Executive Team



Art Leahy

Chief Executive Officer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Art Leahy was appointed as Metrolink’s Chief Executive Officer and began in April 2015. He brings more than 40 years of public transportation leadership and experience to Metrolink.

One of the nation’s leading transit officials, Art Leahy served as chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) for six years. During that time, he guided implementation of one of the largest public works programs in United States history, securing billions in federal and state dollars to help finance construction of dozens of transit and highway projects.

He led the completion of numerous projects funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R. Metro has transit and highway projects valued at more than $14 billion, eclipsing that of any other transportation agency in the nation.

This includes an unprecedented five new rail projects under construction, including phase 2 of the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica and the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa, as well as the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, the Regional Connector in downtown Los Angeles, and the first phase of the Westside Purple Line subway extension to Wilshire and La Cienega. Leahy also launched a $1.2-billion overhaul of the Metro Blue Line and guided the purchase of a new fleet of rail cars. And he helped transform the iconic Union Station into the hub of the region’s expanding bus and rail transit network and led the agency’s acquisition of the 75-year-old iconic facility.

Though Metrolink is a separate transportation agency from Metro, the two agencies work collaboratively on multiple fronts to provide effective and efficient public transportation options for people throughout the region. For example, Metrolink and Metro worked together closely to ensure that Metrolink riders would continue to transfer seamlessly to all Metro subway, light rail and bus lines following implementation of the Metro TAP initiative.

Metrolink offers connections to nearly 30 other public transportation providers throughout Southern California at no additional cost. Other Metrolink transportation connections include the OCTA bus system, Riverside Transit Agency (RTA), Omnitrans in San Bernardino County and Ventura Intercity Service Transit Authority (VISTA). In addition, the Rail 2 Rail® program allows Metrolink Monthly Pass holders along the Orange and Ventura County corridors to travel on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains within the station pairs of their pass at no additional charge.

Prior to his tenure as Metro CEO, Leahy led OCTA (2001-2009) and served as the general manager of Metro Transit (1997-2001) in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

While at OCTA, Leahy led efforts to secure reauthorization of the $12 billion Measure M sales tax proposal, which gained 70 percent approval from Orange County voters in November 2006. Measure M led to the expansion of the county’s rail and bus systems, along with numerous enhancements of streets, highways, and traffic management systems.

Growing up in Highland Park community in Los Angeles, both of Leahy’s parents worked in transit and he followed in their footsteps. He started as a bus operator for the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) in Los Angeles in 1971 and rose through the ranks to become chief operations officer before taking the position in Minneapolis.

Prior to earning a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California in 1982, Leahy completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Los Angeles in political science (1974) and certificate in transportation management (1973) from UCLA.

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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.

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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.

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Sam Joumblat

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Sam Joumblat, CPA, is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer overseeing Finance, Information Technology, and Contracts and Procurement. 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 public 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.

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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

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Patricia (Patty) Francisco

Director, Human Resources
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Patricia (Patty) Francisco joined Metrolink in June 2014. 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 25 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.

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Vacant

Chief Auditor
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

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Roderick Diaz

Director, Planning & Development
Southern California Regional Rail Authority

Roderick Diaz is the Interim Chief Planning and Project Delivery Officer at Metrolink, where he leads several departments, including Planning and Development, Engineering and Construction, Program Management Office, and Diversity and Labor Compliance. Before joining Metrolink, Roderick spent 6 years at Metro, one of Metrolink’s member agencies, where he was the Director of Systemwide Planning and Transit Corridors and was instrumental in the development of the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX LRT Project. Prior to public service, Roderick began his career with a 12 year stint in consulting, including management consulting and transportation planning, ultimately serving as the West Coast Planning Manager for a major architecture, engineering, and construction management firm. Roderick’s consulting assignments included work in every transit mode for transportation agencies across the United States and support for several offices of the Federal Transit Administration. He also is an active participant in the Transportation Research Board, where he was the Chairman of the Transit Management and Performance Committee for 6 years.

Roderick earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and then went on to earn his Master of City Planning degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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