Leadership

2021 Association Leadership


The Association is guided by its elected Officers and State-Wide Regional Coordinators. All serve in a volunteer, non-compensated capacity. In fall of 2020 ESPA’s Officers approved a proposal to establish a part-time Executive Director post for the organization and doing so retained the services of retired public transportation professional and long-time ESPA member, Steve Strauss, to fill that role.


Officers

Gary Prophet Ossining, NY President
Benjamin Turon Ballston Spa, NY Vice President - Social Media Coordinator
Andrew Cabal Syracuse, NY Treasurer - Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Chris Nabelbach Kew Gardens, NY Secretary - Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Richard Kulla Pawling, NY Financial Secretary - Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Anthony Rudmann Colonie, NY Director of Legislative Affairs
Bruce Becker East Amherst, NY Immediate Past President - Communications Director

Executive Director

Steve Strauss Queens, NY ESPA Executive Director

Regional Coordinators

John Raha Bethpage, NY Nassua Coordinator
Orrin Getz New City, NY Rockland Coordinator
Steve Strauss Kew Gardens, NY New York City Coordinator (Intercity Rail), Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Roy Davis Dunkirk, NY Chautauqua Coordinator
David Skoney Cheektowaga, NY Buffalo Coordinator
Gary Gianotti Utica, NY Utica Coordinator
Stanley Kozaczka Cazenovia, NY Central New York Coordinator, Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Rob Piecuch Horseheads, NY Southern Tier Coordinator
Ben Gottfried Richfield Springs, NY Susquehanna Region Coordinator
George Haikalis New York, NY Manhattan Coordinator (Transit and Commuter Rail)
Kent Patterson Yorktown Heights, NY Westchester Coordinator, Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Michael McNulty Saranac Lake, NY North Country Coordinator
Jeff Oswald Halfmoon, NY Bicycle Coordinator
Vacant Suffolk Coordinator

Others

Carl Grimm Croton, NY Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Alexander Ivanoff Ithaca, NY Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative
Tom Martinelli Wappenger Falls, NY Rail Passengers Association NY State Representative

ESPA Executive Director Steve Strauss


In fall of 2020 ESPA’s Officers approved a proposal to establish a part-time Executive Director post for the organization and have retained the services of retired public transportation professional and long-time ESPA member, Steve Strauss, to fill that role. In creating the Executive Director post ESPA President Gary Prophet said, “This is another step that our organization has taken in 2020 along with the re-launched website, on-line dues and donation portal and updated newsletter, to build ESPA’s capabilities and advance rail advocacy in the State.”

Strauss has a 35+ year career in public transportation and intercity passenger rail work. In 2019 he moved back to NYC after retiring from his position as Deputy Associate Director of the Transit Delivery Division of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). In this position he managed the District’s annual capital and operating contributions to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority, oversaw contracts for the operation of the DC Circulator bus system and was responsible for the District’s School Transit subsidy program. During his time at DDOT Steve managed the expansion of the DC Circulator transit system from five routes and 49 buses to six routes and 63 buses with procurement assistance from WMATA.

Steve also served as the District’s primary specialist on High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) activities. Most of DDOT’s Intercity Passenger Rail focus centered on maintaining Union Station as a high quality intermodal transportation center and adding trans-Potomac rail capacity for Amtrak and VRE passenger trains. In 2009 Steve wrote two successful HSIPR grant applications for a total of $7.0 million, more than the entire state of Texas received from this program.

Earlier in his career Steve worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for ten years in a variety of increasingly more responsible positions in the budget and planning departments. He was also an Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations at New York City Transit, an operating subsidiary of the MTA, for nine years. In 2002 Steve ran for an open seat in the New York State Assembly and from 2006 to 2008 Steve was the transportation policy advisor to New York City Comptroller William Thompson.