Henry Li is a transformational and visionary transit leader with over two decades of extraordinary business acumen driving strategic innovation, service excellence, safety and security ingenuity, inclusive and equitable workforce development, and fiscal renewal within some of the most highly-visible, and dynamic multimodal transportation systems in North America.
A well-respected industry leader, Henry is credited with establishing many firsts in the transportation industry throughout the years earning a reputation as a national change agent, relentlessly pursuing excellence for the advancement of public transportation. As a result, he was recognized as the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 2019 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award. This prestigious and highly competitive award is the highest honor given to only one CEO in North America each year.
After swiftly implementing a series of transformative initiatives under Henry’s bold leadership, SacRT was also awarded as the APTA 2021 Outstanding Public Transit System of the Year, continuing the agency’s upward trajectory by leading the industry in best practices.
During Henry’s over six-year tenure with SacRT, the agency has also been honored with numerous other awards, such as: Government Finance Officers Association’s Outstanding Budget Award each consecutive year; APTA’s 2021 and 2020 First Place AdWheel Awards; APTA’s 2021 and 2020 Rail Safety Gold Awards; Caltrans 2020 Excellence in Transportation Award; Federal Transportation Security Administration’s 2019 Gold Standard Award for Security; 2019 Good Governance Award from the Sacramento Taxpayers Association for his outstanding leadership in defending taxpayer funds; National Metro Magazine’s 2018 Innovative Solutions Award; and Sacramento Clean Cities 2018 Clean Air Champion Award.
Prior to his arrival at SacRT, Henry served as the Vice President of Finance and Technology/CFO at Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), which was named as an APTA 2016 Outstanding Public Transportation System of the Year. He also served as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer for Hampton Roads Transit, Director of Administration/(CFO) for the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority and held senior management positions at some of the largest transit agencies in the nation, including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI) and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA).
Deputy General Manager/CEO
As Deputy General Manager/CEO, Shelly Valenton provides executive leadership to administrative, finance, organizational development and business effective functions at SacRT. She works with the General Manager/CEO and on his behalf on policy and strategic directions and ensures accountability in the delivery of projects and programs across the organization. She also provides executive oversight to the areas of Finance, Procurement and Real Estate, Human Resources, Labor Relations, Training and Workforce Development, Information Technology, Internal Audit, Strategic Projects and Performance, and Board Support.
Before joining SacRT in 2019, Shelly served on the Executive Leadership Team at San Joaquin Delta Community College District and prior to that, at San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), handling major projects and strategic initiatives for the district. RTD is a recipient of APTA’s Transit System of the Year Award. Shelly’s work on project management and strategic communications garnered regional and national awards, including an APTA AdWheel grand prize award and various awards from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. Shelly holds a Transit Paratransit Management Certificate and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She served as a Board officer for the California Community College Public Relations Organization and currently serves on the Sacramento Works Board.
VP, Procurement, Real Estate and Special Projects
VP of Bus Operations
Carmen Alba is the Vice President of Bus Operations for the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) where she is responsible for day-to-day operations of Bus (including Elk Grove and Folsom transit service), Community Bus Service (CBS), ADA and non-ADA paratransit service, training, Bus Maintenance, Microtransit and Accessible Services. She also plays a key role in the District-wide strategic initiatives.
Vice President, Finance/Chief Financial Officer
Lawrence Chiu brings over 25 years of California public sector management and finance expertise in special districts, city, and county governments. His background includes leadership in budget development, long-range financial planning, accounting, bond financing, investment, purchasing, staff development, enterprise resource planning system implementation, and information technology operations.
He started his career at AC Transit as a financial analyst and treasury administrator for six years, then served as finance director/CFO for several Bay Area cities and in recent years, worked as the assistant general manager/CFO for water districts in both Northern and Southern California, where he successfully revamped the budgeting process with a focus on long-term fiscal sustainability. Lawrence has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from San Francisco State University and is an active member of the Government Finance Officers Association. As a member of SacRT’s Executive Management Team, Lawrence will provide executive oversight to Grants, OMB, Accounting and Payroll, Revenue and Analytics, and Pension and Retirement Services departments.
VP of Light Rail Operations
Ron Forrest has over 20 years of operations experience in public transit and is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Ron started his career in Southern California as a bus operator and rose through the ranks by continually investing in his professional development and accepting responsibilities that broadened his understanding and industry experience. He has served in multiple operational leadership roles at some of the largest transit systems in the country, and has over 15 years of experience directly related to both heavy and light rail operations, and service management.
