The board of CvilleRail represents all major facets of the community. Our members are professionals from education, business, and government.
Dr. Meredith Richards, former Charlottesville City Councilor and Vice Mayor, 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 President of Virginians for High Speed Rail and is a fellow with the Virginia Rail Policy Institute.She is Founder and Chairman of CvilleRail and leads the Piedmont Rail Coalition.
Robert S. DeMauri led the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development [TJPED] for over a decade and is currently Associate Manager for The Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group. At his former organization , Bob advanced economic prosperity and quality of life in the Greater Charlottesville Region. As an enthusiastic rail supporter, Bob sees this continuing opportunity to offer both types of benefits to citizens of the area.
Fran Hooper is an expert on transportation issues and has served as the Director of Member Services for the American Public Transportation Association. A member of APTA’s staff since 1998, Ms. Hooper 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 brings this expertise to CvilleRail and educates the board on public policy matters.
Bill Middleton, widely recognized as one of the world’s most authoritative writers on passenger railroading, is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on rail transportation. Bill advises our board on Urban Rail and Regional/Commuter Rail planning issues as well as illuminating us on the fast-changing rail transit scene. He was a career U.S. Naval officer, civil engineer and facilities manager at the University of Virginia. Bill most recent book is The Encyclopedia of North American Railroads, published in 2007 by Indiana University Press.
Tom Raney, an expert on marketing and retail, 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 is Manager of Charlottesville Operations for Battelle, an international firm providing expertise for many of America's national security operations. 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.
Gerard R. Deily, P.E.is a Registered Professional Engineer and a retiree from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Late in his career he 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 plus 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.
Dr. Paul Reynolds, a professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia, 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 is originally from Southern California, where she 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 Business Development Facilitator for AlbemarleCounty, helping to promote mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods.
Mark Mascotte is 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.
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.