Walter “Lenny” Cooksey, Jr. has been hired as Chatham Area Transit’s new Chief Operating Officer.
Cooksey brings with him 25 years of management experience in public and private transportation, financial services, marketing, and emergency management. He joins CAT after serving as the general manager of MV Transportation’s paratransit service in Baton Rouge, La. In addition, he served on the Safety and Emergency Preparedness Task Force with the Capital Area Transit System.
Cooksey’s real world skills, passion for the customer experience, and in-depth knowledge of the transportation industry will be true assets for CAT, said CEO Bacarra S. Mauldin.
“We are fortunate to have Mr. Cooksey become a part of the CAT team,” Mauldin said. “His experience and skills will help propel CAT forward as we implement improvements that will benefit both our customers and employees.”
As general manager with MV, Cooksey instituted best practices in the control center and created a safety and security policy. His leadership led to an improved safety record, a secure work environment, and a better customer experience. Cooksey also was an instrumental voice in the agency’s purchase of new paratransit vehicles and protective barriers for operators.
Prior to his role with MV, Cooksey served as director of fixed-route services for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. He managed over 400 employees, which included bus operators, service delivery managers, road supervisors, control center operators and station supervisors. Under Cooksey’s leadership in operations, JTA saw performance increases in ontime performance, and his contributions helped lead to JTA being recognized as the 2016 Outstanding Public Transportation System.
Cooksey’s arrival comes after CAT’s former COO, Michael Brown, resigned in August.