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 Natalie Krusling via email.
Kreg Keesee - Chair
Mr. Keesee serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Cold Jet, a global leader in dry ice blasting. Prior to this role, Keesee served as Chief Operating Officer for Michelman, Inc. 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 joined the SORTA Board in 2014 and has served as chairman since 2018..
Blake Ethridge - Vice Chair
Mr. Ethridge is the Director of Operations for VRI, a provider of remote patient monitoring. Previously he served in various managerial and leadership roles for First Transit, most recently as Director of Data Analytics & Operations Support. Mr. Ethridge received his B.A. in chemistry and political science from Goucher College and his M.A. in political science from Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Jay Bedi serves as a Co-Partner at the Delta by Marriott hotels in Sharonville, OH. A resident of Mason, OH, Jay has been active in the Warren County community - leveraging his passion for people and stronger communities through voluntary roles previously serving as Indian American Chamber of Commerce's Advisory Council, Mason Parks and Recreation Board of Directors, Cincinnati Art Association Board of Trustees and currently as Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) - Board of Trustees. Jay has decades of experience working in the hospitality industry, where he's led several events companies and ethnic restaurants. He has a passion for giving back - now Co- Owner of Elevated Minds Academy Day Care center in North College Hill, Cincinnati and LDI Hospitality. Jay resides in Mason with his two children and wife Surmeet.
The board's labor representative, Mr. Brice was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated from Withrow High School. He soon after joined Laborers' Local 265 as a union member in 2001. While working in the field for over 18 years with various union construction companies as a laborer, he also held the leadership position as Union Steward. Hired as an organizer to the union in 2019, he currently serves as Recording Secretary & Field Representative of Laborers' International Union of North America. From 2020-21, he also served as an auditor for the local chapter. Mr. Brice also currently serves as an executive board member of Laborers' Local 265, delegate to the Greater Cincinnati Building Trades Council, delegate to the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and delegate to the Laborers' District Council of Ohio, member of Greater Cincinnati NAACP and previously a member of the Greater Cincinnati A Philip Randolph Institute. He is the SORTA Board's labor representative. Mr. Brice currently resides in Colerain Township with his two daughters.
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.
Mr. Driehaus is president and CEO of Driehaus Insurance Group, having graduated from Miami University with degrees in public administration and urban planning and entering the insurance business in 1994. He founded DIC in 2014 and serves on various non-profit boards and civic organizations in the community, and served as Chair of the City of Cincinnati Planning Commission from 2014-2019. Mr. Driehaus is currently the Chair of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky Meals on Wheels, Chair of the Cincinnati Insurance Board and serves as a board member of the Cincinnati Children's Theatre and the Cincinnati Fire Museum. He also currently serves as an elected member of Wyoming (Ohio) City Council, where he resides with his wife and their two daughters.
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 board as a non-voting member.
Mr. Kelly is a member of the Deer Park City Council. He launched quarterly meet-and-greet events with City Council to increase accountability and accessibility of city leadership.
Kelly works as an Employment Services Technician for Hamilton County Job and Family Services and the Hamilton County Office of Youth. He helps to manage an $8 million youth employment and training program that has served more than 2,500 young people since its inception.
Kelly also serves as board president for the Center for Independent Living Options. He helps guide the mission and vision for the disability service nonprofit organization. Additionally, Kelly serves on the advocacy committee for the nonprofit organization, LADD, Inc., where he assists the organization's efforts to build partnerships with local lawmakers and elected officials.
Ms. Carleski currently works as the Marketing & Events Manager for the Covington Business Council. The Covington Business Council provides access, opportunity and growth to its nearly 500 member companies. It seeks to educate the business community around Greater Cincinnati, attracted to the Council for its unrelenting interest in helping to grow their enterprises. Amanda considers herself to be a community oriented leader and is a 2021 LEAD Clermont Community Leadership Program alumna as well as 2023 Board Orientation and Leadership Development - Class 14 member. Ms. Carleski received her B.A. in Communication Studies from The University of Toledo, as well as a Masters in Public Administration from Indiana State University. She resides in Union Township with her husband and two children and represents Clermont County on the board as a non-voting member.
Ms. Moss is a lifelong advocate for positive change, with a vast range of professional experience from our tri-state area to Oregon and back to Ohio, including years in radio broadcasting, public transit, and social services. Through her leadership at the YWCA Greater Cincinnati, Ms. Moss is responsible for Project CARE (Community, Accessibility, Response, and Education), a program serving individuals experiencing disability impacted by/or at risk of domestic violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and human trafficking. Within her role, she innovates processes, builds capacity, develops programming/accessible services, manages Project CARE’s Self-Advocacy Team, facilitates preventative education, provides trauma-informed supportive service delivery, and ensures organizational-wide adherence to disability-movement core values. Ms. Moss also facilitates the YWCA Greater Cincinnati’s Toward Equity training on increasing awareness of racial equity and implicit bias impacting at an interpersonal, institutional, and systematic level for identifying strategic steps to create more equitable environments. This proud Northsider, musician, and vintage curator is passionate about empowering others, as demonstrated through her many traversed paths in civic engagement. Ms. Moss serves the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Accessibility Community Advisory Council, is the Vice Chair of the Cincinnati Accessibility Board of Advisors, and is the President of the Northside Community Council.
Mr. Hinton is a nonprofit executive leader. 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; Xavier Jesuit Academy. He received his B.A. in organizational communication and his M.S. in human resource development from Xavier University. He resides in Oakley.
As Vice President of Civic & Regional Partnerships for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Metz is responsible for connecting the chamber and its members to the region's most pressing civic and regional initiatives. His work includes oversight over existing Chamber initiatives such as the Connected Region, work focused on Embracing Growth and housing, the Cincinnati Futures Commission and the Center for Research & Data. Critical transportation projects for which Mr. Metz has assisted in obtaining funding include: the Brent Spence Bridge, the Western Hills Viaduct, record state funding for public transit, investments in the CROWN trail network and more. Prior to joining the Chamber, he served as chief of staff to then-Cincinnati Vice Mayor David Mann. He also serves on the boards for the Corporation for Findlay Market, OKI Regional Council of Governments, and NEST. He resides in Clifton with his wife, Becca, and their two daughters.
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 and has two adult sons. She was appointed by the City of Cincinnati in 2012.
Ms. Sheets is Director of Strategic Initiatives at Cincinnati Development Fund, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), where she is responsible for grant writing, communications, business development, and strategic growth. She has spent her 25-year career in community development in Cincinnati, working in local government and the nonprofit sector. Prior to CDF, she served as the first Executive Director of the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (MCURC). 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 Cincinnati Neighborhood Business Districts United and the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. 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.
Kazava "KZ" Smith
Pastor Smith has served as the senior pastor of the Corinthian Baptist Church of Cincinnati since September 1988, where in his decades of service he has established numerous ministries for children, married couples, supporting unhoused people, a family empowerment center, a free store and the 501(c)(3) Ekklesia Development Corporation. Pastor Smith has also served on the Cincinnati Recreation Commission (elected president of the commission in 2008) as well as a variety of roles with the Community Action Agency, the University of Cincinnati Safety and Reform Community Advisory Committee, the Office on Maternal & Infant Health & Infant Mortality Reduction Board, and numerous leadership roles in the community of Avondale. He is married to his wife, Connie, and together they parent five children and nine grandchildren.
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. Ms. Taylor serves as chair of the board's Finance Committee.