Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority
The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) is a tax-supported, independent political subdivision of the State of Ohio and is a government entity. SORTA operates Metro fixed-route bus service and Access paratransit service for people whose disabilities prevent their riding Metro buses.
SORTA is governed by a 13-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Seven trustees are appointed by the City of Cincinnati and six are appointed by Hamilton County. Hamilton County appoints three of its own trustees plus one each representing Butler, Clermont and Warren counties. The funding relationship between SORTA and the City is established by the City/SORTA Agreement of 1973.
|To contact the SORTA board or to receive e-mail updates on upcoming SORTA board meetings,
contact Donna Adkins at 513-632-7610 or via email.
SORTA Board Meetings
Third Tuesday of every month, 9:00 a.m.
602 Main Street, Suite 1100
Cincinnati, OH 45202
SORTA Board of Trustees
Suzanne Burke - Chair
Suzanne Burke became Chief Executive Officer of Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio in 2005. Previously, she worked for Hamilton County for 17 years serving as the Acting Hamilton County Administrator, Director of the Department of Job & Family Services, and Director of Administrative Services (County Budget Director) among other positions. Ms. Burke has a master's degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from Xavier University and a bachelor's degree in Marketing with a minor in Gerontology from Miami University. She is President of the Board of the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging. She also serves on the boards of Every Child Succeeds and ITN Greater Cincinnati. Ms. Burke joined the SORTA Board in 2011.
Karl Schultz - Vice Chair
Mr. Schultz is a member of the Miami Township, Clermont County, Board of Trustees. He joined the Miami Township Rural Zoning Commission in 1983, and served as chairman from 1985 through 1998, a period of growth for Miami Township. He has been a member of the Clermont County Planning Commission since 2004 and was chairman in 2008. Mr. Schultz served as the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Regional Planning Authority (OKI) representative for the county planning commission 2006 through 2008. He currently serves as a member of the OKI board of directors. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Mr. Schultz retired from Cincinnati Milacron in 2006, after 42 years of service. He served in the Air Force Reserve from 1965 until he retired as a Colonel in 2004. Mr. Schultz, his wife, two adult children, and three grandchildren reside in Miami Township. He joined the SORTA Board in 2010.
Frank H. Bowen Jr.
Frank H. Bowen Jr. is the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students for the Division of Student Affairs and Services at the University of Cincinnati, where he has worked for thirty years. He is administratively responsible for the units that comprise the Office of Student Life. At the University of Cincinnati, he has served in various positions. His service to the University and the Greater Cincinnati community has been marked by his participation in leadership roles in organizations at the local, regional and international level. He has received many honors, awards and special recognition for his leadership ability, student advocacy and service. Mr. Bowen has three children, two of which are graduates of the University of Cincinnati. He and his wife Debbie reside in Evendale. He joined the board in 2012.
Todd L. Cooper
Todd Cooper, a partner at Squire Sanders Law Firm, focuses his practice on tax matters related to public finance, primarily the federal taxation aspects of municipal bonds. He also serves as bond and underwriter’s counsel on public finance transactions. Mr. Cooper is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which signifies the height of legal excellence and ethics. He was listed in the 2006 edition of Ohio Super Lawyers, and was elected a Regular Fellow of the American College of Bond Counsel. Mr. Cooper has been a member of various tax panels. He served on the faculty at the Fundamentals of Municipal Bond Law Seminar in 2007 and 2008. He has addressed numerous groups on arbitrage, private activity, general public finance tax topics and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Mr. Cooper is also a member of the Tax Exempt Financing Committee of the American Bar Association and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur Partners in Action Committee. He received his JD and MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College. Mr. Cooper joined SORTA in 2012.
Mr. Dunn is director of multicultural affairs and community development for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). In his current role, he develops and manages the CVB’s comprehensive multicultural strategy, working to more deeply engage the local community, region-wide partners, and the CVB sales team to provide support in analyzing and pursuing new business opportunities. A well-known, well-respected leader locally and nationally, he is described as one of the region’s strongest voices for reputation building, diversity and inclusion. Mr. Dunn was named a “40 Under 40” young industry leader by Connect and Rejuvenate magazines. He led the effort to develop 2011 Cincy Culture Splash in partnership with African-American and Hispanic Chambers, and led the community effort to sign the three major conventions – the League of United Latin American Citizens, Prince Hall Shriners and the Elks – all in one summer. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Mr. Dunn started his career at the Cincinnati USA CVB in September 2004. Prior to joining the CVB, he gained event management experience with organizations including the City of Cincinnati, the Riverfront Classic & Jamboree and the West End Health Center. He currently resides in Cincinnati with his wife, Tiffany, and their daughter, Mya. Mr. Dunn joined the SORTA board in 2012.
Brennan C. Grayson is a partner with Kircher, Suetholz & Grayson (KSG), a regional law firm dedicated to the achievement of social and economic justice through service to the labor movement and allied organizations. He regularly represents his clients in state and federal court, labor arbitration, and administrative proceedings on matters such as Duty of Fair Representation defense, Fair Labor Standards Act claims and discrimination charges. Mr. Grayson also advises health and welfare plans on compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In the community, Mr. Grayson served for years as the Secretary of the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers’ Center. His current public service projects include working with the Josh Morrow Workplace Fairness Fund (Trustee), Ohio Alliance Against Wage Theft (Founding Member) and City of North College Hill (Unofficial Juvenile Court Referee). He is a 2008 graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Mr. Grayson, his wife, Jennifer Summers, and two children live in Winton Place. He joined the SORTA board in 2013.
