Saturday, July 07, 2007

NTTA Executive Director salary: $260,000.00 per year (plus 'perks')

Tollway agency picks five finalists for director's job

Tollway agency to interview finalists

July 7, 2007

The Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2007

The North Texas Tollway Authority named five finalists Friday in its search for a new executive director.

The announcement comes at a pivotal time for the NTTA, which will lean on its new director to help it mend fences after a bruising campaign to win the lucrative State Highway 121 toll road project.

The five candidates are:
  • Rick Herrington, interim deputy executive director at NTTA. He recently spent two years at the private engineering consulting firm HNTB Inc.
  • William Dillon, an engineer and a national manager for professional services firm PBS&J. He is a former employee of the Texas Department of Transportation.
  • Jorge Figueredo, who is responsible for PBS&J's toll road business in the central United States, including Texas.
  • Stephen McCullough, who was Irving city manager for 12 years. He is now a principal at Dallas-based Public Werks Inc., an investment firm that focuses on public infrastructure construction.
  • Douglas Wiersig, an engineer and transportation programs manager for Jacobs Engineering in Houston. He previously worked in transportation for the city of Houston.

Before NTTA won approval to build the Highway 121 toll road last month, many critics demanded that the authority expand its focus beyond needs in Dallas and Collin counties. Denton and Tarrant county representatives on the Regional Transportation Council made up many of the "no" votes that favored giving the Highway 121 contract to the Spanish firm Cintra.

Nevertheless, the NTTA won the contract by a vote of 27-10 and later gained approval from the Texas Transportation Commission in a 4-1 vote on June 28. As a result, the agency's new executive director soon will become CEO of one of the nation's largest metro toll operators.

In return, the job will pay as much as $260,000 a year, plus generous cellphone and car allowances, NTTA spokesman Sam Lopez said.

"This is a strong field of candidates with over 125 years of collective experience in the transportation, public sector and related industries," Mr. Lopez said.

The NTTA's board of directors picked the finalists from a national pool of candidates recruited by Waters Consulting Group, an executive search firm in Dallas.

NTTA board members will interview each of the five during the next week and could invite some or all of the candidates back for further interviews. Mr. Lopez said a final decision is expected by August.

Jerry Hiebert has served as interim executive director since February, when Allan Rutter resigned. Mr. Hiebert's temporary position ends in August, and he was not a candidate for the permanent job, Mr. Lopez said.

© 2007 The Dallas Morning News Co

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