Michael Hursh, General Manager. Mr. Hursh was appointed the General Manager by the AC Transit Board of Directors in September 2015. “I am honored to be joining the AC Transit family,” said Mr. Hursh. “To be part of such a dedicated team that has been providing public transit for nearly 55 years is extremely exciting.”
Mr. Hursh, a nine-year veteran of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), served as the Deputy Director, Operations for Maintenance and Security and since 2012 as the Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Mr. Hursh directed all VTA transit operations, including bus and light rail, operator training, accessible services, planning, scheduling, and facility maintenance. He values customers, key stakeholders and employees who make transit systems work.
Throughout his career he led teams to purchase more than $300 million of new rolling stock, improve fleet reliability, and plan and deliver transit service to the new Levi’s and Avaya Stadiums as well as developing transit plans for Super Bowl 50. Mr. Hursh, a champion for the environment with a thorough understanding of public transportation in the Bay Area, held several positions from 1999 to 2006, such as the Deputy General Manager for Maintenance, Safety and Training for San Francisco Municipal Railway.
A native of Reno, Nevada, Mr. Hursh is a long-time Bay Area resident and veteran of the United States Air Force, serving six years in active duty and five years as a reservist in the California Air National Guard. He is a past chair of the California Transit Association Rail Operations & Regulatory Committee and graduate of Leadership Contra Costa.
Aida Asuncion, Interim Chief Planning, Engineering & Construction Officer. Aida has over twenty years of progressively responsible senior management experience in development and implementation of multi modal transit programs in large scale transit organizations such as the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) and Sound Transit in Seattle, Washington.
Aida has effectively utilized her extensive experience as a computer systems developer in the Aerospace Industry to the real time systems applications of public transportation. She takes pride on being part of the successful implementation of various public transportation projects for bus and rail. She transitioned to Director of Transit Systems Engineering at LACMTA, where she managed all activities and responsibilities of designing, engineering and implementing technical projects. After being selected as the Deputy Executive Officer at LACMTA, she directed several operational departments and projects including Transit Systems Engineering, Communications, Rail Facilities and Custodial Services and Technical Support for Bus and Rail Control Centers. Aida continued her career, after relocating to Seattle, Washington in 2010, as Director of Systems Engineering and Civil System Integration and Director of Facilities Engineering and Asset Management at Sound Transit.
In addition to her vast work experience, Aida brings with her an extensive academic background in which she earned high honors. She has a Master’s of Science in Environmental Engineering from University of Southern California; a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from West Coast University; and a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics and Mathematics from University of the East, where she graduated magna cum laude. Aida is also an alumni of Leadership APTA as well the Transportation Leadership Management Program at UCLA.
Tom O’Neill, Chief Information Services Officer. Tom has been part of the District’s Information Services department since 1998. He served as Director of Information Technology before being named Chief Technology Officer, with responsibility for all information technology staff & systems and the Customer Service department. As Chief Information Services Officer, he added leadership of the Marketing team. Prior to AC Transit, Tom consulted in software development, capital planning and I.T. project management, was Sr. Software Engineer at Time Line Solutions Corp., and was Network Manager, Software Engineer and then Project Manager at Horizons Technology, Inc. in San Diego. Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Humboldt State University’s School of Natural Resources and a Master of Science in Software Engineering from National University. He has strong interests in business continuity, disaster recovery and open data.
James D. Pachan, Chief Operating Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer. Jim has over 30 years of transit management experience. The majority of this experience was at Los Angeles Metro, the second largest transit agency in the nation, where he successfully lead several major projects including conversion of fare payments to smart card technology, administered capital and operating budgets, managed several operations support units, and directed the maintenance and safety departments with responsibility for the agency’s fleet of more than 2500 transit vehicles. As AC Transit’s Chief Operating Officer, Pachan is responsible for all of the agency’s bus and paratransit services including transportation, scheduling, vehicle and facility maintenance, environmental programs, and protective services. Pachan holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree of Business Administration from California State University at Northridge. He is also a graduate of the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Leadership Program.
Tom Prescott, Acting Chief Administrative Services Officer. Tom oversees Human Resources, Capital Planning and Grants, Project Control and System Analysis, and Labor Relations. Tom is a licensed attorney. His background includes significant roles in management, labor and employee relations, and public and private sector law. Prior to joining the District in 2009, Tom spent seven years with the County of Riverside in Southern California and the 14 years before that in private law practice in British Columbia and Washington; with an emphasis on labor relations issues. Tom has a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University, as well as a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia. He completed his first year of law school as the only native English speaker in the French common law program at l’Université d’Ottawa. Tom has been a Scout leader in Canada and the USA since 1980.
Phillip McCants, Contracts Compliance Administrator. Phillip has brought approximately 20 years of public service experience to AC Transit, including a career with the U.S. Coast Guard where he was awarded the Department of Defense’s Honorary Price Fighter Award for identifying and remedying collusive price increases for commodities sold to U.S. military branches, and eight years at the NASA-Ames Research Center where he ascended from Junior Buyer to Business Manager for a large engineering firm, overseeing Procurement, Accounting and Human Resources, and receiving honors for his procurement contributions to NASA’s STS-107 Fundamental Space Biology Experiments launched on the Columbia Space Shuttle. A native of Berkeley, CA, and graduate of California State University, Hayward, Phillip is now an integral part of AC Transit’s executive staff and works steadfastly to ensure the agency’s full compliance with all federal, state and local statutes as well as overseeing its Disadvantaged and Small-Local Business Enterprise programs.
Maryam Paracha, Executive Coordinator. Maryam joined the team in 2012 and has over eight years of Executive Coordinator/Project Management experience with a financial services background. Before joining AC Transit she was with Boyden Global Executive Search in San Francisco where she focused on client needs, conducted research and played a significant role in candidate development. She also brings experience in private sector early stage investments and funding from a Venture Capital industry where she worked closely with Life Science and Clean Tech Portfolio Companies, managed research and lead Project Coordination for the Managing Directors. Maryam is a philanthropist for Salvare La Vita Water, a local bay area American Bottle Water company geared to help solve the world’s water crisis. Maryam holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and with a concentration in Business Management from UCLA.
Sherri A. Stokes, MPA, Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance Program Manager/EEO Officer. Sherri started her career with AC Transit as a Personnel Analyst in 1985 and promoted in 1988 to the position of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Program Administrator. From 2009 – 2011 her duties expanded to include AC Transit’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Compliance Program; however in 2012 she became part of the General Managers’ staff. Sherri as over 33 years of federal compliance related experience in the public sector. AC Transit has been her employer for 27 years of which she is currently responsible for FTA/EEO Compliance for Grant Recipients, implementation of Workplace Mediation program that meets State of California standards for certification. She served on the Berkeley Adult School Employment Council; published in Who’s Who several times. TODOS Mediation Team (San Jose). Member of: California Association of Equal Rights Professionals and Delta Sigma Theta; Sherri received her Master’s in Public Administration and Bachelor’s of Arts in Mass Communication & Public Relations degree from California State University Hayward.
Alan Parello, Internal Audit Manager. Alan joined AC Transit in 1990 and has performed a wide variety of financial and operational audits during his tenure here. He leads a department that strives to provide collaborative, solutions-based audit services with an emphasis on improving agency internal controls and operating efficiencies. Prior to joining AC Transit, Alan worked as an Internal Auditor for AM International, Inc. and as an Investment Accountant for JMB Realty, Inc. in Chicago. Alan has a B.S. in Accounting from Southern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant.