Kirt Conrad Executive Director/CEO
Mark Finnicum Chief Operations Officer
Craig Smith Director of Information Technology
Tammy Marie Brown Director of Human Resources
Latrice Virola Director of Customer Relations
Carrie Domer Director of Finance
Clayton Popik Director of Development and Special Projects
Kirt Conrad[email protected]
Kirt Conrad is a senior executive in Public Transit with expertise in alternative energy and public policy. During his career, he has lead campaigns that have increased ridership over 30% and increased revenues by 20%, secured over $50 million in competitive grants and managed construction programs from railroad rehabilitation to LEED certified building in the transportation industry. He also lead the purchase of 50 miles of railroad right-of-way and use of transportation infrastructure as a multi-modal corridor for both freight and commuter service.
Since 2009, Kirt Conrad has been the CEO of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) in Canton, Ohio. SARTA operates 100+ buses with 200+ employees. Last year nearly 2.6 million passenger trips were transported by over 30 fixed routes or demand response services throughout Stark County.
SARTA, under Conrad’s leadership, has replaced much of its bus fleet, purchased buses that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), opened Northern Ohio’s first public-private CNG fueling facility, revamped many of its routes, built the Belden Village Transit Center and advanced the Mahoning Road corridor project. They are also deploying 11 fuel cell buses, which will be the largest fleet in the country outside of California. SARTA along with Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research lunched the Midwest Fuel Cell Center of Excellence and the Renewable Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Collaborative in 2017.
Prior to joining SARTA, Kirt was employed by METRO Regional Transit Authority (Akron, Ohio) as a Planner, Grants Manager and then Director of Planning. He received a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a minor in business administration from Kent State and a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Akron. He also completed a graduate certificate in finance from the Grenoble Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France.
Kirt, as Metro’s Director of Planning, had years of experience planning complex transit projects as the project manager for the construction of the downtown Akron transit center and system redesign. He also developed a deep understanding of the federal transit grant system and new transit technology.
A Sherrodsville, Ohio and Carroll County native, Kirt, was elected to his alma mater’s Conotton Valley School District Board of Education at the age of 18 and served for five years. After moving to Akron, he was elected to the Akron City School District Board of Education and served for 4 years.
Currently, Kirt serves on the board of Ohio Transit Risk Pool (OTRP) and is on the board of The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition as Chair and CALSTART’s fuel cell infrastructure advisory board for public transit. Kirt is also involved with the Center for Transportation and the Environment/Federal Transit Administration’s Procurement Risk Reduction for Zero Emission Vehicles Committee, is a member of American Public Transportation Association’s Zero Emission Bus Specification Committee and is the past president of Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA).
Mark Finnicum has been the Chief Operations Officer who oversees the daily operations of both the Maintenance and Transportation Departments for SARTA since 2014.
Mark began his career at SARTA in 2005 as the Parts and Inventory Supervisor before becoming the Director of Maintenance in 2007. Mark has been involved with the building and expansion of SARTA’s alternative fueling stations and oversee the deployment of both the CNG and hydrogen fuel cell fleet.
Currently, Mark serves as a member of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Electric Transit User Group, the Vice-Chair of the OPTA Safety and Security Committee, Ohio Transit Risk Pool, and the Midwest Zero-Emission Bus Working Group.
SARTA’s Transportation Department:
- To provide professional, safe, and reliable transportation to the citizens of Stark County.
SARTA’s Maintenance Department:
- Provides safe reliable transportation on Fixed Route or Paratransit vehicles through timely preventive maintenance.
- Maintaining all of the transit centers, shelters, and stops ensuring they are safe, secure, and cleaned daily.
Information Technology (IT)[email protected]
Craig Smith, joined SARTA as the Director of Information Technology in 2011. Craig operates, oversees and supports the IT infrastructure which enables employees and users to carry out their roles and duties efficiently, productively and securely. He is also responsible for developing an information technology strategy that supports SARTA’s business goals and objectives. Craig, earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University and an active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
SARTA’s Information Technology Department:
- Responsible for developing an information technology strategy that supports SARTA’s business goals and objectives.
- Operates, oversees and supports SARTA’s IT infrastructure which enables employees/users to carry out their roles and duties efficiently, productively and securely.
