Valerie is an international expert in rural transportation and mobility as a service in low population density communities. In less than a year, Feonix has launched programs in 5 states with notable partners, including the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, Easterseals, the AARP Office of Driver Safety, and the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Prior to Feonix, she spent 2 ½ years leading one of the nation’s top mobility start-ups - Liberty Mobility Now, the first rural-focused Mobility as a Service (MaaS) provider in the US. The start-up was serving more than 300 zip codes across 3 time zones and had a national agreement with UnitedHealthcare.
Lefler was featured by Smithsonian Magazine, as one of the "Top 9 Innovators to Watch in 2018" and also was highlighted in publications such as the New York Times, NPR, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Before starting Liberty, Lefler worked at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where Valerie served as a Principal Investigator on a $1 million grant to improve rural public transportation for the Nebraska Department of Transportation. Working with 62 rural transit providers and 103 nonprofit agencies she assisted organizations with Title VI civil rights regulations as well as expanding their public involvement activities which in-part led to dramatic increases in rural transit ridership statewide.
Prior to being involved in public transportation, Ms. Lefler served as Program Coordinator for the University of Nebraska‐Lincoln Nebraska Transportation Center and the Mid‐America Transportation Center from 2003 – 2013 where she had the opportunity to manage research activities with over 150 faculty from 8 universities in 13 different academic disciplines.
Valerie has over 15 years of project management experience, involving over $37 million in nationally recognized research, education, and technology transfer initiatives. She has worked extensively with program sponsors at the state and federal levels, including, but not limited to, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration, U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration, the U.S. DOT Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and the Nebraska Department of Education.
In 2005 Valerie graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln with a degree in Business Administration after studying International Economics abroad at the University of Oxford. She received her master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Management from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2012.
Ms. Lefler grew up on a large family dairy farm in southeast Nebraska, where they managed over 300 cattle and 700 acres of crop producing land.
Kate Schramm graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology from the University of South Dakota. Kate specializes in building connections and creating partnerships within communities to create effective change. She has worked for non-profits, educational institutions, religious institutions, and most recently as an Area Manager for Liberty Mobility Now, a rural-focused (MaaS) Mobility as a Service start-up. Instituting positive change in her home community has always been a way of life for Kate. She continues to volunteer as a board member for the transit system in her hometown, Yankton Transit. In addition to Yankton Transit, Kate is on the board for Keep Yankton Beautiful and volunteers with United Way LINC and SPARK, Pathways Shelter for the Homeless, the City of Yankton Parks and Recreation Committee, and the Optimist Club. Kate has made it her personal and professional mission to use her desire to serve and ability to lead to put all of the necessary pieces together to remove mobility barriers and create positive mobility solutions in communities around the world.
Heather graduated from Southeast Community College in 2008. Having a background in nursing, experience working in rural hospitals, home health, long term care and family medicine organizations, she understands the mission and value that transportation accessibility directly impacts the health of patients and their access to care.
In addition to nursing, Ms.Gaytan has a background in sales, business, and event planning. She is excited to be working with Feonix to have the opportunity to help with the mission of empowering communities to improve their access to care and employment.
Heather is married and has 2 boys. She grew up in Southeast Nebraska on a dairy and learned the value of hard work at an early age.
Jessica is a seasoned account manager and a great resource for our team. She has worked at companies such as Gallup, Kawasaki, and Liberty Mobility Now, where she was an assistant call center manager and fleet manager. Combined, she has 10 years of experience in communication and customer service. Jessica is also very passionate about her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska and became a published poet at the age of 9. She creates all scripts for Feonix, as well as training documents, and will occasionally travel for training.
Colin is a great addition to the team with skills in coding, development, and project management. He attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, as a Software Engineering student, and received related work experience through Networks, a local non-profit. With his passion for automobiles and driving, he aims to better the lives of those who are unable or choose not to drive themselves, through technology.
