Thomas F. Prendergast

Thomas F. Prendergast, who stepped down on Jan. 30 as chairman and CEO of New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), has joined consulting firm STV, also based there, as executive vice president and chief strategic officer, the firm said on March 1. The largest U.S. public transportation agency, the MTA includes New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, a bus, bridges and tunnels unit, and the Capital Construction Corp. Prendergast, 64, held the MTA role since 2013 and is former president of both the transit agency and LIRR. He also was CEO of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is set to name a new MTA chief shortly. Industry observers and media reports say the lead candidate is Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, the transit agency president who was named interim MTA CEO after Prendergast’s departure.  She held prior MTA management roles before becoming New Jersey Transit executive director in 2014. If chosen for the permanent MTA post, Hakim would be its first woman CEO. Others being considered, according to The New York Times, include MTA board member Lawrence Schwartz; state transportation commissioner Matthew Driscoll; Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx; and John Porcari, president of U.S. advisory services at WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff and a fomer deputy DOT secretary.

In a March 4 editorial, Newsday said Cuomo “should consider someone who understands public transportation,  yet can think like an outsider … tell the governor no [and] navigate MTA’s bureaucracy but not get sucked into its vortex.”

Allan Koenig has joined Zachry Group as executive director, office of the chairman, says the San Antonio contractor, following its March 1 buy of Downer’s Grove, Ill.-based Ambitech Engineering Corp., of which he was founder and CEO. The purchase price was not disclosed. Ambitech reported $130.2 million in 2015 industrial-petroleum revenue on ENR’s latest Top 500 Design Firms list and has 750 employees. Zachry has a 22,000-person workforce. Koenig remains in Downer’s Grove.

United Contractors, a San Ramon, Calif.-based labor relations and advocacy group for about 475 union contractors and associate members in the Bay Area, has elevated Emily Cohen to executive vice president. She joins its executive board and continues to lead government relations.

Transportation consultant VHB, Watertown, Mass., has promoted two executives to newly created roles. Bill Ashworth, former New England regional manager, now is chief operating officer, and Michael McArdle, former transportation market leader, is chief development officer. McArdle is based in New York City.