Board of Commissioners
Metro transit is governed by the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners, which is responsible for the overall leadership and policy direction for the Agency.
The Board is comprised of five members from Missouri and five from Illinois. Missouri Board members are appointed by the governor of Missouri. In Illinois, the Chairman of the Board for both St. Clair and Madison Counties appoint their representatives.
Members of the Board serve their terms without compensation and must be a resident voter of their state, as well as reside within the bi-state metropolitan region.
To learn more about each Commissioner, see their bio listed below.
Vernal Brown was appointed to the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon in January 2015. She has served as Region 5 UAW Ford Retiree Benefits Representative in St. Louis since 2000, following a career that began at the Ford Motor assembly plant in Hazelwood, Mo., in the mid-1970s. Brown is a founding member of the UAW Martin Luther King Jr. Non-Violent Committee and the UAW Region 5 Culture Diversity Program.
Kelley Farrell joined the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners in April 2015 and was appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. Farrell is partner in the law firm of Blitz, Bardgett and Deutsch in St. Louis. Her concentration is employment, commercial and real estate litigation with an emphasis on the defense of employment disputes in federal courts, state courts and administrative agencies. She also advises many retail, manufacturing, bank and service-oriented clients, including law firms, on a wide variety of issues, including hiring, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, wage and hour laws, prevailing wage laws, disability discrimination, employee leave rights and workers' compensation. Farrell serves as an adjunct professor for trial practice at the Washington University School of Law, where she obtained her law degree and was a member of the Order of the Coif. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and psychology from the University of Missouri - Columbia.
Constance Gully is Vice Chair of the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners. She joined the Board in June 2011 and was appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. Gully is the Vice President/Chief Financial Officer at Parents as Teachers National Center. PATNC is one of the oldest and largest national nonprofit organizations in the United States focused on the early development of young children primarily, but not exclusively, recognized for its evidenced-based home-visiting/parent education model. Prior to joining Parents as Teachers in 2014, she served as Executive Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs at Harris-Stowe State University and in a dual role as the interim President for 11 months. She joined Harris-Stowe as Comptroller in 1998 and led the Campus Expansion Committee, which oversaw the planning, design and construction of more than $50 million dollars of development on the campus. In 2014, she received Harris-Stowe’s Golden Palm-Laureate Award. Gully received the St. Louis Business Journal’s Chief Financial Officer of the Year for Large Nonprofits Award in 2011. She served on the St. Louis Zoo Association Board of Directors for two three-year terms, is a member of the Board of Directors for the LaSalle Middle School and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission of Missouri. Gully is a Licensed Certified Public Accountant. Her professional memberships and affiliations include the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Black Accountants. She is a member of 2005-2006 class of Focus Leadership St. Louis and has also served as a member of the Focus St. Louis Finance Committee. Gully received her Master of Business Administration degree from Lindenwood University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Accounting from Illinois State University.
Aliah Holman is Secretary of the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners. She joined the Board of Commissioners in April 2012 and was appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. Holman is currently employed as Brand Manager for Obata. Prior to working at Obata, Holman worked in Pharmacy Benefit Management, Fashion Advertising, Hospitality Branding and Beverage Promotions. In 2010, she received the St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30 Award. Holman serves on the Board of the St. Louis Language Immersion Schools as a Founding Member and Governance Chair. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mass Communications from New York University.
