This year Tennessee Public Transportation Association, (TPTA) co-hosted the 2017 TPTA Annual Conference & Expo with the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee (RTA). The event was held October 16-19 at the Music City Center.
This year’s event included general sessions and workshops focused on current issues facing public transportation and featured first-rate speakers, including Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and the President and CEO of the Western Conference Champion Nashville Predators, Sean Henry. The Expo was the perfect opportunity to see transportation products, technology and services that can help our agency move forward.
The 2017 State Roadeo Competition also took place during the conference.
Matt Smith represented ETHRA’s maintenance division and Brian Freels of Roane County represented ETHRA in the cut away van division of the Roadeo Competition. He finished in 3rd place of the competition giving ETHRA its first driver placing since Clint Fugate finished in 2nd place in 2014.
Our very own Mike Patterson received the Rural Executive or Manager of the Year. When the availability of Rural Public Transportation in East Tennessee was threatened again due to the 2010 census and its redefined areas within ETHRA's 16 county region as urbanized, Mike took action. He tirelessly meet with city and county mayors, congressional representatives, facilities and many others around the region, to find a solution to continue providing transportation in the newly urbanized area of our region. Due to the efforts of Mike ETHRA was able to continue providing transportation services to individuals who may have no other means of transportation. By taking these actions Mike not only helped ETHRA clients, but he also was able to maintain his current level of employees without loss. Mike has always been an advocate for both ETHRA clients and ETHRA staff and proved so by working diligently to avoid this crisis of loss of services.
Brent Gagley received the Rural Support Employee of the Year award for his design and implementation of a new document scanning submission and file archiving process. The process allows drivers to submit all required paperwork via computer instead of faxing or mail. Ethra has seen many benefits through the use of this process as means to bring cost-efficiency and productivity to our everyday business process. It helps facilitate the transition of largely inefficient paper-based processes into more efficient electronic-based processes.