The Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority (Palmetto Breeze), seeks a thoughtful, engaging, and experienced transit leader to serve as Executive Director. Located in the highly desirable area of Bluffton, SC, Palmetto Breeze provides a wide variety of public transportation services in five Lowcountry counties in South Carolina to include Beaufort, Jasper, Allendale, Colleton, and Hampton Counties. The growth of the area highlights the need for effective public transportation across the region and provides for some exciting opportunities for Palmetto Breeze to expand services and to continue to impact the communities it serves.

The Executive Director serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Lowcountry Regional Transportation Authority (dba Palmetto Breeze “The Authority”) and manages all aspects of the Authority in terms of development, administration, operations, safety and maintenance. The Executive Director is responsible for management and day-to-day operations of the Authority. Under the supervision of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will develop, administer and direct policies relating to public transportation programs. This position is responsible for grant management, developing funding sources, budget management, Board reports, developing new transportation services, evaluating routes, personnel management and other functions related to the day-to-day operation of a multi- county regional transportation system.

Reports to: Board of Directors
Located in: Bluffton, SC

External Engagement & Collaboration
• Furthers the Authority’s mission and relevancy by creating consistent communication and engagement with the public and elected officials invested in the success of Palmetto Breeze and pursuing opportunities for expansion when appropriate.
• Fosters new partnerships with both public and private partners to respond to community needs.
• Prepares and delivers presentations to community groups, County Administrators and other staff leaders, County Councils, elected leaders, and other stakeholders as required.
• Stays abreast of trends within the industry by attending conferences and trainings; Seeks updates and information related to existing transportation and transit related projects or programs by attending related meetings and work sessions.
• Serves as chief spokesperson, leading engagement and communication with the community.
Operations Oversight
• Works with Human Resources to ensure effective administration of recruitment activities, to include interviewing and hiring; ensures compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
• Collaborates with the Human Resources Administrator to revise job descriptions, conduct employee surveys, and monitor the performance appraisal program making revisions when necessary. Works with appropriate staff members in developing and maintaining an effective job evaluation process. Maintains awareness of all workers compensation and unemployment claims and attends unemployment hearings and trials as necessary.
• Reviews and approves grant applications; seeks new grant opportunities when available. Responds to Request for Proposals for transportation services.
• Works with Director of Safety and Training to direct program activities and in-house training. Responsible for the overall safety and security of the transit system.
• Works closely with all staff members to facilitate effective communications within the agency.
• Leads during times of crisis, including overseeing hurricane evacuation processes.
• Oversee the safe and efficient operation of the entire public transit system including ensuring compliance with all safety regulations and standards, implementing best practices for operational efficiency, and fostering a culture of safety among all staff and passengers.
• Provide oversight for the management of transit schedules, maintenance programs, and emergency response plans to minimize disruptions and ensure reliable service.
• Manage strategic planning to enhance service quality, optimize routes, and improve overall system performance while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Effective communication with stakeholders, including government agencies, community leaders, and the public, is also crucial to the role.

Financial Oversight
• Manage organization financial position through reviewing financial statements and financial reports.
• Establishes frequent communication with the Board to provide information on the organization’s financial position, budgetary concerns or opportunities, and cash flow forecast.
• Requestions local match funds and actively seeks additional revenue streams through a wide variety of funding and partnership opportunities, including federal, state, and local grants.
• Serves as final approval for payments for purchases of goods and services and employee payroll.

Experience and Education
• Bachelors degree from an accredited institution of higher education in a related field is required. Candidates with a relevant combination of education and experience will also be considered.
• Five (5) or more years’ of progressively responsible experience in the transportation / transit industry and extensive knowledge of public transportation / transit services is required.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• Demonstrated ability to lead a diverse team of professionals, including hiring, coaching, mentoring, and performance management.
• Strong decision-making capabilities, with a track record of implementing strategic initiatives and managing organizational change effectively.
• Experience in budget development, financial forecasting, and resource allocation within a public agency or nonprofit organization.
• Knowledge of funding mechanisms and grants specific to transportation projects and operations.
• Comprehensive understanding of transit operations, including scheduling, maintenance, fleet management, and regulatory compliance.
• Ability to optimize service delivery while ensuring safety, reliability, and efficiency.
• Proven skills in building and maintaining effective relationships with stakeholders, including government agencies, community organizations, advocacy groups, and the public.
• Experience in public relations, media management, and crisis communication.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
The LRTA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply and will consider all applicants without regard to any status protected by applicable law.

The salary offered will be dependent upon candidate qualifications. Employees are able to participate in the State of South Carolina benefit programs, including the State of SC retirement system.

Interested candidates are asked to apply through the FGP website using the following link: https://www.fgp.com/jobs/executive-director-47888/. Questions may be directed to Christin Mack, Manager of Public Sector Executive Search, at cmack@fgp.com.