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Metrolinx Senior Management Team

Biographies

Phil Verster, President & Chief Executive Officer

Phil Verster is the President & Chief Executive Officer at Metrolinx.

Phil oversees a team committed to transforming transportation in the GTHA. With a strong community and customer service emphasis, Metrolinx is delivering quality transportation services on time and on budget, and working collaboratively with our partners – all key elements to delivering on the promise of Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan.

Prior to joining Metrolinx, Phil was one of the UK’s rail leaders, having managed train operations, infrastructure builds and infrastructure management for passenger rail systems in England, Scotland and Ireland.

An engineer by training, Phil began his career in the electricity sector in his native South Africa. From 2001 to 2003, he was Depot Manager and Production Director for a UK division of Bombardier Rail. In 2003, Phil moved from the supplier side to passenger rail operations at Southeastern Trains. He then spent five years at Irish Rail, where he served in different roles, including Deputy CEO.

In 2011, Phil joined Britain’s Network Rail. His first assignment was Managing Director London North East and East Midlands Route , the second largest route in the Network Rail system. He pioneered a new approach to structured continuous improvement that delivered improved safety and train performance as well as an enhanced passenger experience. Phil put the same innovation and discipline to work in his subsequent assignment for Network Rail running Scotland’s ScotRail passenger rail service, from 2015 to 2017. In early 2017, Phil served as Managing Director of Network Rail’s East West Railway.

Phil has a Bachelors of Engineering and a Masters of Engineering, both from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He has an MBA from the University of Newcastle Business School and an LLM Post Graduate Diploma (Commercial Law) from the University of Northumbria, both in the UK.

CEO@metrolinx.com

Lena Azzou, Chief of Staff
Lena.Azzou@metrolinx.com
416-202-5999

Alba Briceno, Executive Assistant
alba.briceno@metrolinx.com
416-202-5908

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Martin Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer (GO Transit and UP Express) and Chief Safety and Security Officer

As the Chief Operating Officer (GO Transit and UP Express) and Chief Safety and Security Officer, Martin Gallagher has an enterprise-wide oversight of construction, operational, occupational, and customer safety, and regulatory oversight as Metrolinx assumes a greater role in the regulation of the rail corridors on which its service operates. Martin leads the journey to the development and ongoing improvement of a world-class safety culture; and, implementation and delivery of the safety management system for both operational and construction safety in accordance with best practices and regulatory requirements.

Martin has chaired the United Nations expert committee on rail safety since 2013 and delivered the UN international rail safety program to over 60 member states. Prior to joining Metrolinx he also served as national head of safety with Network Rail in the UK for ten years where he led a safety transformation program across England, Scotland and Wales that improved safety performance by 31% and contributed to the UK being ranked by the European Rail Agency as having the safest rail network in Europe. He has also delivered safety programs for organizations in Japan, Italy, Norway, Finland and Australia.

Martin has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and a Master of Science, Safety & Risk Management from the University of Strathclyde. He is also certified in engineering safety management, construction safety, construction design management and safety management systems.

Martin.Gallagher@metrolinx.com

Danielle Zachariah, Executive Assistant
Danielle.Zachariah@metrolinx.com
647-629-2595

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Stephanie Davies, Chief Capital Officer (GO & UP)

Stephanie Davies

As Chief Capital Officer (GO & UP), Stephanie leads the portion of the Metrolinx Capital Projects Group responsible for an extensive portfolio of projects to transform the regional passenger railway network. This integrated team brings together hundreds of skilled Metrolinx employees with partners from Infrastructure Ontario and the private sector with a shared focus on delivering complex projects safely, on time, on budget and on benefit. Its responsibilities include GO Expansion, the internationally recognized program to bring faster, more frequent electrified regional rail service across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, along with complementary investments in new stations and line extensions that will bring GO rail service to new communities from inner Toronto to Bowmanville.

After spending five years in telecommunications infrastructure, Stephanie joined the transportation and transit industry at GO Transit (now Metrolinx) in 2003. Stephanie has held progressive positions within the Capital Projects Group of Metrolinx, rising from Project Coordinator to her most recent past position as Executive Vice President of GO Expansion. There, she led teams of project delivery, commercial, technical and program management staff delivering hundreds of projects incorporating track and signals, structures, stations and customer amenities. Stephanie is proud to be part of this significant investment in transforming the region by improving the quantity and quality of train service available to its residents.

Stephanie has an honours degree in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University and is registered as a Professional Engineer in Ontario.

