- Stephanie Wiggins — Chief Executive Officer
- Ilyssa DeCasperis — Chief People Officer
- Don Del Rio — General Counsel
- Don Filippi — Interim Chief Operations Officer
- Darrel Fizer — Interim Chief Safety, Security & Compliance Officer
- Justin Fornelli — Chief, Program Delivery
- Arnold Hackett — Interim Chief Financial Officer
- Elisabeth Lazuardi — Senior Manager, Audit
- Melvin Lee — Chief Technology Officer
- Darrell Maxey — Chief, Mobilization, Transition & Special Projects
- Todd McIntyre — Chief of Strategy
- Noelia Rodriguez — Chief of Staff
- Jennifer Vides — Chief Customer Experience Officer
Chief Executive Officer
Stephanie Wiggins is Chief Executive Officer of Metrolink, the nation’s third largest passenger rail system covering 538 route-miles throughout the Southern California mega-region. Ms. Wiggins manages an annual budget of $793 million at an agency that employs 282 full-time employees. She is the first African-American and female to lead the 28-year-old organization.
Ms. Wiggins has navigated the disruption caused by COVID-19 with a customer-first approach while upholding its foundational value of safety. Ms. Wiggins led the development of a Recovery Plan to reimagine the delivery of Metrolink service in a post-COVID-19 environment, driven by insights gathered from surveys with customers and employees. The survey responses have been instrumental in developing new ideas to better serve the agency’s core ridership of essential workers who use Metrolink to connect to their jobs on the frontline of the pandemic with safe, and reliable transportation.
With a deep and genuine commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, Ms. Wiggins strives to provide all people living in southern California equal access to mobility to get to work, school, and leisure activities. And achieving that goal depends on leading an organization that is as diverse and inclusive as the region it serves.
Prior to leading Metrolink, Ms. Wiggins was Deputy CEO of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) where she assisted the CEO in providing leadership and formulating and achieving strategic public transportation objectives, including the passage of Measure M, a half-cent sales tax approved by 71 percent of voters in LA County. During her tenure at LA Metro, Ms. Wiggins also served as the Executive Director of Vendor/Contract Management, where she implemented procurement streamlining initiatives and greatly expanded Metro’s utilization of small and historically underutilized businesses. Prior to that role, Ms. Wiggins was the Executive Officer and Project Director of the Congestion Reduction/ExpressLanes Program where she launched the first high occupancy toll lanes in LA County, the I-10 and I-110 Express Lanes, which improved travel times and travel reliability on two of the County’s most congested freeway corridors.
Prior to Metro, she served as Regional Programs Director for the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) and oversaw transit, commuter rail, rideshare, goods movement and rail capital projects.
Ms. Wiggins began her career in transportation when she accepted a temporary assignment at the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and fell in love with the mission of the agency. The six-month temporary assignment turned into more than four years.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Whittier College in 1992. Ms. Wiggins earned a Master of Business Administration from the USC Marshall School of Business in 2007.
Ms. Wiggins is a self-proclaimed “military brat” whose father made his career in the Air Force. She credits her experience moving from base to base and country to country as a child for teaching her the importance of diversity.
Ms. Wiggins is the founding president of the Inland Empire Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar. She is the recipient of many awards including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials 2018 Women Who Move the Nation Award. She is a Board Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of Friends of the Children and a member of the Whittier College Board of Trustees.
Chief People Officer
Ilyssa DeCasperis is the Chief People Officer of Metrolink, responsible for leading strategies and processes to build and retain team members. She is also the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
DeCasperis brings more than 32 years of legal experience and 20 years in HR management to the position, including a deep background in healthcare.
She has been Vice President of Human Resources at Doctors Hospital in Riverside, where among other responsibilities, she developed and implemented employee experience strategies. Prior to that, she spent two years at New York City MTA in labor relations.
DeCasperis is a classic car enthusiast and has owned numerous classic muscle cars. While she believes life is a highway, when it comes to work, her motto is “We are here to be Human and Resourceful.”
Don Del Rio
Don Del Rio joined Metrolink in early 2012 as its first in-house General Counsel. He brings over 20 years of legal experience from both private and public corporation as well as public agency environments, which includes San Diego Data Processing Corporation, Security Escrow & Trust, Inc., DVI Financial Services, Inc., and Bell Atlantic Corporation.
