RTA Executive Staff
Chief Executive Officer
Paul J. Ballard
Paul Ballard serves as the chief executive officer of the Regional Transportation Authority and the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. He has served as the chief executive officer or general manager of six transit systems, including those in St. Louis, Mo., and Birmingham, Ala. He also has been president of two national transit management firms and operated or consulted on transit operations in 38 U.S. cities in 19 states. Ballard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business, transportation and public utilities management from the Indiana University School of Business; a Master of Arts degree with distinction in public administration from Webster University in St. Louis; and has training in customer service from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.
Chief Financial Officer
Edward W. Oliphant
Edward W. Oliphant serves as chief financial officer of the Regional Transportation Authority and the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. Prior to his appointment at MTA in October 2002, Oliphant was the director of finance at Private Business Inc. in Brentwood, Tenn. Oliphant is a certified public accountant and has more than 20 years of professional experience in accounting and finance. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a major in accounting from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, graduating with high honors.
Lora Baulsir serves as general manager of the Regional Transportation Authority. Prior to this appointment, Baulsir served as the chief administrative officer of RTA and director of customer care for the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. She has been with MTA since 1981, serving first as executive secretary, benefits administrator and director of human resources for 19 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Freed Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn.
General Manager of Administration
Robert Baulsir, Jr.
Robert Baulsir Jr. serves as general manager of administration of the Regional Transportation Authority and Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. He is responsible for supervising personnel in the training, scheduling, human resources, procurement, information technology, customer care and AccessRide departments. Prior to this position, Baulsir was chief operating officer for the MTA and RTA. He has more than 30 years of professional experience with public agencies, including transit organizations in Tennessee and Ohio. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix.
General Manager of Operations and Maintenance
Dawn Distler serves as general manager of operations and maintenance of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. She is responsible for overseeing operations, maintenance and safety for the agency. Prior to being appointed to this position, Distler served as operations manager for the MTA. She has nearly 25 years of professional experience in the transit industry, having begun her career as a bus operator. Distler served as the assistant director of paratransit and customer service for the Metro Regional Transit Authority in Akron, Ohio prior to joining the MTA in November 2004. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix, graduating with honors.
Director of Communications
Patricia Harris-Morehead serves as director of communications of the Regional Transportation Authority and the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. She and her team are responsible for managing RTA's and MTA's media relations, public information materials, and marketing initiatives. Prior to joining the MTA in November 2002, Harris-Morehead worked in state government as the communications director for the Tennessee Department of Human Services for 11 years; as a program director for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development for two years; and in television news for nine years in Memphis, Chattanooga, and Nashville. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications with an emphasis in broadcast journalism from Middle Tennessee State University.
Director of Planning
James McAteer, AICP
James McAteer serves as director of planning of the Regional Transportation Authority and the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority. He is responsible for all planning processes, including system analysis and service development for both the RTA and MTA. Prior to joining the MTA in October 2006, McAteer spent four years at the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization as a project manager on a wide range of transportation projects. He also has worked for the Nashville Planning Department in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) division. McAteer received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and he attained a Masters of Arts in Geography and Environmental Planning with a specialization on Transportation Planning in 2002. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Legislative Liaison & EasyRide Program Manager
Eric C. Beyer
Eric Beyer serves as legislative liaison and EasyRide program manager. He joined the MTA in 2008 after operating his own consulting business. For more than eight years he served as Executive Director of the RTA, overseeing the agency’s vanpool program, regional bus service and the development of the Music City Star. His prior experience includes government and public affairs, healthcare marketing and communications. Beyer earned his B.A. degree in communications from Pepperdine University, where he was a Vera Post scholar and member of the university’s cross country and speech and debate teams. He also studied in Heidelberg, Germany, later interning in the German banking industry, and is a graduate of Belmont University’s Mini M.B.A. program. Beyer serves as president of the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association and is on the board of Learning Matters, Inc. He is the former president and current member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Nashville.