YPT-NYC Board of Directors Candidates


Please note – due to space considerations, the names and organizations of individuals who are candidates for more than one position are listed under each position for which they are candidates, but their full candidate statement are listed only once.

Chair – 1 candidate
The Chair is responsible for day-to-day implementation of the policy and guidelines of the Board of Directors. The Chair shall preside over Chapter Board meetings, create and appoint members to Committees, and act as chief official representative of YPT-NYC. This position must have previous YPT Board experience.

Joseph Ehrlich, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
I would like to seek the privilege of serving as your Chair for the upcoming year. I believe I have a lot to offer to continue to develop the chapter, grow our membership, and expand our programming into new and exciting directions.

As one of the original YPT-NYC Board members, having previously served as Deputy Chair in 2012-2013 and Vice Chair-Finance/Treasurer in 2011-2012, I have been part of the team that has grown this chapter into what it is today. No other chapter puts on as many events as we do, or has the diverse programming that we offer.

However, we can still do more. Our programming can be expanded to include more events on interstate and international transportation, aviation, shipping, freight, and policy. To do this, we will need to increase our outreach efforts to boost membership in these areas. Also, to complement our high profile leadership seminars, we should also focus on events highlighting interesting projects our young professional membership is working on.

I believe in continued dialogue with YPT chapters and members around the country to continue to grow the organization and develop best practices. I have attended National meetings in Washington DC each of the past three years, where I have had the pleasure of meeting our peers all around the country, exchanged ideas, and gained insight into opportunities and challenges faced by them, many of which can be applied back home.

YPT-NYC has been successful thus far because of the strength of our membership, and the dedication of our board members. As chair, I will ensure that the board continues to work as a cohesive group, that all opinions are respected, and that we collaborate to achieve what is best for the organization.

I am a Senior Project Coordinator for the Port Authority of NY and NJ, working on the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program.

Thank you for your consideration.

Deputy Chair – 2 candidates
The Deputy shall help to coordinate activities involving multiple Officers and assist the Chair in his or her responsibilities. In the absence of the Chair, the Deputy Chair shall act in the official capacity of the Chair and perform all duties of that office.

Elizabeth Paul, MTA Bridges and Tunnels
Last year, I was elected as the Co-Vice Chair for Programming. I worked with the YPT board members to create events like the first YPT Transportation Scavenger Hunt, the first YPT Speed Networking event, and continue successful events like the summer tour series, transportation trivia, happy hours, and leadership series. I found the experience to be incredibly enriching and I hope to continue to serve on the YPT Board of Directors.

During my time on the YPT board, I learned about many other activities that go on behind the scenes that are key to YPT functioning. The Deputy Chair’s responsibilities include coordinating activities among multiple officers and assisting the Chair with his or her duties as needed. As YPT grows with increasing membership and more frequent events, the Deputy Chair will play a critical role in helping ensure the smooth running of YPT. I believe that my skills in coordinating and communicating with team members to efficiently complete tasks will lend themselves well to the position of Deputy Chair.

I have a BA in Mathematics from Macaulay Honors College and an MS in Transportation from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I currently work at MTA Bridges and Tunnels as a Strategic Analyst, managing a pilot project to test credit card toll payments. I coordinate project tasks among several different departments in Bridges and Tunnels, and make sure the project is on time and on budget. I believe my work experience makes me an ideal candidate for Deputy Chair. Please consider me when you cast your ballots!

Ashley C. Emerole, MTA New York City Transit
As a dedicated member of the local transportation community, I am seeking to serve on the YPT-NYC Chapter Board of Directors because I am committed to serving the City of New York. I have participated in YPT mixers, networking events and am a member of the winning team of the 2013 YPT Scavenger Hunt.

During my graduate studies in Urban Planning at Hunter College, I specialized in Transit Planning and Technologies. My interest in GIS led me to an internship at the MTA New York City Transit in 2010. I worked on redesigning the ridership forecast model, which incorporated the changes to subway service (elimination of the W and V trains and rerouted M train). The model was used to plan for schedule changes and anticipate station usage.

I transitioned into a contractual role working with the MTA Capital Construction Company monitoring and reporting on the budget and schedule of MTA mega-projects, including the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access projects.

