Meet the Founding Team

 

With a vision and the talent, they are on a mission... to solve complex problems that will improve quality of life for those who need it most.

Cathy Matthews, Founder & CEO

Cathy founded CarrusAllies with the vision of improving the transportation experience for paratransit riders. For 5 years it has been her personal mission to innovate within the realm of what is possible now and what can be possible in the future for paratransit.

Cathy  is a lifelong advocate of improving the lives of the disabled, specifically for those who are legally blind. Through this advocacy she is involved with state and local paratransit systems to help them efficiently evolve the system forward to one that will optimize the rider experience. Bringing her professional systems engineering experience to bear, Cathy believes that there are significant, substantive changes that can be made by leveraging existing and emerging technologies.

Cathy retired from a senior civilian management position with the US Navy. As a systems engineer she developed complex systems, and was a leader in acquisition reform. She has in-depth knowledge in the government acquisition process and industry best practices. She is driven to leverage that experience to improve not only the system but the quality of life for the elderly and disabled who depend on paratransit. Over the last several years she has worked on many aspects inherent to the transportation industry including: Routing and sequencing, acquisition best practices, contract evaluation criteria generation, RFP generation, government lobbying, efficiency analysis, rider research, and partnership opportunities with the private sector.

Cathy serves on the board of the Lighthouse Central Florida and volunteers for technical demonstration of networked systems.  Cathy and her husband Rob have two sons, Drew and Thomas,  as well as a dog Tiger, and a cat Atlas. When they are not at home in Orlando, or enjoying the beach, they may be found on the road, traveling in their motor-home to discover and experience the beauty and culture this country has to offer.


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Carrie Root, M.S., Ph.D. Co-Founder, PH.D.

Carrie is a problem solver by nature; she has spent her career doing just that for complex systems/problems in industry, with the US Navy, and at NASA and NOAA. For the past 20+ years as a consultant to these organizations, she provides expertise in systems engineering, underwater acoustics, program management, and systems acquisition. She started her career working for small and large engineering and technology based companies including Bolt, Beranek and Newman, IBM and MITRE. 

Carrie uses her systems engineering expertise and inquisitive nature to effect change for the  community organizations she supports. Cathy Matthews and Carrie are lifelong colleagues and friends. When Cathy began sharing her vision for CarrusAlllies with Carrie, they instantly approached the paratransit challenges and opportunities with their "engineering" minds and the confidence that they could make a significantly positive difference in the challenges faced by paratransit ridership.

The founder of Alpha UMi,  whose company  mission is 100% sustainability for careers, organizations and community. She believes that when you are on the right path, doing the right thing... things happen. That is certainly the case with both Alpha UMi and CarrusAllies.

In addition to solving complex problems, Carrie enjoys backpacking, gourmet dining and cooking, and TWD. BTW, she is a huge Lyle Lovett fan!


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Betsy Callas; Co-Founder

Betsy was quick to jump on board with Cathy's vision as she personally saw a need through immediate family and friends who have depended on paratransit for their major form of transportation. She witnessed their frustration and the impact on their quality of lives when things did not go well, though on the other hand also saw the joy that could come out of a day when their transportation flowed smoothly. It truly opens up a world of possibilities, from work opportunities, to social life and importantly self-esteem and independence.

She is thrilled to join the efforts of CarrusAllies to put her years of strategizing and innovation to work for a cause that would truly make an impact for those who need it most.

Betsy brings to the table over 30 years of marketing, branding and strategy development for the Fortune 500, as well as numerous startups and entrepreneurial companies. She began her career at consumer-packaged goods "marketing great" Kraft Foods and has since been afforded the opportunity to work on many world class brands, in not only the consumer goods industry, but financial services, IT and business services and healthcare/pharmaceutical. She is a true innovator and creative talent. This experience, along with a career in behavior change and leading companies through transformational time periods, lends itself perfectly to the work of CarrusAllies.

In Betsy's spare time she practices yoga and is an avid exercise enthusiast, always looking to try the "latest" workout trend. She balances that with her love for wining and dining and entertaining friends and family. She also has a lovable golden retriever "Cody" that she has the privilege of spoiling rotten.