Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration
Rise Together: Building a stronger & more equitable Rhode Island - The Raimondo Administration

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Raimondo Nominates Three to RIPTA Board of Directors

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced her intent to nominate Joshua H. Brumberger, Wayne M. Kezirian, and Karen A. Santilli to the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Board of Directors. Raimondo submitted their names to the Rhode Island Senate for confirmation today.

"A 21st century economy requires a 21st century public transit system," said Raimondo. "The key to a responsive, reliable, and safe RIPTA service is innovative board members who understand the importance of RIPTA to its diverse ridership, businesses, and communities throughout the state. I am confident that Josh, Wayne, and Karen share my vision that public transit should do more than move people from A to B; it should also move at the speed of business."

"This is a great opportunity to be a part of moving our state forward, and I thank Governor Raimondo for her consideration," Brumberger said. "I am excited to serve on the RIPTA Board."

"I am honored to be considered for this position, and look forward to applying my private sector experience to the public sector," Kezirian said.

"Public transportation is a valuable asset to our community, particularly for low-income riders," Santilli said. "I would like to thank Governor Raimondo for this opportunity."

Joshua H. Brumberger is the Executive Vice President for Sales Strategy & Business Development at Utilidata. He previously served as Deputy Treasurer and Policy Director in the Office of the Rhode Island General Treasurer. Brumberger graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in communication, and guest lectures at Brown University's Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy. He lives in East Greenwich.

Wayne M. Kezirian, Esq., is a business attorney. He previously served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Johnson and Wales University, as well as a partner at the law firm of Gaebe and Kezirian. He is the chair of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' Board of Directors and the chair of the Rhode Island Bar Association's Committee on Ethics & Professionalism. Kezirian is a former board chair of two social service organizations, McAuley Ministries and Travelers Aid of Rhode Island (now known as Crossroads Rhode Island). Kezirian earned his law degree from the Albany Law School at Union University and graduated magna cum lade with a Bachelor of Arts from Marist College. He lives in Cranston.

Karen A. Santilli is the President and CEO of Crossroads Rhode Island, the largest homeless services organization in the state. She previously served as Crossroads' Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer as well as the Vice President of Marketing & Development. Prior to her time at Crossroads, Santilli was Marketing Director for Plan International USA, an organization working in developing countries to end the cycle of poverty. She earned her Master's degree in education and her Bachelor's degree in marketing from Rhode Island College. She lives in Cranston.

Brumberger, Kezirian, and Santilli will replace Stephen Durkee, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, and Margaret Holland McDuff. Mayor Avedisian resigned from the Board in May, Holland McDuff requested that a replacement be named in her stead, and Durkee resigned earlier this month.

"I am grateful to Steve and Margaret for volunteering their time and expertise to RIPTA. They have helped shepherd RIPTA through many positive changes and service expansions, and I wish them the very best," Raimondo said. "In particular, I would like to thank Mayor Avedesian for his tireless commitment and dedication. Under his chairmanship, RIPTA has worked to expand ridership options and bring accountability to its operations. I am thankful for his continued friendship and commitment to public service."

RIPTA is charged with providing mass transit service to nearly all of the cities and towns within the State of Rhode Island. An eight-member Board of Directors governs the Authority and elects its own chairperson.