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2013

Jon Uzpen, #2602 

Safety Specialist
| Friday, October 04, 2013 11:05:00 AM

Jon Uzpen began his career at Metro Transit on May 21, 1973 as an operator out of the old Snelling Garage. Uzpen worked as a bus operator for 15 years, including nine years as an instructor, before becoming a Safety Specialist. As a Safety Specialist, Uzpen performed in-service road tests and worked with operators to improve their driving skills. Uzpen spent time at each of Metro Transit's garages, working with hundreds of operators over the course of his 40-year career. Upon retirement, Uzpen said the favorite part of his job was watching other drivers succeed. Uzpen was named Rookie of the Year at the 1985 bus Roadeo and helped continue the annual driving competition in the latter part of his career (Uzpen was featured in a 2013 news story about the competition). Uzpen worked at Nicollet Garage from 1991 until his retirement on Oct. 4, 2013. In retirement, Uzpen said he plans to travel and spend time with his wife Cheri and grandchildren.

2013

Joel Terrell, #716 

Bus Operator
| Saturday, July 06, 2013 10:59:00 AM

Joel Terrell spent more than 30 years at Metro Transit, working his way up from a bus operator to an instructor and, finally, garage coordinator at Nicollet Garage. Before moving to Nicollet Garage, Terrell spent time at the Snelling, South and Heywood garages. A 25-year Safe Operator, Terrell was one of the original Transit Ambassador trainers, a Roadeo participant and longtime peer support member. He retired on July 6, 2013. An avid camper and traveler, Terrell plans to hit the road in his retirement and to continue rooting for his beloved Chicago Bears.

2013

Signe Martell, #150 

Bus Operator
| Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:43:00 AM

Signe Martell spent three decades moving around the Twin Cities as a bus driver. Following her May 16, 2013, retirement, she won't be in a driver's seat and she certainly won't be sitting still. Signe plans to do yoga, hike in national parks bike, travel (she just returned from India) and spend more time with her grandkids. Signe was regularly involved in United Way campaigns at the three garages – Northside, Nicollet and East Metro – where she worked. In addition to achieving 29 of her 30 years of service without an accident, Signe's supervisor stated she received "too many awards to count!"

2013

Irene Cline, #3169 

Administrative Lead Money Counter
| Friday, May 10, 2013 12:28:00 PM

Irene Cline

Perhaps Irene Cline's earlier experience as a bank teller was the reason for her success in Metro Transit's Finance division. She came to Metro Transit in 1977, working in the main administrative office. Over the next 19 years, she occupied positions in nearly every area in Finance. In 1996, Irene transferred to the Central Counting Money Room and became the first Administrative Lead position in that department. Her colleagues will miss her dedication, professionalism, willingness to help and the huge fresh tomatoes she would share from her garden each fall. Irene retired on May 10, 2013.

2013

Garfield Martichuski, #1207 

Bus Operator
| Wednesday, May 01, 2013 9:44:00 AM

Garfield Martichuski retired May 1, 2013, after being a bus driver at Metro Transit for 33 years and six months. He began work in 1979 at the Northside garage on 24th & Washington Avenue, then moved to Heywood Garage when it was built in 1984. Garfield was awarded a gold watch for 25-years of safe driving. He'll spend his retirement with his wife, children and grandchildren.

2013

Larry Pederson, #1162 

Mark Up Distpatcher
| Saturday, March 30, 2013 10:18:00 AM

Larry Pederson joined Metro Transit in 1979 and retired after 33 years of service. As a bus operator, Perderson worked at both Snelling and South garages and received 18 Safe Operator Awards, 12 Distinguished Driver Awards and was a Rodeo finalist. Pederson also served as an instructor and relief dispatcher. In 1999, he became a full-time dispatcher and worked at the Fred T. Heywood, Martin J. Ruter and South garages. In retirement, Pederson is spending time with his family, fishing and camping.

