Sound Transit, the Seattle regional bus and rail agency, has named Kimberly Farley deputy CEO.
Formerly head of Volition Group LLC, a project delivery consulting firm she founded, Farley also had been vice president for global engineering and construction at power utility AES Corp. and vice president of project consultant Pegasus Global Holdings LLC, says Sound Transit.
She also is a former operations director of the Alaskan Way viaduct replacement program at the Washington Dept. of Transportation. Farley will succeed Mike Harbour, who retires next year.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on June 19 named city Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee as city aviation commissioner, to manage capital investment and operations for one of the busiest global airport hubs, comprising O’Hare and Midway international airports.
Effective Aug. 1, she succeeds Ginger Evans, an aviation-sector construction veteran who has been in the role since 2015 and pushed a funding deal with key airline tenants to propel an $8.7-billion O’Hare makeover.
“Much remains to be done, and this … transition from negotiations to program implementation is a logical point for a new commissioner,” said Evans in a statement. “Jamie Rhee’s expertise in contracts is exactly what is needed.”
A 24-year municipal management veteran who now supervises more than $2 billion in annual city agency purchasing, Rhee also had been general counsel for the O’Hare modernization program, handling all legal matters, and was a deputy chief of staff to former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
According to Emanuel, Evans opened two new runways at O’Hare and its first new gates in 25 years and devised a $400-million Midway upgrade, that is that airport’s largest investment in 20 years. He also credits key changes she made to boost runway functionality and safety.
A former vice president of engineering for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in Washington, D.C., and Parsons Corp. aviation executive, Evans says she will return to Arlington, Va., to resume infrastructure funding advisory work through her consulting firm, Tower Consulting.
As a former Denver aviation director, Evans was cited by ENR in 1994 as an Award of Excellence winner for her effort to build the city’s $5-billion international airport.
Despite kudos for Evans’ construction momentum in Chicago, she clashed with local politicians on issues ranging from minority subcontracting to airport noise to security changes that followed the 2017 forced ejection of a passenger from a United Airlines flight, say local media reports.
The Chicago Sun-Times pointed to her lack of “people skills.” Media speculate that Rhee’s closer local ties and deeper knowledge of contracting intricacies will boost her management credibility.
Evans told ENR that her successor should “get experienced senior staff in place as soon as possible … and manage with critical path thinking.”
Addressing 700 industry women at an ENR conference in May in San Francisco, she told attendees that she “gravitates to high-risk, high-reward projects,” and advised them to “rise above” obstacles and “don’t apologize if you stub your toe.”
Martha Welborne, former senior vice president of corporate real estate for The Walt Disney Co., has joined HR&A Advisors, a Los Angeles real estate and economic development consultant, as a senior advisor. She also was chief planning officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and continues as project director of LA Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies LLC, a firm planning the first permanent public transit link to Dodger Stadium, of which HR&A is part.
Tom Dengenis has joined infrastructure software firm Bentley Systems Inc., Exton, Pa., as senior director of constructioneering. The new role follows the company’s June 20 purchase of London-based software firm Synchro Software, a 4D construction modeling pioneer of which Dengenis was CEO. He said Synchro has “40+” staffers.