RTD Leadership Team

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Alex Clifford

Chief Executive Officer

Alex Clifford assumed the role of RTD’s Chief Executive Officer on January 31, 2022 with over 30 years of experience in transit leadership, including 8 years of transit policy experience as a Riverside City Councilman.

Prior to joining RTD, he served as CEO at Santa Cruz METRO for over seven years.  Under his leadership, the agency:

  • Resolved a fiscal structural deficit of $6 million that he inherited, which involved complete transparency, extensive public outreach and numerous Board workshops.
  • Completed the Judy K. Souza Operations building.
  • Developed the Agency’s first 10-year unfunded Capital Plan, identifying State of Good Repair capital needs of over $200 million.
  • Developed a plan for transitioning to all zero-emission buses by 2040 and purchased Santa Cruz’s first five zero emission battery electric buses.
  • Initiated the planning phase for a South County zero-emission bus division, including a hydrogen bus pilot plan; started work on the plan for a new paratransit facility; and started the process for replacement of the Pacific Station Transit Center.
  • Provided fiscal resiliency for the agency by creating fully funded designated and restricted Reserves, including an operating and capital reserves.  Upon his retirement from Santa Cruz METRO, the agency had over $20 million in Reserves.
  • Led the agency through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, complying with all Local, State, Federal, and CalOSHA regulations and prevention measures, keeping passengers and staff safe while at the same time keeping service on the street to serve the transit needs of essential workers and avoiding layoffs and furloughs.

For his many accomplishments at METRO, he was named Small Transit Operators’ 2017 Transit Professional of the Year by California Transit Association (CTA).  The award honors an outstanding individual who has provided strong leadership and vision.  He is a Fellow of the Eno Transportation Foundation and he is the California Baptist University 2020 Alumnus of the Year.

Mr. Clifford currently serves on several industry boards, including Executive Committee Member of the California Transit Association (CTA) and is a CTA State Legislative Committee Member; CALACT Board Chair and Legislative Committee Member; and Board member of the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Board of Directors 2021 – present, and the Vice-Chair of the APTA Small Operations Committee.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic, Pomona, and a Master in Business Administration from California Baptist University.

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Ciro Aguirre

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Aguirre was appointed as Chief Operating Officer in April of 2022 after serving as interim for nearly three months. With over 40 years of transit experience, he officially oversees Transportation, Service Development, Mobility, Maintenance, Facilities, Security, and other assigned departments.

In 1980, Aguirre began his transit career as a Mechanic II with Santa Clara County Transit, now called the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). He was later promoted to Maintenance Supervisor and then to Maintenance Superintendent where he oversaw, throughout his tenure, three Running Repair Divisions and the Overhaul and Repair Division for the VTA.

In 2006, Aguirre joined the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (Santa Cruz METRO) as the Operations Manager. He was later promoted to COO where he assumed responsibility for the Operations, Paratransit, Fleet Maintenance, Facilities, Customer Service, and Security departments.

Aguirre holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Psychology from San Jose State University.

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John Hodson

Chief Information Officer

Mr. Hodson joined RTD in January 2023 as the Chief Information Officer.  He has been a powerhouse in executive leadership for the last decade.  His experience spans highly coveted roles such as Director of Technology, Head of IT, and Security Officer.  He is an experienced professional with a  deep passion for sustainability and civic engagement.  From achieving perfect marks on the Cisco Certified Design Associate exam to cutting-edge projects such as The Method South Side Soap Box and its Gotham Greens rooftop farm, he has continuously demonstrated his ability to innovate and create positive change.

As an immigrant to this country, Mr. Hodson has actively championed diversity initiatives through key leadership roles, supportively mentoring individuals in underserved communities.  He has served as Vice President of Interact, sponsored by Modesto Rotary; a mentor in the Helping One Student To Succeed (HOSTS) program to help local students with STEM skills; and is currently a board member of the Vallejo Center for the Arts in a CIO advisory role offering participation in philanthropic efforts such as Visions of the Wild Festival in Vallejo.

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Robert Kyle

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Kyle joined RTD in April 2022 as the Chief Financial Officer. He is dual-licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) both of which were awarded in 2002.  Mr. Kyle has over 24 years of experience in Finance leadership roles, the last four years were as a CFO for a manufacturing plant in Stockton.  Prior to that, he worked as a contractor in Kabul, Afghanistan for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as the Director of Finance.  The two projects he was involved in were Sika South (Stabilization in Key Areas) and ACEP (Afghanistan Clean Energy Program) for a total time in the country of 2.5 years; returning in mid-2014. Mr. Kyle is also a six-year veteran of the US Army having assignments in South Korea, West Germany, and Georgia, USA.

