APTF: 2016 in Review
Under the guidance of Chair Jennifer Mitchell, the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) had a successful year. In 2016 the foundation topped the scholarship award record set last year and awarded $130,000 to 27 scholars and transit professional. The average scholarship awarded was $5,000, which meant that the awards had a meaningful impact for those that received them. Since the foundation began in 1988 more than $950,000 has been invested in over 280 qualified scholars and transit professionals.
This year the APTF was pleased to award two named scholarships for the first time: one in the name of APTA’s immediate past chair Valarie J. McCall and one funded by Bombardier. The foundation was also awarded a one-time scholarship in the name of a longtime colleague and friend of the industry Clarence “Cal” Marsella. The scholarship offered in Cal’s name was made possible by his family, who requested that donations be made in his memory to the foundation.
In 2016 the foundation conducted several successful fundraising activities. An event held at the APTA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles brought in more than $40,500 and the annual Golf Tournament, raised an additional $11,500. The foundation also produced a successful “Back to School” fundraising campaign, which increased the presence of the foundation and highlighted the work the APTF is doing to support scholars and transit professionals as they continue their education and advance their careers in public transit.
As 2016 draws to a close, the foundation is actively working to raise funds to reach the $50,000 threshold for a named scholarship for Jim Cowen, former APTA chair and Hall of Fame Member. The effort to fund a permanent, named scholarship began shortly after Cowen’s death in 2005 when Reba Malone, who was Chair of APTA when the APTF was formed, created the James Cowen Scholarship Fund. Since then many have contributed to the Fund but after more than ten years, we were only half way to our goal. In July of this year Rick Simonetta, a 25-year member of the APTF Board, took on the challenge to lead the effort to achieve full funding in 2016. As noted by Mr. Simonetta “[Jim] was an inspiration and a visionary at a time when our industry was positioned to make great strides across many fronts.”
In 2016 the Foundation, the Board of Directors, and all of our donors have worked hard to further APTF’s mission to increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career by providing scholarships and engagement opportunities to deserving students and transit professionals. However, there is still much to do. Please keep an eye out in 2017 for new opportunities to engage in the foundation and support the next generation of transit leaders.
If you are interested in contributing to the Jim Cowen Scholarship Fund or the foundation General Fund, please click here to make an online donation.
2016 APTF Donor Recognition
The American Public Transportation Foundation would like to
thank everyone who contributed in 2016. It is through the generosity of our
donors and event sponsors that the APTF was able to give $130,000 in
scholarships to 27 deserving scholars and transportation professionals this
year. Donors are recognized below by
APTA Business Member Activity Fund
Keolis America Inc.
McDonald Transit Associates, Inc.
Michael Baker International
ALSTOM Transportation Incorporated
Herzog Transit Services, Inc.
Harris Rand Lusk
The General Contractors Association Of New York, Inc.
Gifts of $1,000 or more
RidgeGate Investments, Inc.
Anne Louise Rice
INIT Innovations in Transportation
Alternate Concepts, Inc. ACI
J. Roger Morton
Gifts of $100 to $499
Aspen Home Services, Inc.
Eno Center for Transportation
Raynard and Cheryl Soon
William Van Meter
Vivid Concepts, Inc.
Mary Jo Morandini
David R. Phelps
Marc Anthony Soto
Wolcott Volunteer Fire Dept.
Gifts under $100
F. Scott Jewell
Roxane & David Dupuis
Griffus & Partners
William & Sharon Elfenbein
Robert & Terese Roland
2016 APTF Scholars Celebrated at the APTA Annual Meeting
On September 13, the APTF presented scholarships to the 27
scholars at the 2016 APTA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA. A total of $130,000
in academic scholarships was awarded, the highest amount in the history of the
At the ceremony the APTF recognized the recipients of the inaugural Valarie
J. McCall and Bombardier scholarships:
Golda Speyer is the recipient of the Valarie J. McCall
scholarship and is sponsored by the National Transit Institute at Rutgers
University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Golda will use the scholarship to
assist her as she completes her Master's Degree in transportation planning
while working full-time in a local planning agency. She hopes pursue a career
as a transportation land use planner.
