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Board of Directors - California Transportation Foundation

Board of Directors



Vice President, and North America Western Regional Manager for Rail, Parsons

Sunnie House,
Chair, CTF

Sunnie House is a Vice President at Parsons and serves as the North America Western Regional Manager for Rail.  In this position, she manages  Parsons’ operations and business development activities and for transit and rail practice throughout the western United States.

As a registered civil engineer in California, she has managed or served as principal-in-charge on numerous complex transportation and public works projects for 33 years. Sunnie joined the private sector after a five-year tenure with California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 7 in Los Angeles.

Sunnie is a former International President of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) – an international organization which focuses on advancing women in the transportation industry.  She has been a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and more specifically about the role women can play in the leadership of organizations.  In 2014, she was honored by the WTS San Diego Chapter as the “Woman of the Year.” In addition, she was honored by the WTS Los Angeles Chapter as one of top 25 most influential women in the region’s transportation industry in 2010.

She contributed to the Book “Be that Engineer – Inspiration and Insights from Accomplished Women Engineers”, published by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), 2014. She was also featured in the book “Changing Our World: True Stories of Women Engineers, Sybil E. Hatch, 2006”.

Sunnie believes in giving back to her professional community.  She has served on the boards of several professional organizations including: California American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), American Public Works Association (APWA) and Greater San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee.  She is currently serving as Vice Chair on the board of the California Transportation Foundation (CTF).

Sunnie graduated from California State University Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1982.  She is married and has two sons and a daughter.



Deputy Executive Director, Projects, CCTA

Tim Haile,
Treasurer, CTF

Tim serves as the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s Deputy Executive Director for Projects and manages strategic planning and oversees all aspects of program management and project administration. Mr. Haile brings more than nineteen years of experience in public works and transportation projects. Mr. Haile is recognized for his dynamic thinking, leadership, innovation, proactive management style, and technical acuity. An expert in Caltrans design policies, procedures, and standards for transportation projects. He is an advisor to local agencies and stakeholders to navigate the complex project delivery process from project initiation through environmental, final design and construction.

Mr. Haile has also been an active leader in the transportation industry and community, serving as the Communications Chair of the Transportation Research Board Managed Lanes Committee and Board Member of the California Transportation Foundation. A testament to his technical expertise in highway design, communication, and presentation skills, Mr. Haile served as an adjunct professor for the Highway Design Course at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona over the past eight years. He was recently named one of the “Top 20 under 40 Engineering Professionals in California” by Engineering News Record Magazine.



Western Region Real Estate Services Lead, HDR

Bob Morrison, Bender Rosenthal, Inc.

Bob Morrison, P.E.,P.M.P.,CA RE HDR 
Secretary, CTF

Bob Morrison was recently appointed to Western Region Real Estate Services Lead for HDR for the following states: Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Hawaii. HDR specializes in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services.  Mr. Morrison is responsible for growing HDR’s Real Estate Services practice throughout the West.

Mr. Morrison has over twenty years of business and project management experience on major infrastructure projects.  Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Morrison brings a unique understanding of the entire project development picture.  His California Department of Transportation experience was crucial to his understanding of funding sources and the unique challenges presented by government funded infrastructure projects.  His experience at URS Corporation was invaluable in shaping his ability to effectively manage people and projects in a for-profit setting.

Previous to joining HDR, Mr. Morrison was a minority owner and president of Bender Rosenthal, Inc., a full services right of way company.  As Registered Civil Engineer and Licensed Real Estate Broker, Mr. Morrison’s complete understanding of the project development process allows him to better streamline project delivery through implementation of various risk management strategies. In turn, this allows clients to achieve their project goals in a timely fashion. A sampling of Mr. Morrison’s key clients throughout the years includes SANDAG, California High Speed Train, and Riverside County Transportation Authority.

Mr. Morrison received his Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineer from Tufts University, and his Masters in Business Administration from CSU Sacramento.   He lives in Carmichael with his wife Gina.  They have been married 23 years and have two active teenage boys.  Both Bob and Gina volunteer their time, serve on boards, advisory committees, and financially support a number of charities including their church, children’s schools, the Sacramento Crisis Nursery, and the local Little League.