Del Rio established a new legal department for Metrolink and provides daily advice and counsel to the CEO, senior staff, and Board of Directors. This includes areas of governance, a wide range of contractual and transactional matters affecting operations and procurement, assisting Human Resources staff, and litigation management.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame, and Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis.
Interim Chief Operations Officer
Don Filippi is responsible for ensuring a safe and secure environment for rail passengers, employees and the community while maintaining partnerships with federal and local law enforcement.
Filippi leads Metrolink initiatives to develop and implement safety measures systemwide to enhance Metrolink’s safety performance and organizational culture. He will also oversee programs to prevent and respond to train incidents.
With more than 24 years’ transportation experience, Filippi has served as chief operating officer for rail of the North County Transit District in Oceanside, Calif., served for five years at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), rising to the position of superintendent, transit operations and safety section and 14 years with Union Pacific Railroad, starting as a conductor and rising to manager of operations.
Filippi studied criminal justice at Lane College in Eugene, Ore. and business development at the University of California, San Diego.
Interim Chief of System Safety, Security, and Compliance
Darrell Fizer is the Interim Chief of Safety & Security for Metrolink responsible for developing and implementing safety measures systemwide to enhance Metrolink’s safety performance and organizational culture. He also oversees programs to prevent and respond to train incidents.
Fizer brings 23 years of railroad experience to the position, most recently as Metrolink’s Assistant Director of Safety. Previously, he has worked for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) as an operating inspector and then later as a grade crossing inspector in southern California. Fizer was promoted to an Instructor in the FRA’s Technical Training Division in Pueblo, Colo., where he instructed in multiple disciplines.
He spent 2010-2013 with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as an operating practice inspector and was promoted to the position of Senior Supervisor with oversight of multiple disciplines in the rail safety division. He began his railroad career with the Union Pacific railroad as a conductor, engineer. He was promoted to Remote Control Instructor, later becoming a Manager of Operating practice.
Fizer received a degree in electronic engineering from ITT. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served during the Gulf War.
Chief, Program Delivery
Justin Fornelli is Chief of Program Delivery for Metrolink. Fornelli directs staff and teams of consultants on the delivery of Metrolink’s capital programs including rehabilitation, new capital expansion and third-party projects. He oversees Metrolink’s long term planning for the Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) Program, Metrolink’s 10-year, $10 billion plan to re-build the region’s rail infrastructure to allow for more frequent service prior to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
Fornelli serves as representative of Metrolink’s operational and engineering interests on large third-party projects, such as the Foothill Gold Line Phase 2B Extension, Link US Project and California High Speed Rail project.
Fornelli has more than 20-years’ experience in freight and passenger rail having previously served as Director of Transit and Rail Programs for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), one of Metrolink’s member agencies. He also was Chief Rail Engineer for North County Transit District (NCTD) in San Diego County and Senior Supervising Engineer to the Orange County Transit Authority (OCTA) for Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Fornelli is a California Profession Civil Engineer and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis.
Fornelli is married and has two sons, who he enjoys coaching in football, soccer and baseball.
Interim Chief Financial Officer
Arnold Hackett is Interim Chief Financial Officer of Metrolink, having been named to the position on March 17. In this post he is responsible for overseeing the controller/treasurer, budgets and financial analysis, general accounting and payroll, grants administration and fiscal management, along with accounts receivable and payable. Hackett joined Metrolink in May 2019.
Hackett has more than 30 years’ experience in private technology industry at Xerox Corporation; he has served as Vice President and General Manager of Alliance and Partnership Management, positions in research, engineering, strategy development, technical project/program management, business development and global process / performance improvement initiatives.
Arnold holds a BS from UCLA, an MS in Computer Science from CSULB, an MBA from USC, and is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Senior Manager, Audit
Elisabeth Lazuardi is Senior Manager, Audit at Metrolink responsible for overseeing and managing the Internal Audit team to conduct audits in accordance with Board of Directors-approved Annual Audit Plan and in compliance with auditing standards. Lazuardi ensures the completion of the annual agency-wide risk assessment, coordination of external audits and monitoring of corrective actions from the past audits.
Lazuardi has 13 years’ public accounting firm experience including at PKF in Glendale, Calif. and Hutchinson & Bloodgood, LLP.