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Curtis Moses

Director of Safety and Security

Mr. Moses joined RTD in August 2023 as the Safety, Security, and Risk Management Director. He has over twenty years of executive management experience in the transportation industry and over twenty years as an electrical engineer. He has traveled the east coast commissioning rail rolling stock or infrastructure projects from Boston to Atlanta. Within the transportation industry, he has also worked for ALSTOM Transportation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Charles County Government in Maryland, and Santa Cruz Regional Transit District. He is a Board member of the California Transit Indemnity Pool where he oversees RTD’s liability insurance program. He has multiple certifications in safety, quality, transit security, and a degree in Electrical/Mechanical engineering.

Mr. Moses was a guest speaker at both Global Mass Transit conferences in Washington, DC and Sacramento, California regarding transit agencies’ state of good repair. He has traveled to China, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Canada commissioning electrical control projects for various industries.

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Damaris Galvan

Planning and Service Development Director

In 2007, Ms. Galvan joined RTD as an Administrative Assistant in the Service Development Department and Planning. Over the years, she has been promoted to Analyst, Senior Specialist, Manager, and eventually became the Director of Planning and Service Development in 2023.

Ms. Galvan has played a crucial role in various projects including Next Gen system redesign study, service proposals and implementations, Title VI Policies, runcuts production, and data management. Ms. Galvan’s outstanding work has been recognized with five Employee of the Month awards and two Employee of the Year awards.

Ms. Galvan holds an MBA from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima, Peru, a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de Lima, Peru, and a certificate in Transit and Paratransit Management Program from University of the Pacific.

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Ken Baxter

Government Affairs Director

Mr. Baxter  is a seasoned professional with over 41 years of experience in California state government. As the Government Affairs Director at RTD, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Throughout his career, Mr. Baxter has held various positions including Chief of Staff for the Director of Caltrans and executive assignments with the California State Senate Housing and Transportation Committee, and with the U. S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his impressive government career, Mr. Baxter is also a highly respected academic. For the past 24 years, he has taught courses on American Government, Public Administration, Business, and Community Planning.

Mr. Baxter holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science, a Master’s in Public Administration, and two Leadership Development Certificates.

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Malika McGee

Director of Human Resources

Ms. McGee is a seasoned professional in the field of Human Resources with over 22 years of experience. She currently serves as the Director of Human Resources and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer, utilizing her strong analytical skills and managerial expertise to oversee crucial areas such as workforce planning, employee benefits, labor/employee relations, and training and development.

Ms. McGee’s remarkable achievements are a result of her hard work, determination, and ability to collaborate effectively with industry peers. Her positive attitude and endless energy serve as a source of motivation for those around her, inspiring them to strive for success.

When not at work, Ms. McGee draws inspiration from her husband and seven children. In her free time, she enjoys watching football and reality TV shows.

Prior to her current role, Ms. McGee has held prestigious positions at renowned organizations such as MV Transportation, Community Action Partnership of Kern, Kaiser Permanente, and California Transplant Donor Network.

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Merab Talamantes

Director of Administration

Ms. Talamantes began her career at RTD in January 2013 and has served as the Project Controls Manager overseeing RTD’s Capital Improvement Program since May 2020 and recently transitioned to Director of Administration.   With over a decade of transit experience, she also officially oversees the Executive and Board Support, Marketing and Customer Engagement Departments, and capital projects management. Merab has served on the Downtown Stockton Alliance Board of Directors since July 2020.

Ms. Talamantes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Humphrey’s University and is currently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Transportation Management at San José State University’s Lucas Graduate School of Business.

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Sylvester Donelson Jr.

Director of Procurement

Mr. Donelson, Jr., has worked in the public sector since 1992 before assuming the current role of Director of Procurement for San Joaquin Regional Transit District. In this role, he assists disadvantaged and small businesses and community organizations, partnering with agency staff in obtaining the goods and services necessary to support mission-critical activities for transportation access.

Mr. Donelson Jr. has served on several professional boards and committees, including the California Association of Public Procurement Officials (CAPPO), the NPI AEP Evaluation Committee, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), and the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) Board of Directors, NCAA Fiscal Integrity Committee, and served as a volunteer with various community-based organizations. Sylvester’s volunteering and community engagement include Vice President of Interact, CSU Kaleidoscope Mentorship Program Board of Directors, Oakland Promise, the Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute, East Bay College Fund, and the Alameda County Kinship and Support Services Program. The commitment to serve comes from his family motto, “Remember to give back to your community; it is an investment in humanity.”

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Virginia Alcayde

Director of Financial Planning

Ms. Alcayde joined RTD in 2000 as an accountant and held multiple positions before her promotion to Finance Manager in 2006, then she was promoted to Director of Finance in 2016. Her title was changed to Director of Financial Planning due to changes to the Finance Department’s organization in 2021. In addition to monitoring RTD’s financial and grant activities, she also manages detailed forecasting and budgeting. Prior to joining RTD, Ms. Alcayde worked as an accountant at CSU East Bay Foundation. With over 30 years of experience in various general accounting and finance responsibilities, Ms. Alcayde successfully led RTD’s integrated financial and administrative system implementation and continues to serve as a system resource.

