Three Metro Transit staffers were recognized this week by a group that seeks to expand access for women working in transportation. At a virtual awards program on Thursday, April 29, WTS Minnesota honored:
Amina Wolf, Transportation Manager
Ruter Garage Manager Amina Wolf received the chapter’s Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award. In her nomination, co-workers wrote: “Amina understands the power of developing people who have not historically held leadership positions – and the depth of lost opportunity when racism and bias persist.” Wolf began as a bus operator in 2006 and has served as a train operator, rail supervisor and assistant transportation manager. She became Metro Transit’s first-ever Black woman garage manager last year and currently chairs Advancing Women in Transit (AWT), an employee resource group dedicated to promoting female-identifying employees.
Ayantu Gemeda, Assistant Manager-Street Operations Bus Rapid Transit
Ayantu Gemeda, Assistant Manager-Street Operations Bus Rapid Transit, was named the chapter’s 2021 Woman to Watch. The award recognizes mid-career women who are making notable impacts to the industry. Gemeda began in Transit Information in 2014, became a transit supervisor in 2018 and became the first member of Street Operations management to be dedicated to BRT services in 2019. In her nomination, staff praised her listen-first approach and ability to work across multiple departments.
Deputy Chief of Operations-Bus Brian Funk
Deputy Chief of Operations-Bus Brian Funk received the chapter’s Ray LaHood award, which recognizes men who are strong advocates for the advancement of women in the transportation industry. Funk is the executive sponsor for AWT.
WTS is an international organization that seeks to expand access for women in transportation. Each local chapter organizes its own annual awards program.