Kansas Governor-elect Laura Kelly this week selected a new interim secretary of the state’s department of transportation. Julie Lorenz is an executive at Burns & McDonnell, an engineering firm out of Kansas City, Mo. Last year, she served as facilitator for the state’s 2018 legislative task force on transportation.
Lorenz told local news, “Transportation is the lifeblood of our state’s economy. A strong transportation system improves Kansans’ lives by connecting communities, increasing safety and expanding economic development opportunities across the state.”
Over in Ohio, Governor-elect Mike DeWine has tapped Jack Marchbanks to be director of the Ohio Department of Transportation. Marchbanks currently is ODOT’s assistant director for business and human resources and previously served as an ODOT district deputy director.
Finally, down in Florida three candidates were forwarded to Gov. Ron DeSantis to be put in charge of the state department of transportation. According to the Tampa Times, DeSantis is expected to appoint a transportation secretary from the three names forwarded by the Florida Transportation Commission. The candidates are Richard Biter, a former FDOT assistant secretary for intermodal systems development who in 2016 was a finalist to lead Enterprise Florida; Phillip Gainer, FDOT district secretary for the past three years; and Kevin Thibault, a regional senior vice president for TranSystems Corp. who spent two stints with FDOT in leadership positions, including time as interim executive director of Florida's Turnpike Enterprise.