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.
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.
Robert Harris - Vice Chair
Robert 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.
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.
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.
Maurice Brown is president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers (AFSCME) Local 250 representing the City of Cincinnati employees. He has been an employee with the City of Cincinnati since 2007 and was a Minority Small Business Owner for 15 years. He is a board member of the City of Cincinnati’s Community Development Advisory Board. Previously, he served as a social service worker and mentor for the “Friends of the Children” program formerly funded by Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services, and he was a volunteer with the Greater Cincinnati YMCA summer youth program and a youth basketball and softball coach. Brown has been a resident of Cincinnati for more than 30 years. He joined the SORTA board in 2015.
Chelsea 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.
Mr. Cull is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, where he oversees operations and strategic initiatives aimed at growing the vibrancy and economic prosperity of the Cincinnati USA region. Previously he served as Director of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs at The Kroger Co., Legislative Director and Press Secretary for Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken, and as a consultant at Global Lead Management Consulting. Cull serves on the government relations committees of the Food Marketing Institute and the National Retail Federation in Washington, D.C., and the boards of Tender Mercies and The Mercantile Library. He received a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Xavier University. Mr. Cull and his family reside in Clifton.
Blake 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.
Allen 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.
Roderick 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.
Thaddeus Hoffmeister is a practicing attorney and law professor at the University of Dayton School of Law where he teaches a number of courses related to technology. He also serves on the Wyoming City Council and in the National Guard. Previously, he worked in the United States House of Representatives where he advised members of Congress on transportation issues. He received his B.A. from Morgan State University, J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, and LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.
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.
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.
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.
Kathleen Wyenandt is a project manager with Advance Transportation Systems, Inc. (ATS Logistics). Wyenandt previously served as Butler County Democratic Party Central Committee chair and as a member of the Butler County Board of Elections. Wyenandt received her B.A. in political science and psychology from Miami University. She resides in Liberty Township.