I expanded the scope of my experience working for the Office of Management and Budget for the City of New York managing an expense budget in excess of $50 Million for seven City agencies and a capital budget of over $500 Million.

Currently, I am a member of the MTA’s newly created Recovery & Resiliency team working on assessing the damage of Hurricane Sandy and designing, proposing and implementing mitigation strategies for future natural disasters on the Staten Island Railway.

My passion for transportation can also be seen in my role as Co-Chair of the Manhattan Young Democrats (MYD) Transportation Committee. Throughout the year I have worked on organizing events and tours involving Transit Advocates Gene Russianoff, John Raskin, Ben Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas and Citibike. I testified on behalf of MYD at the City Planning Commission on Madison Square Garden’s permit in perpetuity, in favor of a redesigned Penn Station. In addition, my role on the MYD Executive Board has required proposing resolutions and voting on budgetary, operational and highly politicized decisions on behalf of over 200 members.

I am also committed to community service as a Team Leader for New York Cares. I lead a weekend hunger project feeding 200 clients at the historic Cathedral of St. John’s the Divine in Upper Manhattan.

I am an experienced professional and extremely dedicated to furthering the role of young professionals in transportation and would bring creativity and passion to the YPT Board of Directors.

Also a candidate for Secretary/Vice Chair for Administration, Vice Chair for Finance, Vice Chair for Programs, and Director-at-Large

Secretary/Vice Chair for Administration – 3 candidates
The Secretary/Vice Chair for Administration shall keep full and accurate records of all business and proceedings at Chapter Board meetings. The Secretary/Vice Chair for Administration shall prepare meeting minutes, keep accurate organization records, and manage the election process.

Annalisa Liberman, MTA New York City Transit
As Vice Chair for Administration, I will provide a stable support to the board and a wealth of relevant experience to the position.

Like many of you, I joined YPT-NYC to expand my network of transit friends, and although I may be new to YPT, I am deeply committed to serving the NYC chapter. I am excited about the achievements YPT-NYC has already made as an organization and would be thrilled to be a part of its promising future. I have a proven record holding elected positions in other organizations. Most recently I served as Community Outreach Chair for the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Group and Internal Affairs Chair for student government at Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. . As Internal Affairs chair I promoted the elections to the student body and championed the transition of voting from a paper to electronic balloting system. These efforts dramatically increased voter turnout. I am detail-oriented, organized and have strong interpersonal skills. These qualities would prove beneficial as I prepare meeting minutes and keep accurate organization records.

I am confident that my experience and personal attributes will make me an excellent addition to the 2013-14 YPT-NYC Board. It would be an honor to serve as your Vice Chair for Administration and I kindly ask for your support.

Also a candidate for Director-at-Large

Mike Banoub, Parsons Brinckerhoff
It is with great enthusiasm that I write to express my interest in serving on the Young Professionals in Transportation-New York City Chapter Board of Directors.

Having experience with technical organizations such as the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Transportation Engineers, I have grown to appreciate YPT’s active work in supporting and embracing the multidisciplinary nature of transportation. In particular, I would like to serve on the Board as I believe this organization provides a forum encouraging discussion between all fields within transportation including economists, engineers, urban planners, financiers, environmentalists, scholars, operations planners, government affairs representative, among others. A rare opportunity, this interaction between varied professionals of the industry allows for a unique and eye-opening experience for all. With this in mind, I would like to continue growing these opportunities and provide leadership coming from a private consulting engineering/planning background.

In addition to fully supporting the organization’s mission, I personally have enjoyed past experiences with YPT including the George Washington Bridge tour and the Speed Mentoring session. In reference to the former, I was amazed to learn how this organization could provide access to a facility as critical as the GWB. Providing both an educational experience and breathtaking views 600’ above the Hudson River, this tour was one of the coolest experiences and one that I certainly won’t forget. If elected to serve on the board, I will support these tours and reach out to new agencies hopefully expanding to new facilities if possible. Aside from the tours, I also found the Speed Mentoring session rewarding and a great learning experience. Having led the internship program at Parsons Brinckerhoff this past year, I believe I would be able to grow the outreach with local colleges and further connect students aspiring to work in the transportation industry to young professionals.