Prior to joining SacRT, Ron worked at the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (Muni) where he worked on several high profile projects sch as the Siemens light rail vehicle procurement, the implementation and integration of the Transportation Management Center (TMC), and the fleetwide installation and testing of new state-of-the-art radio and communications technology. In his last role at Muni, Ron served as the Senior Manager of the TMC overseeing the daily delivery and management all of Muni’s revenue service, which included light rail, bus, historic fleet, and cable car operations.
Ron joined the SacRT team in November 2019 as Director, Light Rail Operations. In this role, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of light rail transportation and had oversight of Metro Control train dispatching center, Field Operations, and the Light Rail Operations Training Department. In July 2022, Ron accepted the role of Interim VP, Light Rail Operations, which included overall responsibility for light rail transportation, and Light Rail Vehicle and Wayside Maintenance. In October 2022, he accepted the position permanently and will be responsible for leading the light rail team through successful implementation of multifaceted stages of the Light Rail Modernization Project, as well as ensuring that current capital assets and infrastructure are maintained in a state of good repair.
Ron attended Georgia State University in Atlanta Georgia where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a second bachelor’s in Finance. He is also a member of several APTA committees where he collaborates with industry partners, shares best practices, and stays abreast of emerging technologies and industry information and trends.
VP of Planning and Engineering
Laura currently holds the lead role in managing multiple planning and engineering projects. In her position, she provides executive direction and strategic management over the strategic planning, service planning, engineering, disadvantaged business enterprise and internal audit functions. Laura has been with RT for over 19 years in multiple management roles and is committed to continuous improvement of transit service delivery and customer service excellence for the organization.
VP of Safety, Security and Customer Satisfaction
Lisa Hinz brings over 28 years of policing experience to her role as the Vice President of Sacramento Regional Transits (SacRT’s) Security, Safety and Customer Satisfaction Divisions. She is a proven leader who retired from the Sacramento Police Department at the rank of Captain. She has a master’s from the University of San Diego in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership.
Lisa is an innovative leader, who has been part of an award-winning Safety and Security Team during her 3 years with SacRT. Lisa is accredited with bringing many firsts to the agency, such as “the Voice of God”, a public address system at every light rail station utilized to seamless correct bad behavior and a Licensed Social Worker, dedicated to provided resources to the rapidly growing homeless population throughout the four jurisdictions serviced by SacRT.
VP of Communications and Partnerships
As VP of Communications and Partnerships for the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT), Devra Selenis leads SacRT's Communication, Marketing, Public Information and Government Affairs teams. Devra is a long-standing colleague at SacRT, having distinguished herself in a variety of positions within the agency over the course of 19 years. In her current role, she oversees the marketing and communications; media relations; community engagement; partnership building and government affairs programs that support SacRT's strategic initiatives. Prior to her arrival at SacRT, Devra had an extensive career directing the marketing, communication and public relations endeavors for a high-tech visual branding company, and a global background screening and reporting firm. During her tenure at SacRT, Devra's team has received several distinguished regional, state and national awards for marketing and public outreach, including the 2021 American Planning Association's Award of Merit in Public Outreach; 2020 American Public Transportation Association's First Place AdWheel Award for Comprehensive Outreach Campaign; 2020 California Association of Public Information Officials EPIC Award for Public Awareness Campaign; 2020 California Association of Public Information Officials Award of Distinction Community Relations/Participation Campaign; and 2008 American Public Transportation Association's First Place AdWheel Award for Print Media. Devra is an alumnus of the University of Miami, Florida holding a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Advertising. She currently serves on the boards for the Power Inn Alliance, R Street Partnership and Sacramento Transportation Management Association.
VP, Employee Development and Engagement
David Topaz brings nearly 30 years of government service, including more than 20 years of labor relations, human resources, and training and workforce development experience in multiple government roles in California and Washington to SacRT. He leads a highly talented group of 20+ staff who recruit, train, support, and manage the labor relations, human resources, and training and workforce development needs of SacRT. Their total focus is on recruitment, talent management, employee development and engagement, working towards making SacRT the best employer in the Sacramento region.
David began his career in Sacramento in 1991 working for U.S Representative Robert T. Matsui, followed by a 16 year stint at the Sacramento Police Department, first as a management analyst, then as a decorated police officer. During his time at the Sacramento Police Department, he was the police union president, he was a field training officer and academy instructor, and an adjunct professor at several private universities.
He has more than 20 years of experience as a professional labor negotiator at the Sacramento Police Officers Association, the Mastagni Law Firm, the City of Tacoma, WA and King County, WA, returning to SacRT in 2020 as the Senior Manager of Labor Relations, then being promoted to Assistant VP of Human Resources and Labor Relations in December 2021.
He holds SHRM-Senior Certified Professional and Certified Labor Relations Professional designations, certifications in Workplace Investigations and Force Science Investigation. David received his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco, and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Oregon State University.