- SARTA’s Information Technology Department is also responsible for protecting their IT infrastructure and data against attacks from viruses, cybercriminals and other threats.
Tammy Marie Brown
Human Resources[email protected]
Tammy Marie Brown has been an employee of SARTA since 2006. As the Director of Human Resources, she oversees recruitment, hiring, employee benefits, training and development. Tammy reviews practices, procedures, resources, competencies and workloads to improve the performance of core functions that support each department. Employee Relations and the Equal Employment Opportunity program are also administered as part of Human Resources. Tammy Marie Brown is a graduate of Malone University with a bachelor’s in Organizational Management.
SARTA’s Human Resources Department:
- Coordinates screenings, recruiting and training of job applicants, as well as administering the employee benefit programs.
- Reviews practices, procedures, resources, competencies and workload and improves the performance of core functions to adequately support each department.
SARTA’s Employee Relations & EEO Department:
- Create an environment that values and supports employee engagement and promotes a healthy organization by developing programs and events for all SARTA employees.
- Eliminate discrimination by enforcing Federal Laws and proactively build a diverse and inclusive workforce to better serve and understand the needs of our customers and communities.
Customer Relations[email protected]
Latrice started as a Travel Trainer at SARTA in 2012. She went out in the community to help people navigate the transit system in Stark County. In 2013, SARTA created a new service as a Medicaid Provider for transportation. Latrice took on the role as Contract Administrator for SARTA and was instrumental in setting up the infrastructure for this new service. Under Latrice’s guidance SARTA started to enter transportation agreements with various social service agencies and organizations throughout Stark County. In 2014, Latrice was promoted to the Director of Planning at SARTA where she was responsible for marketing, public relations activities, community outreach, contract services and travel training. In October of 2019 Latrice was given the additional responsibility of managing customer service and her title was changed to Director of Customer Relations. She has continued to cultivate a positive relationship with government agencies & community partners ensuring continued collaboration on strategy and program development.
Latrice is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green and Black Belt.
Latrice graduated from Miami University, BS, Decision Sciences. She is a member of the 30th class of the Leadership Stark County’s Signature Program. In addition, Latrice is a Board Member at large as well as an Executive Board Member of Women’s Impact, a member of the Strengthening Stark County Minority Action Committee, President of the Board of EN RICH MENT, Executive Board Member of Boy Scouts of America Buckeye Council and a member of the United Community Impact Council (UCIC).
SARTA’s Customer Relations Department:
- Plans, organizes, oversees and executes marketing, advertising, branding support, public relations activities, customer service actives, as well as all community outreach functions.
- Assists customers to ensure the safe, courteous, and on-time transportation of SARTA passengers on both fixed route and paratransit.
- Collaborates on strategy & program development with government agencies and community partners to provide effective transit service
Carrie Domer has been an employee of SARTA since 2012. AS the Director of Finance, she manages and safeguards the Agency’s resources by implementing best practices and monitoring the budget and fiscal trends. The Finance department is responsible for maintaining all State and Federal regulations with a strict adherence to policies and procedures. She is also responsible for ensuring that timely, accurate, and complete financial reports are filed, while providing support to all SARTA’s internal departments, the Board of Directors, and the community at large. Carrie Domer earned her bachelor’s degree from Malone University.
SARTA’s Finance Department:
- Manage and safeguard the Agency’s resources, implement and monitor the budget and analyze fiscal trends.
- Provide timely, accurate, and complete information and support to all of SARTA’s departments, the Board of Directors, and the community at large.
Development and Special Projects[email protected]
Clayton came on board with SARTA in October 2021 after 17 years with PARTA where he began his transit career as a student Operator while attending Kent State University. Clayton completed his Master’s degree in Urban Planning before taking on more managerial roles in the Operations and Planning Departments where he oversaw all aspects of route scheduling and design for both the Portage County community and Kent State University. Clayton’s dedication and passion to public transit earned him the 2021 Ohio Public Transit Association’s Four Under Forty Award.
As Director of Development & Special projects, Clayton oversees the completion of capital projects for SARTA such as the new Massillon Transit Center and the facility expansion at the SARTA main campus. Clayton is responsible for coordinating the service SARTA provides in Wayne County through the Wayne County Transit and Community Action Wayne/Medina County.