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 16-member volunteer citizens’ board of trustees. Eleven trustees are appointed by Hamilton County and five are appointed by the City of Cincinnati. Three of the Hamilton County appointees are non-voting trustees representing Butler, Clermont, and Warren counties. 

To contact the SORTA board or to receive updates on upcoming SORTA board meetings, contact Shannel Satterfield via email.


SORTA Board of Trustees

Gregg Hothem

Kreg Keesee - Chair

Mr. Keesee serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Michelman, Inc., an innovative supplier of sustainable specialty chemicals used in a variety of industrial applications based in Blue Ash. Kessee joined Michelman in 2016 as Chief Supply Chain Officer and assumed his current role in 2019. Prior to this role, he spent 18 years at Sun Chemical where he held leadership positions in the supply chain, information technology and graphic services. He started his career as a commercial lender with Michigan National Bank and spent eight years working in Procter & Gamble’s food and beverage division. He received his degree in economics and later a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Mr. Keesee, his wife, Shannon, and two children live in Hyde Park. He joined the SORTA Board in 2014.

Alyson Beridon - Vice Chair

Ms. Beridon is an attorney with Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC who works with unions, advocacy and charitable organizations and individuals on civil litigation; establishment of nonprofit organizations; and the development and advocacy of legislation. Prior to attending law school, she spent several years with the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, working with and advocating for unions in legislative and political arenas. Ms. Beridon also worked as a legislative aide for two members of the Cincinnati City Council and as a campaign manager. She earned her J.D. in 2010 from Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, and her B.A. in 1998 from the University of Evansville.

Karl
Heidi Black

Ms. Black is the Director of Collaborative Improvement at StriveTogether, a nonprofit organization that works to transform the education system so that a child’s success is not dictated by race, ethnicity, zip code or circumstance. In her role, Ms. Black supports community partnerships to make data-driven decisions to understand what is work, what is not working and implement strategies that better support children and families. Her work at StriveTogether has received national recognition. Prior to joining StriveTogether, Ms. Black worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as a policy aide and scheduler. She is a graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband and daughters.

Chelsea Clark

Ms. Clark is a member of the Forest Park City Council and vice chair of the Forest Park Economic Development Commission. She launched the city's first Minority Business Initiative to help small and minority businesses access the capital they need to get off the ground. She also serves as council liaison for public safety (police and fire).

Clark was accepted into the MORTAR business incubator in 2017 and, after winning the Judge’s Choice Award, she opened her own small business called The Stem Lab. The program is geared to children ages two through 14 and develops their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. She built The STEM Lab into a force for providing communities of color and young women the skills necessary for and pathway to high-paying and innovative industries. In 2020, she received Hamilton County’s Black History Month Award in recognition of her commitment to STEM education and political advocacy.

Trenton Emeneker

Mr. Emeneker is self-employed as a consultant guiding tech start-ups through the process of taking concepts from idea to product delivery. He graduated from Furman University and joined the United States Marine Corps. While on active duty, he served as a navigator on the F/A-18 aircraft and deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and twice to the Western Pacific. After leaving active duty, he earned his MBA from Columbia Business School and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, where he has served with infantry battalions and regiments. He resides in West Chester Township with his wife and two young sons and represents Butler County on the SORTA Board. 

Blake Ethridge

Blake Ethridge

Mr. Ethridge is the technical editor at First Transit. Previously, he spent more than 10 years as an instructor at Johns Hopkins University. He serves on the board of the Midwest Chapter of the Congress for New Urbanism. Ethridge received his B.A. in chemistry and political science from Goucher College and his M.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University. He resides in Cincinnati.



Alan Freeman

Mr. Freeman is president of 50+1 Public Policy Initiatives, a consulting business focusing on financial and public relations strategies. Previously, Freeman worked for the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) and prior to that as District Representative to former U.S. Congressman Rob Portman. While at OKI, Freeman served on the Lunken Airport Advisory Committee, the OKI Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and was an alternate on the Greater Cincinnati Health Council. He currently serves on the Pierce Township Board of Trustees. Freeman received his B.A. in political science from the University of Cincinnati.

Robert Harris

Mr. Harris is an inclusion consultant at Bridges for a Just Community. Previously, he worked as director for the Cincinnati region for Ohio Technology-Related Assistance Information Network (TRAIN) and as the education and training coordinator for the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission. He has served on several local boards and commissions, including a prior term on the SORTA Board of Trustees. Harris received his B.A. in community development and community relations, as well as in printmaking, from the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Cincinnati.

Rod Hinton

Mr. Hinton is the Chief Administrative Officer at The Children’s Home. An impassioned leader who remains steadfastly dedicated and connected to the community, Hinton serves on several boards for local charities and fellow non-profits including SORTA; the Christ Hospital College of Nursing & Health Sciences; Xavier University’s Williams College of Business; Inclusion and Advisory Board, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce; Mission 26 Strategic Planning Committee, McNicholas High School; and, Co-Chair, Arts Wave Nonprofits. He received his B.A. in organizational communication and his M.S. in human resource development from Xavier University. He resides in Oakley.

 


Gwen L. Robinson

Ms. Robinson formerly served as President/CEO for the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency, a position she 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 was appointed by the City of Cincinnati in 2012.

Sara Sheets

Sara Sheets

Ms. Sheets has served as Loan Officer at Cincinnati Development Fund since April 2019, where she works with developers, nonprofit organizations and community development corporations to advance real estate projects in urban neighborhoods. Prior to CDF, she served as the first Executive Director of the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (MCURC), from January 2013 until April 2019. During her tenure there, she oversaw affordable housing projects, historic building rehabilitation and new, mixed-use development. In addition to this real estate work, Ms. Sheets convened diverse partners to advance comprehensive community development in Madisonville in the areas of community engagement, health and wellness, education and youth, and more. Ms. Sheets serves as a board member of Homebase and Cincinnati Neighborhood Business Districts United. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and Urban Studies from Ohio Wesleyan University and an M.A. in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sonja Taylor

Sonja Taylor

Ms. Taylor has worked in the government and non-profit sector for many years, most recently serving as the Chief of Staff for former Hamilton County Commissioner Victoria Parks. Her work has also involved assisting families during their times of need, including women suffering from domestic violence, as well as low-income populations. Ms. Taylor previously led a youth mentoring program at the Talbert House for children of incarcerated parents and won several awards for her work there. Her successful efforts with the mentoring program also resulted in her being recruited by Big Brother Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati. She has owned and managed two small businesses, a summer camp for youth, and a tax & notary business and understands many of the hurdles facing small businesses and economic development. Ms. Taylor has also taught Criminal Justice and ran the Fire Arms Training Simulator at Beckfield College, in addition to teaching Business Administration at Ohio Midwestern College. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Wilmington University (OH), and her master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. She is the mother of two children and lives in Forest Park.

Sonja Taylor

Larry Thompson

Mr. Thompson is the President of Laborers International Union of North America, Local 265.  After working as a construction laborer for 28 years, he currently serves as an Apprenticeship Coordinator and now fills the duties of Business Agent. He also serves as a delegate to Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council, Greater Cincinnati Building Trades, Ohio Laborers District Council, and Kentucky Laborers District Council and as an Alternate Trustee to Laborers Local 265 Pension Fund. Mr. Thompson is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Cincinnati Chapter of NAACP. He lives in Springfield Township.