Donating in Honor of James Cowen

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. 

As noted in Passenger Transport​, in addition to his term as APTA chair, Cowen headed the Rail Transit Committee in 1987, and received APTA's highest honor, the Jesse L. Haugh Award, in 1990. Until his death, he was an honorary member of APTA's Board of Directors and a member of the APTA Past Chairs Committee. He also was voted Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine in 1991. Former APTA President William W. Millar called Cowen "a giant in our industry. No other transit manager has ever received APTA's Outstanding Transit System award three times," twice in Honolulu and once during his tenure as general manager of Portland's Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon. Cowen was also longtime supporter of the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF), achieving the Diamond Fellow donor level. 

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.” 

To contribute to the James Cowen Fund, please send donations: The American Public Transportation Foundation, 1300 I Street, N.W., Suite 1200 East, Washington DC, 20005 (please include “Jim Cowen” on the memo line of your check”. 

You can also donate online via PaypPal by clicking on the Donate icon below. Please indicate Jim Cowen’s name in the “specify a scholarship” box.

Donating in Honor of Cal Marsella

Clarence “Cal” W. Marsella, a longtime friend of the American Public Transportation Association, will be remembered by the industry as a tireless transit advocate.

As General Manager of Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) Marsella 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. Cal’s full obituary can be found on the Darrell Howe Mortuary site.

Cal’s family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations in his name should be made to the American Public Transportation Foundation. Donations should be sent to: The American Public Transportation Foundation, 1300 I Street, N.W., Suite 1200 East, Washington DC, 20005. You can also donate online via payp​al​​ by clicking on the Donate icon below. Please indicate Cal Marsella’s name in the “specify a scholarship” box.  

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