COTA names first chief engineering and mechanical officer; announces new chief marketing and experience officer


The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) announced two experienced individuals have joined the team in leadership positions.

Andy Biesterveld, PE, has been promoted to chief engineering and mechanical officer, leading the new Infrastructure, Engineering and Maintenance Division, and Stacey Baer, ​​Ph.D., has joined COTA as the organization’s new chief marketing and experience officer.

Biesterveld has been with COTA as senior director of capital projects since 2018 and has nearly two decades of engineering and project management experience. He began his career as a Naval officer managing shipboard maintenance and operations and also spent 10 years at CSX Transportation. Biesterveld has overseen several facility upgrade projects at COTA and leads the organization’s sustainability and electrification efforts. The new Infrastructure, Engineering and Maintenance Division will advance COTA’s strategic plan by focusing on capital projects and vehicles to grow mobility options for central Ohio.

“I am proud to lead this new division at COTA, which is committed to modernizing our facilities and fleet,” Biesterveld said. “As central Ohio’s population continues to grow, our region’s mobility needs are changing and COTA wants to be an industry leader in cleaner and greener transportation. Our goal is to achieve a zero emission fixed route fleet by 2035 and we want to be net carbon neutral by 2045. By investing in sustainable mobility, we are improving the quality of life for our customers and our communities.

Baer has 30 years of experience in the private sector, most recently at Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Mich., where she was the senior director in charge of Global Experience Design. She has also served in several capacities for Lenovo Group and IBM, leading global marketing and design teams. At COTA, Baer will lead marketing strategy, brand building and customer experience innovation – both analytical and creative – to provide an excellent customer experience, grow revenue, drive ridership, and build community awareness and support.

“For nearly 50 years, COTA has been a vital part of central Ohio and I am excited to showcase COTA’s innovative mobility solutions to our customers and community,” Baer said. “COTA’s commitment to innovative mobility solutions, improving the customer experience and improving transit equity is crucial to the thousands of customers who rely on our service every day. I am proud to lead the efforts to educate and inform our region about COTA’s value.”

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