Cristal Coleman is the recipient of the Bombardier
Scholarship and is sponsored by HDR. Cristal is thankful to Bombardier and the
APTF for providing the scholarship, which will help her as she works to
complete her degree in Construction Management at the University of the
District of Columbia.
The APTF also offered a one-time scholarship in 2016 in the
name of Clarence “Cal” Marsella. As General Manager at RTD in Denver, Cal
championed and directed FasTracks, a project nationally recognized for its
innovation and vision. APTA recognized his outstanding work by naming him
Outstanding Public Transportation Manager in 2006. The scholarship offered in
Cal’s name was made possible by his family and his wife Sheri, who requested
that donations be made in his memory to the foundation.
Jacob Neu is the recipient of the Cal Marsella scholarship
and is sponsored by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. As a veteran,
Jacob is honored to receive the scholarship in Cal’s name, which will help him
as he completes his degree in Civil Engineering.
See the full list of 2016 APTF Scholars
Help Scholars go BACK TO SCHOOL
It’s Back to School time and with that comes a focus on students, at all levels, and their advancement.
The greatest issue facing the public transportation industry is workforce development; leaders are retiring or otherwise leaving the industry faster than qualified replacements can be recruited and trained.
The American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF) is working to address this problem by providing financial assistance to students who are pursing education in a transit-related area of study or are already employed in the industry and seeking to advance.
In 2016 the APTF awarded $130,000 in scholarships to 27 scholars and professionals working in public transportation. The APTF would not be able to support the next generation of transit leaders without the generous support of corporate sponsors and individual donors.
The goal of the BACK TO SCHOOL Annual Giving Campaign is to raise $50,000, which will allow the Foundation’s Board of Directors to increase both the size and number of scholarships that we are able to award over the coming year.
To donate, please click on the campaign flyer or visit the Donate Now link.
James Cowen Memorial Scholarship
James “Jim” Cowen loved APTA and contributed to Association and the public transportation industry throughout his notable transit career. Jim is a member of the APTA Hall of Fame, former APTA Chair, and served as General Manager/CEO of Tri-Met in Portland and The Bus in Honolulu.
Shortly after his death in 2005, Reba Malone, who was Chair of APTA when the APTF was formed in 1988, created The James Cowen Scholarship Fund in an attempt to raise $50,000 for a permanently endowed named scholarship. Since then many have contributed to the Fund in an effort to reach the required $50,000 to fully endow the James Cowen Scholarship Fund. After more than ten years we are only half way to our goal with $25,000 contributed. To become a permanent named scholarship, the James Cowan Scholarship Fund must be fully funded by the end of 2016. Mr. Rick Simonetta of the Burns Engineering, Inc., and 25-year member of the APTF Board, has taken on the challenge to lead the effort to achieve full funding in 2016. As noted by Mr. Simonetta “[Jim] was an inspiration and a visionary at a time when our industry was positioned to make great strides across many fronts. Much was accomplished under his leadership.”
Please see our Memorial Giving page to learn how you can make a donation in Jim Cowen's name.
APTF 2016 - What's Next
APTF made great strides in 2015. With your help, we will make 2016 even more successful.
To develop the transit workforce of the future, we need to do the following:
- Expand our outreach and engage our past scholars to ensure potential scholarship recipients are aware of the program;
- Grow our asset base so we can grant more scholarships and make larger awards; and
- Increase our visibility in the industry so there is a greater understanding of our mission.
Please consider making a contribution to the foundation so that we can continue to fulfill our mission of increasing and retaining the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career by providing scholarships and engagement opportunities to deserving students and transit professionals – our future leaders.
Please donate to the American Public Transportation Foundation today!
Our Mission: 'To increase and retain the number of individuals choosing the transit field as a career by providing scholarships and engagement opportunities to deserving students and transit professionals - our future leaders.'