clearing Surveillance. Between 1981 and 1983, Mr. Melvin served as the assistant trader for Risk Arbitrage at Shatkin Investment Company (Chicago), later moving to a floor member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Mr. Melvin holds a series of financial certificates including Series 3, 7, 24, 53 and 63 licenses. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Pang was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in January 2013, representing the City of Chicago. She serves as Vice-Chair of the Compensation & Human Resources committee and also serves on the Planning & Administration committee.
Ms. Pang is Senior Vice-President of CNA’s Corporate Communications Department which is responsible for all communications to internal and external audiences worldwide. She manages a team responsible for a myriad of CNA’s business objectives including industry segment and product line marketing, advertising, media and public relations, employee communications, business communications to agents and CNA’s field operations, executive speeches and presentations, as well as community activities involving the CNA Foundation and CNA volunteers.
Prior to joining CNA in 2001, Ms. Pang spent nine years working for Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Administration, and ultimately served for several years as the Mayor’s First Deputy Chief of Staff . She provided oversight and coordination for the city’s 48 departments and agencies, as well as had direct management of special mayoral projects. She also served as liaison to federal, state and local government officials, civic organizations and private sector partners.
Additionally, Ms. Pang served as Executive Assistant to U.S. Senator Alan J. Dixon for 10 years. She assisted in the management of a statewide constituent service operation and aided the senator with legislative matters pertaining to Illinois projects, cases, community groups and business organizations.
Ms. Pang is currently the Executive Director of the CNA Foundation, and a member of the Lincoln Park Zoo Board of Directors’ Executive Committee, member of the advisory board of the Chinese American Service League; the Chicago Loop Alliance Board of Directors, and Co-chair of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s transition team. She was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business “Women to Watch” in 2011.
Ms. Pang has Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Iowa and attended Graduate School at the National Taiwan University.
J. D. Ross was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in March 2008, representing Will County. He serves as the Vice-Chair of the Audit and Finance Committees.
Mr. Ross is the Executive Director of the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic, a non-profit United Way funded agency that provides free health care to the uninsured in Will and Grundy Counties. Prior to that he served as an administrator at Joliet Junior College for almost 32 years, seven of which he was the President.
Mr. Ross is very active in the community serving on the boards of Cornerstone Services, Inc., the Presence St. Joseph Medical Center and the University of St. Francis, where he is the Board Chairperson.
Dr. Brian Sager began serving on the RTA Board representing McHenry County in May 2018. He serves on the Finance and Planning & Administration committees.
Dr. Sager served as mayor of Woodstock from 2005-2021 and has served on the Woodstock City Council since 1989. He served as President of the McHenry County Council of Governments from 2007 to 2009 and Chairman of the County Mayor’s Caucus from 2009 to 2015. He also served as Far East Trade Representative in the State of Illinois Hong Kong Office under former Governor Jim Thompson from 1977-1979.
The majority of Dr. Sager’s professional career has been in higher education. He worked 12 years with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service prior to moving to the Illinois Community College System in 1990. He was a professor at McHenry County College (MCC) for 18 years where he taught classes in animal and plant sciences and economics and was recognized as one of MCC’s Outstanding Faculty Members. He later served as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and Acting President of McHenry County College. Following MCC, he served as Provost of Rockford’s Rock Valley College until 2015. Dr. Sager is currently the General Livestock Superintendent of the Illinois State Fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin and is a certified auctioneer regularly conducting benefit auctions for local and regional charities.
Dr. Sager received his Bachelor of Science degree in animal and plant sciences and a Master of Science degree in agricultural economic development from the University of Illinois. He earned his Ph.D. in international development from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and a Master of Arts degree in instructional strategies from Rockford College.