Stephanie.Davies@metrolinx.com

Monique Cadogan, Executive Assistant
Monique.Cadogan@metrolinx.com
416-202-5007

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Andrew Hope, Chief Capital Officer (Rapid Transit)

Andrew Hope

As Chief Capital Officer (Rapid Transit), Andrew leads the portion of the Metrolinx Capital Projects Group responsible for a globally significant program of subway, light rail transit (LRT) and bus projects. This integrated team brings together hundreds of skilled Metrolinx employees with partners from Infrastructure Ontario and the private sector with a shared focus on delivering complex projects safely, on time, on budget and on benefit. Its responsibilities range from region-changing megaprojects like the Ontario Line and Eglinton Crosstown LRT to agile investments in fixed infrastructure that support enhanced GO Bus services.

Andrew has a variety of public sector leadership experience, managing multi-stakeholder transit construction and delivery initiatives across multiple levels of government. Andrew most recently joined Metrolinx in 2015 and has held positions including Executive Vice President of Subway Program Delivery, responsible for launching four provincial priority projects into construction; Executive Vice President of Rapid Transit Implementation, overseeing the delivery of light rail and bus rapid transit projects; Vice President of the Finch West LRT and Vice President of the Hamilton LRT. Previously, Andrew filled a number of senior infrastructure policy and delivery roles with both the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada, including positions in Cabinet Office, Pan/Parapan Am Games infrastructure delivery, and Transport Canada.

Andrew has an Honours Degree in Geography from the University of Waterloo as well as a Masters of Urban and Transportation Planning from the University of Toronto.

Andrew.Hope@metrolinx.com

Amy Halcovitch, Executive Assistant
Amy.Halcovitch@metrolinx.com
416-202-7068

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Mark Childs, Chief Marketing Officer

Mark Childs

An inspiring marketer with a passion for breakthrough innovation and business growth, Mark has a proven track record of building vital brands that resonate with consumers. As Metrolinx seeks to build revenue, ridership and reputation, Mark oversees the Marketing team’s development of strategic fare, non-fare sales and communication plans in support of the GO, PRESTO, UP Express and Metrolinx brands. Data-driven customer analytics and insights inform, guide, and prioritize efforts to build the brand and loyalty through improved customer experience, integrated communication and innovative products, services and partnerships.

Prior to joining Metrolinx, Mark served as Chief Marketing Officer at Samsung Electronics Canada Inc., where he led the organization’s strategic brand and marketing initiatives, overseeing Brand Marketing, Public Relations, Corporate Social Responsibility, Digital and Social Media teams. In 2017, Samsung ranked top 10 in Ipsos Canada’s Most Influential Brands in Canada and Leger Marketing’s Most Admired Brands in Canada. Mark has also held senior leadership roles as Vice President of Marketing at Campbell Company of Canada and Kellogg Company.

Recognized as an inspirational team leader, Mark actively cultivates marketing talent and ‘best practice’ within the industry. In addition to his passionate support of AToMiC and the Strategy Awards, he champions the Canada Young Lions Marketers initiative and has contributed professionally to the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), Advertising Standards Canada (ASC), Enactus Canada and was Creative Chair at Concerned Children's Advertisers. Mark was recognized with the Marketing Hall of Fame Impact Award in 2012.

A role model in the LGBTQ community, Mark pioneered the launch of PFLAG Canada’s 2012 awareness campaign while volunteering for the organization, winning a Cannes Lions award.

mark.childs@metrolinx.com

Averil McIntyre, Executive Assistant
averil.mcintyre@metrolinx.com
416-202-5612

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David Jang, Chief Communications Officer

David Jang

As Chief Communications Officer, David and his team are responsible for the design and implementation of innovative, multi-channel communication and public affairs strategies to better connect Metrolinx to the communities it serves. This includes communication planning, corporate communications, media relations, issues management, social media, digital engagement, government relations, community outreach and stakeholder relations.

For the past 20 years David has helped both public and private organizations build their brands and connect to their communities. His career has spanned government, commercial real estate, broadcast media and higher education sectors. He joins Metrolinx most recently from the University of Toronto, where he held the position of Executive Director, Marketing and Communications. His work focused on growing the University’s brand by expanding its digital footprint, building authentic connections with communities and creating innovative digital communication products.

Prior to joining the University of Toronto, David spent 12-years at the CBC, holding senior marketing, communications, and brand roles.

David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University. He is a Promax North America Awards judge, is a member of PageUP, and was previously a Board Member of AnxietyBC.

David.Jang@metrolinx.com

Kym Gallardo, Executive Assistant
Kym.Gallardo@metrolinx.com
416-419-1012

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Jennifer Gray, Chief Financial Officer

Jennifer Gray is the Chief Financial Officer at Metrolinx.

