Keynote Speakers

Welcome Keynote

Monday, July 30 | 9 a.m.

Speaker: Jason Roberts, Better Block Project

Jason RobertsAbout Jason Roberts

Jason Roberts is the founder of the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, originator of the Better Block Project, co-founder of the Art Conspiracy and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, and candidate for US Congress. In 2006, Jason formed the non-profit organization, Oak Cliff Transit Authority, to revive the Dallas streetcar system, and later spearheaded the city's effort in garnering a $23 Million dollar TIGER stimulus grant from the FTA to help reintroduce a modern streetcar system to Dallas. In 2010, Jason organized a series of "Better Block" projects, taking blighted blocks with vacant properties in Southern Dallas and converting them into temporary walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, cafe seating, and landscaping. The project has now become an international movement occurring everywhere from Melbourne, Australia to Tehran, Iran, and has been featured in the New York Times, Dwell magazine, TED Talks and National Public Radio.

Jason won a Champions of Change award from the White House in 2012 and his consulting firm, Team Better Block, was showcased in the US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.


A Golden State Vision of the Future: From High Speed Rail to New Mobility Options

Tuesday, July 31 | 9 a.m.

Speakers: Michelle Boehm (California High-Speed Rail Authority), Lucy Dunn (Orange County Business Council), Jeanne Holm (City of Los Angeles - Invited), Joshua Schank (LA Metro)

Michelle BoehmAbout Michelle Boehm

As Southern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Michelle Boehm oversees strategy, stakeholder outreach, and related elements of project development for over 300 miles of the planned all electric High Speed Rail system in the Southern California Region’s five project sections: Bakersfield to Palmdale, Palmdale to Burbank, Burbank to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Diego.

Michelle Boehm brings nearly 20 years of experience in both public and private sectors in transportation planning and policy analysis. Before joining the Authority, she was a Vice President with one of the largest Architectural and Engineering firms in the Country. In that role, Boehm was the regional manager responsible for overseeing business development, strategic planning, and public agency and community outreach for projects throughout Southern California.

Over the course of her career Boehm has proven her ability as an industry leader working with business and legislative stakeholders on the high-speed rail project, and as a business manager and strategic planner, having developed strategy for transportation, water, geotechnical, structural, and environmental engineering and planning practice development and projects.

Lucy DunnAbout Lucy Dunn

Lucy Dunn is President and CEO of Orange County Business Council, where she leads a dynamic organization of business members, working with academia and government, to assure the region’s economic prosperity and high quality of life. Before joining the Business Council, Lucy served as Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development in 2004. In 2008, she was appointed to the California Transportation Commission by Governor Schwarzenegger, reappointed twice by Governor Brown, and in 2015 was elected its chair. She also serves on numerous boards including California Economic Summit, Mobility 21, Pacific Symphony, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, and UCI Foundation. Lucy also represents Orange County on the Ontario International Airport Authority dedicated to improving air service for all of Southern California.

She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including Orange County Business Journal’s “Women in Business” award, Women in Transportation’s “Woman of the Year” award, Southern California Leadership Network’s Public Sector Leader of the Year, and the prestigious “Vision and Visionaries” Award from Cal-State University, Fullerton. She was twice named as “Woman of the Year” by the California Legislature. In 2014, OC Register named her as one of “Orange County’s 100 Most Influential.” In 2016, she was honored by the Endangered Habitats League with its Award of Excellence for her work in advancing settlement of 15 years of litigation, protection of habitat and cultural resources, while providing for the completion of South Orange County’s toll road system. Lucy is a member of the State Bar of California. She loves travel, music with her proudest role as mother of two sons (and one accomplished daughter-in-law!) who reside in the Bay Area.

Joshua SchankAbout Joshua Schank

Joshua L. Schank is the first ever Chief Innovation Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), where he leads the Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI). The role of this office is to champion new ideas to improve mobility in LA County by informing the high-level vision for LA Metro, piloting and implementing new and experimental programs and policy, and serving as the primary liaison for new ideas relevant to LA Metro coming from entrepreneurs, established private sector entities, academia, or individual residents. The office is also responsible for LA Metro’s Public Private Partnership (P3), and strategic planning functions.

Prior to joining LA Metro, Dr. Schank was President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a national non-profit think-tank with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Before joining Eno, he directed the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which proposed a new vision for the Federal role in surface transportation policy.

Dr. Schank was Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton during the development of the last surface transportation authorization bill (SAFETEA-LU). He has also worked as a Consultant with PB Consult and Senior Associate at ICF International in Washington, D.C., as well as serving in positions at the Office of the Inspector General’s in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City.

Dr. Schank’s extensive work in transportation policy and planning is well documented in his publications, including “All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding,” co-authored with Costas Panagopoulos and published by CQ Press in 2007. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in urban studies from Columbia University.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Lindsey and his sons Max and Jonah.


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