To summarize, I’d like to serve on the Board of Directors as I believe the YPT-NYC provides unique opportunities for young professionals passionate about the transportation field. Having an engineering/planning background with a strong interest in economics, finance, strategy, operations, environmental planning, and politics, I believe I embody the values and strengths of YPT. With my work-ethic, I believe I would make a great addition to the Board.

Also a candidate for Vice Chair for Programs and Director-at-Large

Ashley C. Emerole, MTA New York City Transit

Vice Chair for Finance – 2 candidates
The Treasurer/Vice Chair for Finance shall be responsible for the collection of dues, and the safekeeping of funds, including reporting of receipts, expenditures, and balances at the request of the Chapter Board. The Treasurer/Vice Chair for Finance is also responsible for identifying, establishing, and growing relationships with sponsors.The Vice Chair tracks and maintains accurate and up-to-date sponsorship agreements and ensures that sponsorship benefits are being fulfilled. 

Julia Kerson, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
My two years with YPT-NYC, first as Vice Chair for Programs and then as Treasurer, have been incredibly valuable and more importantly, fun! Be it perfecting the art of small talk over a beer, getting life lessons from leaders in the industry, or touring the region’s most exciting infrastructure projects, being a part of this organization has been incredibly rewarding. I would be grateful for the opportunity to continue helping this organization achieve its mission of providing quality programming, professional development, and networking opportunities for young professionals throughout the region.

Also a candidate for Director-at-Large

Ashley C. Emerole, MTA New York City Transit

Vice Chair for Programs (2 positions) – 3 candidates

The Vice Chairs for Programs are responsible for programs of national and international significance, such as events in conjunction with major conferences. Programs include networking as well as professional development events. The Vice Chairs for Programs coordinate on the organization of these events with the Vice Chair for Membership.

Steve Michejda, MTA Bridges and Tunnels
I want to take a leadership role in YPT-NYC as a Vice Chair for Programming where I can plan events which allow professionals in the transportation field to network, socialize, and visit transportation

facilities. Over the past year, I have enjoyed attending various YPT events, including the scavenger hunt, trivia night, Port Newark summer tour, and socials.

YPT-NYC has done a great job with programming for the 2012-2013 year. As a Vice Chair for Programming, I hope to use my network and expand YPT-NYC’s offerings. I would like to have tours of transportation facilities throughout the year, a transportation speaker series on a monthly basis, professional development opportunities, and more social events for professionals and students in the transportation field to network.

When I worked at the US Department of Defense, I hosted happy hours and a speaker series while I served as a Vice Chair of my agency’s Young Professionals Network. In addition, I was a co-founder of an
Undergraduate Urban Planning Club.

Currently, I work as a Management Associate at MTA Bridges and Tunnels, where I rotate between the agency’s departments. I have a Master of Urban Planning from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of
Metropolitan Studies from the University of Michigan. I worked as an intern for NJTRANSIT, NYCDOT, and the Louis Berger Group. In addition, I worked for four years as a GIS Analyst for the US Department of Defense.

I look forward to serving you as a YPT-NYC Vice Chair for Programming.

Ashley C. Emerole, MTA New York City Transit

Mike Banoub, Parsons Brinckerhoff

Vice Chair for Membership – 1 candidate
The Vice Chair for Membership utilizes the resources of YPT to manage the membership records of all YPT members and is responsible for chapter communications. The Vice Chair for Membership also works to provide maximum value for all members, increase the membership of YPT, increase the visibility of YPT, explore business development opportunities for YPT, and provide other services to meet the needs of the members of YPT. Some experience with online membership systems, HTML, and websites is helpful.

Erica DeCrescenzo, NYC Department of Transportation
I have been a member of the YPT-NYC Chapter for the past two years and I am really excited to see how much the organization has growth during this time! I would really like the opportunity to increase my involvement with such a great organization dedicated to the advancement and development of young professionals in the transportation industry, by serving on the Board of Directors, as the Vice Chair for Membership.

As a planner in the Capital Program Management division of NYC DOT, I am is responsible for planning and implementing the capital program and prioritizing projects. This position requires me to be very organized and effectively communicate with multiple stakeholders. These skills would be invaluable for a Vice Chair for Membership.