April is a professional artist with a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. She has varied interests including design, photography, printmaking, ceramic sculpture, and fluid painting media. In addition to a background in art, Ms. Edwards spent 15 years in the service industry coordinating banquets and events, and 7 years working administratively in graphic design, project management, and event coordination at UNL. April has most recently spent time working as a professional newborn photographer and marketing for a local non-profit.
Ferris is a great asset to the team as the decorated videographer. He has earned multiple awards from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, as well as several more from independent exhibitions in Nebraska and Iowa. He is also the proud recipient of two Addy Awards for his work. He is currently a junior at UNL working towards a degree in Graphic Design.
Erin is a graphic designer with nearly a decade’s experience in the field of print and digital design, marketing, and communications. She graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, and has applied that degree toward jobs in a variety of fields. She has always come back to transportation and transportation technologies, however, and is especially thrilled to be helping under-privileged communities get assistance and uplifting through Feonix.
In her spare time, Erin can be found throwing herself headlong into any of a dozen personal projects or working with her two dogs, Ellie and Lucky. Ellie is a feisty performance dog who learns a new trick nearly every day, and Lucky is a frisbee machine, recently earning global placements in his preferred sport, K9 Toss & Fetch.
Prior to starting work for Feonix in 2018, Holly was employed in the customer service industry for 5 years. She attended Southeast Community College in her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska after graduating high school. She assists in answering inbound calls, conducting outbound calls to transportation providers, and research assignments.
Melanie brings over 25 years of professional experience to the position of Senior Area Manager in Columbia SC. She has held the roles of Director of Training, Talent Development Manager, Systems Trainer, Regional Manager and Operations Business Manager in a diverse industries such as healthcare, service/retail, communications/contact center and foreign government. In 2000, she accepted the challenge of relocating from Canada to Columbia, SC to start-up a new business in the retail wellness industry and has chosen to stay in the southern USA ever since.
Ms Dalton grew up in Montreal, Canada and attended Concordia University. She has received additional certifications in Leadership Training, Motivational Interviewing and Coaching Skills, and Instructional Design. Her early university major was music performance and today she enjoys singing with semi-professional choirs and travelling to places known and unknown.
Shelley Maddox comes to the Feonix team with a varied background. A classically trained musician, Shelley received her bachelor's degree at Maryville College, a liberal arts institution in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, and her master's degree at East Carolina University. Since then, Shelley has worked for educational institutions, church organizations, and in retail management.
Over the last three years, she has provided home healthcare both to her mother and her grandparents where she saw first hand the need for reliable transportation. When approached about this project, Shelley was thrilled to bring her skills, contacts, and personal experience to assist Columbia's Senior Project Manager.
As a social worker, advocate, and community member, Rachel is committed to elevating the voices of the community in order to establish sustainable mobility solutions. The skills and experiences that Rachel brings with her, help her engage in socially-just and change-focused work within communities and social systems. Rachel is particularly passionate about accessibility rights and working alongside people with disabilities to impart positive social change.
John Doherty holds a degree in Communications from the University of Cincinnati. He served as Vice President of Advertising and Sales for cityof.com for 2 years and is also a US Air Force veteran who achieved the rank of Technical Sargent. As a member of the US Air Force, John was responsible for a variety of operations from guarding nuclear weapons, to leading an ER during Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, to special projects as selected by the Air Force Medical Operations and the National Guard Bureau.
Adrian is passionate about helping others create a loving, thriving and productive environment through community solutions. He believes serving others is the greatest accomplishment that there is, and should be done in a way that elevates each individuals well being while providing comfort and sustainability.
With over 17 years in the social service nonprofit industry, Adrian has worked in all forms of social service as well as creating a successful program to end fatherless homes in the community. His ability to articulate vision and passion has inspired and motivated consumers, sponsors and providers; thus allowing him to fulfill specific needs related to program development and social change.
“ I believe that the “Difference” is not one thing. It’s Everything.”