The board of CvilleRail represents all major facets of the community. Our members are professionals from education, business, and government.
In Memoriam William D. Middleton, P.E.25 March 1921 to 10 July 2011 Widely recognized as one of the world’s most authoritative writers and photographers on railroading, Bill was the author of more than 20 books and approximately 700 articles on railroads, rail travel, and rail operations. A founding member of CvilleRail, Bill advised the board on every aspect of intercity and commuter rail and brought international and historical perspective to our endeavors. He was a career U.S. Naval officer, civil engineer and facilities manager at the University of Virginia. Bill's recent book,The Encyclopedia of North American Railroads, published in 2007 by Indiana University Press, has been hailed as the most authoritative and comprehensive reference work in print on the evolution of railroading in North America.
Dr. Meredith Richards, Chairman A former Charlottesville City Councilor and Vice Mayor, Meredith specializes in transportation public policy and is a vocal proponent of public transit, passenger rail and integrating land use and transportation planning to protect our environment and quality of life. She is a former President of the Virginia Transit Association who also served on Governor Mark Warner's Commission on Rail Enhancement for the 21st Century. Meredith is Immediate Past-President of Virginians for High Speed Rail and is a Fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute.She is Founder and Chairman of CvilleRail and leads the Piedmont Rail Coalition.
Robert S. DeMauri, Vice Chairman As Founding Executive Director of the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development, Bob led the partnership for over a decade, advancing economic prosperity and quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville Region. With his academic background in urban planning and his extensive knowledge of state transportation issues gained from his years with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Bob brings vision and experienced leadership to the Board. Bob is currently Associate Manager for The Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group. An enthusiastic rail supporter, Bob understands the importance of passenger rail for promoting economic development and job opportunities.
Fran Hooper, Secretary Fran is a national expert on transportation issues and has served as the Director of Member Services for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). As a long-time member of APTA’s staff, Fran was responsible for the programs and services APTA provides for its 750 private sector companies, as well as its Commuter and Intercity Rail programs. In these positions she has worked with APTA’s public and private sector members to improve the way the transit industry does business and enhance the effectiveness of their operations. She recently formed her own consulting firm, and continues to develop programs and services for APTA. Fran brings expertise in transportation and deep knowledge of transportation public policy to the board.
Tom Raney An expert in marketing and retail, Tom is now a Charlottesville real estate professional who is also an avid supporter of passenger rail service. Tom has a keen understanding of how access to high quality rail transportation affects the economic health and quality of life of an urban community. Originally from Texas, Mr. Raney has lived and commuted within the Northeast corridor and has traveled widely by train across the country whenever possible. He uses his marketing skills to promote both our organization and rail service in the region.
Adrian Felts The Manager of Charlottesville Operations for Battelle, an international firm providing expertise for many of America's national security operations, Adrian has a unique knowledge of the benefits of passenger rail connections to Washington, DC for business travel and for the growing defense industry in our area. When Adrian moved to Charlottesville three years ago, he expected to be able to ride the rails to Washington for his frequent business meetings there. His disappointment in the available passenger service led to his interest in CvilleRail and its mission. In spite of having survived a terrible train wreck as a child, Adrian overcame his fears and spent his honeymoon crisscrossing Europe on passenger trains with his new bride.Adrian frequently uses trains to meet his busy travel schedule, and enjoys the convenience, comfort and productivity that it affords for the business traveler.
Gerard R. Deily, P.E. A Registered Professional Engineer and a retiree from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Jerry advises the board on both operational issues and national developments in freight and passenger rail. Late in his career, Jerry served as acting chief of the Track Research Division in FRA's Office of R&D, where he managed aspects of USDOT's program to test Amtrak's Acela trainsets and their tilting mechanism at speeds up to 165mph. Jerry began riding streetcars at an early age and utilized both trains and subways in his teens. He is a qualified trolley operator at the Rockhill Trolley Museum in Pennsylvania, where he often serves as a volunteer motorman during the tourist season. An active contributor to community organizations promoting alternative transportation, Jerry served for seven years as a member of the Board of Directors of Virginians for High Speed Rail and continues to serve as a member of the organization's Advisory Board.
Dr. Paul Reynolds A professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia, Paul is an active researcher whose work has been sponsored by major defense agencies, the National Science Foundation, National Institute for Science and Technology, VirginiaCenter for Innovative Technology, and numerous industries. His primary research activities are in simulation technology, parallel and distributed computing and computing technology for the visually impaired. The winner of several teaching awards, Paul takes pride in graduating minority and women students to diversify the ranks of computer scientists. Look overhead in Paul’s office and you'll see an elevated model train that circumnavigates the perimeter of the room. Paul is also building a small gauge railroad on his property in North Downtown Charlottesville.
Susan Stimart Originally from Southern California, Susan lived for 7 years without a car, relying instead on Sacramento’s light rail and Amtrak’s passenger rail! She has a BA in History from UT at San Antonio, a joint master’s degree in urban planning and transportation planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, as well as an MBA from AmericanUniversity. She has worked previously as a transportation consultant for K.T. Analytics, Louis Berger International and KPMG Peat Marwick. Eight years back Susan began working in community economic development and now presently serves as Economic Development Facilitator for AlbemarleCounty, helping to promote mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods.
Mark Mascotte As an associate with Octagon Partners, a Charlottesville-based company that specializes in redeveloping urban spaces, Mark's investments breathe life into neglected historic properties and reinvigorate urban centers. His company is currently developing sites in Charlottesville, Staunton and Culpeper, making adaptive reuse of abandoned historic buildings in the hearts of these communities. His company has recently taken on the task of redeveloping and repurposing the former Martha Jefferson Hospital in North Downtown Charlottesville. In an age of sprawl, Mark is dedicated to reviving the patterns of urban life that characterize great cities, where people live, shop and work downtown and use transit, commuter and intercity rail to meet their basic transportation needs.