Executive Team

Executive Team

Donald A. Orseno
Executive Director/CEO

As Executive Director/CEO of Metra, Mr. Orseno provides overall leadership and direction to all areas of Metra operations and administration to ensure that Metra achieves its vision, mission, goals and objectives. Financial responsibility includes oversight of Metra’s budget, which totals more than $1 billion for operations and capital in 2016. Metra is geographically one of the largest commuter rail systems in the nation, serving a six-county region of more than 3,700 square miles.

Peter J. Zwolfer
Deputy Executive Director - Operations

Mr. Zwolfer was named Deputy Executive Director of Operations in June 2014. He had previously served as the agency’s Acting Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Chief Transportation Officer.

John A. Milano
Deputy Executive Director - Administration

Mr. Milano was appointed the agency’s Deputy Executive Director for Administration in February 2015. In this role, he is responsible for planning, developing, organizing and directing Metra’s administrative activities.

Sue-Ann Rosen
General Counsel

Ms. Rosen was named as Metra’s General Counsel by the Board of Directors in February 2014. In this role, she leads Metra’s Law Department which provides legal guidance and support to the Metra Board, executive team and staff. 

Wendy Abrams
Chief External Affairs Officer

Ms. Abrams was named Metra’s Chief External Affairs Officer in July 2015.  In this role, Ms. Abrams provides overall direction and management of the Metra brand and public affairs issues, including customer communications, media relations, government and community affairs, marketing, advertising and promotions and digital strategies. 

William "Skip" Benz
Acting Chief Audit Officer

Mr. Benz was named acting Chief Audit Officer (CAO) in October 2016. He previously served as Metra’s Ethics Officer and Associate General Counsel. In the role of CAO, Mr. Benz is responsible for developing and implementing an annual risk assessment to identify and audit risks Metra faces. He also assists the executive director’s office and Metra departments in using best practices of the rail transit industry. The CAO has a dual-reporting line to the Board of Directors and Executive Director/CEO, and provides quarterly reports and updates to the Board and senior management.

Countess P. Cary
Senior Director, EEO/Diversity Initiatives

Ms. Cary joined Metra in 1998 as Director, EEO & Employee Relations. In her current role as Sr. Director, EEO/Diversity Initiatives, she manages the daily operations of Metra’s EEO/Diversity Initiatives Department developing corporate-wide strategies to enhance Metra’s diversity initiatives, including equal employment opportunity, diversity training, employee relations and affirmative action.

Lynnette H. Ciavarella
Senior Division Director, Strategic Capital Planning

Ms. Ciavarella was named Metra’s Senior Division Director, Strategic Capital Planning in June 2011. In that role she directs an 18-member team that oversees the development and administration of the agency’s long-range plans, capital program and performance statistics.

James M. Derwinski
Chief Mechanical Officer

Mr. Derwinski was named Metra’s Chief Mechanical Officer in September 2014. In that role he oversees 650 employees responsible for the repair, inspection, cleaning and maintenance of the railroad’s 1,164 pieces of rolling stock used in commuter service. The department is also responsible for Metra’s fleet of more than 460 trucks and automobiles.

Thomas Farmer
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Farmer has been Metra’s CFO since November 2011. He oversees Metra’s accounting, finance, budget, grant management, contract management and information systems teams. In this role, Mr. Farmer is responsible for creating and managing a set of financial systems which is fully integrated and responsive to the needs of internal and external customers.

Paul A. Kisielius
Senior Division Director, General Administration

Mr. Kisielius was named the Senior Division Director, General Administration in 2009. He joined Metra’s Materials Management staff in 1989 and has been at Metra for over 27 years.

Cherie J. Kizer
Chief Information Officer

Ms. Kizer was named Metra’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) in June 2014.  Ms. Kizer has more than 25 years of experience in information technology and a B.A. in Computer Science from Northwestern University and earned her M.B.A. from Oakland University.

Hilary Konczal
Chief Safety and Environmental Officer

Mr. Konczal was named Chief Safety and Environmental Officer in November 2015.  In this role, he is responsible for the administrative oversight and management of Metra’s safety programs and initiatives, environmental compliance and industrial hygiene activities.

Bruce M. Marcheschi
Chief Engineering Officer

Mr. Marcheschi was appointed Chief Engineering Officer for Metra in February 2014. In this role he directs the nearly 700 employees responsible for the railroad’s capital construction projects, communications as well as for the maintenance and construction of all signal and electrical systems, track and bridges and stations, parking and other facilities owned by Metra.

Joseph M. Perez
Chief of Police

Chief Perez, a decorated 28-year veteran of the Illinois State Police Department with a diverse service record, was hired in May 2014 to serve as chief of the Metra Police Department and lead its transformation into a modern, efficient and effective force.

Martin Ryan
Chief Transportation Officer

Mr. Ryan was appointed Chief Transportation Officer in September 2014. In this capacity, he is responsible for commuter operations on Metra owned and operated lines as well as those operated under purchase of service agreements with the BNSF and Union Pacific railroads.


Janice R. Thomas
Senior Division Director, Diversity and Civil Rights

Ms. Thomas was named the Senior Division Director for Diversity and Civil Rights in August 2016. In this role, she is responsible for administrative oversight and management of EEO/diversity initiatives, business diversity and civil rights. She had served as the Senior Director of the Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights since December 2010.  She strives to achieve Metra’s goal of inclusion throughout the organization.

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