Kome Ajise

Director of Planning, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Kome Ajise is the Director of Planning at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization.  His responsibilities include developing and updating the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) which is the long-range blueprint that identifies projects and strategies to address the region’s transportation challenges as well as improve system performance, and the Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) which is the short-term programming document that identifies specific funding sources and amounts needed to implement the projects in the RTP.  He is also responsible for long-range transportation planning specific to goods movement, aviation, transit and passenger rail, transportation demand management/transportation systems management, intelligent transportation systems, and transportation finance among others. At SCAG, Kome also oversees a comprehensive program of environmental issues analysis with emphasis on land use, housing, active transportation, air quality, and environmental justice.

Prior to SCAG, Kome was the Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), where he was responsible for the internal operations of the Department with 18,000 plus employees and a budget that exceeds $1.1 billion.

Kome has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Benin, Nigeria and a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from California State University, Fresno.



Director, San Joaquin County Public Works

Kris Balaji,
San Joaquin County Public Works

Mr. Balaji, who currently serves as Director of Public Works for San Joaquin County, began his engineering career with the State Department of Transportation and served for nearly 16 years, designing and constructing roadways, bridges, and other public transportation infrastructure. Before leaving State service, Mr. Balaji served as Chief of the Traffic Operations Division and was responsible for the operation of all State highways in California. Mr. Balaji joined a global Architecture and Engineering firm and served as their Director of Transportation for five years; he also served as Vice President for another global Architecture & Engineering firm for over two years.

Mr. Balaji serves on the Board of multiple technical and non-profit organizations, and has a well-rounded knowledge of various aspects of public administration. He also volunteers his time for non-profit organizations and social causes.

Mr. Balaji obtained his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering in 1987 from Annamalai University in India, and a Graduate Degree in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University in 1991. Mr. Balaji is a registered Civil Engineer and a certified Project Management Professional.



Chief Deputy Director, Caltrans HQ

Ryan Chamberlain,
Caltrans HQ

Ryan Chamberlain is Chief Deputy Director for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), responsible for overseeing the internal operations for nearly 20,000 employees and an annual budget that exceeds $8 billion.

Chamberlain joined Caltrans in 1999 and has extensive experience in the transportation sector spanning Caltrans Headquarters, Caltrans Los Angeles and Orange County districts, and the private sector. He previously served as deputy district director of Planning and Local Assistance in Caltrans Orange County district, partnering with regional and local agencies to develop policy, transportation plans, and provide guidance on a wide range of planning concepts and practices. He then served as the Caltrans Transportation Planning division chief in Sacramento, where he managed a program of approximately 650 positions statewide.

Since 2012, Chamberlain served as Caltrans district 12 director overseeing Orange County’s highway system in a metropolitan area consisting of 17 state highways, 34 cities, and more than 3.1 million people. During that time, Chamberlain was instrumental in building partnerships with the business community, regional transportation agencies, counties and cities. His innovation and leadership resulted in the advancement of key initiatives and projects that will benefit generations of drivers including the I-405 Improvement Project, the second largest highway construction project in California’s history.

Chamberlain has also served on the California Transportation Foundation Board, the Orange County Transportation Authority, and the Foothill and San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agencies.

Director Chamberlain graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a degree in environmental studies.

Director Chamberlain and his wife, Jodi, have two children.



Executive Director, San Francisco County Transportation Authority

Tilly Chang,

Tilly Chang serves as Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. The SFCTA plans, funds and delivers capital improvements for San Francisco’s multi-modal, countrywide transportation system. Ms. Chang has 20 years of experience, including 12 years with the Transportation Authority, and posts with the World Bank, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and in the private sector. She serves on



President, G3 Quality, Inc

Chris Gerber,
G3 Quality, Inc.

Chris Gerber has been involved in the construction materials industry for over 20 years.  He was first introduced to a concrete cylinder when he was 14-years-old.  His passion for materials and project quality grew throughout his career and has provided many of his client’s technical solutions that they have come to value.  As founder of G3 Quality, Inc. he is focused on developing a sustainable business that is relevant in today’s competitive and technically evolving market.

Chris has managed iconic infrastructure projects such as the Wake Island Runway Replacement, LAX Runway 25L Replacement, I-710 Long Life Pavement Rehabilitation and various city/county quality assurance programs.  He has actively assisted Caltrans in the development of the section 39 HMA specifications and is currently partnering with industry and academia on the new Superpave specifications. Chris has also managed complex infrastructure quality programs for design-build and design-bid-build projects. Over his career, he has acted as the quality manager for hundreds of statewide hot mix asphalt projects.

Chris has been a business leader for over 12 years and has established various practices throughout the state.  His accomplishments include growing firm technical capabilities, laboratory development, marketing plans, business financial matrices, coaching and leadership.

Chris is an active Board member of California Transportation Foundation (CTF) and involved with California Asphalt Pavement Association, American Public Works Association (APWA), and Caltrans Expert Task Group.



Retired, HDR Engineering

Carlton Haack
Retired, HDR Engineering

Carl retired from HDR in 2018 after a career working in both the public and private transportation sectors throughout California.

Carl was HDR’s California Highways Practice Leader and the Project Manager for several projects in the Northern California area.  He previously served as HDR’s Northern California Transportation Group Manager, and was responsible for the operations, leadership and development, and financial performance of the group of approximately 80 employees that perform highway, rail, transit, and transportation planning projects throughout Northern California.  Prior to joining HDR, Mr. Haack was with Caltrans, serving in various District and Headquarters positions, from Resident Engineer to Project Manager to the Project Management Division Chief at Caltrans.

Throughout his professional career, Carl was instrumental in the successful delivery of transportation projects and programs.  As Caltrans’ Project Management Division Chief, his leadership resulted in a $2.5 billion annual statewide project delivery program. At HDR, Carl continued to work with both local and state transportation officials in delivering transportation projects, programs, and funding.

In retirement, Carl is spending time on his passions and interests; backpacking and fishing around the western states and serving on several of CTF’s Board Committees including the Scholarship and Education Symposium Committees.  He believes the future of transportation is both complex and uncertain and will be shaped by the future leaders of transportation that CTF supports through scholarships and education.



Partner and Infrastructure Practice Group Chair, Nossaman LLP

Patrick Harder
Nossaman LLP

Patrick D. Harder, chair of Nossaman’s Infrastructure Practice Group, is widely known for leadership in public-private partnerships (P3s) and other innovative project delivery methods such as design-build and construction manager at-risk. Mr. Harder assists public agencies in advancing complex projects through cutting-edge approaches, including helping to create a model for the use of availability payment P3s that laid the groundwork for such transactions across the United States. Among his projects, he recently advised the University of California in achieving commercial and financial close on the $1.3 billion UC Merced 2020 Campus Expansion Project – the first university campus expansion in the country to be undertaken using the P3 availability payment model.

Before joining Nossaman, Mr. Harder served as general counsel and executive manager for two of the world’s largest construction and engineering firms, both based in Japan. He also worked as legal and business advisor on dozens of public and private construction and infrastructure projects around the world including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – two of the world’s tallest buildings. Chambers-rated nationally and globally in the field of P3s, Mr. Harder has a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University and a J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.



Partner, pointC, LLC

Tony Harris

Tony Harris is a partner at pointC, LLC, a consulting firm that help our clients achieve their land use and transportation objectives by providing strategic planning, funding and implementation services. PointC’s skilled and experienced staff creates comprehensive, integrated strategies to help achieve approvals, funding, programming and implementation of land use, transportation, jobs-housing connection programs, workforce development, and policy initiatives that benefit both the public and private sectors and the community at large.

Prior to joining pointC, Tony was Chief Deputy Director of Caltrans and managed the daily multi-modal operations of the largest state transportation department in the country. Tony is a registered Civil Engineer with over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, which has enabled him to utilize his transportation knowledge to develop consensus amongst many diverse constituencies for various transportation infrastructure programs and projects.

Tony holds a civil engineering degree from North Carolina State University and is a member of the board of directors for the California Child Abuse Prevention Center which is a state, national and international training, education, research and resource center dedicated to strengthening children, families, and communities.



Consultant, Folsom Chamber of Commerce

Will Kempton
Folsom Chamber of Commerce

Transportation innovator and manager, Will Kempton, recently retired after more than 43 years of experience in transportation, public service and government affairs. Mr. Kempton most recently served
as Executive Director of Transportation California, an industry‐based transportation advocacy group dedicated to the advancement of California’s transportation program. Transportation California has
worked for years to increase funding for the state’s ailing transportation infrastructure and was a leader in the effort to pass Senate Bill 1 which was approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in
early 2017.

