Mayor Castor Announces Chairs and Members of Transportation and Construction Services Advisory Teams

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Tampa Mayor Jane Castor has named Dr. Robert Bertini, Director of USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research as chair of her transportation advisory team and Julia Mandell, shareholder at GrayRobinson as chair of her construction services and support team.


“We’re at a pivotal time,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “Tampa’s experiencing unprecedented growth and we have a dire need for transportation fixes and must streamline access to permits requested by our residents and those looking to build in the city. Dr. Bertini and Julia Mandell bring a wealth of knowledge in these respective fields and under their leadership these first two advisory teams will look for ways we can expedite projects across the board.”


The Transportation Advisory Team will meet on Monday, June 24th at 3:00 p.m. and the Construction Services and Support Advisory Team will meet on Monday, June 24th at 9:00 a.m.. Both meetings will be held at 201 N. Franklin Street in Suite 2900.



Co-Chair Robert Bertini: Robert L. Bertini, Ph.D., P.E. is Executive Director of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. He is also the director of the National Institute for Congestion Reduction, a new National University Transportation Center. Bertini’s primary research and teaching interests are in sustainable transportation, traffic flow theory, intelligent transportation systems, public transportation, “big data,” and proactive traffic management and operations.  He chairs the Transportation Research Board Operations Section and received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Bertini earned his BS (cum laude) from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, an MS from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. (all in civil engineering) from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Bertini served as the Deputy Administrator of Research and Innovative Technology at the U.S. Department of Transportation and has been recognized as a Fellow with the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.


Joe Waggoner:  Chief Executive Officer at Tampa Hillsborough County Expressway Authority. Former Chief, Planning & Development at Maryland Transportation Authority.


Clarence Eng: Based in Kimley-Horn’s Tampa office, Clarence has been on the leading edge of national award-winning urban regeneration and integrated transportation/land use planning implementation. His work includes smart mobility solutions for the Tampa Innovation District, transit planning on the Tampa Streetcar Modernization and Extension study, work on the Fort Lauderdale Wave Streetcar and Richmond Pulse Bus Rapid Transit, and transit-oriented development (TOD) strategies in the Washington, DC Metro and San Francisco Bay areas. Clarence serves as the Chairman of the Tampa Innovation Alliance Advisory Board overseeing the revitalization efforts in the University area, and is leading the implementation of a new district circulator. He has served on national Urban Land Institute Advisory Panels, and is a regular speaker at national conferences on smart mobility, micro-transit, autonomous vehicle solutions, transit, urban design, visioning, technology, TOD, and strategic redevelopment.

Cassandra Borchers:  Transportation planner. Chief Development Officer at Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. Former senior project manager at Lochner, consultant at TBARTA, and Transportation Planning Group Manager at Jacobs Engineering.


Christina Barker: Leader of All for Transportation. Vice President of Community Partnerships and Policy for the Vinik Family Office. Former Special Assistant to Mayor Buckhorn, Director of Public Policy at the Tampa Bay Partnership, Finance Director at Greenlight Pinellas, Metropolitan Ministries Community Donations Manager, and work on several campaigns.


Ben Limmer: CEO of HART. Limmer held transit leadership positions at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. and the City of Atlanta, Valley Metro in Phoenix, Arizona and the Regional Transit Authority in Cleveland, Ohio.


Cindy Stuart:  Hillsborough County School Board member. Cindy serves on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Glazer’s Children’s Museum, Juvenile Justice Board, Value Adjustments Board, SERVE and Florida School Boards Association (alternate). She continues her volunteer work with Metropolitan Ministries, St. Paul’s Catholic Church and participates in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk to Cure Breast Cancer. She is also a coordinator for her neighborhood watch.


Steve Simon:  President, Amalgamated Transit Union 1464, City of Tampa.


Gary Sasso:  President and CEO of Carlton Fields. He serves in leadership positions in many professional, business, and community organizations including the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Florida Bar Gender Diversity Task Force, American Law Institute, The Florida Council, Straz Performing Arts Center, and the Tampa Bay Partnership.


Cesar Hernandez:  Founder and Managing Director Omni Public, Public Affairs Consultant Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc., Government Relations Consultant Bird, Tampa Bay Mobility Alliance (Founder), Government Relations | Strategic Partnerships at the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART)


Bob O’Malley:  Vice President of Government Affairs, Virgin Trains. Former vice president of government affairs at CSX. O'Malley previously worked as director of central Florida operations for Sachs Media Group, and director of public affairs and strategic planning for MetroPlan Orlando, the regional transportation planning organization for Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.


Mark Sharpe:  Executive Director Tampa Innovation Partnership / Tampa !p. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner. Founder + Global Strategy Architect, The Tampa Bay Mobility Alliance. Florida Team Member, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc. Government Affairs Consultant, Bird.


