Innovative Paradigms is a division of Paratransit Inc, a local public agency organized as a non-profit that for nearly 40 years has provided paratransit service and managed a very complex human service transportation network. Our team of over 100 talented transportation professionals have worked with public transit and government agencies, non-profit organizations and private businesses, crafting creative and innovative responses to transportation challenges.
Our team has experience and provided industry leadership in virtually every aspect of community transportation. From paratransit operations to federal funding and grants management, travel training to enrollment and eligibility, coordination plans to sales tax measures, few organizations can bring such a broad and experienced array of expertise and talent to the table to meet your organization’s needs and elevate your program, partners and clients to new levels of success.
Ms. Tiffani Fink
Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Fink joined Paratransit, Inc. in 2012 working first in a consulting capacity and then as the Grants and Procurement Manager. She received her B.A. in Political Science from UC Davis and has a Certificate in Transit/Paratransit Management from Pepperdine University, Graziado School of Business and Management. Ms. Fink was promoted to Deputy Executive Director in 2015 and became the Chief Executive Officer in January of 2017.
Prior to joining Paratransit, Inc. Ms. Fink has developed an extensive background in transit and transportation management, operations and funding with 12 years’ experience in key positions with state and local agencies. She is passionate about her work, Ms. Fink is an active member of CalACT, CTA and WTS and the past Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the California Transit Insurance Pool.
Mr. Tom Roberts
Deputy Executive Officer
Mr. Roberts is a nationally recognized innovator and expert in community transportation. He began his career in 1987 as the Executive Director of the Consolidated Transportation Service Agency (CTSA) in Santa Barbara, California. Since that time he has served as Director of Transportation and Parking Services for UC Santa Barbara, Manager of Public Transit in the Napa Valley and as Chief Financial and Operating Officer for Whistlestop in Marin County. Mr. Roberts has an undergraduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning, a Master’s degree in Business Administration, has received numerous recognitions for his innovations in the transportation field and has been a Board Member of CalACT, Nonprofits United and other organizations dedicated to civic improvement and enhancing the lives of older adults and persons with mobility challenges.
Over the past 30 years, beyond planning, implementing, and operating ADA paratransit and fixed-route transportation services, Tom has pioneered a host of mobility management programs replicated around the country and designed and implemented travel training, mileage reimbursement, bus pass, scheduling/dispatch, DBE, shared vehicle, Medical/Medicare reimbursement, taxi-voucher, parking/commuter benefits, community driver training, disaster planning, and contract transportation programs as well as establishing a groundbreaking joint program with Lyft. He has been a presenter at CTAA national and CalACT conferences, twice earned the prestigious Santa Barbara Independent “Local Hero” award, was named Transportation Manager of the Year for the United States by the Community Transportation Association of America and has been recognized by the California State Assembly and Senate for his leadership and many community contributions.
Dr. Lisa Cappellari
Chief Financial Officer
Dr. Cappellari joined Paratransit, Inc. in 2003 and has a Ph.D. in Economics from UC Davis with an emphasis in public economics and international economics. Prior to coming to Paratransit, Inc. she worked as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. She has also worked as an economics consultant for The Results Group of Santa Rosa, CA, a firm specializing in strategy, change management, and organization development.
Mr. Sean Powers
Mr. Powers joined Paratransit in 2007 and has 12 years of experience working with people with disabilities, including 8 years in the field of public transportation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Washington State University. Sean has served as the Program Manager for both our Washington and Hawaii offices through our consulting division, Innovative Paradigms. These offices provide Travel Training and In-Person Eligibility and Assessments. He continues to manage Travel Training Programs through partnerships with human service agencies operating as subcontractors to Innovative Paradigms in its operation of the Mobility Management program in Honolulu. Sean has also been instrumental in the refinement of various computer based systems used to manage the range of services provided by Innovative Paradigms. These include proprietary systems used to manage all aspects of in-person ADA paratransit eligibility, travel training programs, and agency provided transportation.
Ms. Delana Newell
Director of Mobility Management Services
Ms. Newell is the Director of Mobility Management Services who previously served as an Associate Consultant and a Program Manager for Innovative Paradigms’ office in Spokane, Washington.
Delana Newell is responsible for establishment and refinement of operations for ADA paratransit in-person eligibility programs and traveling training programs in Honolulu, HI, Spokane, WA, Boston, MA and Stockton, CA.
Delana also provides Mobility Management services to several transit and human service agencies across the country. Undertakings have included ensuring contract compliance of human service agencies, analyzing data to ensure ADA compliance and improve operations, assist with increasing outcomes for various transportation programs and writing grants.
As a Program Manager, Delana was instrumental in expanding the Travel Training operation into the STA Mobility Center encompassing three programs for seniors and people with disabilities. Delana managed the highly successful Travel Training program, the ADA In-Person Eligibility process for paratransit and the volunteer driven Mobility Mentor program. The Mobility Center programs have consistently saved STA approximately $1 million each year.
