It is with mixed emotion that we announce Elaine Wells will be retiring in June of 2018! Elaine has been with Ride Connection for 28 of its 30 years of existence and has been at the helm as Executive Director for 24 years. Elaine has dedicated her career to helping others and has played an integral role in Ride Connection’s growth and success.
We will be forever grateful for her commitment to accessible transportation. Elaine worked tirelessly with state and local funders, community organizations and others to ensure Ride Connection’s ability to provide a valuable service that coincided with the demand.
Under Elaine’s leadership, the organization has significantly grown in size to meet the need for service in our region. Ride Connection provided 12,000 rides with six partners in its first year. Last year, over 30 partners helped provide 535,000 rides in the area.
Throughout her career Elaine has served on a number of transportation advocacy and service committees. She is currently Vice President of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Board of Directors, a member of the Oregon Transit Association (OTA) Board of Directors, a member of the Oregon Patient Safety Commission Board of Directors. She also on the Oregon Department of Transportation’s HB2017 Rules Advisory Committee, Public Transportation Advisory Committee (PTAC) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Workgroup.
Elaine was named 2010 Community Transportation Manager of the Year by the CTAA in recognition of her efforts to improve mobility options in the Portland metropolitan region. She was also named Extraordinary Executive Director by Portland Monthly Magazine’s Light a Fire Award in 2010.
Elaine is excited for the opportunity to spend more time with her family in her retirement. She also plans to remain active in the transportation advocacy community and will no doubt continue to make great strides for people who need accessible transportation options.
We are pleased to announce that stepping into the role of Executive Director will be Julie Wilcke Pilmer, Ride Connection’s current Deputy Director. Julie has been working with Ride Connection since 2000.