MyNorth News Service
(Press Release provided by BATA)
TRAVERSE CITY: The Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) officially announces the retirement of Executive Director Tom Menzel. Mr. Menzel will transition from BATA at the end of 2015 after six years of innovative service and leadership.
“My years at BATA have been a wonderful experience and provided me an opportunity to work with many gifted, friendly and caring people along with a capable and supportive Board of Directors, whom I hold in the highest regard,” said Menzel. “I predict a very bright future for public transportation in our area, especially knowing the current team of talented employees providing outstanding service and enhancing BATA’s brand in the community.”
Tom Menzel was, and is, an essential part of BATA’s recent transformation into one of Michigan’s leading public transportation organizations. During his tenure at BATA, Mr. Menzel and his team had a number of accomplishments including:
- Enhancing BATA’s financial stability by stemming losses of $357,000, eliminating more than $400,000 in debt in 2009 and investing more than $7 million through grants and funding to nearly double BATA’s asset base
- Improving BATA’s brand, facilities and fleet by creating a new image, renovation of its Cass Road Transfer Station and replacement of more than 70% of its aging fleet
- Adding technology with a new website, routing software, electronic fare boxes, mobile data terminals, bus cameras and GPS tracking technology
- Transforming its service model to be more efficient with a focus on fixed routes (Loop) interconnected with its on-demand service (Link)
- Establishing innovative transportation options such as BATA’s Bike-n-Ride and new Ski-n-Ride service and event shuttles to add additional value to the community and gain exposure to new audiences
- Building collaborative partnerships with regional transportation systems and community businesses and organizations to improve transportation options
- Incorporating strategic direction, accountability and the creation of new mission, vision and value statements
“Words can’t describe how grateful we are for the leadership and direction Tom has provided BATA over the past six years,” said Linda Wagner, Chairwoman, BATA Board of Directors. “Tom’s gradual transition will give the board ample time to find his replacement, and we’re excited and committed to improving and sustaining the healthy culture he has worked so hard to develop.”
Prior to joining BATA as Executive Director, Mr. Menzel held various leadership positions in both the private and public sectors. Most recently, he was Executive Director of the National Cherry Festival for three years. He was also President of the N.W. Suburban Alliance for Commerce and Industry. In the political arena, he was a Mayor, City Treasurer and Alderman in the City of Rolling Meadows, a Chicago-area suburb. In the private sector he was a National Sales Manager for seven companies including McGraw-Hill’s Training Division, a Regional and District Manager for Xerox Corporation. His first private sector position was in Public Affairs for Allstate Insurance where he worked on auto-related safety issues with the National Traffic Safety Institute in Washington, D.C.
Tom Menzel has been a positive agent of change throughout his career and will continue to be one wherever the future takes him.
“I have found it very gratifying to help businesses in my home town prosper and grow,” said Menzel. “I have a special admiration for Traverse City and its residents.”
Menzel shared these closing words during a recent presentation to the Economic Club of Traverse City: “Change is inevitable – growth is optional. The only thing we can guarantee people is that nothing ever stays the same.”
With more than 120 employees, BATA provides more than half a million annual rides to residents and visitors in Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties. The transit authority offers Loop service with dedicated routes and fixed stops, as well as Link service that functions as a traditional dial-a-ride. In addition, BATA introduced programs like Bike-n-Ride, Ski-n-Ride, and various event shuttles, broadening standard service offerings. Visit bata.net or call 231.941.2324 for more information.
Eric Lingaur – Bay Area Transportation Authority – Marketing & Sales Manager