Jennifer is responsible for leading financial planning, analysis, reporting and accounting, along with procurement services, internal audit, enterprise risk management, and insurance. Jennifer joined Metrolinx in 2013 to lead the business planning process. Since joining Metrolinx Jennifer has successfully implemented a more robust Enterprise Risk Management program as well as management financial and KPI reporting to measure progress, drive accountability and increase the focus on business results across the organization.

Jennifer has worked with Planning and Development to embed business cases in Metrolinx business processes. Jennifer also led the implementation of executive decision support for projects through the creation of the Investment Panel. The Investment Panel provides approval for projects to move through stage gates and monitors and approves changes to project benefits, costs and schedule.

Prior to joining Metrolinx, Jennifer worked for more than twelve years in the Ontario Government in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Infrastructure. While at the Ministry of Finance Jennifer contributed to the development of many Provincial budgets, including leading analysis and policy advice related to income support programs, tax-based benefit programs and income-tested programs. While at the Ministry of Infrastructure Jennifer led the Strategic Policy Unit responsible for providing advice on the Province’s capital investments and leading the development of Infrastructure related content for Provincial budgets.

Jennifer holds an Honours degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Business Economics both from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

Jennifer.Gray@metrolinx.com

Abby Adaoag, Executive Assistant
Abby.Adaoag@metrolinx.com
437-226-7831

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Ramneet Aujla, Chief Human Resources Officer

Ramneet Aujla

Ramneet Aujla is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Metrolinx. She and her team are responsible for building a strong and capable and inclusive workforce to support the delivery of the organization’s vision, mission and strategic priorities.

Ramneet is a seasoned executive who brings over 20 years of experience in the Ontario Public Service with a focus in corporate services, human resources, and government policy and programs. Most recently, Ramneet was the Chief Administrative Officer & Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services at the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) where she helped build a strong reputation for the ministry as a leader in strategic corporate oversight and large-scale transformation efforts. Prior to this, Ramneet held the position of Director, Strategic Human Resources at MTO where she provided leadership on talent and performance management, workforce planning, employee engagement, health, safety and wellness and strategic labour relations. Ramneet has had demonstrated success in leading the development of innovative human resources strategies with a focus on talent and culture.

Ramneet is a highly collaborative and trusted leader with a strong track record of fostering a culture of excellence and delivering exceptional results. Through her role as the MTO Executive Champion of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility and Anti-racism, she played a significant role in advancing these efforts and was awarded an MTO Rise Leadership award for her contributions in this area.

Ramneet holds a Bachelor of Science from McMaster University and a Master of Business Administration from Cameron University. She is also a graduate of the Queen’s University – Smith School of Business Public Executive Program.

Ramneet.Aujla@metrolinx.com

Liezl Magarro, Executive Assistant
Liezl.Magarro@metrolinx.com
416-202-0323

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Steve Levene, Chief Operating Officer (Rapid Transit)

Steve Levene is Chief Operating Officer, Rapid Transit at Metrolinx.

Steve and his team oversee operational management of the Metrolinx Rapid Transit portfolio, ensuring achievement of safety and efficiency standards, and legal and regulatory compliance. His team is responsible for bringing into service the upcoming Light Rail Transit, and Subways Systems. The portfolio also includes two Bus Rapid Transit systems; MiWay and VIVA Next.

The Rapid Transit team led by Steve provides relevant engineering, asset management and maintenance guidance and oversight to the organization with a focus on strategic and operational leadership for the lifecycle management of all Metrolinx assets. Through rigorous and value-focused contract management of each program within the portfolio, the team maximizes asset value and performance, maintenance delivery and operational performance.

Steve has worked in various capacities with Metrolinx and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation since 2012. In 2018 he led the successful implementation of commercial management within GO and UP Express operations, providing a commercially-driven focus on achieving excellence in contract and asset utilization at Metrolinx.

Steve previously worked in the UK, successfully delivering large scale rail infrastructure projects, introducing asset management and enhancing safety operations for the electrified national rail network. Steve holds a Masters of Engineering and Management from the University of Birmingham, England, is an alumnus of the University of Waterloo and has his Professional Engineering Ontario Accreditation.

Steve.Levene@metrolinx.com

Marta Pereira, Executive Assistant
Marta.Pereira@metrolinx.com
647-719-4026

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Karla Avis-Birch, Chief Planning Officer

As Chief Planning Officer, Karla extends her tenure at Metrolinx and builds on her executive leadership and award-winning, multi-billion-dollar project delivery experience.

Throughout her career, Karla has overseen the construction and completion of countless instrumental infrastructural pieces and has accelerated the delivery of service. In her previous role as Vice President, GO Stations Capital Delivery, she established Metrolinx’s first Project Controls & Design Standards Office, partnered with Infrastructure Ontario on the procurement of P3 projects, and was accountable for the delivery of transformational GO Expansion programs.

