For Immediate Release
September 28, 2021
Media Contact: Allison Westhoven
The Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Laura Koprowski as Chief Executive Officer, to be effective November 4, 2021. The announcement comes after the news that current CEO Kimberly Dunham will transition to a new transportation leadership role in another city.
Dunham and Koprowski worked collaboratively for the past 18 months to rebuild TARTA into an effective and financially stable transit system that can provide better connectivity to jobs, education, health care and other destinations for all residents.
“The TARTA Board is proud of the incredible transformation that has been made at the organization over the past two years,” said TARTA Board President Kelsie Hoagland. “We are equally excited about our upcoming November ballot initiative, Issue 12, that will finally allow us to expand our service area to all of Lucas County and to secure a more sustainable local funding source to meet the transit needs of this community.
“That is why today the TARTA Trustees celebrate the accomplishments of Kimberly Dunham, and also have the utmost confidence that this vision and impactful work will continue with Laura Koprowski leading the TARTA organization into the future.”
A nationally recognized transit professional, Dunham arrived at TARTA in December 2019. During Dunham’s tenure at TARTA, she spearheaded several initiatives to stabilize and rebuild the agency, developed Transforming TARTA — the 5-year strategic plan — and overhauled operations in order to safely provide TARTA service during the historic COVID pandemic. Under her leadership, the sales tax levy, Issue 12, has been placed on the November ballot after 11 years and four prior attempts.
Dunham also recruited an executive team of transit professionals from across the country that together have assembled numerous foundational plans and organizational efficiencies that serve as the roadmap for TARTA’s future success.
“It has been my pleasure to serve at the helm of this organization and I’m incredibly proud of the significant progress we have made together as a team,” said Dunham. “Our ability to successfully place the TARTA sales tax on the November ballot moves the agency one step closer to a long-term sustainable funding stream for years to come. I have full confidence that this team of public transit experts will drive the continued success of this agency forward.”
Koprowski joined TARTA and returned to her hometown of Toledo in April 2020. She brings more than 25 years of transportation and public transit experience. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Public Transit Association. During Koprowski’s tenure as the Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications at the Central Ohio Regional Transit Authority, the organization was nationally recognized in 2018 as the outstanding mid-size public transit system by the American Public Transportation Association.
As Deputy CEO, Koprowski oversees TARTA’s seven divisions and is responsible for new business development and partnerships, including new service to Amazon’s fulfillment center in Rossford, the Vaccine Mobile in partnership with the V Project and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, and the Jeep Fest Express.
“I am excited to take on this new role as CEO and continue the important work we have started,” said Koprowski. “My top priorities are to serve the community and ensure the transportation future for this region through the upcoming initiative on the ballot.
“The Toledo metro area has real momentum as a growing and thriving community, and I believe to keep that going, we must ensure that we have an effective, modern public transit system to help push economic development across the region and uplift the lives of all residents.”
TARTA provides a vital link in the Toledo metro area to jobs, education, health care and other destinations. It enables everyone in our community to have access to transportation regardless of their age, race, physical ability or economic background. TARTA is underway with exploring and introducing new initiatives and service options that will enhance convenience and customer experience while moving our region into the future of public transit.
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