Prior to his latest stint with Transportation California, Mr. Kempton served as Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission (CTC), responsible for advising and assisting the Legislature and
the Administration in the development of transportation policies and plans for California, initiating and developing state and federal legislation to secure funding for the state’s transportation needs and
facilitating the programming and allocation of funds for highway, passenger rail, transit and active transportation improvements throughout California.


Professor of Engineering and Policy, Vice Dean for Academic Programs, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California

James Moore, II, Ph.D.

Dr. Moore is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering; of Public Policy and Management; and of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. He received undergraduate degrees in industrial engineering and in urban planning and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in industrial engineering and a doctorate in civil engineering from Stanford University.  He is broadly interested in transportation systems, specializing in the economic impacts of urban infrastructure decisions.

He joined Northwestern’s faculty in 1986; and transitioned to USC in 1988, serving there as co-director of the construction management program from 1994 to 2010, and as director of the transportation engineering program since 1990.  He served as chair of the USC Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering from 2004 until 2010, and became Vice Dean for Academic Programs in USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering in 2011.

He is active with professional societies at the local and national level, serving as president of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences’ (INFORMS) Transportation Science and Logistics Society, and as Senior Vice President for Continuing Education and then as President of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).  He has served the WTS Los Angeles chapter as a board member-at-large since 2005.



Senior Vice President, Director of Business Development – West Region, WSP USA

Luis Porrello, D.Sc.

Dr. Luis Porrello brings more than 20 years of experience to his role as the Director of Business Development for WSP’s West Region Transportation and Infrastructure division.

Through his project assignments he has provided technical direction to the traffic analysis and intelligent transportation system components of some of the nation’s largest transportation infrastructure programs.

Through his management experience he has provided leadership to business development and operational effectiveness associated with local, regional, and national geographies for Top 25 Engineering News Record design firms.

Demonstrating a lifetime commitment to learning, he is passionate about engineering education, professional development, and the mentorship of the next generation of civil engineers.

Luis lives in Laguna Niguel, California, with his wife Stephanie and their children James and Sarah.



Senior Transportation Policy Manager, Lyft

Debs Schrimmer

Debs Schrimmer is a Senior Transportation Policy Manager at Lyft, where she develops cutting-edge partnerships with public agencies around the country and help oversee Lyft’s transportation policy initiatives around sustainability, infrastructure, public transportation, and the environment. Prior to Lyft, she worked as a digital policy strategist at Code for America and as a transportation planner at the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Debs received her B.S. from the University of California, Davis in Community and Regional Development, and is an honoree of the Women’s Transportation Seminar.


Principal, Smith, Watts & Hartmann

D.J. Smith
Smith, Watts & Hartmann

D.J. Smith is founder and Principal of Smith, Watts & Hartmann, a full service advocacy and consulting firm located across the street from the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento. Established in 1982, the firm specializes in transportation, energy, resource and local government work. These services include consulting and advocacy on the development, cost and availability of energy, and the development and implementation of plans, programs and policies to better utilize public and private transportation infrastructure. The firm assists clients with strategies that enable them to capture additional resources for and expedite implementation of major infrastructure projects.

The firm also acts as a strategic advisor on environmental, financial, political and community processes and issues related to implementation of energy and transportation programs.  The firm has also developed a specialization on local government fiscal issues in recent years.  Clients include major manufacturers, private renewable energy developers, residential and commercial developers, city and county governments, and regional transportation authorities throughout California and the West.

Prior to establishing the firm in 1981, Mr. Smith was District Manager of Public Affairs, Pacific Coast Division for Bethlehem Steel Corporation (1979-81); Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly Committee on Transportation (1975-80) and he began his professional career in various management positions in the Office of the Secretary of the U. S. Department of Transportation in Washington D. C. (1971-75).

In 1969, Mr. Smith graduated from the American University, School of Government and Public Administration, in Washington D.C., with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Urban Affairs.  In 1971, he graduated from Florida State University, with a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, specializing in Public Policy and Transportation Planning.

He is married with four children and three grandchildren, and resides in Napa, California.


Executive Director, Transportation Authority of Marin

Dianne Steinhauser, P.E.

