In addition to facing the severe ridership attrition created by COVID-19, the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit District (SMART) also had to address replacement of their Chief Financial Officer in December 2020 and their long-time General Manager’s retirement in late 2021. With the help of seasoned transit industry executive search experts, two exceptionally well-qualified leaders are now in charge at SMART.
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Eddie Cumins, new SMART General Manager, arrived in December 2021. He was recruited from the Utah Transit Authority where he had served over ten years, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and earlier as Regional General Manager of the highly successful Frontrunner commuter rail system carrying 3.4 annual riders, and Manager of vehicle fleet performance. He also spent over twenty years in the U.S. Air Force, including managing and maintaining over 2,100 vehicle and equipment assets in direct support of 52 separate military organization
His impact at SMART is already visible and impactful in strategic planning, fostering community outreach and transparency, and implementing rail service operational improvements.
Heather McKillop was recruited as SMART’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in late 2020. She oversees SMART’s financial management, including day-to-day accounting, budget, payroll and financial management. Prior to joining SMART, McKillop was chief financial officer and assistant general manager of finance & administration for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver, CO, holding that position since 2015. Prior to RTD, McKillop was the deputy executive director for the Colorado Department of Revenue. Her skill and acumen in budgeting and financial management is clearly evident and hugely welcome.
Thanks to the talent and hard work of SMART’s new leadership, the Marin and Sonoma North Bay communities are being better served. Things are looking up.