Director, Arizona Department of Transportation
John Halikowski was appointed director of the Arizona Department of Transportation in 2009, and reappointed in 2015, to lead the agency responsible for planning, building and maintaining the state’s multimodal transportation system, managing transportation revenue and providing Motor Vehicle Division services.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Halikowski served for 12 years as the director of research at the Arizona House of Representatives, where he drafted major transportation-related legislation in collaboration with constituencies most affected by policy changes.
As a co-chair of the Arizona Transportation and Trade Corridor Alliance, Mr. Halikowski is working with Arizona’s business community to fully utilize the state’s transportation system to connect Arizona’s export economy with regional and global markets. He is the chair of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standing Committee on Research, on the advisory board of the Eno Center for Transportation, and the past president of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Transportation Director, Maricopa Association of Governments
Mr. Anderson is responsible for transportation planning for the region including the implementation of Proposition 400, the region’s transportation sales tax funding plan.
Prior to joining MAG, Mr. Anderson was responsible for regional growth projections and demographic analysis including population, employment and housing projections for the region. He has also developed and implemented financial strategies to fund large public sector projects including the Regional Freeway Program and Chase Field. Mr. Anderson is member of the Urban Land Institute Arizona Advisory Board, Lambda Alpha International, and the board of directors of the Arizona Transit Association. Mr. Anderson holds a M.S. in Economics from Arizona State University.
Kini L.E. Knudson, PE
Street Transportation Assistant Director and City Engineer, City of Phoenix
Kini currently serves as the Assistant Director and City Engineer for the Street Transportation Department. In his City Engineer role, he oversees all contract procurements and project management activities in support of the City’s $3.5 billion capital improvement program. As part of his Assistant Director duties, Kini is responsible for the planning, design, and construction of Phoenix’s network of nearly 5,000 miles of streets. Kini has worked for the City of Phoenix for nearly 17 years.
Prior to his employment with the City of Phoenix, Kini was an Officer in the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps. Kini spent time stationed in southern Spain and in the Washington DC area. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Arizona, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona, and a MBA from Arizona State University.
Public Transit Director, City of Phoenix
Maria Hyatt began her career with the city of Phoenix in 1989 and has worked in a variety of departments and positions, including roles with the City Manager’s Office, Human Services Department, Budget and Research, and the City Council.
Maria was named the city’s Light Rail Manager in 2001, coordinating the City’s role in planning, design and construction of the $1.4 billion 20-mile starter line. Working on light rail required extensive interaction with the Mayor and City Council, peer cities and their elected officials, neighborhoods, and businesses, along with state and federal government agencies. As part of this role, Maria also managed planning and analysis of an additional 16 miles of proposed light rail extensions.
CEO, Valley Metro
Scott Smith is the CEO of Valley Metro responsible for the planning, design, construction and operation of an expanding regional transit network in metro Phoenix, Arizona. The Valley Metro system is a partnership of 16 cities, towns and Maricopa County, offering bus, light rail, paratransit and vanpool services to more than 73 million riders annually.
Smith’s leadership is a continuation of his public service as the former Mayor of Mesa and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the only Arizona mayor to have served in this position. As Mayor, he strategically guided the city to an economic rebound between 2008 and 2014. He also has a wealth of experience in the private sector as a certified public accountant, lawyer and CEO of a regional homebuilding and development company. In 2015, Smith served as a Resident Fellow in the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Smith’s passion for public transportation stems from his belief that transportation infrastructure is critically important to the regional, state and national economy and to improving the quality of life for those who need and choose transit as their mobility option. His strong customer service approach keeps the organization focused on serving the interests of several customer groups, including riders, voters, the business community and city leadership.
Special Projects Administrator, Design and Services, City of Phoenix Aviation Department
Candace Huff is a professional engineer who has been working with the City of Phoenix Aviation Department for over seventeen years. She is currently the Special Projects Administrator for the Design and Services Division. She oversees and manages the Capital Improvement Program implementation, Job Order Contracting and Tenant Improvement efforts for the division, ensuring thorough and effective execution for the Aviation Department. She has worked on several key airport development projects for Sky Harbor (PHX), Goodyear (GYR) and Deer Valley (DVT) Airports and has managed projects such as the reconstruction of the north and center runways as well as the new construction of the south runway for PHX.
Candace began her career in engineering more than 20 years ago as a Transportation Engineer working on floating bridges. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington. She is also a Certified Member of the American Association of Airport Executives.
Candace finds her time occupied with her greatest accomplishment, her daughter who attends University of Arizona and her son who plays baseball for Arcadia High School. She also finds time to run for exercise so she can cook Greek food with her husband and family.
Creative Design & Research Director, Arizona Builder's Exchange
Rachel has more than 15 years of industry experience in the Arizona A/E/C industry and more than 7 years’ experience in the publishing world. She strives for quality and perfection and can usually reach an acceptable form of it, because, really, it’s all subjective. But, you can see it in her work ethic and dedication to the company. After all, as the firm’s first employee she helped build AZBEX with the owner from the very beginning.
She expresses her dedication with her expertly crafted graphic design and attention to detail. Rachel has perfected the research systems that make AZBEX able to track all the AZ project solicitations in one eight-hour shift and Co-created a searchable, scalable database for construction projects in AZ.
Before she found her calling at AZBEX she was in the architecture field and obtained a drafting degree from junior college and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Design from Arizona State University. Rachel worked for several architecture firms in the Valley, which set the foundation for her love for the industry and the structured style of her designs.
Rachel is a mother of two handsome young boys and enjoys gardening and being in nature.
Business Development, Davidson & Belluso Advertising
Karen Chapman is responsible for New Business Development for Davidson & Belluso Advertising (D+B). We are an award-winning, SBE certified advertising agency. We offer website development, graphic design, online marketing, branding, public relations, media planning/buying and social media services. Our clients include start-ups, small businesses, and large international corporations.
D+B has developed hundreds of websites. We work with all common platforms including: WordPress, HTML, Drupal, ASP, and Joomla. We offer a comprehensive approach to website development that includes common needs such as: UI/UX, responsive design, database integration, and e-commerce.
Karen has worked for D+B since 2011, and has extensive experience of working with city and state entities and small business. Her prior experience covers two continents, with a Fortune Global 500 company, as well as small businesses, and non-profits alike.