Prior to immigrating to the United States, Ms. Alcayde was a Certified Public Accountant in the Philippines. Ms. Alcayde holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Luzon and a Transit Paratransit Management Certificate from University of Pacific.

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John Van Camp

Maintenance Superintendent 

Mr. Van Camp joined RTD in February 2014 as a Maintenance Supervisor, he was promoted to Assistant Maintenance Superintendent in June of 2022. He assumed the role of Maintenance Superintendent in February 2024. He brings over nine years of transit experience, including expertise in bus maintenance, vehicle procurement, project management, contract administration, and labor relations. Before joining RTD, John was a shop foreman at Cummins for nine years. John is an ASE-certified mechanic and a graduate of the University of the Pacific’s Transit Paratransit Certificate Program. He is a certified instructor with the California Regional Transit Training Consortium in basic and advanced electricity and Cummins Fuel Systems.

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John Coose

Facilities Superintendent 

Mr. Coose joined San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) in 2003.  Throughout his years of service, Mr. Coose has overseen the maintenance of five facilities with a combined square footprint of 245,000 and the management of approximately 850 bus stops.  Mr. Coose oversees RTD’s Facilities Department staff, manages construction projects, hazardous waste management programs, and ensures compliance of RTD’s Transit Asset Management plan.

Since becoming the Facilities Superintendent in 2020, Mr. Coose has successfully completed projects that have lowered greenhouse gas emissions including the construction of eight depot chargers designed to support its electric bus fleet, a battery energy storage system to help lower peak demand charging, and a photovoltaic system to offset energy consumption.

Mr. Coose has served the community as a Reserve Firefighter for the Stockton Fire Department and completed an internship at the Ebbett’s Pass Fire Department.  In 2017, he received his Firefighter 1 Certificate and his Emergency Medical Technician Certificate.   Mr. Coose has completed the Transit Paratransit Management Certificate Program from the University of Pacific.

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LaShonda Nelson

Transportation Superintendent 

Ms. Nelson joined RTD in 1992 as a Customer Information Clerk and was promoted to Metro Operator after 13 years of exceptional service. With her vast experience in customer service and skilled driving, she excelled for 10 years as an operator on various routes in the Stockton Metropolitan Area. In 2013, Ms. Nelson became a Transportation Supervisor and in 2016, she was recruited to become a Transportation Supervisor/Trainer, responsible for training new operators and administering required federal and state programs.

In 2022, she became the first African American female Transportation Superintendent at RTD, overseeing two transportation divisions and a team of over 130 staff members. Ms. Nelson holds various certifications from institutions such as Heald Business College, the Transit Safety Institute, and Westgate Programs. With 30 years of experience at RTD, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role.

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Ravi Sharma

Finance Manager

Mr. Sharma joined RTD as Senior Accountant in November 2013 and has since been promoted to various positions within the company, including Finance Senior Specialist, Finance Supervisor, and Finance Manager. In his current role, Mr. Sharma is responsible for overseeing payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash receipts, grants accounting operations, and RTD’s pension plan accounting.

Prior to joining RTD, Mr. Sharma gained experience as an accountant in the Information Technology sector and began his accounting career in Australia before immigrating to the United States. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Financial Management from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

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Tonisha Mixon

Mobility Manager

Ms. Mixon is a seasoned professional with 30 years of management experience and a passion for working with the ADA community. She has been involved since her school days as a TA in special education, and continues to make a difference through her work as an instructor for CPR/First Aid and Childcare Programs.

Ms. Mixon holds Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Administration and she is currently pursuing her Master’s in Special Education and Administration. Ms. Mixon takes great pride in being a first generational graduate, defying statistics by excelling academically. In her free time, she enjoys family activities, community involvement and outreach, as well as hobbies like swimming, fishing and watching Hall Mark movies.

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Maximilian Cao

Supervisor of Marketing and Customer Engagement 

In 2014, Mr. Cao joined RTD as a Communications and Customer Relations Specialist before transitioning to various marketing roles and becoming the Marketing Supervisor where he manages all aspects of RTD’s marketing strategy including advertising campaigns, social media presence, market research and analysis, and brand messaging. In 2020, he was promoted to Supervisor of Marketing and Customer Engagement, expanding his responsibilities to include improving customer satisfaction and experience, and managing community engagement initiatives.

Mr. Cao has consistently been recognized for his exceptional contributions and earned national awards from organizations such as the Transportation Marketing and Sales Association, American Public Transportation Association, Graphic Design USA, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

He is also actively involved in the Stockton community, serving as Chair of the Stockton Arts Commission, member of the Stockton Art Foundation, and various local governance committees investing in community-driven projects.