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February 7, 2022

Honoring DC’s African American Transportation Professionals

by Korrea Johnston

In honor of this year’s Black History Month, goDCgo wants to shine a spotlight on some of the African American leaders and professionals who help shape transportation in the District today. From city infrastructure, sustainable transportation promotions, transit operations, vehicle management, road safety, bike education, and much more, they’re involved in nearly every aspect of DC’s transportation systems and make a strong impact on the commute options that we use every day including Capital Bikeshare, DC Circulator, Metrobus, Metrorail, and even personal bike riding experiences.

Lucinda M. Babers, Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure (DMOI); 1st Vice Chair & Primary Director for DC, WMATA Board of Directors

Lucinda is no novice to transportation and operations in the District. On March 5, 2019, she was appointed as the Deputy Mayor for Operations and Infrastructure (DMOI), and she was later appointed to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Board of Directors in May 2020, where she currently serves as the 1st Vice Chair and the primary Director for the District of Columbia.

Prior to her current role, Lucinda served as the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) where she led significant and innovative changes, including the closure and opening of three service centers, creation of more secure credentials, and implementation of REAL ID and Limited Purpose Credentials. Under her direction, the DC DMV added numerous online services and received several International Customer Service and Communication Awards from the American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators (AAMVA), along with several regional AAMVA awards. Even before her tenure at the DC DMV, Lucinda served in several senior management positions at Amtrak.

 

Lester Wallace, Community Outreach Coordinator, Capital Bikeshare

With over 15 years of experience working in education and with non-profit organizations in the DC area, Lester is passionate about making Capital Bikeshare more accessible and affordable for everyone. For the past five years, Lester has managed the Community Partners Program, which involves partnering with various non-profit and social service agencies to allow them to offer low-income and underserved residents annual Capital Bikeshare memberships for only $5.

To support this initiative, Lester provides marketing expertise to recruit community organizations to join the program, organizes and hosts community events to promote the discounted membership, fosters relationships with community stakeholder groups, and distributes collateral pieces to advertise the program. Lester also supports DDOT’s bicycle program by conducting outreach and getting community feedback for new bikeshare station implementation in underrepresented neighborhoods, especially Wards 7 and 8. In his first year with Capital Bikeshare, he played a big role in increasing the number of docking stations in Ward 8 by nearly 50%. 

 

Everett Lott, Director, District Department of Transportation (DDOT)

As the Director of DDOT, Everett brings more than 25 years of experience in administration, including human resources, budget and finance, grants, labor and employee relations, and facilities management. He leads the agency’s efforts in managing transportation infrastructure and operations to ensure that the District’s roads are safe, reliable, and easy to navigate for the millions of residents, commuters, and visitors who use the transportation network every year.

Prior to joining DDOT, Everett has served as the Senior Advisor for Shared Services within the Office of Administration at the Federal Highway Administration, Acting Budget Director for the District of Columbia Public Schools, Senior Manager in the Executive Office of the Mayor, and as Deputy Director/Chief of Staff in DC’s emergency 911 communications center.

 

Kyle “Kwame” Edwards, Co-Founder, Saturday Night Bike Club

Filmmaker Kwame Edwards has been biking, rollerblading, and using public transit since childhood. As a sociologist, he has taught courses on sustainable urban development and gentrification. He co-founded the Saturday Night Bike Club with social worker Natalie Noel during the summer of 2020, with the goal of providing Black people a low-impact, healthy method of enjoying and actively engaging with the DC metro area. The club has since grown, providing youth mentorship, hosting women’s only rides, sponsoring a developmental amateur race team, hosting inclusive bike races and bike protest actions, and partnering with local Black-owned businesses. He also volunteers at the local nonprofit, Gearin’ Up Bicycles, where the mission is to train more youth mechanics of color. In 2021, Kwame was mentioned in The Media Prince/Washington Informer Bridge Magazine/Made in the DMV: DMV 35 Under 35 list.

 

Howard Ways, Chief Operating Officer (COO), District Department of Transportation (DDOT)

Howard Ways has over 20 years of leadership and management experience in urban planning, as well as scholarly credentials to support his endeavors. He earned a B.A. in Architecture and an M.S. in City and Regional Planning, and serves as a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Howard has worked on various policy initiatives, including housing policy, helping to rewrite the city’s condemnation law, targeted public investments, and workforce development.

Howard is also a strong supporter of city sustainability, having served as the director of Planning and Sustainability for the University of the District of Columbia where he completed the university’s first Strategic Sustainability Plan. In addition to his role as COO, Howard is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the American Planning Association (APA).

 

Danelle Carey, Program Director, goDCgo & Chair, MWCOG Regional TDM Marketing Committee

Even beyond providing oversight and direction to goDCgo for the last four years, Danelle has had an extensive background working in the public sector, specifically with local transportation agencies. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration from San Francisco State University, with nearly 12 years of experience in the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) discipline, so Danelle has solid experience in program development, management, and implementation. Her personal mission is to make a positive impact on travel behavior, and being a TDM practitioner allows her to satisfy her focus while delivering meaningful work. She believes that even the smallest increments of change through TDM efforts can lead to big transformations.

Her previous work focused on managing a Countywide Safe Routes to School (SR2S) Program, where she played a key leadership role in re-engaging communities, gathering stakeholders to identify needs and priorities, and completing a Countywide SR2S Plan Update. While on the west coast, Danelle worked for the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee and served as the President of the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) Northern California Chapter. In 2016, Danelle was nationally honored as one of 40 under 40 ambitious leaders in the TDM industry by the ACT.

 

Gabriel Robinson, Director, District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV)

Gabriel has been a part of the DC DMV for over 14 years and counting. During his ongoing tenure, he has assisted in the implementation of Central Issuance and rolled out a new credential with advanced security features, proposed and implemented a series of enhancements to the titling and registration system to protect the public’s sensitive information, and led the overall modernization of DMV facilities to design, construct, and open four new service center locations. In his current role, Gabriel oversees the issuing of driver licenses and identification cards, registering and inspecting of vehicles, providing hearings on tickets that have been contested, and collecting ticket payments. He also served as Associate Director for four years. During that time, he was responsible for eight functions, including human resources, training, performance management and measurement, procurement, communications, and service integrity. Prior to becoming Associate Director, Gabriel served as the Integrity Officer. In that position, he implemented the agency’s facial recognition program, which directly resulted in identifying fraudulently issued credentials, provided the fraudulent document training, and investigated one of DC’s largest internal driver license and identification fraud rings. In his early career at the DC DMV, Gabriel acted as a Service Manager, where he reduced customer wait time and served as one of the primary change agents leading to critical system advancements in the way the agency does business.

In 2016, Gabriel joined DC’s Department of Public Works (DPW) as its first Chief Operating Officer. At DPW, he implemented the Vehicles-on-Demand Program with a rideshare company to transport DC government employees for official business, helping the District reach its sustainability goals by reducing the number of sedans in the government’s fleet. Gabriel is a collaborative leader with proven experience as a change agent and his service and leadership has been recognized by the Mayor’s Office, the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the US Marshalls, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

 

Carl Turpin, Vice President, Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) Board of Directors

Carl has been an avid bicyclist since the early 70’s, solidifying his position as a leading bike advocate within WABA. No matter the occasion, whether it be biking recreationally or commuting by bike to school or work, Carl has remained committed to the lifestyle. Carl is also a tenured lawyer, having practiced employment and labor law for over 30 years. In his anticipated retirement from actively practicing law, Carl plans to spend a lot of his time repairing discarded children’s bikes to be donated to elementary school students.



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