OPTA Excellence Awards 2021

OPTA Celebrates Excellence in Public Transit!

OPTA’s Excellence Awards 2021 will honor individuals and organizations who have exemplified leadership and advocacy for public transit in Ohio. Transit employees, board members and community stakeholders who, by their commitment, work, actions and passion, deserve to be celebrated.   Nominations were submitted by associate and mobility manager members of OPTA, the 60 + transit systems in the state of Ohio and transit stakeholders.

Awards will be presented during the Ohio Needs Transit Conference & OPTA EXPO Awards Luncheon scheduled for Friday, September 17, 2021. REGISTER NOW!



The past year provided unprecedented challenges to all who work within public transit as well​ as those stakeholders that support the industry and the riders whose lives depend on​ ​reliable transportation service.

We encourage the leadership of Ohio’s transit systems to join OPTA on Friday, September 17 as we honor individuals who have demonstrated themselves to be role models and leaders in public transit.


Leonard Ronis Award | Mobility Manager | Legislator of the Year | Lifetime Achievement

Four Under Forty | Milestone Award | Associate Engagement

Collaborative Excellence Award | Community Impact Award

Thank you to our OPTA Excellence Awards Committee!


Julia Schick, Laketran | Committee Chair


Ben Capelle, Laketran | Katherine Conrad, Ohio Transit Risk Pool | Jose Feliciano, Greater Cleveland RTA

Laura Koprowski, Toledo Area RTA | Barbara Rhoades, Ohio Transit Risk Pool

Judy Rodriguez, Western Reserve Transit Authority | Blair Taseff, TESCO

Shannon Webster, Greene CATS Public Transit Carrie Woody, Lancaster-Fairfield RTA


to the OPTA Excellence Award 2020 Recipients

OPTA Lifetime Achievement

Jim Ryan, GILLIG, Regional Sales Director

Curtis Stitt, OPTA Executive Director, Retired

OPTA Leonard Ronis Award

Carrie Woody, Director, Lancaster-Fairfield Public Transit System


Scott Lammers, Hancock Area Transportation Service, Director of Transportation

Matt Dutkevicz, Butler County Regional Transit Authority, Executive Director 

Jeff Mundstock, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, Director, Fleet and Facilities

Valerie Shea, METRO Regional Transit Authority, Director of Strategic Planning & Development

OPTA Community Impact Awards

Antonio McClendon, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, Operator

Lydia Carroll, Southeast Area Transit District, Transit Center Supervisor

Sandra Guess, METRO Regional Transit Authority, Operator

Amanda Jones, METRO Regional Transit Authority, Operator

TAC Industries

OPTA Associate Engagement

Ohio Transit Risk Pool, Barbara Rhoades


Awarded to individuals or transit agencies reaching significant milestones in the transit industry.

Thirty Years of Service

Reginald Brown, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, Transit Operator (view video)

Steven Rolfes, Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, Transit Operator (view video)

Cheryl Brady, Laketran, Transit Operator (view video)

Jodi Zilke, Laketran, Lead Dispatcher (view video)

Fifty Years of Service

METRO Regional Transit Authority

50 Years on the Road, 100 Years of Experience (view video)