Andrea Pitts is serving her first term as a CAT Committee member. She has a physical disability herself and has been an active advocate for persons with disabilities for 16 years. She has served on the Utah State Independent Living Council and the Utah State Rehabilitation Council. She uses UTA as her primary source of independent transportation and is excited to represent the riders of UTA.
Leisa Bolander is a resident of Utah County and is serving her first year of her first term on the CAT Committee. She represents the disability community as a liaison between UTA and non-profit service providers for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Leisa works for TURN Community Services as a Director of Program Services where she advocates for the individuals served by TURN in Utah county and state-wide. Leisa joined the CAT committee to advocate for increased UTA services for those people living with and without disabilities in Utah County.
William Black is serving his first term as a CAT Committee member. He is the current Chapter President of the Weber/Davis Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Utah. Willie has been an advocate for people with disabilities for many years. He believes that obstacles are just waiting for solutions to be found. Willie is legally blind from birth due to Albinism and has Glaucoma. Willie is proud of his accomplishments as a husband, father, and business owner who just so happens to be blind! He is truly living the life he wants.
Kati Lewis is serving her first year on the CAT committee. She currently lives in Davis County and has worked for the Davis School Districts transition program helping students 18-22 years of age with disabilities become independent adults for over 15 years. Kati does a variety of things for the school, one being UTA transportation. She coordinates bus schedules for over 300 students to and from work and community outings. Kati work with individuals with disabilities every day to increase their independence on the UTA.
Allison Smith is on her first term as a CAT Committee member. She represents northern Salt Lake County as a voice for mental illness and developmental disabilities. Allison grew up in the Wasatch Front. She values improving Utah for better services that allow the UTA to grow and help others. At Lehi High School she was active in peer tutoring and Special Olympics. Allison is open to feedback and hopes to hear from her community.
Brandi Lavoie is serving the first year of her second term as a CAT Committee member. She represents Salt Lake City and is Blind/visually impaired. Brandi is not a Salt Lake or Utah native and, as someone who depends on public transportation, finds that UTA accessible transportation services that are easy to use. Brandi enjoys being on the CAT to help the community and others with disabilities to advocate for the best transit experience. Brandi is employed full time at the University of Utah and, in her free time, she love spending time with her family, friends, and my two dogs; watching football; and being outside admiring our wonderful Utah mountains!
Chris Wycoff is serving the first year of his second term as a CAT Committee member. He lives in the Salt Lake/Millcreek area and is legally blind. Chris represents the blind and visual impaired community on the CAT Committee. He worked as an IT professional for 25 years and was a high school special education teacher for 10 years before retiring in 2016. Chris has used the fixed route bus and Paratransit systems, as well as TRAX and Frontrunner for a number of years and is thrilled to provide input on improving the UTA system. Chris is the father of five children and nine grandchildren. He enjoys reading, fishing, and travel.
Jamie Cheek is on her first term as a CAT Committee member. She currently works and live in Weber County. Jamie works as a District Director for the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR). In this role, she works with individuals with disabilities every day to increase their independence through employment. USOR understands that transportation is a giant piece of how people access employment, so she appreciates being on the CAT committee to help increase that access to the individuals I work with. Jamie moved to Utah over 9 years ago and I loves living here! She has served in several roles with USOR, including Secretary, Counselor and Supervising Counselor before my current position of District Director. She has been involved in the organizations of Utah Job Placement and Development and the Utah Rehabilitation Association which also help individuals with disabilities, and I have served as President and President-elect.
Karolyn Campbell is the Executive Director of the Disabled Rights Action Committee (DRAC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Salt Lake City, Utah. DRAC is a two-part agency that (1) works to establish equal rights for people with disabilities through enforcement of federal and state law, and (2) provides case management services through the New Choices Waiver Program operated by the Utah Department of Utah. This is Karolyn’s first year on the CAT Committee, and she represents individuals from a broad range of disability backgrounds and experiences in Salt Lake County. Karolyn is currently a fifth-year PhD student at the University of Utah, studying Political Science with an emphasis in disability policy and public administration. Outside of the CAT Committee, she also serves on the Utah Disability Advisory Committee and Salt Lake City Accessibility Advisory Committee.
Ron Nelson is on the second year of his first term as a CAT Committee member where he services on the Planning & Community Outreach sub-committee. Ron is Deaf and works for the State of Utah’s Division of Services of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (https://jobs.utah.gov/usor/dhh). Ron represents and advocates for the Deaf community in Utah. Ron previously served as President of the Utah Association of the Deaf for 3 terms of 2 years each.
Finau Conklin completed her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree at the University of Utah in 2008. She is serving her first term as a CAT committee member and is founder and Executive Director of Destination Services Inc (DSI), a non-profit transportation service that helps to connect senior citizens and people with disabilities with essential services. Her passion for equity, diversity, and social justice motivated her to found DSI. She has extensive social work experience in our community, including in the public schools, residential treatment, and non-profit work. For the past 8 years, she has worked in Early Intervention and Early Head Start (EHS) program. She served as EHS Manager and later as Director. In this capacity, she helped to connect children with disabilities and their families with supportive services and resources. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Utah Head Start Association and the Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs.