About Us

COMTO Headquarters

Meet the COMTO Staff

COMTO Headquarters is led by a team of professionals who are committed to the mission and vision of the organization. The national office is supported by a distinguished Board of Directors who are well-respected and experienced leaders in the transportation industry.

  • April Rai

    President & CEO

    202-506-2917

    April Rai

    President & CEO

    As President & CEO, April works to build upon COMTO’s 50-year history of ensuring equitable opportunities and maximum participation for minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs). With over 15 years of experience managing private, public sector and non-profit organizations, April’s career focus has centered on strategic partnership development, coalition building, people and project management. Under the direction of the COMTO Board of Directors Chair, Tanya Adams, April provides strategic leadership, guidance and ensures COMTO operates effectively to further the mission.

    Previously, April served as Deputy Executive Director for the Women’s Transportation Seminar International (WTS), partnering with the Executive Director to achieve the WTS mission and vision. In that role, April focused on the management of operations including serving as Chief of Staff, lead on project planning and execution ensuring deliverability on time and within budget. April managed several board-level committees, strategic initiatives and worked to implement growth and retention strategies for membership, chapters, public and private partners as well as build relationships with advocacy organizations, local, state and federal stakeholders.

    Prior to joining WTS, April served as the CEO for the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), a coalition of over 100 organizations and agencies dedicated to youth health and safety education. In this role, April engaged with transportation stakeholders on road safety programs, injury prevention education and workforce development initiatives.

    April previously served as Manager & Affairs Analyst in the Office of the Dean at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing, directing government affairs and communications. In this role, April was responsible for managing the State of Maryland, Action Coalition, an initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    April resides in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband, and is based out of COMTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

  • Nadji Kirby

    Chief of Staff

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    Nadji Kirby

    Chief of Staff

    As Chief of Staff, Nadji Kirby provides high-level support to COMTO’s President & CEO ensuring the efficient and effective execution of organizational strategies, programs, and initiatives. With over 15 years of experience in the transportation and nonprofit sector, Nadji also leads COMTO’s advisory services which support State DOT’s and Industry Partners with actualizing their DEI related goals.

    Before assuming the role of Chief of Staff, Nadji served in various leadership positions where she worked on local and national initiatives focused on the safety of vulnerable populations. Nadji has a wealth of experience establishing and maintaining key stakeholder relationships including: community, government (federal, state, local), public and private partnerships.

    Beyond her professional endeavors, Nadji is an avid supporter of various charitable causes, including hunger and poverty, education, social and public welfare, and youth development. Nadji earned a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Morgan State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eckerd College.

  • Melissa Dent

    Chief Financial Officer

    202-506-2917

    Melissa Dent

    Chief Financial Officer

    Melissa Dent has over 35 years of experience in Accounting and Finance. Her vast experience includes executive positions as Senior Internal/External Auditor, CFO, V.P. of Finance and Senior Business Consultant in the public accounting, federal and state governments, corporate, banking and non-profit sectors. Melissa is a Certified Public Accountant and received her B.S. degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

    She leads the processes for financial forecasting and budgets, and oversees the preparation of all financial reporting, provides strategic recommendations to the President & CEO and members of the executive management team, and establishes and develops relationships with senior management and external partners and stakeholders.

  • Terri Wallace

    Controller

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    Terri Wallace

    Controller

    Terri S. Wallace, MBA, serves as Controller for COMTO. In this role, Terri maintains the procedures, coordination, and control of all financial accounts at COMTO. Working with the Chief Financial Officer, Terri manages accounts receivable, accounts payable and compliance. Using a data-driven approach, Terri supports the creation of financial comparative and analysis statements for membership, programs, and grant initiatives.

    With over 20 years of nonprofit accounting experience, Terri brings a wealth of knowledge around budgeting, grant compliance, forecasting and financial diversification to COMTO. Previous roles include VP of Finance and Administration and Director of Finance for nonprofit associations. Terri holds a B.B.A. from Howard University’s School of Business, and also a M.B.A. from Southeastern University.  As a true Rhode Islander, Terri enjoys traveling, dance classes, reading and word search puzzles.

  • Michael Kargbo

    Senior Accountant

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    Michael Kargbo

    Senior Accountant

    Michael Kargbo serves as Senior Accountant for COMTO. In his role, Michael supports the Controller and CFO in managing accounts receivable, accounts payable and reviewing financial statements for COMTO’s chapters across North America. In support of federal and regional grant programs, Michael ensures compliance with financial reporting and related requirements. 

    Michael has over 13 years of experience in international & domestic banking and financial management, focusing on financial analysis, reporting, and compliance. Michael enjoys watching football, soccer, spending time with family and friends, and traveling with his wife and young son.

  • Julia Bankerd

    Senior Manager, Membership and Chapter Engagement

    202-506-2917

    Julia Bankerd

    Senior Manager, Membership and Chapter Engagement

    Julia Bankerd serves as Sr. Manager, Membership & Chapter Engagement for COMTO. In this role, Julia manages the full lifecycle of membership at COMTO and serves as the lead for 37 chapters across North America. As a COMTO membership ambassador, Julia works to develop and execute recruiting and retention initiatives to showcase membership benefits at all levels. As the lead for chapters, Julia provides high-level support to COMTO chapters with outreach, tools, and best practices in operations. 