Ms. Newell has 12 years of experience in teaching, training and managing all different populations of peope with nine of those years serving people with disabilities.
Delana’s speaking engagements have included the ADA Conference for Washington State in Leavenworth and the Association for Travel Instruction’s annual conference. Delana has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Eastern Washington University.
Mr. Kevin Welch
Mobility Options Manager
With over 40 years of experience in the human service/transportation field, Mr. Welch is a nationally recognized leader in the travel training field. He is certified in Comprehensive A.D.A. Paratransit Eligibility as well as in Transit and Paratransit Management, has served as a member of the Sacramento County Developmental Disabilities Council and was chosen to be one of four faculty members to provide instruction for the “Introduction to Travel Training” curriculum provided by Easter Seals Project Action for cities throughout the United States. He is also a founding member of The Association of Travel Instruction, has presented at several local and national conferences including “The National Conference on Aging” in Washington D.C., the annual CalACT conference in Monterey California, and “The National Conference for Rural, Public, and Intercity Bus Transportation” in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has been published in the Transit Research Board’s newsletter on the cost benefits of travel training.
Since joining our organization in 1984, Kevin has worked to implement or provided assistance for programs in Boulder, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Portland, Oregon; Spokane, Washington; Baltimore, Maryland; Santa Clara, California; Stockton, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Bernardino County, California.
Ms. Louise Friedlander
Mobility Options Supervisor
Ms. Friedlander joined Paratransit in 2013 and due to her dedication and skill worked her way through the ranks to presently serve as Mobility Options Supervisor. She takes inspiration from those who have the same level of commitment to serving individuals in need of transportation options in our community. Louise appreciates the challenges that are presented in creating mobility options for those that find themselves transit dependent. She enjoys her ability to support the community at large as she works to promote our Travel Training Programs and provide support to the Mobility Options staff while they are working in the field.
Louise has worked in various customer service positions before working at Paratransit where she gained experience in meeting customer service goals and billing reconciliation. Louise has volunteered for the City of Sacramento and for the Women’s Empowerment Organization. In those roles, she has been involved in teamwork, networking, fund-raising, and public speaking. Louise believes in the power of positive thinking; of helping the dependent become independent, and of working together, to make a difference.
Ms. Sue Ellen Ash
Sue Ellen Ash is the Administrative Manager for Innovative Paradigms. She supports our corporate office and all field locations; providing assistance with accounting, HR, proposals, research, managing website content and serving as the main liaison between Innovative Paradigms and Paratransit, Inc.
Sue Ellen has over 10+ years of professional, administrative experience. She brings with her disciplined and strategic thinking; helping to create routine and structure, while also keeping in mind alternative ways to proceed should any obstacles arise.
Sue Ellen is certified in Transit and Paratransit Management through University of the Pacific, Eberhardt School of Business.
Mr. Ren Bean
Since 2013, Mr. Bean has served as the Program Manager at THE RIDE Eligibility Center (TREC) in Boston, MA. Operated by the Innovative Paradigms division of Paratransit, Inc. for The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), TREC provides comprehensive in-person ADA paratransit eligibility services for 60 cities and towns in the greater Boston area. TREC opened in Dec. 2012 and during its first three years of operation completed nearly 40,000 eligibility determinations. As part of the eligibility process, TREC refers individuals to the MBTA’s travel training program and is the largest single source of referrals for the program.
Ren started with Innovative Paradigms in 2012, first as a Mobility Coordinator then Assistant Manager. As Program Manager, he supervises a team of 19 staff and works closely with the MBTA to ensure the highest standard of service for both the transit authority and the people it serves.
He has a background in the human services field with experience in job skills training, youth outreach and education. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont.
Ms. Mary Borjessan
Ms. Borjessan is the Program Manager for the Innovative Paradigms’ office in Spokane, Washington. The office manages a contract with the Spokane Transit Authority (STA) and provides an in-person ADA assessment process for paratransit eligibility, Traveling Training services, and operates a Mobility Mentor program.
Since 2011, Mary has held several positions with Innovative Paradigms including being a Travel Trainer, a Mobility Coordinator conducting in-person ADA assessments and as a Program Manager. As the Program Manager of the STA Mobility Center, Mary serves as the liaison between Spokane Transit and Innovative Paradigms. She conducts In-Persons assessments, trains individuals through Travel Training and provides support to the Mobility Mentor Program.
Mary has six years experience in public transportation and working with seniors and people with disabilities. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelors of arts degree in Recreational Therapy.
