OCTA CEO Will Kempton told his employees on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, that he is leaving the County Transportation Authority in February of next year. He is joining an organization in Sacramento called Transportation California.
Transportation California is a diversified, non-partisan, non-profit coalition representing a broad spectrum of business, labor, and planning agencies which have united to create the state’s leading transportation advocacy and public education group. The organization was founded in 1990. Today its member companies and groups account for more than 200,000 California jobs.
Transportation California is a coalition of groups and individuals concerned about the future of California’s transportation networks. Our members are highway contractors as well as trade associations and other groups. These include the Automobile Club of Southern California, Associated General Contractors of California, The Engineering and Utility Contractors Association, the Southern California Contractors Association, the California Alliance for Jobs, labor interests such as the Operating Engineers and Laborers unions, cement and aggregate suppliers, business groups, and regional transportation planning agencies.
Prior to joining OCTA, Kempton was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the director of the California Department of Transportation. For five years, he oversaw a nearly $14 billion budget and 22,000 employees, and was responsible for managing the daily operations of California’s transportation system, including more than 50,000 miles of highways. Kempton also has served as the City of Folsom’s assistant city manager for community services and was a member of the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission for eight years, according to his bio.
“Former CEO Art Leahy left his post here for the same job at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority,” according to the O.C. Register.
Here is the letter that Kempton sent to his employees yesterday, via email:
Dear Fellow Employees,
As many of you know, I have made the decision to retire as OCTA’s Chief Executive Officer effective Feb. 28, 2013. It is with mixed emotions that I will be leaving an agency comprised of truly remarkable individuals to become the Executive Director of Transportation California, a statewide non-profit dedicated to transportation advocacy and education.
Although I will be retiring from public service and leaving Orange County, I am looking forward to this new opportunity and continuing to advance the cause of transportation in California and throughout the nation.
During my tenure at OCTA, I have continually been impressed, encouraged and motivated by our dedicated team of individuals. Together, we have weathered one of the most difficult economic downturns in our nation’s history, while always keeping in mind the best interests of our employees, residents and all those who depend upon OCTA’s services.
I am leaving this agency confident that we are a stronger, more efficient organization and well prepared to continue delivering services, projects and programs that impact millions of people each year.
I am grateful for your continued commitment to serving the people of Orange County, a testament to true public stewardship. I am very proud to have been your colleague and to have led this tremendous organization.
I will always have positive memories of my time at OCTA and wish you all a very bright future.
Will Kempton, CEO
And here is the OCTA’s official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 16, 2012
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Joel Zlotnik (714) 560-5713, Laura Scheper (714) 560-5697
OCTA CEO Will Kempton Announces Retirement
ORANGE – Will Kempton, chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation, has announced he is retiring from the agency and plans to continue his work in the field by leading a statewide non-profit dedicated to transportation advocacy and education.
Kempton, who has led OCTA since August 2009, has accepted the position of executive director for Transportation California and plans to leave the agency on Feb. 28.
“I’m incredibly proud of our accomplishments over the past three years and grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the people of Orange County,” Kempton said. “During my tenure, OCTA has responded to many challenges, while always keeping in mind the best interests of our residents, businesses and all those who depend upon OCTA’s services.”
OCTA Chairman Paul Glaab thanked Kempton for his time at the agency and said the board will begin the process of planning for a successor.
“Will’s extraordinary leadership and vision have had an enormous impact not only on Orange County but statewide and throughout the nation,” said Glaab, also the mayor of Laguna Niguel. “We will miss him a great deal and wish him the very best in his new endeavor, where I know he will continue fighting for the transportation needs of all Californians.”
Kempton successfully led OCTA during the worst economic period in the agency’s history. He guided OCTA through difficult service reductions and despite a substantial drop in revenues, Kempton ensured the promises of the Measure M half-cent sales tax program were delivered to voters and will continue on that path through the Measure M2 timeframe.
During the past three years, nearly $2 billion in transportation projects have been completed or started, resulting in thousands of private-sector jobs in construction, engineering and related fields at a time when they are desperately needed.
In addition, Kempton spearheaded OCTA’s first five-year strategic plan, which redefined OCTA’s vision, mission and goals and created performance metrics to ensure the highest levels of accountability and transparency to the public.
OCTA Director Bill Campbell, chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee, praised Kempton for his service to the agency.
“Will’s unrivaled experience, innovative spirit and consensus-building leadership style helped us manage through a critical financial time,” said Campbell, also the 3rd District Supervisor. “He leaves this agency as a stronger, more efficient organization that is well prepared to fulfill our mission of enhancing quality of life and keeping Orange County moving.”
# # #
Media Relations Officer
Orange County Transportation Authority
Office: (714) 560-5713
Cell: (949) 547-9672
Twitter updates: @octanews