Vincent C. Schoemehl Jr. was appointed by Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and joined the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners in August 2007. Schoemehl is President and CEO of Grand Center, Inc., a not-for-profit organization charged with restoring the Grand Avenue District of St. Louis as the premiere arts and entertainment district in St. Louis. Since joining Grand Center in 2001, Schoemehl’s accomplishments include increasing charitable funding, focusing on redevelopment, creating a special tax district to provide more funding for security and cleanliness programs, and supervising the completion of major investment projects. Prior to Grand Center, Inc., Schoemehl was Chairman & CEO for Quadrex Corporation. He has also worked at several energy companies including New Millennium Energies, LLC Company, where he was Founder. From 1981 to 1993, Schoemehl served as Mayor for the City of St. Louis. As Mayor, he took a leading role in organizing and implementing a light rail transit program for the St. Louis region. His work included structuring financing for planning and for matching fund requirements. Schoemehl is currently a member of the St. Louis Public School District. He was awarded doctorate degrees from St. Louis University, University of Missouri - St. Louis, Fontbonne University, Southeast Missouri State College, and the Aquinas Institute of Theology. Schoemehl also holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in History from the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
Michael Buehlhorn is Treasurer of the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners. He was appointed by St. Clair County Chairman Mark A. Kern and joined the Board in February 2011. A resident of Swansea, Illinois, Buehlhorn has been the Executive Director of the Metro East Park and Recreation District since 2004. He also serves as a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation. Prior to his current responsibilities, Buehlhorn served as Mayor of Swansea, Illinois from 1985-2003. He also served on the St. Clair County Transit District Board from 1981-2001, served on the East-West Gateway Council of Governments from 1990-1997, and served on the Site Selection Committee for St. Clair County MetroLink from 1992-1994. Buehlhorn is also the President of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Southern Illinois in Belleville and the President of the Epilepsy Foundation of Southern Illinois in Mount Vernon.
David A. Dietzel is Chairman of the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners. He joined the Board in December 2004 and was appointed by Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan. Since 1982, Dietzel has worked for the Madison County Highway Department as its County Engineer. Dietzel's responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of design, construction, and maintenance of county roads; purchasing right-of-way for all county and township projects; preparing and administering department budgets; negotiating labor agreements with the Teamsters union; working with state, county, and local officials to coordinate free flow of traffic throughout the county; and serving as County Representative on advisory boards of regional and metropolitan planning commissions. Prior to his position as County Engineer, Dietzel was the Assistant County Superintendent of Highways. Dietzel is also a member of many associations including the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has received multiple distinguished awards and has been published in the Illinois Business Journal. Dietzel holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Tri State University, and has studied MBA coursework at Southern Illinois University.
Irma Golliday was appointed to the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners by St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark A. Kern in February 2015. She has served as Executive Director of the East St. Louis Park District since 2005. Prior to her current position, Golliday was the Southern Region Coordinator for the Illinois Secretary of State's Organ and Tissue Donation Program. Golliday also serves on the St. Clair County Parks Commission and on the boards of East St. Louis School District #189, the Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts & Humanities, and the Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation.
Tadas Kicielinski was appointed by Madison County, Illinois Board Chairman Alan Dunstan and joined the Bi-State Development Agency Board of Commissioners in January 2007. As a resident of Collinsville, Illinois, Kicielinski has been Special Assistant to the General President, Editor of the Ironworker Magazine, and Director of the Midwest Region for IMPACT (Ironworker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust) since 2006. Prior to his current responsibilities, Kicielinski worked in Washington D.C. as Executive Assistant to the General President and Editor of Ironworker Magazine, and continues to support the Washington D.C. office. Kicielinski began his career as an Ironworker in 1969 and has served as Business Manager for the Ironworkers Local 392, in addition to being the Executive Secretary of the Southwestern Illinois Building Trades, AFL-CIO. Kicielinski attended the Belleville Area College and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Jeffrey K. Watson was appointed by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich in June 2003. During his tenure as a Bi-State Development Agency Commissioner, Watson has served as Board Chairman and Treasurer for the Agency. Watson is currently employed as the General Manager for the Casino Queen and previously served as the Casino's General Counsel. Prior to employment with the Casino Queen, Watson was a Partner at the Dusek, Lopinot & Watson Law Firm in Belleville, Illinois. He also worked as an Assistant Public Defender in St. Clair County, Illinois for several years. As a resident of St. Clair County, Illinois, Watson is Treasurer of the Illinois Bar Association and the St. Clair County Bar Association. He is also affiliated with the East St. Louis Bar Association and the Illinois Casino Gaming Association. Watson holds a bachelor’s and a law degree. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.