Speakers

Editorial Speaker

Laura Mester

Chief Administrative Officer

Michigan Department of Transportation

Read More
Editorial Speaker

Laura Mester

Chief Administrative Officer

Michigan Department of Transportation

Laura J. Mester is the chief administrative officer of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), overseeing the Bureau of Finance and Administration, and the Bureau of Transportation Planning, and the Offices of Aeronautics, Passenger Transportation, and Rail, as well as the operations of the International Bridge. Prior to her appointment in February 2011, Mester directed the Accounting and Financial Reporting Division of the Office of Financial Management in the State Budget Office, a position she held for 13 years.

A registered C.P.A., Mester's distinguished career in governmental accounting and financial management spans more than 25 years. She earned a master's degree in business administration from Central Michigan University in 1994, and a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Michigan State University in 1987.

Mester has been honored by the National Association of State Auditors, Controllers, and Leaders for directing the early implementation of the GASB Statement 34, the most significant governmental accounting and financial reporting requirements issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board in 20 years. She is the recipient of the Government Financial Manager of the Year Award from the Greater Lansing Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants, and the William R. Snodgrass Leadership Award from the National Association of Government Accountants. Mester is the past president of the Greater Lansing Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants.

A Michigan native, she lives in DeWitt with her husband, John.

Editorial Speaker

Matthew Garbark

Director, Mayor's Office of Infrastructure Development

City of Baltimore

Read More
Editorial Speaker

Matthew Garbark

Director, Mayor's Office of Infrastructure Development

City of Baltimore

Matthew Garbark became the Director of the Mayor's Office of Infrastructure Development (MOID) in July 2022. In this role, he reports directly to Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Shorter and is responsible for coordinating, supporting, administering, and managing critical infrastructure projects and initiatives for Baltimore City. MOID is tasked with advising Baltimore City government agencies on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) federal grant application development process, regulations, and procedures that impact the City’s procurement process.

 

Matt has over 15 years of experience working for the State of Maryland and Baltimore City. Prior to assuming this role, he served as the Deputy Director of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW). During that period, he served as Acting Director between February 2020 and April 2021. Between 2016 and 2019, Matthew worked in the Mayor's Office first as a Special Assistant and then as Deputy Chief of Staff. Between 2006 and 2015, he served as a Legislative Liaison and Analyst for the Maryland State Highway Administration and then for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

 

Matthew earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland University College.

 

Underwriter Speaker

Albert Shen

Strategy Leader, Public Sector Strategy Team

Verizon

Read More
Underwriter Speaker

Albert Shen

Strategy Leader, Public Sector Strategy Team

Verizon

Albert Shen is a strategy leader on the Verizon Public Sector Strategy Team to develop new digital transformation strategies for the public sector utilizing 5G and other public domain solution use cases in the Federal and State, Local, Education (SLED) market.  He is currently leading the public sector strategy for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

 

In 2014, he was appointed by President Obama to be the National Deputy Director of the U.S Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency.  His role was to create U.S. jobs by developing federal polices; new impact investment models and other new business innovation initiatives that promote the growth and global competitiveness of businesses owned and operated by minority and immigrant business owners. Before he joined the Obama Administration he leveraged his background as a minority business owner himself for 15 years where he operated a small successful transportation & civil engineering consulting firm that managed large-scale airport capital programs & heavy civil, transportation & environmental programs in the Pacific Northwest. 

 

In 2012 he was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Region 10 Minority Champion of the Year Award.  He is a dedicated community leader and has volunteered his time to lead educational institutions, community organizations, business organizations and political advocacy groups. He served as Board Chair of the Seattle Community College Board of Trustees, and as Vice Chair of the Washington State Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs. In 2013 he was a candidate for Seattle City Council.   Shen earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and environmental science from the University of Washington.

 

Underwriter Speaker

Herb Thompson

Senior State, Local and Education Strategist

VMware

Read More
Underwriter Speaker

Herb Thompson

Senior State, Local and Education Strategist

VMware

Herb is a Senior State, Local and Education Strategist.  Having history in various government CIO roles he is responsible for assisting customers achieve their strategic outcomes through understanding their business issues and how policy, process and technology can impact business outcomes.  He has been sharing best practices learned from around the country on optimization, workforce modernization and leveraging the cloud.  He also is providing insight in practical implementations of shared services, engaging employees, smart communities, and executing a cloud strategy at many government conferences. 

 

Prior to joining in 2018, VMware Herb served as the State of Wisconsin Deputy State CIO and CTO, CIO for Health and Family Services and CIO for Corrections.

 

Editorial Moderator

Bill Lucia

Executive Editor

Route Fifty

Read More
Editorial Moderator

Bill Lucia

Executive Editor

Route Fifty

Bill Lucia is the Executive Editor for Government Executive’s Route Fifty. He previously served as a Senior Editor for Route Fifty. Prior to that, Bill covered Seattle city government for Crosscut.com and holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs.

Editorial Moderator

Dan Vock

Senior Reporter

Route Fifty

Read More
Editorial Moderator

Dan Vock

Senior Reporter

Route Fifty

Dan Vock is a senior reporter who covers transportation, infrastructure and state politics for Route Fifty. His reporting has taken him to study dirt roads in Utah, runways in Pittsburgh, rail tunnels in New York and port facilities in Los Angeles. Dan's work has appeared in Politico, Crain's Chicago Business, MotherJones, Bloomberg Businessweek, Governing and Stateline. He lives in Washington, D.C.

 

Editorial Moderator

Alex Treadway

Vice President and Associate Publisher

Route Fifty

Read More
Editorial Moderator

Alex Treadway

Vice President and Associate Publisher

Route Fifty

.

Editorial Moderator

Alexis Loar

Program Manager

GovExec

Read More
Editorial Moderator

Alexis Loar

Program Manager

GovExec

.