Gena Torres:  Executive Planner Project Manager for Vision Zero, oversees the MPO’s congestion management/crash mitigation program and coordinates the MPO’s Technical Advisory Committee


Construction Services & Support


Chair Julia Mandell: As the former Tampa City Attorney, Julia is an experienced local government lawyer, specializing in land use, development and general municipal law. She brings more than 20 years of in house and private practice experience to assist clients in regulatory and public policy matters at the local and state level, including the drafting and enforcement of regulations and interacting with governmental agencies, officers and decision making boards and councils. In addition, Julia has been involved in a variety of litigation matters and contract bid disputes. Board certified by The Florida Bar in City, County, and Local Government Law, Julia counsels clients on land use, zoning, permitting, real estate, environmental, eminent domain, entitlement, telecommunication and litigation associated within these areas. She also handles procurement, RFPs, contract negotiations with government agencies and public infrastructure projects.

Jennifer Motsinger: Executive Vice President of the Tampa Bay Builders Association (TBBA). Former president of MPA consulting where she ran several political campaigns.


Soli Molnar: (Principal of Sol Design Studio). Solimar (Soli) Molnar received her Master’s in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of South Florida. Soli has focused on interior design over the past 16 years working closely with national clients such as Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and AmSouth. With each client, she worked to bring unique and consistent corporate branding across multiple U.S. locations.


Meredith Freeman: Meredith A. Freeman is a partner in the Tampa office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Construction Litigation Practice Group. Meredith is Board Certified in Construction Law by the Florida Bar and practices primarily in the areas of construction and business litigation. Meredith is a member of the Construction Law Committee of the Real Property & Probate Law Section of the Florida Bar. She currently serves on the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, which is a Florida Bar Standing Committee. Meredith is also a member of the 2017 Leadership Tampa Class.

Roberto Torres: Owner, Blind Tiger Cafe. Board member, Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, advisory board member Ybor City Development Corporation.


Rhea Law: Attorney. Actively involved in public policy, civic and charitable work, Rhea holds top leadership positions with many Florida-based organizations. She received gubernatorial appointments to serve on the inaugural Board of Trustees for the University of South Florida, as well as on the board of the Florida Council of 100, the public policy liaison with Florida's governor, cabinet, legislative leadership and Supreme Court. Rhea served as Chair of the Board for both organizations. As Vice Chair of higher education committee, Rhea helped steer the Florida Council of 100's two reports to improve university research and development.


Joe Samnik: Consulting forensic arborist in the areas of trees, landscapes, and related “Green Industry” matters. My expert forensic arborist opinions have been accepted in over 800 matters in small claims, civil, federal, criminal, and eminent domain courts of law.


Lakshmi Shenoy: Lakshmi Shenoy is a recent transplant to the Tampa Bay area and is the CEO of Embarc Collective, formerly known as the Tampa Bay Innovation Hub. Embarc Collective strives to make Tampa Bay a prime destination for diverse startup talent. Before moving to Tampa, Lakshmi lived in Chicago and served as the Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at 1871, the top university-affiliated business incubator in the world. Prior to 1871, Lakshmi focused on growth strategies for a variety of businesses through previous roles at Prophet Brand Strategy, Time Inc., Procter & Gamble, and Leo Burnett. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Chicago, and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


John Diaz: Contractor, Ceiba Custom Homes.


Fred Hames: Director of Operations - Southeast Executive Vice President at Barr & Bar. Former Skanska USA general manager and executive vice president for Florida.


Charlie Rollins: Senior Vice President and Director of Construction of Strategic Property Partners

Prior to SPP, Rollins was the senior vice president/director of construction at Samuels & Associates in Boston.


Mike Loomis: Owner, general consultant, landscape architect. Born and raised in Connecticut, Mike purchased Landscape Fusion’s current location on S. Dale Mabry in 2014, and has since constructed a modern design and build showroom with outdoor living furnishings retail that opened in Fall 2017.


Carroll Ann Bennett: Land-Use Chair of the Virginia Park Neighborhood Association leader.


Chase Collier: Chase has more than twenty-five years of experience in the real estate business. Chase’s responsibilities include the acquisition and disposition of office buildings in the Tampa and Orlando divisions for Highwoods. In addition to buying and selling office buildings, he performs underwriting and budgeting for development and build-to-suit opportunities. Chase has been involved in the acquisition or disposition of over 16 million square feet of transactions totaling more than $1.6 billion, as well as $460 million in completed office developments totaling 2.3 million square feet.


Andy Joe Scaglione: Former President, GTAR. Scaglione has served as a member of Florida Realtors Board of Directors since 2013. He has been a member of the state association’s Commercial Alliance Committee and has served as a key contact for state lawmakers. He is active with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), currently serving on its 2018 State and Local Issues Policy Committee, and is a past member of the NAR Board of Directors.


Julia Mandrell

Julia Mandell

Dr. Robert Bertini

 Robert L. Bertini, Ph.D