National Association of Professional Women Inducts Debra Reese, Assistant Transportation Superintendent at AC Transit, a 2015-2016 VIP Woman of the Year Circle

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Debra Reese is recognized for her outstanding leadership and commitment within her profession

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Debra's perseverance, work ethic and leadership qualities are an inspiration to all women.

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) honors Debra Reese as a 2015-2016 inductee into the NAPW VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in business. NAPW is the nation's leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 700,000 members and over 200 operating Local Chapters.

“I’m pleased to honor Debra with our Woman of the Year Award,” says NAPW President Star Jones. “Her perseverance, work ethic and leadership qualities are an inspiration to all women.”

“I needed a way to get into AC Transit so I decided to enter by applying as a Bus Operator, going through the training and then moving into their data processing department.,” says Ms. Reese, Assistant Transportation Superintendent at AC Transit. Starting out in the field as a Bus Operator has provided her with a strong foundation on which she has built a highly successful career.

As she steadily climbed the corporate ladder, Ms. Reese took on roles in management. Inspired by a number of professionals she considers role models, her goal was to be a Manager who treated her staff with fairness and consistency. “I wanted to be the kind of Manager who noticed the worker who seemed ‘invisible’ know, the man or woman who would come in on time,' she says. "You probably wouldn't know their name; they're in uniform, quiet, the kind of employee you can count on. You see, I was that kind of employee.”

In her role at AC Transit, Ms. Reese works tirelessly to ensure the public receives the highest quality service and employees are treated with respect. She admits that bridging the gap between ATU (Union) and the district can be challenging, but her goal is to always provide information so both sides can make informed decisions. “We must deliver safe, prompt and courteous transportation to the public,” says Ms. Reese. "Bus Operators are 'tough people' who at times place their lives on the line dealing with the public. Therefore, it is a challenge on a daily basis to keep the buses on the street and the Operators motivated.”

Ms. Reese’s next career step is to take on an executive role within the company. “I have an extensive background in transit, and with my education and understanding of both sides, I would like to be a part of the decision- making process,” she says.

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Chelsea Mulligan
+1 (516) 453-6132
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Debra Reese
AC Transit
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