Sharon is the founder and executive director of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, a nonprofit, public interest organization that works to address the environmental impact, accessibility, and cost of transportation by connecting the public and private sectors, building knowledge, and developing solutions that achieve shared mobility for all.
As executive director, Sharon heads SUMC’s work as Co-Administrator of the California Air Resources Board’s Clean Mobility Options program, which directs $17 million to shared and electric pilot projects in low-income communities around the state.
She leads the Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator and On-Ramp Programs in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, programs that assist cities and transit agencies in planning and implementing MOD projects, as well as oversees the Twin Cities Shared Mobility Collaborative.
Sharon was Principal Investigator for a series of groundbreaking reports for the Transit Cooperative Research Program including Report 188, Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit and its companion Report 195, Broadening Understanding of the Interplay Among Public Transit, Shared Mobility and Personal Automobiles, and Report 196, Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions.
She currently serves on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Working Group on Autonomous Vehicles and was previously appointed to both Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Transportation and Infrastructure Transition Committee and Mayor Emanuel’s New Transportation and Mobility Task Force.
Prior to her tenure at SUMC, Sharon was the CEO of IGO Carsharing, the nonprofit organization that started carsharing in the Chicago region. Under Sharon’s leadership, IGO grew from a small pilot project into a successful operating company with 15,000 members in 45 neighborhoods. Sharon worked with the Chicago Transit Authority to create the first combined carshare/transit fare card in North America, which continues to serve as a model for the partnership possibilities between shared-use companies and public transit. She led IGO’s expansion into underserved communities and also developed solar canopies and charging stations that helped introduce renewable charging and mobility hubs to the region.
Before taking the helm at IGO, Sharon was the Director of Research and Development at the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) for more than a decade, where she was lead author for TCRP Report 93, Travel Matters: Mitigating Climate Change with Sustainable Surface Transportation. Sharon also coordinated CNT’s Transit-Oriented Development Program and was one of the authors of The New Transit Town.
Sharon was a founder of the national Carsharing Association and has served as Co-Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Shared-Use Vehicle Public Transport Systems Subcommittee and as a member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-ND Committee, which created LEED standards for neighborhood developments. She holds an MBA from DePaul University and a BA in Economics from Antioch College.
Albert Benedict is the Research Manager at SUMC, where he is responsible for managing several national projects to evaluate opportunities and economic and environmental benefits related to shared mobility and integrated transportation systems.
Prior to SUMC, Albert worked at the Center for Neighborhood Technology for 10 years as a Senior Planner & GIS Analyst. His work at CNT combined his expertise in both Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and economic development. He has provided analysis for CNT’s projects in communities across the country and his research has been used to build sustainability strategies for cities in areas such as form-based code, location efficiency, bus rapid transit, streetcars and transit-oriented and economic development.
Albert has presented at numerous professional conferences and contributed to many research projects and publications, including: The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development, by Hank Dittmar and Gloria Ohland (Island Press, 2004), Hidden in Plain Sight: Capturing the Demand for Housing Near Transit (Federal Transit Administration, 2005), Location Efficiency Model for the Greater London Metropolitan Area and the Walthamstow Town Centre Case Study Example (Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, 2008).
Albert holds an MA in Geography with an emphasis in Urban Planning from the University of Akron, Ohio and a BA in Psychology/Environmental Planning from The University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.
Research and Consulting Director
Colin works on SUMC’s research efforts, with an emphasis on newer shared modes’ interaction with existing transportation networks and their potential to transform our cities. He was lead writer and researcher on TCRP Research Report 188, Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit, and heads the research teams for other several other research projects currently underway at SUMC.
Before SUMC, he worked with Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition and the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. Colin has a BA from UT Austin and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University, and enjoys hauling absurd masses of humans and materials by bicycle.
Program Manager, California
As SUMC’s Program Manager in California, Mary is responsible for assisting with the implementation of the Electric Vehicle Carsharing Pilot Program in Los Angeles. Before SUMC, Mary worked as a Project Coordinator with Hey!Tanks LA, a rainwater harvesting company in Los Angeles. She has also worked with Amigos de los Rios on project management, grant writing and volunteer coordination on the Emerald Necklace Project along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel rivers in Southern California.
Mary holds a BA of Environmental Analysis from Pitzer College. Her thesis, Sediment Removal from the San Gabriel Mountains, explored the issues of sediment management, beach replenishment and riparian habitat restoration.
She has been a certified Master Gardner since 2008 and enjoys participating in regional habitat restoration efforts, hiking the San Gabriel Mountains and making chocolate for local community events.
Prashanth leads SUMC’s work to support the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand (MOD) Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator program, which is charged with providing technical assistance and fostering collaboration among MOD Sandbox participants. His experience includes managing government-funded technical programs, creating and executing test plans, coordinating with diverse stakeholders, and conducting large-scale data analysis for development of environmental policy.
Prashanth previously worked as an engineer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Michigan’s Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide), where he helps to monitor the agency’s performance and guide its long-term strategic direction. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan.
Program Director, California
Brian is a city planner dedicated to building equitable and climate-friendly urban systems. As a Program Director with SUMC, he manages programs that advance this goal, including SUMC’s Shared+Electric Mobility Initiative and the organization’s pilot projects in underserved communities across California. Prior to joining SUMC, he managed climate change programs for ICLEI USA, part of a global network of nearly 1,000 cities focused on sustainability and resilience. In this capacity, he led a team that created industry-leading standards, software tools, and training programs for climate mitigation and adaptation, while spearheading U.S. city involvement in initiatives such as the 21st UN Conference of Parties in Paris and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.
He has also developed sustainability plans, programs, and partnerships for San Diego’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (SANDAG), California consulting firm PlaceWorks, and Atlanta non-profit Southface Energy Institute. Brian holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Georgia and currently lives in Pasadena, California.
Linda S. Sloan, AICP has three decades of experience in city planning and administration and is responsible for SUMC’s operations and human resources.
Linda has managed the planning department of a suburban city and was an executive director of a regional planning organization. Her expertise in program, board and personnel management, staff development, and land use planning keeps the administrative side of the organization running smoothly.
As a Communications Associate, Israel works on promotional outreach, social media marketing, and manages SUMC’s Mobility Hub Headlines weekly newsletter that features cutting-edge shared mobility news happening around the world.
Before working at SUMC, Israel gained skills in targeted experiential marketing as a Nightlife Brand Ambassador for GMR Marketing, lightning fast delivery props as a bike courier, and worked as an Event Coordinator for the French-American Chamber of Commerce before that.
Israel holds a B.A. in International Business from Ball State University with majors in International Business and French. In his free time, Israel likes to try new local cuisine in Chicago and travel.
Rudy is a Project Associate for initiatives throughout SUMC, from a carsharing improvement study to the Federal Transit Administration’s Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator.
He comes to the Shared Use Mobility Center from a career in book publishing in New York and Chicago, which has left him with a love of good writing in many genres. One day, Rudy hopes to apply his A.B. in Medieval Studies at the University of Chicago to a modern urban theory. In the meantime, he will complete his Masters in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
A New Jersey native, he has mostly traded hiking for riding bicycles that he builds, “even in this weather(?).” Rudy may also be found washing pots at Ravenswood Community Services, or enjoying a post-ride coffee or beer at one of Chicago’s fine purveyors.
As a Project Associate, Kevin spends his time supporting a wide range of research and communications efforts at SUMC.
Kevin received a Bachelor of Science in Geography and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota. During this time, he worked for the university on transportation and environmental quality initiatives as an engineering technician, AmeriCorps fellow and assistant researcher. His past work for state and local government includes comprehensive and strategic plan updates, public outreach campaigns and legislative policy research.
Outside of work, Kevin can be found enjoying Chicago’s great live music and arts scene or exploring a new neighborhood on his bike.
Policy and Strategy Director
Kimberly is the Development Director at SUMC. She has a background in fundraising and project management. She holds a B.S. in computer programming and an M.A. in organizational development. Prior to SUMC, Kimberly managed the External Affairs department for Near North Health center and as Project Manager for Mercy Housing Lakefront, developed and implemented an Asset Building program, designed to address the Racial Wealth Divide in Chicago.
