CEO Will Kempton Hits the O.C. Ground Running

OCTA's new CEO takes a bus ride on his second day to work and compliments the courteous coach operator, the clean bus and the smooth ride.

OCTA's new CEO, Will Kempton, introduced his open-door policy to employees on his first day with a question-and-answer session at the OCTA headquarters.

Employees soon discovered that the new CEO is ready to take the reins and accelerate transportation projects for Orange County, including the high‑speed rail project.

"I am impressed with this organization, the board and its employees," said Kempton during an information session with employees Monday, Aug. 3. "I come to OCTA with my eyes wide open, this agency has a great can-do attitude. The board members are terrific. They are engaged and involved. I am excited about the opportunity to serve in Orange County."

Upon leaving his position at Caltrans, Kempton promised Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger he would deliver a high-speed rail groundbreaking in Orange County before the governor leaves office. Other goals Kempton hopes to accomplish while leading OCTA include building better partnerships with other agencies, increasing efficiency and promoting outstanding customer service.

When Kempton took the bus from Anaheim to the OCTA headquarters on Tuesday morning, Aug. 4, the 4-mile commute took a mere seven minutes. Kempton hopes to buy a home close to a bus route or train station so he can utilize public transportation everyday to and from work. He also took the bus on Thursday, Aug. 6, with an Orange County Register reporter and photographer.

"How can you know what the customers are feeling if you are not out there using the system as well," Kempton said. "Taking the train or bus to work is a great way to get to know our customers and improve our service."

Kempton, an avid jogger for 32 years, shared his walk-around management approach with employees, part of his new leadership style. The former Caltrans director wants OCTA to be a workplace of choice with great customer service.

With an initial three-year contract, Kempton looks forward to serving OCTA and working with the board to deliver transportation solutions for Orange County.

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