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Lewis Cooksey, P.E.
Lewis Cooksey was named director of the Gwinnett Department of Transportation in October 2020. Cooksey began as a project manager in 2008, and he subsequently rose through the ranks to engineering coordinator, deputy director, and assistant director. In addition to his service to the Department of Transportation, Cooksey served as an assistant director in the Department of Water Resources. He earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Georgia and his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from Kennesaw State University (Southern College of Technology). Cooksey is a registered Professional Engineer with over 25 years of experience in civil engineering.
Edgardo Aponte, P.E.
Edgardo Aponte was named assistant director of the Gwinnett Department of Transportation in 2023, following his role as deputy director of Capital Program Delivery. Joining Gwinnett Transportation in 2016 as the Preconstruction Division director, Aponte brought over 16 years of private sector expertise in transportation consulting for agencies such as Georgia Department of Transportation and cities and counties. He also contributed five years of valuable service to the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority in the public sector. Aponte holds a master's degree in engineering management from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Marquette University. His registration as a professional engineer in Georgia underscores his dedication to maintaining high standards of professional excellence.
Director, Transit Capital Improvement Projects:
China Thomas was named director of Transit Capital Improvement Projects in October 2021. For over two decades, Thomas has coached, motivated, and developed teams; established business systems, processes, and organizational structures; increased operational efficiency and system safety and service quality. Thomas has been a significant leader in connecting communities and moving people through her operational management background in the public sector. Her most significant career accomplishment was expanding a transit system from 27 routes to 35 routes in Long Beach, California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Redlands. Thomas is an alumna of the Eno Center for Transportation Emerging Leaders Program and a member of the Women’s Transportation Seminar Los Angeles Chapter and the California Transit Association.
Deputy Director, Intermodal Operations:
David Tucker, ASLA
David Tucker was named deputy director of Intermodal Operations in 2007. Tucker began his career as a development review manager with Planning and Development in 1986 and has years of planning and land development experience in both the public and private sector. Gwinnett Transportation hired Tucker as the senior construction manager of road improvements for Capital Program Delivery in 2000. In 2004, he was appointed as the Preconstruction director for Program Delivery. Tucker holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia and is a registered landscape architect in the state of Georgia. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and is a certified arborist.
Deputy Director, Traffic Signals and Roadways:
Britton Lockhart was named deputy director of the Traffic Signals and Roadways section in 2023, after serving as Operations and Maintenance Division director since late 2020. Joining Gwinnett Transportation in 2016 as construction manager, he oversaw numerous SPLOST projects and later became resurfacing manager, handling a $25 million annual budget. With over 16 years of private sector experience, Lockhart excels in construction management, customer service, pre-construction estimation, and logistics. He holds a bachelor's degree in construction from Southern Polytechnic State University, highlighting his commitment to professional excellence.
Division Director, Airport:
Matt Smith was named division director of Airport in 2000. Smith began his aviation career with both air-carrier and general aviation airports. His experience also includes working with San Jose International Airport, Reno Air Airlines, and the three general aviation airports operated by Santa Clara County. Smith holds a bachelor's degree in aviation operations and a minor in business. He is a member of the American Association of Airport Executives, the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives, and the Georgia Airports Association. Smith holds a certified member status with the American Association of Airport Executives and is also a certified private pilot.
Division Director, Construction:
Brittney J. Bulfinch
Brittney Bulfinch was named division director of Capital Program Delivery, Construction in 2019. Gwinnett Transportation hired Bulfinch as the construction manager in 2014. She was promoted to program coordinator for the Capital Program Delivery Preconstruction Division in 2016. She began her career in the public sector as a construction inspector with the City of Roswell Public Works Department. Since then, she has continued to enhance her construction management skills in both public and private sector positions relating to stormwater and roadway construction, permitting, and contract management. Bulfinch holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy from Eckerd College.
Division Director, Finance and Performance Management:
John Ray, P.E.
John Ray was named division director of Finance and Performance Management in 2016. Gwinnett Transportation hired Ray as a project manager in 2007. He was promoted to division director of the Preconstruction Division in 2008. Ray has more than 20 years of experience in engineering, construction, and program management. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Division Director, Pre-Construction:
Michelle Arnold, AICP, PE
Division Director, Roadway Operations and Maintenance::
Jeff Charlton was named division director of Roadway Operations and Maintenance in 2023. Prior to this, he served as a construction manager in the Department of Water Resources since 2021. His journey with Gwinnett began in 2019 when Planning and Development welcomed him as the development inspections coordinator. Bringing with him 25 years of experience from the site development and building industries, Charlton has made significant contributions. Notably, Charlton's diverse background includes military service as an active-duty Field Artillery Surveyor in the United States Army, followed by a role as a Georgia National Guard Chaplain. His educational credentials comprise a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia and a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Furthermore, Charlton holds professional qualifications as a registered landscape architect and a certified arborist.
Division Director, Traffic Management:
Kristin Phillips was named division director of Traffic Engineering in November 2022. Gwinnett Transportation hired Phillips as the chief engineer of Traffic Signals in 2018. In 2021, Phillips was promoted to section manager of Traffic Signals. Prior to joining Gwinnett, she worked in the private sector for more than 15 years performing transportation consulting work for local and state agencies in Georgia and Wisconsin. Phillips holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Michigan State University and a Master of Engineering from Texas A&M University. She is a registered professional engineer in the states of Georgia and Michigan and a member of several professional organizations, including the Georgia Section of the Institute Transportation of Engineers and the Intelligent Transportation Society of Georgia.
Division Director, Traffic Safety:
Sylvia Goalen was named division director of Traffic Safety in December 2022. She started with the Department of Transportation in June 2019, serving as program delivery project coordinator before she was promoted to section manager of the Traffic Safety and Support Division in July 2021. Goalen has served Gwinnett for more than 13 years. Prior to joining the Department of Transportation, she served as a lieutenant for Community Risk Reduction with Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services and as community outreach coordinator for the County Administrator’s Office. Goalen holds a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and a master’s degree in business administration. She also volunteers and serves on various boards around the county, including the Hispanic Mentoring Priority, where she mentors middle school girls and encourages them to reach their full potential. Goalen was also awarded the Personajes Destacados award for her work in local government by Mundo Hispanico in 2016.
Division Director, Transportation Planning:
Jerry T. Oberholtzer, AICP
Jerry Oberholtzer was named division director of Transportation Planning in 2023. He initially joined Gwinnett Transportation as the section manager of Transportation Planning back in 2021. Throughout his 15-year professional journey, Oberholtzer has occupied a variety of roles encompassing land use, zoning, and development across Forsyth County, Gwinnett County, and the city of Dunwoody. Oberholtzer’s educational background comprises a bachelor’s degree in political science from Clemson University, complemented by a certificate in Local Government Leadership obtained from the University of Georgia. His affiliations include membership in the American Planning Association, and he bears the distinction of being a certified planner, acknowledged by the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Division Director, Transit:
Natasha Tyler was named division director of Transit in November 2021. She has over 15 years of transit experience including administration, safety, and operations. Tyler previously served as the general manager for Transit. Her future goal is to bring a diverse and innovative perspective to the great industry of transit. Tyler also holds an associate degree in business management and is a member of COMTO. The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is the leading national advocate for employment diversity, inclusion, and contracting opportunities in the multi-modal, multi-billion-dollar transportation industry.