I am commitment and dedicated to the goals and growth of the YPT-NYC Chapter. As Vice Chair for Membership, I believe I can help to increase the organization’s presence and membership. I have been Chair of the Membership Committee of the Women’s Transportation Seminar’s Greater New York Chapter (WTS-GNY) for the past year. During this time, membership has increased by 10%. As Membership Chair, I continuously promote the organization through regular contact, surveys, social media, and targeted outreach to recruit members from underrepresented sectors of the transportation industry, particularly students. I also previously served on the WTS Communications Committee and managed the website. Based on my previous experience, I know can significantly contribute to the success, growth, and development of YPT by serving on the Board of Directors. I hope you agree!

Director-at-Large (2 positions) – 8 candidates
The Directors-at-Large provide support to the positions defined above, on an as needed basis. This could include planning/coordinating events, student outreach, or sponsorship activities, among others.

Chrissie Carlin, MTA New York City Transit
Please accept the following candidate statement for the open position(s) of Director at Large.

As a Director-at-Large for YPT-NYC, my primary focus would be to assist in the planning of events for the coming year as well as other tasks as needed. As the current Co-Chair for Programming for YPT-NYC, I am familiar with the events process and can help with the planning, especially during the summer tour series. Secondly, I would like to encourage membership within the region’s transportation-related degree programs. I would develop relationships with the administration of related programs to ensure that we are visible to their students. It would be nice to promote events that are geared towards current students so they can meet people from other programs, and encourage them to stay involved with YPT while they transition into their full time careers.

I am a Principal Transportation Planner within Operations Planning at MTA New York City Transit. I specifically work in the Station Planning group, whose goal is to advocate for passenger circulation within Transit stations and intermodal facilities. I began my planning career at Transit in March 2007 as a college aide while completing a Master of Urban Planning degree from CUNYHunterCollege (graduating in 2009). My undergraduate degree is in Urban Design and Architecture History from New YorkUniversity (2002). I grew up in New Jersey and currently reside near Columbus Circle.

Thank you for your consideration and please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Julia Kerson, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Jonathan Ehrlich, New York State Thruway Authority
When I was about four years old, I was obsessed with a video called “Cars, Boats, Trains and Planes.” If this video was not an integral part your childhood, Google it asap. It is hard to resist the obvious draw of the performance of “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” set to images of a Border Collie running through partially-framed structures and heavy equipment construction sights, not to mention the rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus.” I should have known that my fascination with this video foreshadowed my professional entrance into the transportation industry.

Two years ago I began my position as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority. Since then I have had the fortunate experience of learning the ins and outs of operating, maintaining and financing the longest toll road in the country – from tolling operations to construction contracts, bond financing and beyond. I hope that as a Director-at-Large I can share the experiences that I have had with the YPT-NYC community.

Lately, I have partially transitioned to the management team for the construction of a New NY Bridge replacing the existing Tappan Zee across the Hudson River between Westchester and Rockland counties. As a Director-at-Large, I hope to share the fascinating parts of this project with YPT-NYC and coordinate programming with colleagues at other agencies, authorities and firms that are involved in the various megaprojects taking place in and around NYC. I look forward to bringing an enriching year of creative and insightful programming and networking to YPT.

Annalisa Liberman, MTA New York City Transit
As Director-at-Large, I will provide a reliable and energetic support to the board, bring fresh ideas to the chapter and a wealth of relevant experience to the position.

I did not follow a traditional path into the transportation profession. My career grew out of a decision I made four years ago to leave the fast-paced, creative world of automotive advertising, for a more substantive career serving the transit needs of the broader public. My five years of marketing experience and subsequent years in the Peace Corps taught me how to effectively plan and execute creative projects that garner excitement and widespread support. I am detail-oriented and a team player with strong interpersonal skills. These qualities would prove beneficial as I help coordinate events, membership outreach and sponsorship activities.

