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Ms. Mary Ann Collier
Transit Representative - Dallas, TX
I was formerly the Director of Operations for Swayzer Engineering, Inc. headquartered in Dallas, TX. I had served in this position since December, 2009. In this position, I worked diligently to increase the visibility of Swayzer Engineering, Inc. locally and nationally in support of the firm’s business development. Prior to this position, I was the director of Human Resources for San Joaquin Regional Transit District in Stockton, CA. In that capacity, I had responsibility for staffing, benefits, employee relations, and safety. While serving in that capacity, I made strong contributions to the leadership team and enhanced the overall morale of employees. I encouraged and was successful in getting each of my staff to go/return to college to further their level of knowledge, and to be better able to market themselves inside or outside the organization. I was instrumental in creating more inclusive and dynamic fund raisers within the organization which also boosted employee morale. I held several positions at Houston METRO, Sr. Director of Business Development with responsibility for the DBE Program, staffing, EEO, and employee relations. I developed a highly motivated staff and established the employee relations division.
Although new to Houston and Metro, I quickly go engaged in the community and several charitable organizations. As VP of Marketing, I had responsibility for managing 108 employees in Customer Service, sales, media relations, and marketing. This by far was the most challenging position that I have held. It is also the position that provided the greatest opportunity to expand my knowledge of the overall organization. Under Shirley A. DeLibero’s leadership, the marketing department had opportunity to successfully support Metro’s referendum, allowing Metro to move forward on its light rail initiative. In the position of Executive Recruiter, I was responsible for staffing executive level positions. In addition to being paid for overall performance in this position, I received incentive pay for each successful recruit. I particularly appreciated this model of pay as it was similar to my experience in private industry. While I was new to Houston and Metro, I quickly engaged in the community and cultural activities. Giving back to the community is extremely important to me and the organization that I represent. During my tenure at Metro, I served on several boards or held board committee positions. Board service included Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, Girls Inc., and the Downtown Business Alliance. I served on the Human Resources committee for the Girl Scouts, and was a member of a fund development committee to raise funds for a new girl facility. Often, I represented Metro, given my personal involvement with these and other organizations.
I had a successful career at MARTA as well as several other organizations, including private, state government, and non-profit. Fortunately for me, Rick Simonetta brought me into the transit industry in 1994. Rick supported my involvement in COMTO and APTA. Rick provided the foundation for all the successful involvement that I have had in the industry.
I have been active in COMTO and APTA since I entered the transit industry. As an active participant with COMTO, I have served on several committees, including nominating and strategic planning. I currently serve as the chair of the Diversity Advisory Council and board member. I chaired the Minority Affairs Committee at APTA many years ago, and was instrumental in combining the efforts of the Minority Affairs Committee and Women in Transit Committee. The outcome of this action was the formation of the Diversity Council, which was instituted under Shirley A. DeLibiero’s term as APTA chair. I chair the Human Resources Committee for APTA and serve on the board of directors. I served on the Blue Ribbon Task Force which was instituted under Dr. Beverly Scott’s term as APTA chair. I have served on several nominating committees for APTA. As a member of Swayzer Engineering, Inc., I participate on the Business Member, Business Governor’s group. When I entered the industry, I made a commitment to not be a spectator but to be an active participant and to provide leadership where it was appropriate. I believe I have and will continue to accomplish that goal.
What has been important to me throughout my career is that I do the best of my ability regardless of the position, that I encourage and support those with whom I work, and that I give back to the community. I have had the good fortune to help promote employees under my management, and to mentor many youth regarding career options, and life choices. Additionally, I take pride in advising adults on how to ignite or re-engineer their careers. I have a son and daughter, both who consult me on their career choices and strategy. Both are very successful in their respective fields. Often, it is more difficult to influence those closest to you. I am pleased that I have been able to do so.
What do I do with my spare time? I enjoy reading, exercise, gardening, nutrition, traveling, and spending time with my grandchildren.