Chatham Area Transit names new CEO with Nashville background

·3 min read
Faye DiMassimo
Faye DiMassimo

Chatham Area Transit (CAT) officially has a new leader.

On Tuesday the CAT Board of Directors unanimously voted to appoint Faye Q. DiMassimo as the new CEO/executive director. DiMassimo will take the reins on Feb. 3.

DiMassimo will be the 10th CAT leader since 10-year veteran Scott Lansing left in 2005 and her appointment comes almost a year after the board abruptly fired former CEO/executive director Bacarra Mauldin in late Jan. 2021.

She replaces CAT's Valerie Ragland, who was named as interim CEO following Mauldin’s dismissal.

“I also want to thank the board for the confidence of a 9 - 0 vote and to tell you how I look so forward to earning the confidence that you've placed in me and in our organization every single day,” DiMassimo said following Tuesday’s vote while also thanking Ragland for her service as interim CEO.

“I look forward to getting there, getting back home and moving CAT forward.”

For subscribers: Leadership turnover, operational challenges mark the last 15 years of Chatham Area Transit

DiMassimo most recently served as senior advisor for transportation and infrastructure to Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper and has also served as the Interim Director of the Metro Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure.

She brings more than 40 years of experience with federal, regional, and local public entities as well as the private sector in the development, management, and delivery of multimodal transportation programs to the role.

DiMassimo has a bachelor’s degree in public administration, and master’s degrees in community planning and public administration from Auburn University and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners

Prior to Metro Nashville, DiMassimo served with Deloitte Consulting and as the City of Atlanta Renew Atlanta/TSPLOST General Manager and the Director of the Cobb County Department of Transportation.

More: Can't catch a CAT? Chatham Area Transit needs reform to improve

DiMassimo’s contract, which was also unanimously approved by the board on Tuesday, extends until Feb. 2025. According to the contract, she will receive an annual base salary of $206,000 along with a $500 monthly vehicle allowance, laptop, cell phone and a business expense account not to exceed $2,500 annually, unless approved by the board.

DiMassimo’s appointment closes out the nationwide search process that began in July 2021 after the board awarded a $34,500 contract to Florida-based recruiting firm Colin Baenziger & Associates.

Board Chairman Deidrick Cody said the firm had handled the process with top care and priority. Cody also thanked Ragland for her service as interim CEO and presented her with an award honoring that work.

“She led the organization with grace and that speaks volumes to many,” hsaid.

More: Executives, admin see bigger bonuses than bus drivers from CARES funds at Chatham Area Transit

Ragland, who has more than 30 years experience, served as CAT’s Outreach Manager before stepping into the interim role in January 2021.

“It's been a labor of love if you will for me to serve in this position for this past year,” Ragland said.

“I think most of you know how I feel about Chatham Area Transit, its always been first and foremost in all decisions that I've made for CAT.”

Katie Nussbaum is the city and county government reporter for the Savannah Morning News. Contact her at knussbaum@savannahnow.com. Twitter: KnussSMN

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Chatham Area Transit Authority appoints new CEO/executive director

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