Like many of you, I joined YPT-NYC to expand my network of transit friends, and although I may be new to YPT, I am deeply committed to serving the NYC chapter. I am excited about the achievements YPT-NYC has already made as an organization and would be thrilled to be a part of its promising future. I have a proven record making positive contributions as an elected board member in other organizations. Most recently I served as Community Outreach Chair for the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Group and Internal Affairs Chair for student government at Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. As Internal Affairs Chair I doubled the merchandise offering and championed the transition of elections from paper to electronic balloting. While serving as Community Outreach Chair, I planned community service projects and worked with administration to bring the Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows Program to the school to better reach the Peace Corps community and make enrollment more affordable for returned volunteers.

I am confident that my experience and personal attributes will make me an excellent addition to the 2013-14 YPT-NYC Board. It would be an honor to serve as Deputy-at-Large and I kindly ask for your support.

John Patrick O’Har, Parsons Brinckerhoff
I am seeking nomination for one of the Director-at Large positions in YPT’s New York City Chapter. I recently completed my doctoral degree at Georgia Tech and began work with Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Strategic Consulting group on June 17th. Although I am new to New York City, I am well aware of YPT and the important events it sponsors. During my tenure at Georgia Tech, I particpated in a science and technology policy fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences. While I was in Washington, D.C. for the Fall 2011 Semester, I had my first exposure to YPT in the form of a Nationals game. Although YPT hosts more formal events with prestigious guest speakers, one of its key benefits is the ability to host informal networking events for young professionals. Shortly aftering returning to Atlanta from Washington, several of my colleagues founded Atlanta’s YPT Chapter. One of the Atlanta Chapter’s first events included Beverly Scott, former MARTA CEO, and Doug Hooker, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission. I know that the New York City Chapter of YPT affords its members similar opportunities both in the form of networking events and events with prominent guest speakers.

As I settle into New York City and my new position at Parsons Brinckerhoff, I would like to get involved in the New York City Chapter of YPT. I know the Summer Tours Series was a success and I look forward to being a part of the leadership team that will continue to plan successful events. In addition to YPT, I am an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Insitute of Transportation Engineers. While at Georgia Tech, I served as president of the Student Chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers during the 2010 to 2011 academic year. I am confident that my previous leadership experience and involvement in the transportation profession positions me well for success in the role of Director-at Large. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the members of YPT’s NYC Chapter and to support the mission and vision of the Board of Directors.

Kirk Hovenkotter, NYU Wagner School of Public Service
It was when I was leading a student march to support the campaign to expand light rail in Seattle, dressed up in a homemade cardboard light rail costume holding a boom box above my head blasting ‘Love Train’ that I realized it; I am a transportation nerd. My name is Kirk Hovenkotter and I would be honored to have your vote for the Director at Large position at YPT NYC.

My enthusiasm for transportation has steered me to work in many areas of the field. For the last two years I was the Transportation Programs Coordinator for the City of Redmond Washington, managing a commute calendar with over 24,000 users, designing transit and bike maps and coordinating business and resident outreach. Outside of my career I contributed my time to Feet First, Seattle’s pedestrian advocacy organization. Along with being a member of the organization’s policy board, I instructed pedestrian safety education courses to second graders in the Seattle School District.

One of the defining aspects of the transportation field that continues to inspire me is the driven, wonky, and unique professionals it attracts. Along with some of these individuals, I helped found the Seattle chapter of YPT as the first Deputy Chair. I eagerly gave my time and energy into creating the chapter because I support the YPT’s strong focus on professional dialog and the structure and programming that encourages members to engage, rather than just pay their annual dues.

And as a new resident of New York, it was this chapter’s tours, happy hours and mixers that made me feel welcome and excited to begin my studies in Transportation Policy here. I want to be a Director at Large for YPT NYC because I want to continue to support a strong community around professionals in transportation, provide opportunities and connections for those new to the field, and most of all the opportunity to hang out with other transportation nerds. As a graduate student at NYU, I have the time and flexibility to best support the board and the chapter in events and programming for the upcoming year.

As a Director at Large I will commit the same energy and passion that I brought to my advocacy and career to YPT NYC. Contributing my experience, local and national connections, I will support the Chapter’s board members and ensure that YPT continues to be the engaging organization that gave me such a great welcome to New York. Although I can’t promise the cardboard light rail costume will make a return.

Mike Banoub, Parsons Brinckerhoff

Ashley C. Emerole, MTA New York City Transit

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