Spanning a career of nearly four decades in the transportation industry, Frank Kobliski was executive director of the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority until he retired in 2015. He directed public transit services in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Oneida counties as well as the operation of the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center in Syracuse. During his tenure, Centro was named the American Public Transportation Association’s Best Midsized Transit System in 2006 and received four consecutive perfect Triennial Reviews as well as a United We Ride Award for outstanding paratransit service.
As a two-time president of the New York Public Transit Association and the longest standing past president in NYPTA history, Frank led many statewide initiatives in support of public transportation and served as NYPTA’s Legislative Chairman.
Gordon Nevison has worked in the transit industry for more than 43 years. He established one of the first transit management companies in Canada and is a founding member of the Canadian Transit Heritage Foundation. Gordon impacted transit through his work with several OEM manufacturers in North America and has been a mentor to many successful transit executives by sharing his knowledge, expertise, integrity and work ethic.
As a pioneer in transit, he has quietly shaped the industry as we know it today. Gordon joined NYPTA as one of its first corporate members in 1981 under Bus Industries of America (Orion). Over the years, he was a member of several committees and served as a Board member and co-chair of the Corporate Committee for more than a decade. He was instrumental in developing the format for the industry Fall Conference and Expo and supporting the event.
Hilary Ring retired after more than four decades working for New York and its agencies, most recently in streamlining MTA back office operations by assisting in the creation of and then managing the MTA Business Service Center as its Deputy Senior Director. Hilary was a key player in the adoption of every MTA capital program between the first one, in 1982, through 2010. He specialized in NYS transit funding formulae and reinvigorated MTA state government relations efforts.
He was a strong advocate for New York’s transit manufacturing industry and, as a longtime NYPTA Board member, organized its Transit Awareness Day with significant MTA participation. Hilary was also the man behind NYPTA’s Public Transit Leadership Institute program. Recognizing the need to cultivate young professionals, Hilary joined forces with Tom George and Scott Sopczyk and staff to build a program specifically for future transit leaders.
With 30 years of service in public transit, Cynthia Ruiz served both Ulster and Dutchess Counties prior to her retirement in 2017. As a Certified Community Transit Manager, she managed $7.4 million in grants, project management, and construction and successfully transitioned a transit agency from a rural to a small urbanized system.
Cynthia was a longtime, active NYPTA Board member. She was a tireless advocate for the needs of smaller systems and the people they employed and served. She forged partnerships with state agencies, especially NYSDOT, and elevated discussions about partnership and collaboration. A constant and passionate voice on the board, Cynthia ensured all subjects were discussed and debated and believed in the importance of transit services and worked to make them better through the efforts of NYPTA.
Spanning a career of nearly 4 decades in the transportation industry, Bruce Black was employed by Diesel Division, a manufacturer of transit buses and other large scale equipment, until he retired in 2009. Bruce served in a wide range of roles for the company including purchasing agent, warranty manager and regional service, sales, product support and parts manager covering territory in the United States and Canada.
As a Board Member of NYPTA, Bruce provided guidance and leadership in many areas including sponsorship, training, rodeo, legislative, technology and programs. Bruce served as the first private sector board member and enhanced the transit industries link with private sector businesses and increased corporate membership and participation.
Steven Share completed over 37 years at Central New York Regional Transit Authority (CNYRTA). His career began as a Grant Accountant in 1975 and he worked his way up to Chief Financial Officer where he proudly served for 26 years, retiring in 2012. Steve was recognized by the New York State Office of the Governor for developing an internal control system that was at the forefront in the accounting field. Audits led by Steve were cited by the Office of the State Comptroller as a model for other state authorities. He was named Central New York’s Financial Officer of the Year in 2008.
Steve vigorously advocated for NYPTA at the state level and provided astute financial insight to the association in regards to the state funding process. He actively supports several local charities and has far exceeded the 10-gallon blood donation level for the American Red Cross.
Rick Swist is an expert in strategic management and public policy with over 25 years of experience in government, economic development, human services and public transit. Rick served as Executive Director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) in Buffalo and Executive Director of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. He has participated in several national and state trade associations, including serving as President of NYPTA, where he implemented a strategic plan that resulted in more effective advocacy and nearly doubled membership and revenue.
As founder of Swist Government Consulting Associates, he continues to provide policy, strategic planning and management services to both public and private sector clients.
John Walsh has over 30 years in the transportation industry. He has held senior management positions with the New York City Transit Authority, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO), and The Long Island Bus Company.
In 2008 John joined Clever Devices as, Vice President of Business Intelligence and Strategy where he continues to implement procedures and tactics to increase efficiencies for transit agencies, to increase safety and security for all riders, and to create technologies to enable sustainable transport systems. He holds several awards and honors from various industry associations and academic institutions. He authored numerous technical papers, and transportation related documents, as well as serving on various advisory committees relevant to the transportation industry.