2013

Julie Johanson, #4222 

Deputy Chief Operations Officer – Bus
| Wednesday, March 06, 2013 3:39:00 PM

Julie Johanson started with then-MTC as Director of Human Resources in 1976 – a job she held for 16 years. In 1992, she became Director of Transportation, responsible for the day-to-day operations of one of the nation's largest bus systems. She had a turn serving as Acting General Manager in 1996 and 1997. For the next decade, Julie was Assistant General Manager – Administration. In 2008, Julie returned to bus operations as Deputy Chief of Operations. Julie has been a strong advocate of diversity in the workplace – in particular as a voice for developing women as leaders. Julie also cultivated relationships with local civic leaders and national industry leaders. When she retired on March 6, 2013, General Manager Brian Lamb said, "Her leadership and her contributions to this organization have been profound and enduring. We are better because of her."

2013

Lorene Love, #838 

Operator
| Friday, February 01, 2013 9:41:00 AM

Lorene Love began at Metro Transit on Oct. 11, 1976, becoming one of the first black female operators to work at the Martin J. Ruter Garage, then known as Shingle Creek. Except for a brief stint at Nicollet Garage, Lorene spent her entire career working at Ruter. Lorene drove many routes, but spent most of her time on Route 14 and Route 22. A committed professional, Lorene retired in February 2013 as a 30-year Safe Operator. “My years of safe driving meant so much to me because we were trained this was live cargo – not butter or anything else,” she said. “This was the real deal.” In retirement, Love spends time with her dogs and helps her two sons follow their pursuits.

2013

Mike Humphreys, #5154 

Mechanic Technician
| Friday, January 04, 2013 3:15:00 PM

Mike Humphreys didn't know much about buses when he joined Metro Transit on Aug. 30, 1979. But after a decade as a cleaner he'd learned enough to "turn wrenches" as a mechanic technician. Humphreys started his career at the old North Side Garage and also spent time at the Nicollet and Snelling garages and the St. Paul Overhaul Base. Humphreys spent the end of his career at Nicollet Garage, retiring on Jan. 4, 2013. In retirement, Humphreys plans to spend time with his dog, repair his old motorcycle and travel Minnesota searching for artifacts.

2013

Patricia Jackson Gray, #248 

Operator
Posted by | Tuesday, January 01, 2013 3:35:00 PM

Patricia Jackson Gray joined Metro Transit on March 2, 1981. Though she didn’t expect to stay on the job for the duration of her career, Gray learned to enjoy driving and interacting with customers on her routes. Gray spent most of her career at Nicollet Garage. As an extraboard driver, she came to learn every route that operated out of Nicollet. Recalling her experience, Gray said she enjoyed watching her youngest customers grow older and have children of their own. As a driver, Gray said she found strength in her faith and developed a friendly but stern attitude that allowed her to keep buses on time and customers safe. Gray retired in January 2013 with 32 years of service. In retirement, Gray said she hopes to become more active at church and spend time volunteering.

2013

Mark Uzpen, #3022 

Operator
| Tuesday, January 01, 2013 11:06:00 AM

Growing up on St. Paul’s East Side, Mark Uzpen spent a lot of time traveling around town on streetcars and buses. One of the attractions to transit – his father, Robert Uzpen was a streetcar operator. Given his transit-rich upbringing, it wasn’t all that surprising that Mark Uzpen would pursue a career as a Metro Transit operator. After four years “working the railroad,” he began as a bus operator on Oct. 9, 1972. Uzpen spent the following 42 years driving buses, including a 40-year run as a Safe Operator, primarily in the east metro. His four-decade career came just a few year’s shy of his father’s 46-year tenure; Mark’s brother, Jon Uzpen, who worked as an operator and Safety Specialist, retired in 2013 with 40 years of service. At his retirement, Uzpen said remembered being told when hired that there would “come a time when you’d rather be driving your bus than your car.” “Toward the end,” he said. “That was definitely true.” In retirement, Uzpen said he plans to spend more time with his family, including five children, and to work on his golf game.

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