Leadership Change at Western Washtenaw Area Value Express


A press release from D&B Strategic Marketing has announced Julia Roberts, Executive Director of Western Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE), has left WAVE to pursue a new chapter at the Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Marie Gress, CEO and Founder of Kovir Consulting, will be the Interim Executive Director.

Kim Moore, WAVE Board President, commented, "We thank Julia for her three years of service, particularly during a very difficult COVID Pandemic. The transition will continue through an anticipated three-six-month search for a permanent candidate. Julia was able to solidify the start of a new era for WAVE that includes a broader, more inclusive, ridership campaign. She updated our organizational goals including a fresh new look to reflect the next iteration of WAVE. We are pleased to have Marie Gress on board. She has a background in social work, management, leadership, and public transportation. Marie brings an abundance of experience to this role."

Established in 1976, the Western-Washtenaw Area Value Express has been functioning as a non-profit entity, aiming to provide cost-effective transportation for all broader western Washtenaw County residents. In 2022 alone, WAVE facilitated 20,000 rides over an impressive 300,000 miles.

Gress has previously overseen various aspects of transportation service from grant management to dispatch and continues to support the Milan Seniors for Healthy Living (MSHL). As the interim Executive Director at the Dexter Senior Center, she spearheaded the search for an Executive Director and offered training and mentorship to the selected candidate. Her leadership roles with the Washtenaw County Commission on Aging and Washtenaw County Healthy Aging Collaborative led to systemic improvements and financial aid to the sector, including identifying and solving transportation-related issues within the county. She has also liaised with AAA 1-B and Oakland County outside the region, leading discussions with transportation providers to secure county ARPA funding and assistance.

WAVE provides dependable and affordable transportation to all residents in the Dexter and Chelsea Communities, including Scio, Webster, Lima, Lyndon, Sylvan Townships, Stockbridge, and Manchester. The organization's service coverage spans the entire western Washtenaw County with fares as low as free, to 50 cents, and at most $20. For further information, WAVE can be contacted at 734-475-9494 or visited online at www.ridethewavebus.org.

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