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Director, Rail and Facilities - Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Managing Director - Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN)
Education: University of San Diego, degree in business and accounting
Career highlights: After college, Bergener worked for Amtrak overseeing costs of capital projects in Northern California; after two years she went to work for San Mateo County Transit's SamTrans bus and Caltrain rail services. In 2003, she joined OCTA's planning and programming department, and advanced to increasingly responsible positions up to her current post as rail and facilities director. Recently, she was appointed managing director of LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency, which oversees a 351-mile Southern California rail corridor.
Why rail? "After college, there was a job opening at Amtrak that sounded very interesting. I successfully applied for the position and was hired, then fell in love with transportation and trains."
Five-year goal: "I would like to focus on improving passenger-rail services in Southern California, better integrating services between the COASTER, Metrolink and the Pacific Surfliner intercity service offered by Amtrak, and take it to the next level."
Making a difference in rail transportation by ... "being seen in what has been a predominantly male-dominated field. I hope other women see that this is very much an industry that is open to everyone. ... Also, by improving transportation and modality for Southern California and helping to dispel the myth that [public] transportation is bad."
Active in: Women's Transportation Seminar-Orange County Chapter, named "Woman of the Year" in 2013; Railway Association of Southern California
Her philosophy: "Give 100 percent, feel strongly about what you do and make a difference."
Nominator's observation: "Jennifer has guided the professional development of countless transportation professionals. As she has advanced her own career, she has taken the time to mentor and help shape the careers of young professionals who have worked with her and for her." — Rick Bacigalupo, OCTA