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August 24, 2010 | 9 Comments

Chesterfield Mayor John Nations Chosen As Metro’s New President & CEO

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John Nations with current Metro President & CEO Bob Baer

Metro’s Board of Commissioners announced today the selection of John Nations as its new President and CEO.

Nations, a partner in the St. Louis office of Armstrong Teasdale and currently in his third term as mayor of Chesterfield, Missouri, will succeed Bob Baer in late October.  Baer has served as President and CEO since December 2007.  He originally agreed to a 90-day trial, but stayed almost three years through service cuts and job loss, two transit funding initiatives, the formation of the long-range transit plan and several service restorations.  Phew!

Nations will step down from his positions at Armstrong Teasdale and the City of Chesterfield prior to assuming his new role at Metro.  He remarked:

With a strong transit team already in place, Metro stands ready to expand its reach and its contribution.  I am committed to working with local leaders to form a cohesive regional coalition that will make transit growth a centerpiece of our regional agenda.

I have always understood that a comprehensive, regional economic-development plan must include a substantial public-transit system. Cities around the country that are booming offer great public-transit systems or are working on systems to support their growth. For the St. Louis region to grow and compete economically, our public-transit system has to remain first class and able to compete successfully with other transit systems.

Congratulations to Mr. Nations!  He’ll be out at North Hanley MetroLink Station this afternoon, and tomorrow will be touring Metro’s various facilities and garages.  He will start work at Metro on October 19, the day after his final council meeting with the City of Chesterfield.

Update: John Nations will be speaking at 11:30 a.m. on KWMU’s St. Louis On the Air Wednesday, August 25.

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9 thoughts on “Chesterfield Mayor John Nations Chosen As Metro’s New President & CEO”

  1. Mark E. says:

    John Nations is a very good man and will be a tremendous asset to Metro. He’s got a very difficult job ahead but has the will, integrity, and understanding of the importance of Mass Transit to our region to make Metro much better than it is now.

  2. DBLarsen says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Nations!

    While I do thank him for all the work he has done to promote a regional transportation system for St. Louis, I can’t help but feel like this was a terrible decision. Why did we not have larger national search for someone who truly has experience running a major metropolitan transit system! Why did we settle for a lawyer who has some city planning experience, and was the mayor of one of the least transit-friendly areas in the region. I’ll give him credit for some of the positive things that have happened to Chesterfield under his reign and do believe that he is competent enough to manage a major public institution.

    We have not even begun to flesh out our regional transit system and long-range transit plan…this is a process that takes decades and I just don’t think he has the vision to truly tap the urban environment that was/is St. Louis, and take full advantage of the momentum that we now have for transit in the region. We can’t just build metrolink and brt on our highways our to the suburbs and call it good…

    Having said all of this, I wish him and Metro the best of luck and will continue to help make this one of the most transit-friendly, multi-modal cities in the country! I hope that he proves me wrong…

    1. Courtney says:

      DB – just as a quick aside, the Board of Commissioners did mention at the press conference that there was a nationwide search, and they looked at over 100 resumes.

  3. David says:

    Sorry if that came off a bit harsh…I honestly had not really heard much about the search and I feel like I keep up pretty well with STL Transit news. I’ve been living across the country for a while and on most transit blogs you can find out about the candidate searches for almost all the major transportation companies…I didn’t hear a peep about Metro’s search.

    Regardless, I’m sorry to jump to conclusions about the search; I’m confidant that the BoC made the decision that they felt was best for Metro. I wish him the best of luck!

    BTW, thanks Courtney for what you do on PR side…you are a huge asset to Metro and give a personal touch to the whole organization!

  4. Patrick Richmond says:

    How about have Mr. Nations take any #158 that plans to deadhead back to the garage to remain in service until it gets to the Brentwood/I-64 MetroLink station or at least to Brentwood and I-64.

  5. Mike says:

    Congratulations to Mr. Nations.

    I feel that Mr. Nations’s vision of the importance towards building an efficient mass transit system in the future is quite clear. As he mentioned in his speech, a substantial mass transit system is vital to economic development; they go hand-in-glove.

    Now that Metro has reliable funding, give Mr. Nations and his team the opportunity to take Metro forward in restoring it to being a great transit system that it used to be, when previously ran by Bi-State. He certainly can’t do any worse than some of his recent predecessors.

    I hope he will take the time to read the comments posted to the previous updates to get an idea of some of the things people are looking forward to in our transit future.

    Good luck Mr. Nations.

  6. Jimmy Z says:

    Sounds like Mr. Nations will bring a great skill set to the positon, and he seems like he’ll be a great choice. Remember, no one can be an expert in every area of an agency as complex as Metro, but a great leader will know his/her limitations/weaknesses and surround themselves with complementary “experts” that he/she is comfortable delegating critical tasks to. What Metro really needs is strong leadership in using its “newfound” revenue stream wisely, building an interconnected system that does a better job of servig choice commuters – we’ve moved beyond saving a sinking ship, we need to chart a sustainable course for the future.

    1. Jennifer says:

      “Chart a sustainable course for the future.” Well said, Jimmy!

  7. Phil says:

    Mr Nations is a great choice for the position. The Prop A vote was by no means a done deal, and he not only made a persuasive case but did so in strategically savvy fashion.

    Congratulations to him!

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