Longtime Beacher Maureen Adamson is excited about her new roles as both a citizen appointee as well as the new vice-chair of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
“It is a very exciting opportunity and needless to say I am energized. I’m delighted to be elected,” said Adamson, who applied to serve on the now 11-member TTC board at the end of the summer.
“I think it’s great to have citizens on the panel. It’s a real progressive move.”
One of four new citizen board members selected from a field of nearly 500 applicants, Adamson learned she’d been chosen in late October after an interview process and reference checks. She was officially sworn in as a citizen appointee as well as elected as the Commission’s new vice-chair on Nov. 21.
Adamson’s citizen counterparts include Nick Di Donato, president and CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group; Alan Heisey, managing partner at Papazian, Heisey and Myers Barristers & Solicitors; and Anju Virmani, CIO of Cargojet Canada Ltd.
Equally accomplished in her own right, the regular transit user who lives near Queen Street East and Woodbine Avenue is the CEO of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
TTC Chair Karen Stintz said she’s looking forward to working with the TTC board’s new citizen members.
“It’s early days but Maureen, Anju, Alan and Nick, the new ‘citizen commissioners’, are welcome additions to the TTC and the city,” she wrote in an email to The Mirror.
Adamson said her goal is to represent the citizen’s perspective the best she can and to help keep riders informed of the decisions the TTC will make.
“To me, that’s a privilege,” she said, adding she’d also play an oversight role in ensuring the Commission’s strategic plan is delivered.
Adamson, who has several years of experience in executive leadership as well as customer service, said it’s an exciting time for the TTC.
“It’s a really pivotal portfolio with expansion, accessibility, gridlock and regional transit issues,” said Adamson, whose career has included leadership roles at the Ontario Ministry of Health, Women’s College Hospital, and Mohawk College.
“I have a lot of experience in large capital redevelopment projects and public-private partnerships and in all of the roles in my career I’ve had to deal with volunteers, the public sector and customers. Most of my career has also been in the not-for-profit sector.”
She’s also a past board member of a large credit union and sat on the board of Casey House, a downtown Toronto palliative and supportive care facility for those with HIV/AIDS. Adamson presently serves as the chair of the board for Research Canada, a national, not-for-profit organization that aims to improve the health and prosperity of Canadians by championing Canada’s global leadership in health research.
Stintz, who represents Ward 16 (Eglinton-Lawrence), said she’s confident Adamson will do a fine job as the board’s new vice-chair.
“In the weeks since I first met Maureen, I have been impressed by her professionalism. Her background in government is certainly an asset. Maureen clearly has a desire to help the public,” she said.
“I was impressed that Maureen immediately asked myself and management for detailed information and analysis of upcoming TTC issues. She also understands what she will be encountering as vice chair.”
Further, Stintz said as a Beach resident, Adamson would help going forward on the Leslie Barns project, the Ashbridges Bay car house for the TTC’s new streetcars.
“Beachers will benefit greatly. They will want to take the TTC more than they do now when the streetcars arrive on Queen and park at Leslie Barns,” she said.
The TTC’s new citizen commissioners will serve the balance of the current City Council term, which is slated to come to a close in 2014.