Leadership & Board of Directors

SRTA is governed by a five-member Board of Directors chaired by the Governor of Georgia.  Board membership includes the Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB), the Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), an appointee of the Georgia Lieutenant Governor and an appointee of the Georgia Speaker of the House.  The Board meets on an as-needed basis to approve the Authority budget and conduct Authority business.  Public notice of SRTA Board meetings in published on SRTA’s website in advance of meetings.

Board members:

Governor Nathan Deal
Chairman

Mitchell Land
Speaker of the House Appointee

Russell McMurry
GDOT Commissioner

Teresa MacCartney
CFO, OPB Director

Joe T. Wood Jr.
Lieutenant Governor Appointee

Executive Staff

Christopher Tomlinson

Executive Director and Board Secretary

Chris serves as the Executive Director of the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA). In this dual appointment, Chris leads two state-level authorities whose mission is to connect people, jobs and communities through preferred mobility options and innovative solutions.

As Executive Director, Chris serves as primary liaison to the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) Public-Private Partnership program. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA), where he is First Vice President.

Prior to being appointed Executive Director for both agencies, Chris served as Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel for SRTA. In this role, he was responsible for day-to-day operations and legal issue management.

Before joining SRTA, Chris served as General Counsel for several state agencies, including GDOT, the Georgia Technology Authority and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, where he was also Deputy Director for the Construction Division.

Chris graduated cum laude from Morehouse College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Georgia State University College of Law.

Heather Aquino

Deputy Executive Director

Heather joined SRTA in 2017, and in her role, directs and makes decisions regarding the formulation and implementation of policies and procedures for tollway revenue collection and operation.

She previously served as the Division Director for Physical and Economic Development at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB).  There, she led the policy division supporting SRTA, GRTA, the Georgia Forestry Commission, Public Service Commission, Secretary of State and the Departments of Agriculture, Banking and Finance, Community Affairs, Economic Development, Labor, Natural Resources, Revenue and Transportation.

Heather holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia. She is a member of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership’s class of 2017.

Gail Franklin

Chief Transit Officer

Gail was named Chief Transit Officer for the Xpress Commuter Bus System in May 2015. Since that time, she has been credited with a rapid improvement in Xpress operations, managing a $17.5 million operational budget.  She manages transportation operations of all service contracts including cost management, schedule management, data management and other related transportation operations activities.

From 2012 to 2015, Gail led the Cobb Linc Transit System where she improved operational efficiencies, implemented a focused capital program and improved the overall customer experience for paratransit, local and commuter operations.

She has held various leadership positions throughout her career with MARTA, GRTA and the Lee Russell Council of Governments. Gail holds a Certified Transit Section Manager certification from the APTRX Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Auburn University.

Monique Simmons

Chief Financial Officer

Monique joined SRTA in 2017, coming from the State Accounting Office (SAO) where she served as the Chief Financial Officer.  As Chief Financial Officer at SRTA, she is responsible for managing, planning, directing, and controlling all budgeting and financial functions for the agency by following policies and procedures in accordance with Federal Transportation Authority and state guidelines.

Prior to joining the SAO, she worked at other state agencies, including GRTA and the Departments of Community Affairs and Economic Development. Earlier in her career, she held several positions at Easter Seals of North Georgia.

Monique holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Cris Sanders

Director of Operations

Cris Sanders was named the Director of Operations for SRTA in 2017. In this role, she is responsible for oversight and operations of Georgia’s tolling and transit programs, including the Toll Operations Center, Operations Quality Assurance, Customer Service, Transit Operations and Toll Violations programs.

Cris joined SRTA in 1998 and rose through the ranks. During her career, she served as a leader on the teams that won the 2015 International Customer Management Institute Award for the Best Quality Assurance and Customer Experience Program, and the IBTTA award for Toll Excellence in Customer Service.

She co-chaired the GO-Live Taskforce for the State’s first reversible toll lane, I-75 South Metro Express Lanes.

Cris is a State of Georgia certified Project Manager Professional, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from Shorter University.

Merryl Mandus

General Counsel

Merryl was appointed as General Counsel and EEO Officer of SRTA in 2013. In this capacity, Merryl oversees SRTA’s legal unit, whose responsibilities include legal, policy and regulatory matters. Her responsibilities also include legislative activities. Also she is responsible for oversight of SRTA’s procurement efforts and DBE engagement and compliance.  She is also actively engaged in the state’s transportation-related Public Private Partnership (P3) projects.

Merryl has had extensive experience in the transportation and construction industries spanning over 15 years. Prior to joining SRTA, she worked in leadership in the private sector, serving as Counsel for Ashland Oil, Inc. General Electric, Inc. and Siemens.

Merryl is a member of the Georgia and Florida bars and holds her Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law.

Mary Sallach

Director of Integrated Program Delivery

Mary oversees the Project Management Office (PMO) that is responsible for managing tolling, transit, finance, internal and technology capital projects.  Mary and her team are responsible for delivering this $800 million capital program, in which she serves as the primary liaison with the GDOT.

Mary has over 15 years of experience in project management, finance and transportation. She has served as PMO Director, Project Executive and Project Manager for the I-85 Express Lanes Project, which received the 2013 PMI Project of the Year Award.

Ericka B. Davis

Chief Communications Officer

Ericka came to SRTA from the Atlanta Beltline, Inc. (ABI), where she served as the Communications and Media Relations Director. At SRTA, she is responsible for overseeing the authority’s communication efforts, including government and public affairs plans, media and customer relations and external strategic partnerships.

Prior to joining ABI, Ericka worked over 20 years in state and local government, including the Fulton County Government, Georgia Department of Transportation, the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, the Georgia Building Authority, the State Properties Commission and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Ericka holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia with and a Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication from Southern Polytechnic State University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Leadership at Piedmont International University.

She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of County Information Officers and led several award-winning communications teams, including having received recognition from the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association of Business Communicators and the National Association of Government Communicators.

Annie Gillespie

Director of Engineering

Annie has served as SRTA’s Director of Engineering since 2013. In that role, manages the agency’s engineering needs, including oversight of the design and implementation for SRTA’s toll collection systems, rate management and analysis, the design and construction of transit-related facilities, and agency-to-agency coordination.

Prior to SRTA, she held roles as a Project Manager and Transportation Engineer for CDM Smith (previously Wilbur Smith Associates), where she primarily focused on aviation engineering, environmental planning and roadway design.

Annie is a registered Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Alvin Milner, PMP

Chief Information Officer

Alvin Milner jointed SRTA in 2017, having previously served as CIO for the Georgia Technology Authority.  At SRTA, he directs the agency’s IT planning, resources and operations to ensure goals and objectives are achieved in a safe, compliant and efficient manner.

Prior to his career at the state, Al worked at the American Cancer Society where he served in various roles including Enterprise Solutions Architect and Data Center Operations Manager.

Al holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Point University and a variety of certifications, including ITIL Service Management 2015 and Enterprise Architect (EACOE) 2011.  He is also a Certified Project Manager.