Ms. Kelley Campbell
Since April of 2017, Ms. Campbell has served as the Program Manager of the Travel Training program in Boston, Ma. Operated by the Innovative Paradigms division of Paratransit, Inc. for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA). The Travel Training program provides travel instruction to seniors and people with disabilities on how to travel safety and independently on the bus, train, and commuter rail. Travel training is individual based on the trainees needs and strengths, it can include 1 to 1 training, group training or general system orientation training. As Program Manager, Kelley supervises a team of travel trainers and works directly with the MBTA to ensure the highest quality of services for both the transit authority and the community.
Kelley has over 15 years’ experience in human service management, including employment services, quality assurance, and training. She has developed and implemented programs for seniors and people with disabilities. Kelley is an advocate for Human Rights and volunteers her time on a Human Rights Committee.
Mr. Sean McGirr
Interim Program Manager
Mr. McGirr is the Administrative Supervisor for THE RIDE Eligibility Center in Boston, MA. Sean started with Innovative Paradigms in 2012 as an intern while enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu, HI. Upon graduation, Sean joined the Innovative Paradigms team as a Mobility Coordinator/Administrative Specialist at the Eligibility Center in Honolulu.
In 2015, Sean relocated to Boston where he assists in the management of the daily operations of the In-person eligibility process. Sean has several years of experience working with in-person eligibility operations and has a wealth of knowledge from working in multiple locations. He has been trained in all aspects of the eligibility process from all administrative functions to interview techniques, functional assessments and determinations.
Ms. Stacie Morales
Stacie Morales joined Innovative Paradigms in August of 2013, as the Program Manager of MOVE, the designated CTSA in Stanislaus County, California. Stacie has over seven years’ experience in the transit industry. In addition, she has over 21 years’ experience in business, marketing and mobility management projects.
MOVE currently offers two programs, travel training and the BRIDGES Volunteer Driver Program. In addition, MOVE offers technical assistance to human service agencies in the Stanislaus region on such issues as veteran transportation, operating protocols, and strategic transportation planning. Stacie works closely with social service agencies to ensure that prospective consumers’ needs are met. She has extensive experience creating partnerships with local human service agencies to proactively address issues with seniors and persons with disabilities.
Stacie is an active member of her community. She has recently served 8 years on local school boards. She is currently a member of the Commission on Aging and the chair for the Social Service Transportation Advisory Council (SSTAC).
Ms. Kiosha Nelson
Ms. Nelson is the Program Manager of Innovative Paradigms’ Handi-Van Eligibility Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. The office manages a contract with the city of Honolulu and provides an in-person ADA assessment process for paratransit eligibility. Kiosha supervises the eligibility center staff and conducts in-person assessments.
Prior to joining Innovative Paradigms, Kiosha managed two alternative transportation programs in Southern California: a volunteer driver program and a taxi voucher program. Both programs targeted persons with disabilities and frail seniors unserved or underserved by transit or paratransit. Kiosha has presented at numerous community engagements and served as a panelist during a California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CalACT) semi-annual conference.
Kiosha earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles and her master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Southern California. She has worked with families, seniors, and persons with disabilities in the non-profit field for eleven years.
Mr. Jesse Isaacson
Director of Information Technology
Mr. Isaacson joined Paratransit in 2010 after graduating from UC Davis with a B.S in Computer Science and Engineering. He is responsible for the development, procurement, security and maintenance of Paratransit’s transportation, maintenance, accounting computer network, telephone system, facility monitoring systems and various other computerized and electronic systems essential to the operations. He manages Paratransit’s multi-queue automated call distributor system, radio and telephone recording system, voice-mail system, and Automated Booking and Cancellation Telephone System. Mr. Isaacson and his programming team develop in-house software applications where inadequate or no commercial solutions are available to meet the needs of Paratransit.
Mr. Kao Saetern
Programmer Analyst Supervisor
Mr. Saetern has been with Paratransit, Inc. since 2012 and has 14 years of application development experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management from University of California, Santa Cruz. He is responsible for in-house application development and serves as lead programmer and support for our data management systems (DMS).
Mr. Leon Nguyen
Senior Data Analyst
Mr. Nguyen has been with Paratransit, Inc. since 2012. He holds a degree in Information Technology with an emphasis in accounting from San Jose State University. His responsibilities include ensuring the accuracy of all agency and partner data for NTD reporting and special projects.
Ms. Linda Parker
Chief Administrative Officer
Ms. Parker has been with Paratransit since 1996 after serving as an assistant vice president and branch manager with Sacramento Savings Bank. She has held several increasingly responsible positions in Paratransit’s transportation operations unit, its planning and transit development department utilizing her management, organizational, and customer service skills. Ms. Parker is responsible for developing and managing federal grant applications for Paratransit. Ms. Parker was named Chief Administrative Officer in January 2012. In this capacity she is responsible for coordinating and overseeing administrative functions, supervising support staff, coordinating scheduling and planning activities, meetings, and oversight of the Worker’s Compensation Program and Drug and Alcohol program. Ms. Parker is also the Assistant Secretary to the Board of Directors.
