Carolyn Flowers, Metro's chief operating officer, resigns to take top transit job in Charlotte

Metro CEO Art Leahy just announced that Carolyn Flowers, the agency’s chief operating officer, has resigned to accept a job as the CEO of the Charlotte Area Transit System in North Carolina.

Flowers, a longtime veteran of Metro, has held a variety of positions here over the years and climbed the ladder to her current job, in which she oversaw bus operations and labor negotiations with Metro’s employees.

She plans to stay at Metro until the end of the year. Leahy said that Flowers told him Sunday evening that she wasn’t looking to leave Metro, but couldn’t resist the offer to run a major transit agency.

Flowers’ departure is the third major one in recent weeks for Metro. Carol Inge, Metro’s chief planning officer, announced her retirement in late October (she’s also staying until year’s end). And Rick Thorpe also resigned as Metro’s chief capital management officer in late October, although Thorpe remains the CEO of the Expo Line Construction Authority.

After the jump is a memo from 2007 detailing Flowers’ extensive background.

Interim head of Rail while Chief Operating Officer

(April 3, 2007) CEO Roger Snoble has named acting Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Flowers to head the Metro Rail Division on an interim basis, effective April 2.

With the departure last week of Metro Rail General Manager Gerald Francis, Flowers will oversee Rail Operations, Rail Fleet Services, and Wayside Systems

Flowers, who joined Metro in January 1993, served as executive officer for Operations Administration before her current appointment. Earlier, she was OMB budget director.

Chief Operating Officer Nov. 2006

(Nov. 15, 2006) CEO Roger Snoble has selected Carolyn Flowers, executive officer for Operations Administration, to serve as acting Chief Operating Officer.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced, Tuesday, that Deputy CEO John Catoe has been named WMATA’s next general manager. He expects to begin his new job in January 2007.

She is a veteran of almost 30 years in administrative and financial management positions in industry and government. At Metro, she previously served as executive officer, Administration, and as deputy executive officer, Finance, in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Re-joined MTA in 2000

(Oct. 30, 2000) Carolyn Flowers, a veteran of 24 years in financial management positions in industry and government, has been named deputy executive officer, Finance, in the MTA’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

In her new position as head of an 18-member department, Flowers will be responsible for the annual capital and operating budgets, mid-year budget updates and quarterly budget reviews, five-year financial forecasts and the capital improvement program.

Prior to her appointment, Oct. 26, Flowers served as OMB budget director. During 1998 and most of 1999, she was head of the budget department for the City of Beverly Hills. She joined the MTA in January, 1993, as an administrative analyst in the Equal Opportunity/Contract Compliance department, then worked as a chief administrative analyst in Bus Operations and Procurement.

After completing an MBA in finance and marketing at UCLA, Flowers was a financial analyst and budget officer for more than five years at Rockwell International Automotive Operations. She worked for Wang Laboratories for more than 10 years in financial management positions and as district sales administration manager for computer hardware and software.

Flowers earned a BA in history and political science from UCLA and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business. She is a member of the National Forum of Black Public Administrators and the Women’s Transportation Conference. A native of Los Angeles, she still makes her home in the city.

Categories: Inside Metro