Karla is a Civil Engineering graduate from Ryerson University. Karla’s proven record of excellence garnered her a feature in the Women of Influence “Meet and Role Model” article and a spot amongst the 2020 Women in Infrastructure Network (WIN) Outstanding Leaders short list. She also served as the 2017 and 2018 President of the Women in Transportation Seminars (WTS) Toronto Area Chapter. She has been federally appointed by Infrastructure Canada to serve on the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) Board of Directors to oversee the construction of the Gordie Howe bridge.

As Chief Planning Officer, Karla will guide the planning and benefits of the regional transportation network and support practical advancement of the Regional Transportation Plan and evidence-based decision making in the delivery of transit projects. She is deeply passionate about forging end-to-end transit solutions from vision to reality, region-wide, tomorrow, and for decades to come.

Karla.Avis-Birch@metrolinx.com

Renata Ribeiro, Executive Assistant
Renata.Ribeiro@metrolinx.com
437-223-6433

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Heather Platt, Chief Legal Officer

Heather Platt is the Chief Legal Officer at Metrolinx. In this role, Heather provides strategic legal advice to all business units at Metrolinx, with a focus on rail operations, safety, and regulatory matters. She has significant experience in complex commercial matters, and has led the negotiation of several material agreements: including critical agreements with CN, CP and TTR; the master supply and services agreement with Accenture; the maintenance and crewing services agreements with Bombardier; and the agreement for the replacement of the USRC signalling system.

Heather started at GO Transit in 2005. Prior to joining Metrolinx, Heather was a partner at Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg LLP, practicing corporate/commercial and information technology law. Heather is a graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2001.

CLO@metrolinx.com

Kristen Reveler, Executive Assistant
Kristen.Reveler@metrolinx.com
416-202-5579

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Barclay Hancock, Chief Payments Officer

Barclay is the Chief Payments Officer at Metrolinx, responsible for the PRESTO fare payments platform which supports millions of transit riders everyday across 11 municipal and provincial transit agencies across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and Ottawa. Barclay leads a team passionately focused on advancing new and flexible ways to pay for these agencies and their customers.

Barclay comes to Metrolinx with over 20 years in the Canadian and International payments and financial services sectors. With an intense focus on the customer experience, Barclay brings a deep track record of digital, product, and partnerships transformation. And a deep commitment to meeting the needs of our transit agency clients.

Prior to joining Metrolinx, Barclay held various executive positions at TD Bank, including Vice-President and Head of Product, Canadian Credit Cards, where he led the largest product line and loyalty platform transformation in TD’s History. Prior to joining TD Bank, Barclay spent 13 years with American Express, leading progressively larger businesses end-to-end and some of the largest external partnerships globally.

Barclay holds a Bachelors (Hons) of History from Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Barclay also was notably a member of the Personal Banking Diversity Leadership Council, and TD’s Executive Taskforce on Refugees, as well as a founding member of both the United Way Greater Toronto “GenNext” and Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) ‘Next’ boards.

Barclay.Hancock@metrolinx.com

Ruta Raval, Executive Assistant
ruta.raval@metrolinx.com
647-361-4096

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Karima Hashmani, Chief Inclusion Officer

Karima Hashmani

Karima Hashmani is the Chief Inclusion Officer at Metrolinx. Karima and her team lead Metrolinx's engagement, equity, and inclusion efforts. The team is focused on building equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) capacity across Metrolinx to create an equitable workplace and a culture of belonging. This includes embedding EDI into everything we do – from workplace practices to how we engage and work with communities.

Karima has more than two decades of experience addressing complex EDI and human rights issues within the education, social housing, and non-profit sector. Most recently, Karima was the Executive Director, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of Toronto, where she focused on addressing systemic change within policies and practices on accessibility, sexual gender diversity and anti-racism. While at U of T, Karima co-convened the National Dialogues and Action and the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education and helped to mobilize more than 50 academic institutions across Canada to address anti-Black racism.

Prior to joining the University of Toronto, Karima spent 12 years at Toronto Community Housing, holding many roles in human rights, equity, and community development. She was part of the inaugural group of the Maytree Leaders for Change Fellows and was also an International Development Fellow with the Aga Khan Foundation. She is described by peers as a transformational leader with deep expertise in implementing change strategies within large complex organizations. Karima has dedicated her career to amplifying voices, advancing systemic change, and fostering inclusive environments.

Karima holds an Honours Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies from York University. She has also served on a number of non-profit boards and currently advises on EDI and Governance for the Rotman OnBoard Fellowship Program.

Karima.Hashmani@metrolinx.com

Alex Tseytlin, Executive Assistant
Alex.Tseytlin@metrolinx.com
416-202-3498

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