New leadership, new directions for Valley Metro. | Valley Metro
Jessica Mefford-Miller

It was a sentimental all-staff meeting in March when Valley Metro employees packed a conference room to give a bon voyage to our former CEO, Scott Smith. Staff members shared their memorable times working with Scott, including lots of laughs and accomplished projects. Scott announced his retirement in mid-August of 2021 after leading the way at Valley Metro for six years. I’m a bit jealous. Retirement sounds marvelous right about now. I can feel the relaxation somewhere at a beach, listening to the waves crash along the coast. But, I still have about 40 years to go.  Fingers crossed. Either way, Scott’s hard work and dedicated commitment to VM will not be forgotten. 

Best wishes to Scott and his retirement.   

One thing Scott made sure to do before his final departure from VM was to pass the baton over to the new CEO of Valley Metro. After an extensive search, Scott and the Valley Metro Board of Directors announced Jessica Mefford-Miller as the new leader, and let me tell you, Jessica has a very, and I mean very impressive background. Not only academically, but she is also currently a Ph.D. candidate in Geography. I love that. She is also bringing in 20 years of transportation experience.  

Mefford-Miller traveled all the way over to the Valley of the Sun from St. Louis, Missouri. Previously, she served as the executive director of Metro Transit. She devoted herself to many important factors to keep a transit agency moving, similar to VM’s: Staying connected to the community, sustainability, and my favorite, delivering an excellent customer experience.   

When I heard that Jessica is planning to emphasize customer service in her vision, it hit home for me. Before becoming an operations communications specialist, I worked in the customer service department for four years, speaking with thousands of on-the-go riders daily and hearing their stories about where they’re going: job interviews, meeting with friends or family, grocery shopping, medical appointments, and endless destinations. This includes hearing our riders’ feedback about the transit system and demand for more routes or alternative transportation options. I am very excited about this new adventure Valley Metro has coming with the new CEO. I am 100 percent positive there will be new ideas and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Valley Metro.  

Read more about Jessica Mefford-Miller: 

https://www.valleymetro.org/news/agency/2022/03/valley-metro-board-selects-jessica-mefford-miller-new-ceo 

Viviana Penaloza
Viviana Penaloza
OPERATIONS COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
This pet-lover, Viviana, is a first-generation immigrant from Michoacán, Mexico. She enjoys supporting small businesses, traveling and spending time at home with her furry friends.