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MEMBER BIOS

Omer Osman | Michael Smith | Scott Marler | Julie Lorenz | Jim Gray | Paul C. Ajegba, P.E | Nancy Daubenberger | Patrick K. McKenna | Jack Marchbanks | Craig Thompson

Omer Osman

Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation

Omer Osman

Omer Osman was appointed Transportation Secretary by Gov. JB Pritzker in 2019. His role as secretary reflects three decades of experience at the Illinois Department of Transportation in engineering and management, most recently serving as deputy secretary.

Osman began his career at IDOT as a civil engineer in 1989. As he acquired experience at the department, he progressively took on more challenging leadership roles, starting at the district level and then moving into executive management. Moving through the IDOT ranks gives him unique insight into department operations and scope, funding challenges and opportunities, as well as the need for strategic maintenance and infrastructure growth to support economic development and travel for Illinois residents.

Under his leadership, IDOT continues to champion diversity. Osman played an integral part on past statewide recruitment efforts to diversify personnel in all state job classifications. He remains an advocate for eliminating barriers and increasing access to IDOT partnerships with Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and minority- and female-owned businesses.

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His vast experience in transportation includes the management and advancement of complex projects and the assessment of current resources to inform funding and programmatic needs to create a multimodal system for the 21st century. He fosters a culture of innovation and stresses the importance of IDOT leading the nation in best practices, including programs and initiatives that position the agency as one of the most innovative departments of transportation in the country.

Some notable projects during his leadership include the new Mississippi River bridge and relocation of Illinois 3 in East St. Louis, the Interstate 74/155 interchange reconstruction in Morton, the Illinois 13 expansion between Carbondale and Interstate 57 in Marion, the rehabilitation of the U.S. 150 Illinois River bridge in Peoria, and the I-74 Mississippi River bridge in the Quad Cities.

A native of the Sudan, Osman came to the United States to study civil engineering at Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He also earned a master’s in civil engineering with an emphasis in construction management at Bradley University in Peoria.

In addition to holding licensure as a professional engineer, Osman is a graduate of the Professional Advancement of Career Engineers program and is a member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials policy and highways committees.

MICHAEL SMITH

COMMISSIONER, INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Michael SmithMichael (Mike) Smith was named INDOT Commissioner in February 2022 by Governor Eric Holcomb.

Mike joined INDOT in 2015 as Deputy Commissioner of the Greenfield District. In 2017, he became Deputy Commissioner of Operations, where he focused on improving agency capital assets (fleet and facilities) and process improvement, particularly within planning and maintenance activities. He was named chief financial officer in 2021 and oversaw INDOT’s financial relationships with contractors, consultants, and partners, including the financial administration of the agency’s capital program for transportation. He and his team developed and implemented financial management and cost-saving strategies across INDOT.

Prior to joining INDOT, Smith was the district manager for Walmart, overseeing up to 10 stores in the Indianapolis area.

Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington.

He and his wife, Katie, have five children: Taylor, Kylie, Luke, Kennedy, and Hudson. The family is actively involved in youth sports, including softball, soccer, and baseball.

SCOTT MARLER

DIRECTOR, IOWA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Scott MarlerScott Marler became the Iowa DOT Director in February of 2020. He has worked for the Iowa DOT for over 20 years, with experience in traffic operations, highway project development, regulatory compliance, and the natural environment. Marler has been active in leadership development and workforce planning and has also been instrumental in advancing geospatial technologies and systems throughout the Department.

Prior to serving as Director, Marler served as the Director of the Operations Division since December 2017. In his role, he was responsible for highway operations and traffic management on the state's 9,400 miles of highways and bridges, including the areas of construction and materials, maintenance, motor vehicle enforcement, traffic operations, and traffic and safety.

Marler is active on several national committees associated with the American Association of State Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). He has served on a national technical committee for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, an expert panel for TRB, and a course development committee for the National Highway Institute. Marler has also served on Governor's councils and other state of Iowa task forces.

He holds a Master of Science degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Julie Lorenz

Secretary, Kansas Department of Transportation
Director, Kansas Turnpike Authority

Julie LorenzJulie Lorenz was appointed to lead the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) as Interim Secretary by Gov. Laura Kelly in January 2019. With more than 20 years of experience, she is recognized as a national leader in areas of policy development, collaboration and the use of economic analysis to communicate the value of transportation investments.

Previously, Lorenz was a principal at Burns & McDonnell where she specialized in strategic business consulting and planning and policy development, managing projects for the transportation industry at the national, regional and local levels. Lorenz is regularly asked to speak on future trends in transportation at national conferences and has developed and led culture change initiatives for state DOT and private sector clients.

Her role of Secretary is her second tour of duty for KDOT, serving as the Director of Public Affairs and Special Assistant from 2003-2011. During that time, Lorenz led the development of several strategic planning, operational and communication efforts at KDOT, including the development and eventual legislative passage of the $8.2 billion 10-year T-WORKS funding program in spring 2010.

Jim Gray

Secretary, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Jim GrayJim Gray is the former mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, and currently secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

At the start of his career, Gray earned a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, then came back home to Kentucky to help grow his family's construction business, serving as the company's CEO and chairman. Today, Gray Construction is routinely ranked among the top 5 builders in the U.S. within major industry sectors including manufacturing, automotive, food and beverage, and distribution. In 1996, Gray was appointed a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University.