Lazuardi earned a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Accounting degree from USC.
Chief Technology Officer
Melvin Lee joined Metrolink in 2020 as its first Chief Technology Officer. He brings over 20 years of information technology management experience to Metrolink from his work with Albuquerque Public Schools, Technology Integration Group, and the New Mexico Department of Public Safety/New Mexico State Police.
Lee is responsible for the vision, leadership, and planning required to transform the agency technologically. In this new role, he will define and communicate the agency’s technological vision and top priorities with transparency and take a proactive, service-oriented and strategic approach to agency partnerships.
Lee received his Master of Business Administration in Technology Management at the University of Phoenix and is currently working on his Ph.D. from Walden University in Information Systems Management.
Melvin Lee is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Chief, Mobilization, Transition & Special Projects
Darrell Maxey is Chief, Mobilization, Transition and Special Projects at Metrolink, responsible for overseeing the delivery and transition of large bundled Rail Maintenance, Operations and Support Services Contract as well as special projects. Maxey had been Interim Chief Operating Officer and previously Deputy Chief Operating Officer, PTC & Engineering.
Maxey is recognized for railroad engineering, planning and programming, most notably: Positive Train Control (PTC); integrated train control and communication systems; enhanced grade crossings with Quiet Zones; infrastructure maintenance and capital improvements on railroads with dense, mixed commuter, freight and inter-city passenger traffic and commuter rail contracts.
Maxey has 40 years of railroad experience, including 18 years with the Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific Railroad) and nine years with Caltrain in Northern California. In June 2006, he began with Metrolink in Southern California. All of these positions were in Engineering, Construction, Maintenance and Operations of railroad infrastructure and systems, accomplishing a wide variety of projects in territories throughout the western United States.
Maxey earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (specializing in Railroad Engineering) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a registered Professional Engineer and member of AREMA, ASCE and APTA.
Chief Strategy Officer
Todd McIntyre leads planning, government and community relations, sustainability initiatives and railroad services.
McIntyre brings a breadth of experience to the position having been Chief of Staff of the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in Washington, D.C. and at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), where he managed oversight for more than $4 billion in freight and passenger rail capital programs around the U.S. including the California High-Speed Rail Authority and the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor.
McIntyre earned a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College and a Master of Planning Degree from the USC. He is a recipient of the FRA Administration Award for Excellence in 2016 and the Secretary of Transportation Award for Excellence in 2013 and 2015.
Chief of Staff
As Chief of Staff, Noelia Rodriguez serves as a top advisor to the CEO, responsible for managing customer relations, driving excellence in performance and reporting for Metrolink.
An accomplished executive, Rodriguez has worked in several prominent roles including Communications Director for First Lady Laura Bush, Deputy Mayor for Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, and President and CEO of LA 2000, the Host Committee for the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. She’s held C-suite positions at the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). She started her career at Southern California Edison, as a spokesperson, public relations and advertising manager in corporate communications.
Rodriguez was selected to be a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s prestigious Institute of Politics then recruited to be the Director of The Kennedy School’s, John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum. She was also Vice President of Corporate Communications at Univision Communications - the country's largest provider of Spanish-language content.
She is a standing member of the planning committee for the biennial Leadership California Goes to DC Women’s Program and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles.
Chief Customer Experience Officer
Jennifer Vides leads the team responsible for enhancing the experience for Metrolink customers – starting from the moment they learn about the service and try it for the first time, and through every subsequent touch point. Functionally, Vides directs CX, customer and market insights, customer relations, branding, marketing & communications and public information.
Previously, Vides oversaw brand strategy, integrated marketing, communications and business intelligence for the Public Media Group of Southern California, formed by the merger of PBS SoCal and KCETLink Media Group. Vides played a key role in the merger, driving market research to inform brand and programming integration, and leading a marketing campaign to inform the community about the benefits of the merger.
Vides previously directed marketing departments and launched new brands at national specialty retailers Hot Topic and Gymboree, and led campaigns for clients of global public relations firms Burson-Marsteller and Weber Shandwick. Vides specializes in navigating challenges for organizations undergoing transitions including mergers, corporate turnarounds, brand repositioning, product recalls, litigation and more.
Raised in Central America and the Caribbean, Vides is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French. She holds B.S. degrees in Communications and French from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.