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Port Authority identifies three candidates for CEO job

| Thursday, June 27, 2013, 11:15 a.m.
Charles Monheim
Frank T. Martin
Richard Ruddell

Three candidates for Port Authority's top job include a transit agency director, a transportation services company executive and a transportation consultant, the board member leading the search confirmed Thursday.

Board member Constance Parker identified the CEO candidates as Richard Ruddell, president and executive director of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority in Texas; Frank T. Martin, senior vice president at a Florida-based transportation services company Atkins North America; and Charles Monheim, a former chief operating officer at New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority who works as a transportation consultant.

“The word ‘finalist' hasn't been used. We are still interviewing people, and more candidates are possible,” Parker said.

The committee interviewed seven people to replace former CEO Steve Bland, Parker said. Port Authority fired Bland in March after months of friction between him and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Parker could not identify the other four candidates.

She said a hire is not imminent.

“We'd like to make a decision as soon as possible but this is an ongoing process,” Parker said, declining to specify a timetable.

Other board members referred questions to Parker or did not return calls.

A native of Wichita, Kan., Ruddell is an Army veteran who earned a Bronze Star in the Vietnam War, according to an online biography. He worked in primarily management-level roles at transit agencies in Wichita, Topeka and Toledo, Ohio. Ruddell earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degrees in business administration and urban studies from Wichita State University.

Martin joined Atkins North America, a transit service company in Orlando, as an executive in 2004. He was chief operating officer at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, Calif., and assistant director of rail services at Miami-Dade Transit. He holds a master's degree from Fisk University in Nashville in urban and regional planning and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Tennessee State University.

Monheim, an independent consultant, worked with large transportation agencies in London, New Zealand, Hong Kong and elsewhere.

He oversaw subway car maintenance and upgrades in New York City in the 1980s and in the early 1990s managed bus operations and safety. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature from Amherst College and a master's degree in business administration from Stanford University.

A bill moving through the Legislature could affect who picks the CEO.

Pennsylvania's House Transportation Committee OK'd a measure on Thursday that would change the makeup of Port Authority's board. It would give the county executive four of 11 appointments to the board, down from all nine now.

County Council members in the political party opposing the county executive's would appoint two board members.

The remaining five appointments would come from the governor and legislative leaders. The full House will consider the bill.

Tom Fontaine is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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