Executive Team

photo of Gloria SalazarGloria G. Salazar

Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Salazar assumed the role of RTD’s Chief Executive Officer in January 2020 with over 28 years of experience in the transit industry.  Her leadership as Deputy CEO greatly contributed to RTD receiving the coveted Outstanding System of the Year Award by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in 2018.  

Because of Ms. Salazar’s business acumenRTD has consistently delivered balanced budgets without incurring long-term commercial debt.  Informed by her prior experiences in public transit auditing, general accounting, grants, and project management, Ms. Salazar designed effective business processes and implemented robust systems for RTD.  This includes initiating a financial reporting system which earned RTD a Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) award for 16 consecutive years.  In additionshe has been instrumental in the funding and building of long-term infrastructure projects such as RTD’s Downtown Transit Center and Regional Transportation Center.   

Ms. Salazais also a dynamic personality who mentors her staff to help them grow and achieve their professional development goals.  Due to this investment, she has built a strong management and employee team.  She relishes the opportunity to share her knowledge by teaching for the University of the Pacific and Willamette University’s Transit Management Certificate Program.  Her passion for developing and encouraging others was recognized with the John Lopez Inspirational Award, which is the highest honor given at RTD to an individual who inspires others and embodies the ideals of service and excellence.  

Born and raised in the Philippines, Ms. Salazar finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, magna cum laude.   She left behind an already illustrious career as a Certified Public Accountant in 1987 to come to the United States Rising through the ranks at various firms while completing a Master in Business Administration Degree, she passed all parts of the Uniform CPA exam ithe first sitting A graduate of Leadership APTA and a participant in two international mission studies, Ms. Salazar currently serves on the California Transit Finance Corporation (CFTC) board.  In 2017, Ms. Salazar was also honored by the Central Valley Asian Chamber of Commerce for breaking through the glass ceiling in her leadership and community service.

photo of Darla SmithDarla Smith

Chief Operating Officer

In April of 2016, Ms. Smith joined RTD as Operations Superintendent—Facilities. Bringing with her over 25 years of experience in facilities management and commercial real estate, Darla successfully oversaw the construction of the UTS and the installation of electrification infrastructure. In September of 2019, Darla became RTD’s internal subject matter expert in electrification technologies. This included being involved in all aspects of zero-emission technology—especially the development of the Zero Emission Roll-Out Plan. Applying her gift for organization and efficiency, Ms. Smith developed a tracking system that made migration to automation much smoother in implementing the Facilities portion of the Transit Asset Management Plan. She also leveraged her skills and experience to enhance RTD’s overall Operations by restructured the Facilities Department to approach repairs proactively rather than reactively.

photo of Mike ThompsonMike Thompson

Chief Administration and Innovation Officer

Mr. Thompson joined RTD in 2010 as IT Manager. Prior to joining RTD, he gained depth and breadth of experience in IT management, application development, access management, compliance, and security through his years as a consultant and as an employee at both Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. Over his career, Mr. Thompson has specialized in strategic application of technology to solve business problems. Mr. Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from New Mexico State University, and has a Transit Paratransit Management Certificate from the University of the Pacific.