Regional Transit Leadership Council
Press Release

Regional Transit Leadership Council Names New Executive Director

Dave Steele named new executive director to move region’s connectivity and economy forward

By - Oct 25th, 2018 12:11 pm
Dave Steele. Photo courtesy of the Regional Transit Leadership Council.

Dave Steele. Photo courtesy of the Regional Transit Leadership Council.

MILWAUKEE (October 25, 2018) – The Executive Committee for the Regional Transit Leadership Council (RTLC) today announced Dave Steele as its new executive director. Steele will immediately assume the role from Kerry Thomas, an 18-year champion of regional multi modal transit who has led the RTLC since its inception in 2015.

Steele has 15-years of leadership experience in the non-profit industry. He most recently served as President and CEO of Partners Advancing Values in Education (PAVE), a Milwaukee non-profit organization focused on the improvement of K-12 education in the city. He holds a master’s degree in urban planning and is particularly qualified in fundraising, communication and leadership.

“On behalf of the entire Executive Committee, we are so thankful to Kerry Thomas for her time and dedication during her tenure said John Kissinger, Co-chair of the RTLC and President and CEO of GRAEF. “This is an exciting time for our region and we trust that with the foundation built by Kerry combined with Dave’s new leadership, together we can achieve our optimistic vision for the future of transportation.”

Southeastern Wisconsin is at a critical turning point: job opportunities abound and employers are increasingly having difficulty finding the employees they need. Transportation has emerged as a significant economic factor, and the RTLC is strategically poised to take action on concrete steps that will move the region’s connectivity and economy forward.

“We believe Dave will be a great advocate on behalf of our Council, said Paul Decker, Chairman of the RTLC and Board Chair for Waukesha County. “With a shared vision for our region’s transportation solutions, he has the right skillset to turn our vision into action”.

Steele will take the lead on advancing the two major regional consensus action items that emerged from the Regional Workforce Transportation Symposium in May:

  • The creation and promotion of a Regional Workforce Mobility Team through SEWRPC; and
  • The development of a collaborative Regional Multi-Modal Workforce Strategy—the priorities and actions needed to implement the multi-modal tenants of SEWRPC’s VISION 2050 plan.

Steele’s focus will be on fundraising, communications and membership development to advance these initiatives and the overall work of the RTLC.


An independent organization operated by MetroGO, the Regional Transit Leadership Council was formed in 2016. It champions a multi-modal transportation system that builds and sustains connectivity crucial to the region’s and the state’s competitiveness and economic prosperity.

With the goal of advancing regional transit through public-private partnership, the organization has united regional leaders under a vision and a shared action agenda for multi-modal connectivity that is important to the economy and workforce development. The RTLC is managed by an Executive Committee that includes Chairman Paul Decker, Board Chair for Waukesha County; Co-chair John Kissinger, President and CEO of GRAEF; Milwaukee City Engineer Jeff Polenske; Milwaukee Urban League President and CEO Eve Hall; Commercial Association of Realtors WI CEO Tracy Johnson; Milwaukee 7 Executive Director Pat O’Brien; Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto; Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce Legislative Director Andrew Davis; Milwaukee Downtown BID 21 CEO Beth Weirick; and Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission Deputy Director Kevin Muhs.

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