Ms. Steinhauser has over 30 years managing transportation in the Bay Area and is currently serving as the Executive Director for the Transportation Authority of Marin.   For the past 12 years, Dianne has managed Marin’s ½ cent transportation sales tax which generates over $25 million per year for Marin.  Through Marin’s sales tax, TAM has enabled tremendous growth in local transit services, local street and road rehabilitation, and has grown its very successful Safe Routes to Schools program including managing crossing guards, travel plans, School Pool, and student education around walking and biking to school.

Dianne managed the development of Marin County’s $10 Vehicle Registration Fee increase for transportation, which was successfully passed by voters in November 2010, bringing an annual $2 million to Marin for transportation needs. The VRF program includes Senior Mobility Management, an Alternative Fuels program, employer/employee support as well as funds for complete streets and bike/ped path maintenance.

She brings a robust background in funding and finance, consensus getting, and engineering management which has provided tremendous benefit to Marin, and her dedication to all modes has provided excellent results.  Dianne started her career at Caltrans, where for 20 years she rose from a construction inspector to Deputy Director managing the activity of 6 Bay Area counties. She is well versed in Project Management and Environmental Management.   Dianne attributes her success to her MTC experience as well, where she spent nearly 5 years as the Manager for Programming and Allocations. MTC helped her fine-tune her engineering technical experience with a vast array of knowledge about fund sources, legislative process, and planning. Dianne uses all these tools in her successful programs in Marin.


Vice President, Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLP

Tim Stroud
Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLP

A vice president with Atkinson, Tim Stroud provides executive leadership for the company’s Southern California division. In this role, Tim is responsible for overseeing Atkinson’s Southern California construction projects, as well as the business and operational functions in the region. Tim joined the Atkinson team in 2013 to lead the State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project, a $672 million design-build project for Riverside County. 


Tim has more than 15 years of construction experience, having started his career with Clark Construction. While at Clark, Tim honed his skills in design-build delivery on the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center project in Bethesda, Md., where he managed 725,000 square feet of new construction and approximately 500,000 square feet of renovations on an active military hospital campus. Tim also led Clark’s Research and Development Group, where he worked with clients and subcontractors to refine and enhance the company’s preconstruction services process.  


Tim received his master’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a Safety Trained Supervisor, an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Certified Healthcare Constructor, and he holds a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Quality Management certification.  

Tim is the executive in charge of Atkinson’s Southern California operations. In this capacity, he is responsible for the region’s financial results and manpower allocation.





Northern California Operations Manager, HNTB Corporation

Jeff Watson

Jeff Watson is a Vice President with HNTB Corporation and is located in Oakland California. He serves as the operations manager for the 100-person group which is located throughout Northern California. Jeff oversees the day to day operation of the Northern California office with a focus on strategic planning, operating budget development, office performance and project performance.

Jeff has over 25 years of civil engineering experience which includes office management, project management and program management. He has managed multi-discipline transportation projects for a wide range of clients from across the country. He is currently licensed in three states (CA, PA, TX) and has experience in planning, design, and construction.

Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil & Construction Engineering Technology from Temple University, Philadelphia.




Executive Director, CTF

Sarah West, Executive Director, CTF, West Directions

Sarah West,
Executive Director, CTF,
West Directions

In January 2011 Sarah became Executive Director of CTF.  She is also President of West Directions, an association management firm.  Sarah has worked for CTF since 1995, organizing the Foundation’s events, writing its publications and providing management support. She brings twenty-six years of professional experience in California politics and association management to her new role as Executive Director. She is the primary strategist for clients interested in organizing, maintaining and growing an association. Her unique combination of legislative expertise and public relations experience has produced decisive results for a host of West Directions clients. An expert at grassroots organizing, she has been able to pull together coalitions of affected parties and helped them communicate in a unified voice.

Before joining CTF Sarah served as Executive Director of the California Sod Producers Association, the Council for a Green Environment, and the Self-Help Counties Coalition, where she developed the annual conference, Focus on the Future.

Prior to forming West Directions, Sarah was Senior Associate at D.J. Smith Associates, where she lobbied for private and public interests before the state legislature and local governments.

Prior to joining D.J. Smith Associates, Sarah served as Senior Consultant for Townsend, Raimundo, Bessler & Usher (Townsend & Company) where she directed numerous successful political campaigns throughout California.

Sarah was educated at the University of California at Davis, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science.


Emeritus Director, CTF and Caltrans Retired

Heinz Heckeroth

Heinz Heckeroth,
Emeritus Director,









CTF Whistleblower Policy