Mr. Hothem is a licensed Realtor and Cincinnati-area business leader and serves as the Warren County representative to the board. Hothem has successfully led several corporate restructurings resulting in significant revenue growth and profit gains. He currently serves as General Manager of Venture One Construction, Inc., a Cincinnati-based commercial construction firm specializing in retail new construction and remodeling along with governmental, educational and health care facilities. Hothem is focused on taking Venture One to world class status within its key markets, working with clients such as Wal Mart, Sears, Gordon Food Service and Ohio University, among others. Hothem attended Northern Michigan University and the University of Michigan and holds a B.A. in Accounting and Political Science. He is an active member of the Warren County Regional Planning Commission, the City of Loveland Finance Committee, Executive Service Corp and Habitat for Humanity. Hothem resides with his wife and two daughters in an 1876 restored Victorian home in Loveland. Mr. Hothem joined SORTA in 2009.
Mr. Reed has worked in or with public transit since 1998. He is currently Loss Control Services Manager for the Ohio Transit Risk Pool, where he is responsible for the oversight of all loss control, training, and risk auditing activities. He previously served as General Manager at Butler County Regional Transit Authority in Hamilton, Ohio. Since 1994, Mr. Reed has served on the board of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments, which coordinates regional transportation planning in the Greater Cincinnati region. He also spent 12 years as an elected member of Trenton City Council, a community of 11,000, situated in southwest Ohio. Mr. Reed holds a BSBA from The Ohio State University in Marketing/Transportation Logistics and has post-graduate designations of Associate in Claims (AIC) and an Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities (ARM-P) from the Insurance Institute of America (IIA/CPCU). He resides in Trenton, Ohio, with his wife, Ruth. He joined the SORTA board in 2011.
Gwen L. Robinson
Gwen L. Robinson serves as President/CEO for Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency, a position she has held since 1995. She is a co-founder of Every Child Succeeds, President of the State Community Action Association, and member of many boards, including the Hoxworth Advisory Board, Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI), the Public Library Foundation Board, the Cincinnatus Association, the Public Benefit Board for the State of Ohio, and the Fifth Third CRA Board. She was the first African-American President of the Cincinnatus Association. Ms. Robinson has received many awards, including the 2010 Profile in Courage, The Cincinnati Enquirer 2006 Women of the Year, Leading Women of the Year, YWCA Career Women of Achievement, Ladies of Distinction 2007 Honoree, NAACP 2006 Wright Overstreet Award, Radio One Women Empowerment Award, and the Dada Rafiki award. She lives in Springfield Township with her husband and has two adult sons. She joined the SORTA board in 2012.
Wael W. Safi
Wael W. Safi, Pharm.D., is Corporate Functions and Open Innovation manager for San Francisco Bay Area and University Relations for Procter & Gamble. He was previously New Business Creation project leader in Beauty and Grooming/Products Research and Front End Innovation project leader in Respiratory/Personal Health Care. Dr. Safi also worked for Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and was a pharmacist for CVS Pharmacy. In 2012, he was named a Business Courier Healthcare Heroes Finalist and received a Legacy Next Generation Leader Award. Dr. Safi has served on various boards and foundations, most notably the Cincinnati Health Department where he was Chair from 2010-2013, the University of Cincinnati, and the Dean’s Board of Advisors at the Winkle College of Pharmacy. He received his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy in 2004. Dr. Safi resides in Mason. He joined the SORTA board in 2013.
Brandi M. Stewart
Brandi M. Stewart is an attorney in the litigation department of Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL (KMK). She practices primarily in the areas of tort and commercial litigation and product liability defense. She currently serves on the Ohio State Bar Association Board of Governors. Ms. Stewart was named a 2012 Ohio Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers and a 2008 YWCA Rising Star. She has previously served on Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory’s Young Professional Kitchen Cabinet where she was the Chair of the Parents and Young Families Committee, and she was a participant in the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s C-Change Program, Class IV. Ms. Stewart earned her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2007, and her B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 2004. She lives in Corryville. Ms. Stewart joined the board in 2012.
Lamont Taylor is Human Resources Manager for Frisch's Restaurants, Inc. He is responsible for employee relations and non-exempt recruitment for Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. He had previously worked for Federal Express and the Greater Cincinnati Urban League. Mr. Taylor served as chairperson for the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. He also served as the vice president of Finance for the National Human Resource Association and is a member of the board that oversees Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services. He has been actively involved in community issues, currently serving on the Community Action Agency Board, as past president of the Corryville Community Council and board member for the Cincinnati Empowerment Zone, Cincinnati Works, and Corryville Community Development Corporation. He and his wife Erika reside in Kennedy Heights with their two daughters, Evan and Rhyan. He was previously on the SORTA board from 2003 until 2010. He served as SORTA Vice Chair from 2004 until 2006 and Chair from 2006 through 2007. He rejoined the board in 2012.
Brad Thomas is an Attorney at the Manley Burke Law Office in Cincinnati. He is the founder of Cincystreetcar.com and a member of Cincinnatians for Progress, and the Over-The-Rhine Brewery District. As an attorney, he focuses on corporate, real estate, and administrative law involvingthe alcoholic beverage industry. He received his JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and degrees in History and Political Science from the College of Charleston, S.C. He lives in Over-the-Rhine. Mr. Thomas joined the board in 2012.
SORTA board meetings
Third Tuesday of every month, 9:00 a.m.
602 Main Street, Suite 1100
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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