Civil and Municipal - Mar 2023

61 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 4, ISSUE 3 Distler should know. In 1987, she started at METRO as a bus operator and over the years, became a union representative, and was promoted to management. In 2004, Distler left METRO to join the leadership team at transit systems in Nashville and Knoxville. In 2018, after working in Tennessee for 14 years, Distler returned to METRO as CEO. Perhaps you could say her heart was always in Akron, but Distler maintains that she returned because she appreciated the opportunities that the transit group has always afforded its employees. “Here at METRO we hire passionate individuals and really look to offer upward mobility to our team,” Distler says. That includes a belief that bringing new blood into the organization and giving team members a say in their careers will lead to happier professionals. Distler and her management staff make a point to encourage employees to apply for higher positions that fit their career goals and to discuss a career path with managers that motivates team members to remain with METRO. Says Distler, “if [a manager] feels that an employee may not yet be ready for a promotion, we will discuss, review experience they need, and map a plan for success.” Along with getting passengers where they need to go, safety is the number one goal for METRO. Drivers must follow three rules: be safe, be nice METRO TRANSI T