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OPTA Excellence Awards 2024

OPTA Celebrates Excellence in Public Transit!

OPTA’s Excellence Awards 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 should be submitted by transit associate and mobility manager members of OPTA, the 65 + transit systems in the state of Ohio and transit stakeholders.

OPTA is now accepting nominations for the 2024 calendar year. The 2024 nomination form can be found here. Applications are due to by 5PM on September 6, 2024.

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OPTA Excellence Award 2023 Recipients

Legislator of the Year

Awarded to one elected official who has advanced the improvement of public transit statewide.

Representative Jeff LaRe

Mobility Manager

Awarded to a Mobility Manager whose advocacy, innovative collaborative

efforts and dedicated public service best represents the spirit and professionalism of mobility management.

Tracy Haines,  (Coschocton Co.)

Lifetime Achievement

Awarded to one recipient for noteworthy accomplishments in the field of public transit.

Jack Thompson, (SARTA) and Ricky McDaniel (Akron Metro)

Collaborative Excellence

The OPTA Collaborative Excellence award recognizes a program, business, academic institution or individual which has demonstrated an exemplary partnership or an innovative collaboration within the public transit industry for a sustained period of three months or more.

Akron Metro: Come Ride with (B)us

Community Impact

Awarded to any transit employee who has had a significant impact within a community. Examples include, but not limited to, a heroic act while in the line of duty or organizing an employee food drive for less fortunate individuals.

Keith Leighton and Christina Wendell (COTA), Shawn Craig (Akron Metro)

Under Forty Rising Stars

Awarded to transit professionals and stakeholders under the age of 40 to celebrate the future of transit in Ohio. Nominations will be judged based upon achievement in transit and leadership within their specific communities.

Aslyne Rodriguez, (COTA)
Andrea Aaby, (Laketran)

Milestone Award

Award recognizes individuals or transit agencies reaching significant milestones in the transit industry. Milestones can be very diverse and could include an individual who has given a significant number of years of service or has implemented a system-wide program that has had a major impact.

Keith Bare, (Laketran)

Virgil Wise, (TARTA)

Brian Trautman, (PARTA)

Leonard Ronis Award

Awarded to one recipient for noteworthy accomplishments in the field of public transit.

Kirt Conrad, (SARTA)

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