Executive Team

Michael P. DePallo

Chief Executive Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Michael P. DePallo joined Metrolink as CEO in October 2012, bringing more than 30 years of transportation industry experience. He is known for his focus on safety, security and customer service. He also currently chairs the Security Affairs Steering Committee for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

Prior to working at Metrolink, DePallo was Director and General Manager of Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation (PATH), a heavy rail subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that transports more than 250,000 passenger trips a day between Manhattan and neighboring New Jersey. At PATH, he oversaw the restoring of service following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, implemented comprehensive security improvements and modernized its fleet of railcars to improve PATH’s operational performance.

Earlier in his career, DePallo held leadership positions at many of the largest public transit systems in the nation, such as Oakland’s Bay Area Rapid Transit District, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston.

He earned a Master of City Planning, specializing in transportation and land use planning, from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Regional Planning from Mansfield University.


Gary Lettengarver

Chief Operating Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Gary Lettengarver began his career in the 1970s on The Penn Central Transportation Company, then known as Conrail, holding various positions in the Transportation Department.  Later working for Amtrak in the Operating Department for 12 years, Lettengarver came to Metrolink for its startup in 1992 and established its Dispatching Office, which he managed for 15 years. 

Lettengarver was promoted to Metrolink's Director of Operations in October 2008 and has been successful in overseeing the Operations and Security divisions, including management of freight contracts and the administration of the $54 million operating budget.  In his 20 years of employment with Metrolink, Lettengarver has had the privilege of working to make Metrolink the expansive system it is today.


Robert "Bob" Turnauckas

Chief of Marketing and Communications
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Robert Turnauckas joined Metrolink in June of 2010. At Metrolink Turnauckas oversees and Customer Engagement which includes Sales, Marketing and Communications. He is also responsible for the management of the Customer Service Representatives out in the field. Turnauckas brings more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of successful business practices to Metrolink. Prior to joining Metrolink, Turnauckas held a variety of leadership positions with leading hospitality organizations. He most recently served as President of Beyond Meetings & Incentives, a very successful full service meeting and incentives company. In his role, he led the company from a startup to unprecedented sales growth and a recognized entity in the hospitality industry.

Throughout his career, Turnauckas has helped transform corporate cultures with his positive and effective management style, and every company he has worked for has achieved extremely high customers and employee satisfaction ratings. Prior to Beyond Meetings and Incentives, he held the position of President of the meetings and incentives division with Balboa Travel one of the top 50 travel companies in the United States. He also was an opening executive with the prestigious Ritz Carlton Kapalua on Maui, Hawaii. Prior to the Ritz Carlton Resorts he was employed with the Marriott Hotels and Resorts and with Sea World of California.


Sam Joumblat

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Sam Joumblat, CPA, is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer overseeing all the financial aspects of the Authority. He was appointed to the position in March 2014.

Before coming to Metrolink, he was CFO for the Port of Long Beach, the second largest container port in the nation, for eight years and Deputy City Auditor with the City of Long Beach for three years.

Prior to working for agencies, Sam spent most of his career in industry. He was a Senior Manager with Arthur Andersen and worked 15 years with Atlantic Richfield Company, an oil and gas company, where he held a number of managerial positions. These included supervising internal audit, general accounting, contracting, information technology, and environmental, health and safety. He also led a number of strategic sourcing efforts where he negotiated major contracts and managed software implementation projects.

Sam began his career as an engineer at Rockwell International, where he worked on the Space Shuttle and other space programs. His responsibilities included developing computer models that simulated cryogenic fluid systems.

Sam holds a master’s degree in business administration, a master’s of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s of science degree in industrial engineering, all from the University of Southern California. He also holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering.

He is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed to practice in the State of California, and a Certified Internal Auditor. Sam was named CFO of the year for 2012 in the government sector category by the Los Angeles Business Journal.



Chief Information Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority



Donald O. Del Rio

General Counsel
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Don Del Rio joined Metrolink in early 2012 as its first in-house General Counsel. He brings over 20 years of legal experience from both private and public corporation as well as public agency environments, which includes San Diego Data Processing Corporation, Security Escrow & Trust, Inc., DVI Financial Services, Inc., and Bell Atlantic Corporation.

One of his first assignments is to establish a new legal department for Metrolink while providing daily advice and counsel to the CEO, senior staff as well as the Board of Directors. This will include areas of governance, a wide range of contractual and transactional matters affecting operations and procurement, assisting human resources staff and litigation management.

He received his BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and JD from the University of California, Davis


Patricia (Patty) Francisco

Director, Human Resources
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Patricia (Patty) Francisco is our new Director of Human Resources. She is responsible for the overall planning, management and administration of all HR programs while working collaboratively with the Senior Leadership Team, coworkers, other agency partners and members of the public.

Patty has over 20 years of public sector human resources experience. She began her career in Human Resources at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) where she held progressively responsible positions from an HR Assistant to HR Manager. Prior to joining SCRRA, Patty served as the Director of Human Resources at the CRA/LA, a Designated Local Authority and Successor to the former Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, where she held that position for 13.5 years.

Patty earned her Bachelor's degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California (USC), and then went on to earn her Master’s degree in Human Resources Design from Claremont Graduate University.



Fred Jackson

Director, System Safety
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Fred Jackson has over 34 years of experience in freight and passenger railroading, his storied career encompassing all areas of railroad safety. Beginning his career as a brakeman in 1979 with the Santa Fe Railroad, Jackson spent the next 23 years at Amtrak leading the Western Division, a territory including 11 states, as the Director of Safety. During this tenure, Jackson certified each of the current West coast commuter service start-ups as the chief safety officer.

Joining Metrolink in 2002, Jackson worked to bring Southern California’s largest commuter railroad (and its owner, a public agency) into System Safety. With “innovative change” being the constant at Metrolink (i.e. Inward-Facing Cameras in the locomotive cab, Sealed Corridors, Crash Energy Management and Positive Train Control) Jackson worked diligently toward building a better safety culture and to provide the tools and communication necessary to stakeholders, contractors and employees so they may be successful.

One example is Jackson’s work in bringing the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to Metrolink and producing the critically acclaimed USC/Metrolink Safety Program curriculum. Some of Jackson’s areas of specialty include: system safety, safety culture, SMS, hazard resolution management, incident response, inspections and audit processes, configuration management, training, safety certification and safety design management.


Jennifer Cohen

Government and Regulatory Affairs Manager
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Bio coming soon.



Chief Auditor
Southern California Regional Rail Authority




Chief Planning and Project Deliver Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority