Valerie Lefler

image74

Executive Director

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—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.  

Lynn Mercer

image75

Chief of Staff

Lynn brings to the team over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor’s Degree dual major in Human Development & the Family/Special Education, Lynn moved to Seattle and soon started working at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  As Project Coordinator for the Legal Department, Lynn assisted in the project management of the $31 billion asset transfer from Warren Buffet to the Foundation.  This included review and compliance of required annual benefactions,  501(c)3 federal requirements, tax implications and putting in place foundation-wide training modules on new and updated regulations.  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works with partners worldwide in the areas of global health, global economic growth and opportunity, US High School and post secondary education, supporting vulnerable children and families in Washington State and global policy and advocacy.

Kate Schramm

image76

Partnership Director

Kate Schramm graduated Summa Cum Laude (4.0 GPA) 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.

Jessica Seuferer

image77

Call Center Manager

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 Hain

image78

IT Support Liason

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 and received relative 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 Edwards

image79

Director of Marketing

April is a professional artist with 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 Mohd

image80

Director of Videography

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. 

Kristin Rice

image81

Volunteer Driver Manager

Kristin is a senior Marketing major and Economics minor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As a part of her education, she was selected to participate in an intensive internship program with Union Pacific through the Marketing department of UNL. Kristin also recently gained additional business experience by writing her first federal grant this summer for a new business starting in her hometown of Neligh, Nebraska 

Tyrone Washington

image82

Intern Supervisor

Ty is a great addition to our team with over 20 years experience in management and supervision. Ty will assist the SC Mobility Area Manager with the supervision of interns, outreach, and day to day operations regarding the AARP contract.

Rachel Kosla

image83

Michigan Mobility Innovation 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.