It’s been about a month since Shawn M. Donaghy officially joined C-TRAN as Chief Executive Officer. He brings more than 20 years of transportation experience, having most recently worked with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority in Fort Worth, Texas. We caught up with Shawn recently for a brief Q-and-A.
What appealed you about C-TRAN and Vancouver?
C-TRAN has an excellent reputation in the transportation industry for all of its work within the community and the service it provides. When you think about it, there are jobs and there are opportunities – this was definitely an opportunity, and I jumped at the chance to serve Clark County! The Vancouver area is amazing, and it is great to be back in the Pacific Northwest. I also love history. The stories of the Fort Vancouver area and how this community came to be are extremely interesting – citizens are very proud to be life-long residents of this area, and that meant a great deal to me.
What are your first impressions of the community now that you’re here?
The communities within Clark County are amazing, and more importantly they are rapidly growing. This growth exemplifies the need for a robust and sustainable public transportation system. The community is very fortunate to have a great group of elected officials who are dedicated to helping grow and set our citizens and their families up for the future. Everyone here has been amazing to talk to, and the love for their community shows in their passion and voices.
You’re a third-generation transit executive. When did you first become interested in public-transit? Why?
Ever since I was a young child, I couldn’t wait to go to work with my father. I used to sit and listen to my grandfather and my dad talk about all of the opportunities and successes they shared working in the business. Since as long as I can remember, I loved to sit in the driver’s seat of a bus, or walk the maintenance line in the bus barn. As I grew up, all I wanted to do was sit in my father’s chair at work, and pretend to make “big decisions”. It is a very humbling feeling to follow in the footsteps of two industry greats. Public transportation is an amazing service because it has no boundaries – it has application for every single member of our community. Our employees understand that they are community servants, and it is an amazing way to commit to a career.
Where do you see C-TRAN in five years? 20 Years?
C-TRAN is well on its way to making a significant mark on the community in the next five years. Our 2030 plan outlines the need to focus on various strategic areas of our “total package” for Clark County. For me, there are four very specific identifiers that go into short and long range planning—economic development, jobs creation, access to jobs and education, and quality of life. In the five-year plan, C-TRAN must be extensively involved in our individual community’s economic development commissions. Understanding what each component of the county is looking to do through expansion, will help C-TRAN better understand the role we need to play in making public transit a viable option through these development changes. For the longer 20-year plan, C-TRAN needs to understand its role in economic shifts, and changes from the traditional modes of public transportation. Multi-modal forms of transportation may be part of this plan, along with the partnership of community stakeholders to help create a vibrant, connected, and sustainable Clark County.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy coaching any sports that my children play, as well as working on cars and houses. I enjoy getting out and seeing all of the great things this area has to offer. It’s very unique that there are so many different options with the beach and the mountains all in one area.
Any food that is not labeled vegetable.
What’s the last movie you saw?
In the movie theater, “Wonder Woman”. At home, “The Wrath of Kahn”.
And the last book you read?
Dale Carnegie—How to Win Friends and Influence People