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Learn about the Team at Utah Transit Authority, including our Chief Financial Officer, Zions Public Finance- VP, and Executive Director.
Mr. Biles has been the Chief Financial Officer of UTA since September 2012. His primary duties include accounting, budget preparation and monitoring, investments, bond issuance, supply chain and procurement administration, real estate and transit-oriented development, and fares policy and collections. Before coming to UTA, Mr. Biles served a combined 32 years as the CFO for cities in Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, and Washington state. He has been active in the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). After serving six years on the GFOA Committee on Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting, Mr. Biles is in his fourth year of serving on the GFOA Committee on Retirement and Benefit Administration.
Mr. Baker has been the lead municipal advisor to the Utah Transit Authority for the past decade, and has over fifteen years of advisory experience. In addition to UTA, he serves as advisor to a broad range of Utah clients including Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Utah State University, Provo and Park Cities, Summit County, and the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District. Since joining Zions, Mr. Baker has been involved in over 330 transactions totaling approximately $10 billion in par amount.
Mr. Baker is a registered municipal securities representative in the investment banking industry and holds a Series 52 securities license and a Series 50 Municipal Advisory license. Mr. Baker is a 2004 graduate of the Brigham Young University MBA Program with an emphasis in finance, where he was the top student in his class and a recipient of the Hawes Scholarship. He taught a class called “Finance for Administrators” as an adjunct professor in the BYU MPA program.
Previously, Mr. Baker earned his BA in English from BYU and spent three years in San Francisco working as a ﬁnancial analyst in Institutional Equities for Goldman, Sachs & Co. In 2006 Mr. Baker wrote an article for the BYU Marriott School Alumni Magazine titled, “Principles of Investing,” that emphasized asset allocation and the importance of diversiﬁcation in individual retirement portfolios.
Carolyn Gonot recently joined Utah Transit Authority as Executive Director. She heads the agency of over 2600 employees, delivering bus, light rail, commuter rail, and paratransit services to Salt Lake City and the Wasatch region. Before joining UTA, Ms. Gonot had over 23 years at Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and held various executive management roles. In 2016, Ms. Gonot was assigned an interim Chief Officer role while VTA was pursuing, and what became, the successful Measure B for ½ -cent sales tax projected to raise over $10 billion for transportation improvements in Santa Clara County. In the year she was in this role, she was responsible for developing the implementation plan for the multi-modal Measure B sales tax. In addition, under her oversight, the Board adopted a new comprehensive transit service plan balancing the demands for ridership and the needs for coverage. As VTA’s Chief Engineering and Program Delivery Officer and Chief SVRT Program Officer, she has been responsible for delivering the $2.4 billion, 10-mile BART Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension with a cost projecting $100 million + under budget. In addition, she was responsible for managing a series of light rail and systems engineering projects on track to meet the Super Bowl 50 timeframe. She has successfully worked with stakeholders, regional and local agencies, as well as the Federal Transit Administration to receive $900 million of federal New Starts funding program for the Berryessa Extension. Ms. Gonot was key in discussions with the Board and local stakeholders on options for the operations and maintenance funding for the BART to Silicon Valley extension leading to the successful ballot measure for operating assistance. At VTA, she has been designated as the Congestion Management Agency Director for Santa Clara County responsible for integrating transportation and land use policy for mobility options.
Ms. Gonot worked for transportation consulting firms before joining VTA. Her education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.