Ms. Chris Brown, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Director of Human Resources
Ms. Brown was with Paratransit for 19 years beginning in 1994, returned to the organization in 2015, and currently serves as the Human Resources Manager. She earned her Human Resources Management Certificate from California State University, Sacramento in December 2001 and is a member of the National Human Resource Organization, Society for Human Resource Management, as well as the local chapter, Sacramento Area Human Resource Association. Ms. Brown has streamlined Paratransit’s employment application process to ensure the efficient processing of applications and compliance with federal and state laws. She manages the benefits programs for bargaining and non-bargaining unit staff and has been a key factor in controlling the costs in these areas. Ms. Brown has developed procedures for the timely and accurate processing of all federally mandated leaves of absence requests as well as those governed by Paratransit policy. She and her staff partner with managers and supervisors in the administration of Paratransit policies, leaves of absence and recruiting. Ms. Brown ensures Paratransit’s compliance with the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Mr. Julio Diaz
Mr. Diaz graduated from the Skill and Business Education Center in Sacramento. CA. as a certified mechanic in 1994. He began his career as an entry level mechanic at Paratransit, Inc. In 1995. He is ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Certified in Automotive and Medium heavy duty trucks. Working his way up through the mechanics position levels in the company increasing his knowledge and experience in the different areas of the automotive trade for the benefit of Paratransit, Inc. Maintenance program needs. From 2011 to 2015 Julio worked as Shop Shift Supervisor, coordinating and assigning shop daily vehicle preventive maintenance and work schedules overseeing shop crew production, quality and safety performance. In 2015 he was promoted to Maintenance Manager to oversee Paratransit, Inc. Maintenance Department daily operations, direct, implement, coordinate and supervise all activities, exercises, responsibilities for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of Paratransit’s fleet and staff. Ensuring that compliance with the standards of the organization, and with California Highway Patrol vehicle safety operation and FTA requirements are met. He has obtained Certificates Transit/ Paratransit, FTA Procurement certificate program Management from University of the Pacific.
Ms. Mary Harding
Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Harding came to Paratransit in 1985 as a driver for the Senior Nutrition Program. Similar to other members of the leadership group, she worked her way through the ranks by assuming increasingly responsible duties within the transportation operations unit. She currently serves as a Transportation Operations Manager responsible for managing the Scheduling and Call Center. Ms. Harding manages the scheduling staff whose duties are to maintain subscription trip demand and to optimize the daily demand response routes to make them as productive and realistic as possible before the day of service. This entails planning and scheduling approximately 2,000 trips a day. She also oversees the call center. Ms. Harding has earned the respect of her peers and subordinates through her expertise, compassion for what we do, and her uniquely keen sense of humor.
Mr. Gary Vickers
Driving and Training Manager
Mr. Vickers came to Paratransit in 1993, an 11-year veteran of the United States Air Force, where he was responsible for a fleet of over 200 military vehicles and managed the overall function of Unit Administration serving 225 military personnel. He began in the Fleet and Maintenance Department and moved over to Operations and managed numerous start-up fixed route shuttle and alternative fuel projects. He currently serves as a Transportation Operations Manager responsible for managing the Dispatch Center, Training and the Driving Staff. He served as a board member for the Power Inn TMA. He has completed courses under the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration in Fundamentals of Bus Collision Investigation and Safety Evaluations of Alternative Fuels Facilities and Equipment. He serves as the primary contact for all Bus and Passenger Accidents as a trained accident investigator. He is responsible for the Department of Motor Vehicles Employer Testing Program and is the Administrator of the Program ensuring we meet state and federal requirements under the program as well as the point of contact for the annual California Highway Patrol Terminal Inspection Program ensuring record accuracy, training requirements for all Vehicle Operators and vehicle compliance are all met yearly.
Ms. Kathy Sachen
Customer Service and Dispatch Manager
Ms. Sachen came to Paratransit in December of 2009. Her background includes working as a Child and Family Specialist in a mental health center in Lawrence, Kansas and in the court system as a judicial assistant and as a paralegal/librarian and Case Worker in New Mexico
She was first employed at Paratransit as a secretary in the Administration department and has worked her way through the ranks by assuming increasingly responsible duties within the Administration and transportation operations units. She currently serves as a Transportation Operations Manager and oversees the Safety in the Workplace program and maintenance of the facility on Florin Road in Sacramento. In September of 2013 she also became responsible for Customer Service. Coming from a background in social work this position has suited Ms. Sachen and Paratransit, Inc. most effectively. She enjoys working and advocating on behalf of people who otherwise may not always have a voice.
These are just a few of our over 100 transportation professionals whose talents we leverage to benefit our clients.