As Lexington's mayor, Gray drew upon his CEO experience to bring a management approach to government. He righted Lexington's financial ship through a series of major reforms and significantly reduced the city's annual employee health insurance costs while improving employee satisfaction through an on-site medical clinic and pharmacy. His reform of the police and fire pension system preserved the retirements of more than 1,000 retirees while saving the city millions. He revitalized the city's downtown and facilitated making Lexington the largest gigabit city in the nation. Under his leadership, Lexington was named the 4th best run city in the country.

In December 2019, Governor Andy Beshear appointed Gray Transportation Secretary, managing more than 4400 employees across Kentucky, and an annual operating and construction budget of almost $2.5 billion.

Paul C. Ajegba, P.E.

Director, Michigan Department of Transportation

Paul C. AjegbaPaul Ajegba has 28 years of experience with the Michigan Department of Transportation and was appointed as Director on January 1, 2019. He previously served for three months as Metro Region Engineer and before that as University Region Engineer. During his seven years in the University Region, he oversaw his team's involvement in the planning, design and construction of several major projects, including the US-23 Flex Route - a project nominated for the America's Transportation Award, landing among the top 12 national finalists. Other notable projects include the I-94 Rehabilitation Project in Ann Arbor/Jackson; the I-96/US-23 Interchange; and the I-75 freeway project.

Mr. Ajegba holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Prairie View A&M University and a Master's degree in construction engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a licensed professional engineer in Michigan.

Nancy Daubenberger

Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation

Nancy DaubenbergerNancy Daubenberger has worked for the Minnesota Department of Transportation for over 22 years, in engineering and management positions. Nancy was appointed Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer in December 2019.

Prior to her current role, she served as the Assistant Commissioner for Engineering Services, the State Bridge Engineer, and also previously served in planning, project management and design roles for the MnDOT Bridge Office and Metro District. Before coming to MnDOT, she worked in consulting for about six years, in both bridge and road design.

Nancy is a native of Minnesota and holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from North Dakota State University in addition to a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering (with a structural emphasis) from the University of Minnesota. Nancy and her husband reside in Woodbury, Minnesota, where they raised their daughter and son.

Patrick McKenna

Director, Missouri Department of Transportation

Patrick McKennaPatrick K. McKenna became Director of MoDOT on Dec. 7, 2015. As Director of MoDOT, McKenna oversees all operations for the department.

Previously, he served as the Deputy Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, a role that is chief financial, operating and legislative officer for the organization.

McKenna has a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Finance from Bentley University and a Master's of Science in Management and Finance from the University of Maryland University College.

He and his wife, Suzanne, are enjoying raising two sons, Patrick Jr. and Connor and a daughter, Kelsey.

Jack Marchbanks

Secretary, Ohio Transportation Cabinet

Jack MarchbanksJack Marchbanks served as Assistant Director for Business & Human Resources for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) from July 2017 until his appointment as Director by Gov. DeWine in January 2019.

In his role as Assistant Director, he was responsible for the overall management of the department's 5,000 employees and the development of its $3.3 billion budget. He provided strategic direction to the statewide administrators of the agency's finance, human resources, information technology, legal, and communications divisions, as well as the opportunity, diversity and inclusion programs. His duties also included service as a voting member of the State Infrastructure Bank and fiduciary oversight of federal fund transfers from the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration and Federal Rail Administration.

Jack also served as District 6 Deputy Director from June 2016 to July 2017. He previously served in the same position from May 1996 to January 2007.

During his long time at the helm of District 6, he oversaw the investment of more than $1.7 billion in surface transportation infrastructure, including the widening of I-71 in Delaware County, the widening of the I-270 North Outerbelt from Gahanna to Dublin, the completion of US 35 in Fayette County and the completion of I-670 with the High Street Cap in Franklin County.  Read more...

He is a former member of the Ohio Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC) and has worked in the private sector as Business Development & Marketing Director for PRIME AE Group, Inc.

A staunch believer in life-long learning, Mr. Marchbanks recently earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Ohio University. He also holds an M.B.A. from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a Master's Degree from Clark-Atlanta University. He is a proud graduate of the University of Dayton, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science.

He is married to Alice Flowers and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Craig Thompson

Secretary, Wisconsin Transportation Cabinet

Craig ThompsonCraig Thompson was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) beginning in January 2019. WisDOT is one of the largest state agencies, with 3,400 employees and a biennial budget of more than $6 billion. The department supports all modes of transportation, including state highways, local roads, railroads, public transit systems, airports, and harbors. In addition, the department includes the Division of Motor Vehicles, which serves about 50,000 customers each week, and the Division of State Patrol that enforces laws and assists motorists throughout the state.

Previously Craig was the executive director of the Transportation Development Association (TDA) of Wisconsin. He has more than 25 years of experience working with Wisconsin businesses, communities, legislators and units of government. Prior to leading TDA, he served as the legislative director for the Wisconsin Counties Association, managing legislative initiatives at the state and federal levels.

Craig is a native of Racine and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in Madison with his wife and two teenagers.

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