    Previously, Julia served in operations and membership experience roles for non-profit associations in the DC Metro area overseeing IT and data systems, customer service and business continuity. Julia studied Business at George Mason University and enjoys cooking, football and spending time with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. 

  • Isabella Diecidue

    Manager, Digital Strategy

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    Isabella Diecidue

    Manager, Digital Strategy

    Isabella Diecidue serves as Manager, Digital Strategy for COMTO. In this role, Isabella oversees the development and delivery of COMTO’s digital assets and supports engagement across social media, online and print. Isabella acts as a brand champion, working closely with cross-functional teams to contribute to the development and execution of strategic campaigns, email outreach, and highlights to engage students, young professionals, transportation practitioners, and private and public agencies to support COMTO’s initiatives.  

    Previously, Isabella’s work focused on digital strategy and communications for non-profit, private, and government agencies. She is skilled in developing strategic communications plans, leveraging various online channels to drive engagement and achieve organizational goals.

    Isabella graduated from Susquehanna University with a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Digital Multimedia Broadcasting. She also earned a Minor in Music Technology.  

    Outside of work, Isabella enjoys cross-stitching, video gaming, and cosplaying as her favorite characters.   

  • Shantal Williams

    Associate, Member Engagement

    202-506-2917

    Shantal Williams

    Associate, Member Engagement

    As the Associate of Member Engagement, Shantal works in close collaboration with the Senior Manager of Membership and Chapter Engagement, with a key emphasis on enhancing our members' overall experience. Shantal is committed to actively fostering connections, promoting networking opportunities, encouraging knowledge exchange, and facilitating mutual support among our members. Her focus is ensuring that members have access to valuable resources and can engage seamlessly in our diverse array of events and programs.

    With a wealth of experience in volunteerism and community engagement within various associations, Shantal brings years of expertise to her role. She finds immense joy in creating meaningful connections, making her a valuable asset to COMTO.

  • Tiara Fisher

    Senior Manager, NextGen Programs

    202-506-2917

    Tiara Fisher

    Senior Manager, NextGen Programs

    Tiara Fisher serves as Senior Manager, NextGen Programs for COMTO. In this role, Tiara manages the entire lifecycle of programs at COMTO and manages strategic engagement with key partners while ensuring the quality and efficiency of COMTO programs. Using a data-driven approach, Tiara contains reporting, compliance, and data analysis on program outcomes and works to develop strategic outreach and marketing campaigns to engage students, transportation professionals, DBE/MBE/WBE/SBE organizations, transportation agencies, DOTs and private firms to participate in COMTO programs. 

    Tiara’s experience in the private sector includes leading teams, managing project timelines, cross-departmental collaboration, data analysis and stakeholder engagement. Beyond her professional commitments, Tiara enjoys live music, shopping, and quality time with loved ones.

     

  • Erin Thompson

    Administrative Assistant

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    Erin Thompson

    Administrative Assistant

    Erin Thompson serves as Administrative Assistant for COMTO. In this role, Erin supports the Chief of Staff & leadership team in scheduling, research, meeting logistics, and outreach coordination. In support of programs, Erin assists with correspondence for scholarship, internship and research programs, and works to maintain digital files, including program applications, tracking and related follow-up.

    Erin participated as a software & system development intern for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In this role, she stored, retrieved, and manipulated data to analyze system capabilities and consulted with engineering staff to develop systems specifications and resolve customer problems. Erin is pursuing a Computer Science/Cyber Security degree from Prince George’s Community College.

    Erin enjoys reading, watching movies, and traveling. She loves to be surrounded by friends and family. In most of her free time, she volunteers in her community.

  • Tiffany Fisher

    Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

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    Tiffany Fisher

    Executive Assistant to the President & CEO

    Tiffany Fisher serves as Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, Coordinator, Operations for COMTO. In this role, Tiffany supports the executive team in scheduling, research, meeting logistics, executive communications and outreach. In the role of Coordinator, Operations, Tiffany supports office administration and account maintenance.

    Tiffany’s background in the association and private sector includes executive support, meeting planning, and logistics with a customer service focus. Working to support the greater good is not only Tiffany’s professional, but personal goal as volunteering is a passion of Tiffany’s. Tiffany enjoys being creative and trying new things, like cooking exciting new recipes and experiencing different cultures.

  • Justin Shewchuk

    Digital Design Specialist

    202-506-2917

    Justin Shewchuk

    Digital Design Specialist

    Justin Shewchuk serves as Digital Design Specialist for COMTO. In this role, Justin supports External Affairs in executing COMTO’s marketing strategy. As a brand champion, Justin designs engaging content for dissemination across COMTO’s digital platforms, on social media and in print. Previously, Justin served as a graphic artist for a software development company supporting content creation and data visualization.

    Justin studied graphic and interactive design at Howard Community College.

 

We believe that diversity moves the nation.

We believe that the leadership of a massive industry that has the responsibility of transporting all people all the time should reflect the complex mosaic of those they serve. We believe that commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, identity and experience moves us forward every day.