The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) Board of Trustees at its March meeting Tuesday appointed three new members to the non-profit Everybody Rides Metro Board of Directors – Kelly Smith-Trondle, Sonja Taylor and Erik Thomas.
Kelly Smith-Trondle is currently the Director of Employment and Recovery Services at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Services and has more than 20 years of experience in the mental health and addictions field. Ms. Smith-Trondle is a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of Ohio and has spent most of her career assisting adults with severe and persistent mental illness to access the benefits and entitlements for which they are eligible and to return to the workforce and participate in their communities.
Sonja Taylor has worked in the government and non-profit sectors for many years, most recently serving as Chief of Staff for former Hamilton County Commissioner Victoria Parks. Her work has also involved assisting families during their times of need, including women suffering from domestic violence, as well as low-income populations. Ms. Taylor previously led a youth mentoring program at the Talbert House for children of incarcerated parents and has worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati. Ms. Taylor also serves on the SORTA Board of Trustees.
Erik Thomas is the Manager of Career Pathways at the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency. He is a Cincinnati native who has been working in the non-profit arena for over 12 years. Mr. Thomas is a graduate of Mt. Healthy High School as well as the University of Cincinnati. His passion for underrepresented youth and families has attached him to this work, and he is driven by seeing others grow to become the best versions of themselves.
The Everybody Rides Metro (ERM) foundation was created by the SORTA Board of Trustees and received its 501(c)(3) status in September 2006. As part of the Reinventing Metro plan, SORTA committed in 2020 $500,000 per year to support low-income riders by distributing funds to subsidize 50% of the cost for partner social service industries to provide Metro fare to individuals in need of their services.
The SORTA Board Tuesday also approved the re-appointment of existing ERM directors, Aaron Bley (chair), Gina Marsh (vice chair), Angela King and Kreg Keesee.