Kimberly is also a board member for the Chicago Human Rhythm project and a member of the Chicago Foundation for Women. She enjoys a wide variety of interests including tennis, dance, exploring new restaurants and learning to play the bass and drums.
Communications and Public Affairs Director
Leslie Gray offers 15 years of combined experience as a Copywriter for global brands and as a Journalist for both print and digital media. She holds a B.S. in Mass Communications and an M.S. in Copywriting from the VCU Brandcenter. Moreover, personal experience has led her to feel deeply about the importance of shared mobility for all and she loves using her integrated skillset to help achieve this goal.
Leslie is a member of the Logan Square Preservation Society, as well as the Loose Chicks performance group, where women “with something to get off their chest” perform comedic, unfiltered monologues. She also enjoys sushi, poetry, Butoh dance and live music.
Peter is a Project Associate at SUMC supporting a range of research projects including the Mobility-On-Demand Learning Center, a national analysis of mobility partnerships, and a job access study in Texas. Peter brings a data-driven approach to problem solving from his previous career as an engineer.
After completing his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Peter worked as a manufacturing engineer in the automotive and healthcare industries. He came to SUMC as a research fellow while completing his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In his spare time, Peter enjoys following Philadelphia sports teams and exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods on Divvy bikes.
Board of Directors
Clayton Lane, Board Chair
Mobility Specialist, WhereIsMyTransport
Clayton has 20 years of experience as a social entrepreneur, mobility expert, and international program director. Clayton co-founded PhillyCarShare and grew it to become the largest regional car-sharing system in the world, displacing about 20,000 cars, reduced driving by about 50 million miles, and avoiding about 46,000 tons of CO2. More recently as CEO of ITDP, COO of EMBARQ, and Deputy Director of WRI Cities, Clayton has led 100-200 passionate professionals to influence mobility policy & plans in over 50 cities worldwide. Clayton has played key roles in raising over $100 million; leading strategy; and forging partnerships with governments, banks, UN agencies, NGOs & companies. He also has overseen top-notch research teams authoring the “Bike Share Planning Guide” and BRT and TOD Standards.
Scott Bernstein, Board Treasurer
Founder and Chief Strategy + Innovation Officer, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Scott leads CNT’s work to understand and better disclose the economic value of resource use in urban communities, and helps craft strategies to capture the value of this efficiency productively and locally. He studied at Northwestern University, served on the research staff of Northwestern’s Center for Urban Affairs, taught at UCLA and was a founding Board member at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Center. In addition, President Clinton appointed Scott to the President’s Council for Sustainable Development, where he co-chaired its task forces on Metropolitan Sustainable Communities and on Cross-Cutting Climate Strategies and contributed to other federal advisory panels on global warming, development strategy, and science policy.
Mariia Zimmerman, Board Secretary
Principal and Founder, MZ Strategies, LLC
Mariia opened Reconnecting America‘s Washington, DC office and served as its Vice President for Policy. She was a founding member and interim Director of Transportation for America and served as Deputy Director of the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities . She has led a wide range of technical, research, and planning efforts on a range of policy subjects from transportation reform to transit-oriented development to affordable housing and regional planning. She is a frequent national speaker and author on transit-oriented development (TOD), smart growth, public transportation finance and urban planning issues.
Anita Cozart (née Hairston)
Senior Director, PolicyLink
As Senior Director, Anita advances PolicyLink priorities related to just and fair infrastructure investment. She established the Transportation Equity Caucus, a national coalition that promotes policies that foster greater inclusion for low-income people and communities of color. Anita also leads a philanthropic partnership dedicated to expanding access to housing and opportunity. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Anita spent six years with the Washington, DC Office of Planning where she served first as a community planner and ultimately as the chief of staff.
President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation
Robert Puentes is President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a non-profit think tank with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Prior to joining Eno, he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program where he directed the program’s Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative. He is currently a non-resident senior fellow with Brookings. Before Brookings, Robert was the director of infrastructure programs at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. Robert has worked extensively on a variety of transportation issues, including infrastructure funding and finance, and city and urban planning.